Milk Crate Furniture How-to

| 2/20/2013 2:09:32 PM

Tags: milk crate furniture, free standing furniture, milk crates, Instructables,

This article was originally posted in Instructables and was reposted with permission from Will Holman. 

Milk crates are the classic dorm-room, bachelor-pad, record-crating, ready-made storage. The logic is unassailable: They're modular, stackable, sturdy and cheap.

But can they be elevated, aesthetically and practically? I tried before, and came up with a quick wall-mounted solution. Recently, I came into a trove of crates while demolishing an old building at work. I wanted to come up with a piece of free-standing milk crate furniture that didn't look cheap.

Finished Milk Crate CredenzaThis milk crate credenza is light, strong and handsome enough, reveling in rugged simplicity. A beautiful wood top contrasts with the cold, clean plastic while tying the crates together structurally. Made with little more than a drill and zip ties, it took about two hours to put together. 

Milk crates are not free for the taking from behind stores. Those stores, or the dairy companies, pay for the crates, and it hits the bottom line when they go missing. Be respectful. Ask. Shop owners may part with a few lightly damaged ones. New crates are available all over the Internet at dozens of sites. Thrift stores, record shops, and dumpsters are other solid sources. If a crate isn't directly behind an establishment that sells or uses milk, then it's probably abandoned to the world and available to take. Check out Milkcrate Digest for more information on legally acquiring crates.

Materials List

3-5 milk crates
1 piece of 1-by-12-inch material, about 4 feet long, or plywood, etc.
Zip ties
Wood finish of your choice

Tools List

Angle grinder, Dremel, or hacksaw
Circular saw or table saw
Needle-nose pliers
Wire nippers or scissors
Tape measure

Step 1: Toppin’ 

Strictly speaking this credenza doesn't need a top. But a top helps unify the crates, prevent sagging, and provides a smooth top instead of the waffled surface of the plastic. If you can't find any wood, or don't care about the waffle effect, just skip to the next step.
5/27/2018 7:49:49 PM

I used the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha. Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)

4/26/2015 11:43:39 AM

Might be useful for someone. You can buy authentic, heavy duty milk crates direct from factory here:

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