pallet wood project {kitchen crate}

Or, what I like to call my Free Pantry Upgrade. ¬†ūüėČ

I can’t even say that with a straight face.

We have established that we live in a¬†breadbox, so I’ve been getting creative with some storage.

I’ve had our pantry type items in the hutch since we moved here. ¬†But once the¬†hutch became the tv stand, that’s been kind of weird.

pallet wood project - how to build a crate out of pallet slats

I know, I know … storage is storage, but still weird all the same.

So, I decided to make a box crate out of a pallet. And it didn’t cost me a penny. ¬†Not many things make me smile more than the word FREE. ¬†:)

pallet wood project - how to build a crate out of pallet slatsWell,¬†dragon berry¬†mojitos make me smile pretty big…but that’s not really¬†relevant here now is it.

So, I didn’t actually take a before picture … but … it was a pallet. ūüėČ ¬†Similar to this one. And I used the same technique to remove the slats, a hammer and pry bar along with some cursing and a blister on my forefinger.

Those last two are totally optional.  :)

I knew where I wanted my crate to go in my kitchen, so I measured my space and cut my slats to size (14 inches long).  Based on the height I wanted, I needed 3 slats per side (one wide one and two narrow ones), so I cut 12 pieces the same length.

I took a little piece of scrap wood (maybe a  1 x 1) I had and cut it so I could use it as the brace to attach each of the sides of my crate together.  The height was measuring about 12 inches so I cut my little brackets, if you will, about 10 inches long.  Just long enough so I could get one screw into each of the three pallet slats on each side of the soon-to-be-crate.
pallet wood project - how to build a crate out of pallet slats

pallet wood project - how to build a crate out of pallet slatsOk, here’s the thought process … I wanted the front to be only a view of the slats, meaning the front and back slats would overlap the slats on the sides. ¬†So, in the picture above, you see how I lined my brackets up flush with the edge of the slats for the sides of the crate. ¬†I attached the 4 brackets to both ends of the slats for both of the sides. ¬†Then, by lining up the slats for the front (and then back) of the crate, I was able to attach the brackets to the slats creating a bottomless and topless box. ¬†Confused yet?

This pic is of the 2 sides with the brackets attached … ready to be attached to the front and the back sides of the crate.

pallet wood project - how to build a crate out of pallet slatsWhy yes, I do work construction on the coffee table.  :)

Which makes now seem like a good time for a few tips:
1. ¬†Don’t do construction on the coffee table unless you’re ok with a sawdusty mess. ¬†:)
2. Drilling pilot holes for your screws (like I did here) is always a time saver … for those interested in saving time and sanity and maybe a little bit of finger flesh.
3.  One might want to wash their pallet with some sort of disinfectant cleaner.
4.  Sanding the slats before working with them, or wearing gloves while handling the slats would probably be a good idea.

But, I’m not one to judge so if you happen to forego any of these tips your crate is still cool with me. ¬†:)

Ok, once I had all of the sides connected, I added a bottom. ¬†This is probably backwards carpentry, but that’s how I roll.

AND, so I didn’t have to rip down the width of any of the pallet slats, I spaced them so they aren’t wide enough apart for any canned goods to fall through, but not exactly a solid wood bottom. ¬†Like so.
pallet wood project - how to build a crate out of pallet slats

Then I drilled holes on either side of my crate to run some rope through for handles.

pallet wood project - how to build a crate out of pallet slats

And because I didn’t want people peaking at my canned goods (that’s what she said), I added a top by just cutting more pallet slats the length I needed and adding a few pallet slats to the underside to attach them all together. ¬†Like so.
pallet wood project - how to build a crate out of pallet slats

And because I love me some driftwood, I just screwed on a piece that I thought would work as a handle.
pallet wood project - how to build a crate out of pallet slats

After I admired her for a few hours I decided to add some random stenciling.  My new favorite hobby.  :)

I picked a not so random number and then stenciled the word CURACAO along the front. Kind of like it’s a crate of canned goods on its way to Curacao. ¬†Appropriate I’d say.

pallet wood project - how to build a crate out of pallet slatsThank goodness, because we all know who doesn’t like random stenciling around here. ¬†ūüėČ

I finished her off by hand sanding the whole crate to distress the stenciling and smooth out the finish a bit. ¬†Oh, and just to clarify, all of the nail holes you see on the outside of the crate of from it’s previous life as a pallet. ¬†Building the crate with the brackets on the inside eliminates any new visual nail or screws. ¬†And I really like the rustic look of the open holes from it’s life as a pallet. ¬†Score!

While I was at it, I was inspired to add another driftwood shelf below our jute wrapped rusty pipe pot rack.
kichen storagekichen storage

I think she makes a good pair with the other driftwood shelf action we have going on in our little kitchen. ¬†Which … I think looks nice and dandy below the other pallet project I’ve done in this space.

kichen storageAnd, because this has turned into a mini kitchen tour … here’s my attempt at storing some of our less ugly kitchen things in plain sight.

kichen storagepallet wood project - how to build a crate out of pallet slats

Seriously, if you want to make your very own pallet crate, it really is easy, feel free to¬†email me¬†for more detail. ¬†I know you can do it … and who doesn’t love FREE, stylish storage?

And another little side note, the only electric tool I used is my drill/screwdriver … no fancy equipment required. ¬†Bonus!

If you like this project I’d would love for you to pin it!

how to make a pallet wood crate

And if you want to see how I made that little clipboard landing zone you can check it out here.  And I made a super simple one pallet slat trough here.


  1. says

    Great idea! I am also very fond of the word, FREE! I have seen so many things made out of pallets on Pinterest and have yet to make anything. I may have to go scouring for some to use for storage. Oh, BTW, I also LOVE your driftwood shelves! You should link up to my It’s a Piece O’ Cake Linky Party {}. It’s open until tomorrow and Thursday will be the next one. Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    How creative! Very nice! Looks great! It is amazing what a person can come up with if they have a little imagination a few supplies, and some time. Reminds me of what my 22 year old Marine son that recently came home for a visit. He said “I think poor kids have more fun when they are little”! I thought that was so funny because my kids always felt deprived while they were growing up because I would not buy then all then latest gadgets as they came out.

  3. Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D says

    First, I love free, too!
    Second, dragon berry mojitos sound like fun!

    Third, you can see my very inexpensive – get much needed – pantry upgrade below.
    (The pantry shelves had been falling down since 1959 when the place was built – not that I was around back then to see it!)

    I really like your new pantry.
    And, that driftwood shelf is *swoon* worthy.
    ~ Sana

  4. says

    super cute! and i was thinking maybe you couldn’t keep a straight face because if you take the r out you have panty… but that would be just silly. but panty reveal would be a funny post title!

  5. says

    Looks mavvvelous my dear. I did a pantry re-do, but no one will ever see it because it went from terribly unorganized and messy to a bit less unorganized and messy.


  6. says


    I love this and I am totally pinning it! What a great idea! I love the handle too! You always come up with the best ideas. It must be all of that Caribbean sun!


  7. kellyatvatw says

    LOVE. Love love. It’s actually refreshing compared to all those pantry upgrades with matching labeled jars, IMO. :) And it looks expensive!

  8. shirley@housepitalitydesigns says

    Where do you come up with these ideas?…I love it…Now, if I made it…it would take me 5 minutes to know that I need a couple of band-aids and then one of your dragon berry mojitos to get me the rest of the way…Great project….you are too over the top creative!

  9. tkwblog says

    I’m thinking the Pallet up cycle is the IT thing also! Super idea! I keep thinking of all the uses I would have for some pallet boxes, err I mean crates. Pinning this now!

  10. Amy says

    You did a great job on your box..I mean crate. I love it with the stenciling and the little driftwood handle is just the right extra touch.

  11. says

    First of all…I love you:) You SOOOO made me smile and laugh out loud over my coffee this morning! Seriously LOVING this project and I am totally stealing all our stealth tactics in building it! Pinning and sharing on my FB page:)

  12. says

    Great job, Karah! It’s so pretty! I love all of the rustic charm of your kitchen. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity in the DIY Project Parade. ūüėČ

  13. says

    Very cool! It’s awesome how just a little thing can add so much detail to a room! I love that other pallet project as well! :]

  14. says

    This is to stinking cute. What a great job. I would love it if you showed it off at my new linky party @

    I can’t wait to see what else you create.


  15. says

    I don’t know which I love more: the crate, or reading about how the crate came to be. I’ve never made anything out of a pallet and because I only have about 6 canned goods total in my pantry right now, canned goods storage is not what I need. I do have an entire piece of furniture filled with potato chips and cereal bars though ( Still, building one sounds like a fun diversion, so thanks for the tutorial and for linking up!

  16. says

    What a great project! I too am always looking for those creative storage options! I need to remember this one! Thanks for posting!
    xo Becca

  17. says

    Karah, this is great! Isn’t it just fun to find a free cast off (pallet, discarded furniture, etc) and then turn it into something useful and wonderful?

    You are one talented lady! :)

  18. says

    Oh my gosh, what a great tutorial. I am saving this. I have been putting off my pallet collecting because I need a way to get some home. I see them everywhere. I need them. I want them. I have so many things I want to make out of them. You have inspired me to keep the dream alive. I found this project through French Country Cottage’s link party. I hope you’ll stop and visit me again at Quirky Vistas.


  1. […] Karah from The Space Between is a sucker for the gray patina of an old pallet, and, lucky for her, she finds them at many construction sites around her little island of Curacao. She recently found those acquired pallets useful when she decided to solve a storage issue in her tiny kitchen. […]

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