Many produce farms still use wooden crates to ship their fruits and vegetables. The sturdy structure of the wood provides a protective shell to prevent damage to the product. These crates are often labeled or stamped with the contents, making the empty crates quite decorative. I have acquired several from our local grocery store. Make a wagon out of crates to use as a flower pot stand, magazine holder or a catch-all for shoes, boots and gloves at your back door. The faux wheels on the crate remain stationary so that the wagon stays where you place it without rolling away.
1-by-2, approximately 3 feet long
Large coffee can
1-by-6, 2-foot section
Hot glue gun
Drill, small bit, 1/4-inch bit and screwdriver bit
1-inch wood screws, eight
2-inch wood screws, four
1-inch wooden bead
Measure across the width of your wooden crate. Use this measurement to cut two 1-by-2s using a jigsaw. These are your faux wagon axles.
Stand a large coffee can on a 1-by-6 and trace around it. Repeat three more times for a total of four circles. Cut out the circles using a jigsaw. These are the wheels for your wagon.
Apply the desired shade of wood stain to both sides of the axles and the wheels using a sponge brush. Allow the stain to set for a few minutes. Use an old rag to wipe the excess stain from the wood.
Set the crate upside down on your work surface. Measure in 2 inches from each short end on the crate’s bottom and mark with a pencil. Apply hot glue to one flat side on an axle. Glue the axle across the width of the crate at the mark. Repeat with the other axle on the other mark. The hot glue will hold the axle in place before securing it with screws.
Turn the crate right side up. You will see the axle through the gaps in the slats on the crate bottom. Drill four equally spaced pilot holes with a small drill bit, along the width of the inside of the crate and into one of the axles. Drill identical pilot holes into the other axle. Insert a 1-inch wood screw into each pilot hole to secure.
Trace the coffee can on a piece of paper and cut out. Fold the circle into fourths and unfold. Place the circle over a wheel and poke a straight pin into the center crease of the paper. Flip the wheel over and repeat on the other side. This will mark the center of the wheel. Repeat on the remaining wheels.
Turn the crate on it’s side with one end of each axle facing up. Apply hot glue to the end of one axle. Place a wheel over the axle end, with the center mark of the wheel on the center of the axle end. Drill a pilot hole through the outer marked center of the wheel and into the axle. Insert a 2-inch wood screw to secure the faux wheel. Attach the remaining wheels in the same way.
Stand the wagon right side up. Measure across to the center on one outside end of the crate and lightly mark with a pencil. Measure an inch to the left and an inch the right of the center and mark. Erase the center pencil mark. Drill through each of the remaining marks using a 1/4-inch drill bit.
Cut a 15-inch length of twine for the wagon’s handle. Insert one end of the twine through one drilled hole, from the inside of the wagon to the outside. Insert the other end of the twine through the other drilled hole, from the inside to the outside. Bring the ends together. Insert both ends through the hole of a 1-inch wooden bead and out the other side. Tie the ends of the twine together in an overhand knot 1 inch from the end.