Unfinished pine crates to be exact!
I did not wish to spend much money because I do not think I will be in this apartment for very much longer but even if I stay here another year or two, I knew I wanted some kind of shelving for books, magazines and some of the knickknacks I had still packed away. Most of my apartment is storage bins and I’ve been here exactly one year. I figure if I didn’t really have a way to move near my family this year, a days drive away, the least I need to do is get more situated here just in case I’m in for the long haul.
Originally I got one of those cheap, DIY pressed board bookcases from Walmart but it was crumbling during assembly. I put some Sauders brand together about 20 years ago but this was Mainstays and the quality was bad. I took it back the next day and decided to purchase a number of the unfinished large solid end pine crates 18″ x 12″ x 9 1/2″ deep. You have the option to paint or stain them as desired. For now, unfinished is ok by me. I might do something later depending on where I want to go with them.
I had seen some of these crates as wall shelves on Pinterest and fell in love with the rustic country bohemian look. Even cooler when it has a light stain on it from some pictures I viewed.
Made in America as well.
Used a heat gun to remove that large stickers on each crate.
Got sanders and mask ready.
Roughly sanded some of the many rough edges.
The sanding files work great on the handles.
I would not recommend this type of shelving if you have pets or children due to the fact that they could easily be knocked or pulled over, not super stable. Some choose to connect these permanently but I wish to be able to move them easily and keep them free to use as actual packing crates one day. Also you would really have to do a super sanding job on all plus maybe add a number of coats of varnish to make it safe from splinters. I’m sure I’ll be getting splinters once in a while if I am not careful but I will have to see what happens once I start actually stacking books and things in them.
Important to note is that Walmart had two types of large crates in the store. One was in the Home Decor section and the other in the Crafts area. I ended up with the ones in Craft because they were much sturdier and $2.00 cheaper per crate even though they were the same size. I did not really check to see how well those were sanded and they were processed by a different company than the ones I found in the crafting area. Some had slats on all four sides, which may make a difference depending on what you wish to do with them. Also, I preferred the solid end ones.
I purchased 6 of them to try them out and ended up going back for 6 more. I will say if you wish to stack them as I did you will need at least 8 if you want to finish your wall shelving straight across. You can tell by the stacking that you will need at least 4 for each square if you stagger it as I did. There are many ways to stack these and I plan on changing the pattern from time to time. Some people placed battery operated lighting that you stick on inside some of the crates for special effects that were very cool. Depending on what I do later on with mine, I will post updates. I would never recommend placing lit candles in these but they do have many battery operated candles that look just as cool.
My original six crates.
Twelve crates in progress.