Vintage Crate for Magazine Storage

4:45 PM

I've been really excited about this project, it has a lot of elements I really like:
re-purposing junk
decor, but with function
sentimental meaning

It's a wooden crate to hold all the magazines we keep

I first got the idea from this Pottery Barn living room:
clear in the back on the shelf the arrow pointing to it.

Then online, I found these crates you can purchase:
I liked the font and simple design.
The Pierre reminded me of my husband's ancestor.
Our last name is french, and my husband's great-on and on great-grandfather stowed away on a ship from France to the new world in the late 1600s and his name was Pierre Crapeau, and he grew up in Bordeaux France.
So he became the identity of my vintage, french, crate.

From our junk pile the previous owners left, I cut weathered wood for the front.
Using masking tape to make straight horizontal borders, I penciled in the text using a print out of fonts I liked as the guide.
Then using acrylic craft paint in burnt umber, painted the text.  I watered it down quite a bit for a bleeding affect, and to make it look worn and old.
The wood texture made the painting interesting, but I liked the imperfections it created.
Here's the finished crate front:
Our ancestor's name: Pierre Crapeau
His birthplace/ heritage: Bordeaux, France
Approx Year of Birth: 1670
Definitely not perfect on the text painting, but I'll call it "character"

Next, I finished building the crate.
It is a challenge to build with weathered, old wood because it had warped, different thicknesses, and some parts would just crumble.
I used nails rather than screws, to help it look old, as I assumed screws weren't available in the 1600s.  And I learned it takes skill to hammer in nails straight, I was a lot better by the end of the project than the beginning.
I decided to use a 1x10 pine scrap as the bottom, so the magazines would have a smooth surface to sit on and to make the building easier, since all 4 walls were already weathered, making things difficult.
I really like this project.
I hoped it would seem more like a company or business, or wine crate, something rather than the name of a person.
I figured the ancestor identity was a hidden bit of info most people wouldn't recognize, but I guess we'll see.
It would kind of seem like a casket or headstone if it's too obvious all the info is about an individual.
So now it's on a shelf to hold all our magazines and journals we collect.
A cool crate, and less junk wood in the backyard.

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  1. Wonderful. I love that you're putting new life into "junk". The text looks great, too.

  2. Love the idea and love the look.
    It would be fun to find out more about him.

  3. Your ideas and creativity never cease to amaze me. I find your blog very inspiring! =0)

  4. Do you want to know what I said to myself (but outloud) when I saw your first pic? Shut. Up. Where. Did. She. Find. That! Are. You. Serious? Shut. Up. And that pretty much kept rolling in a loop as I read your whole post. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this. LOVE it. I'm off to find some scrap wood or an old pallet to make one of my own. I could keep gushing about this project of yours, but I am pretty sure I've given you the main gist of how I feel about it :o)

  5. That is WAY cool! What a fun project! I love it next to the lantern you made!

  6. I love this! (And, as pinksuedeshoe's sister/your husbands relation, I have a particular affinity to the text.)


  7. I think it looks great! Love the idea and how you incorporated your own family history into it.

  8. okay, Here is how it went. I was looking at that crate on your book shelf post thinking... why don't my crates look that nice? Then I read the words. and thought hey thats funny, I have and ancestor names that, oh and he is from France. haha, then I noticed a link this post, read it, got all excite. I am related to him to on my moms side. We love to tell that story, BRAVE KID HE WAS.

  9. This is so amazing! I LOVE it! Trying to think of where I can get some great looking wood and recreate awesome! blog hop from the CSI project!

  10. I love this! You did an amazing job on it.

  11. I LOVE THIS! Gotta find me some old wood to make one :)

  12. I agree with everyone else that commented. The wine crate looks great. It's a little tricky to make a rustic-looking crate like that work in a more modern decor pattern like yours, but you did it brilliantly! Thank you for sharing this. You have quite an eye for interior decorating.


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