Thursday, September 20, 2012

From Toy Chest to Shipping Crate

Hi Everyone!
I have heard and seen of shipping crates being turned into toy chests, but not the other way around...yet that is what I did with this ordinary, run of the mill chest I got on Craigslist.

I remembered to take the "Before" after sanding and stripping off the layers of thick, enamel brown and beige paint. The sides are MDF, and the top and ends are pine.
I roughed it up with some screws, a hammer, and even took a firelighter to it in some!

Then I applied some ebony colored glaze. I did not have anything else, and I was too impatient to make the steel wool in vinegar mix, which has to soak for at least 24 hours. There are many tutorials on how to do that, but here is a link to one. I was going for the look of old cedar. The pine part turned out pretty good, but the MDF was a different story....

I ended up painting this part red...just could not get it to look right.
I then dry brushed some more red on the other parts, too, just so it would look like it fit.

I found old vintage magazine ads of Pfluegers, a fishing tackle and equipment company, on line,  printed it out, and decoupaged it to the side. The writing was done free hand, from an example I found when searching for "shipping crates" images.

I don't know if you noticed, but I tried to make the corner strips look like metal. Painted it silver, and screwed some screws in. On one side I stenciled "THIS END UP" ,
 and on the other side I decoupaged a sign that says "HANDLE WITH CARE" .
I also drilled some holes and made handles out of rope for a more authentic look. (or so I thought, anyway)

I distressed the edges and sanded the  chest all over a few times during the process.
Also applied and wiped off the same ebony colored glaze  a few times. I just played until I got the look I liked. The decoupaged parts were sanded pretty heavily to make it look really old.

This is what the back looks like. Some random stenciling, and another sign decoupaged on.

O yes, and see the little stamp in the right corner? It says "product of the USA". I just used a plate as a template en drew it on with a thin brush. The words were just done freehand.

Well, I had a lot of fun doing this, and I can just see it in a boy's room with a fishing theme, or even as a rustic kind of coffee table in a TV room. 

What do you think?

Until next time, 
happy thrifting!


  1. What an amazingly imaginative treatment for a former ho-hum chest! It turned out great.

  2. Oh my goodness, I am amazed at your blog. You had left a comment on mine and I wanted to thank you and visit yours. Needless to say I have spent the last hour checking out all your projects and am now a follower! So inspiring. Diana from Closet Crafter

  3. You definitely put this crate into good use. Most of the time, crates are thrown out after they are emptied. But upcycling them and turning them into something new will give them a new purpose.


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