guest post: DIY rustic crate bookcase

Below is guest post #2 of the week, brought to you by one of my best friends and bridesmaids, Brittney.

Besides being the most fun, sweet, genuine friend ever.... Brittney is ridiculously amazing at crafting -- you should see her home! It's full of DIY projects that you can barely believe she didn't buy. She's here to share just one of her awesome crafts, a rustic crate bookshelf. It's beautiful! And with her instructions, it sounds like even us mere DIY-mortals can do it :) She doesn't have a blog, unfortunately, but I'll try to convince her to share more of her secrets with me to pass along to you all in the future. Here she is:


Taylor bee has given me the great pleasure of doing a guest post on her blog! WOOHOO! Seriously an honor considering I would probably be eating mac & cheese every night and be extremely overweight without her amazing recipes and motivation to diet! I can happily say that since the 4-week challenge has started I am 8 lbs. lighter! – Thank you Taylor!

So today I will bring to you a little DIY project that I completed a few months ago when my boyfriend, Josh, and I moved into a small apartment on Capitol Hill. The building has a very urban, rustic feel and I needed a bookshelf to combine all of our treasures. 
First step: find crates. I looked everywhere from the back parking lot of grocery stores (Taylor Bee’s idea), Michaels Craft store, Joann Fabrics, and then finally.....Home Depot. Home Depot was the winner with pre-sanded 18 in x 12.5 in. x 9.5 in. wood crates for $8.00 each. Best part was, free shipping for orders over $50.00!
Before I placed my order, I played around by sketching the crates to see what configurations I liked the best so I would know how many I needed to buy. Depending on if you want the shelf to be tall, long, or square, all you have to do is measure the space the shelf will go and work with the dimensions. At the end of the day, I decided to go with 8 crates. Here are some possible configurations.
Once I got them this is what they looked like….

Next step… COLOR! I wanted the crates to look like driftwood so I bought 1 quart Minwax Driftwood Interior Wood Finish Stain, some plastic drop cloths, a large paint brush, a couple rags, and a pair of cleaning cloves.

My approach to staining was, “it doesn’t have to be perfect.” I just slopped the stain on, covering every square inch, nook, and cranny, and then gently wiped the excess off with a rag. Once the entire crate was stained I left it to dry and moved on to the others. Each crate took approximately 10 minutes to stain. (so about an hour and a half total.) The stain has to dry until it is no longer tacky. I moved mine outside because I had space and the stain had an odor. 

The next day I brought all my crates back inside and began assembling them. I started with the two at the base and used (10) 3/8” screws. The red dots on the image below represent where I made the connections.


The last step I chose to take was making a connection between the top shelf and the wall. I planned to use the shelf for some heavy books and didn’t want to risk it falling over. I had a small strip of wire and used it by screwing a screw into the wall, tying the wire around the screw and then tying the wire around one of the crate slits.

Here is the final product!

Give it a try!

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