Upcycling Wooden Drawers into Vintage Crates for Cheap Farmhouse Decor

Upcycling Wooden Drawers into Vintage Crates for Cheap Farmhouse Decor

This is one of those ideas that has been rattling around in my head for a while, and I’ve finally set aside time to give it a go. See, last year, I repurposed an old drawer into a potting bench and endeavored to recreate the look of an old fruit crate with wood stain. It was at that moment that I wondered if I could upcycle wooden drawers (of a slightly different shape) into vintage crates or old wooden crates for cheap farmhouse decor.

Here we are, a year later, and I still hadn’t tested by DIY hypothesis. So, I reminded myself to seek out the right kind of wooden drawers to upcycle- long, shallow rectangle drawers that had good (or decent) wood grain to play around with.

This meant a few trips to my Habitat ReStore, which is something I never mind doing!

Wooden drawers or kitchen drawers at Habitat ReStore for upcycling into cheap farmhouse decor by Sadie Seasongoods

And sure enough, my Habitat ReStore didn’t disappoint. There were plenty of wooden drawers to choose from – some from a wood dresser (maybe?) and others that were clearly kitchen drawers.

Wooden drawers from a wood dresser for upcycling into vintage crates for industrial decor by Sadie Seasongoods

My plan? To remove hardware and drawer fronts, leaving me with a “soda crate” shape that I could decorate with wood stain, paint, and stencils to create my very own vintage crates. This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience and a stencil was provided to me by Knick of Time at no cost, but all opinions are my own.

Transforming Wooden Drawers into Vintage Crates

With wooden drawers in hand, I went to work- first removing the hardware- including side rails, handles, and anything else a drawer may have attached.

Removing hardware and rails from wooden drawers before upcycling into old wooden crates by Sadie Seasongoods

Hardware on the sides…hardware on the front…and hardware on the back. It all had to go!

Removing hardware from wooden drawers to transform them into vintage wooden crates by Sadie Seasongoods

Doing this left my wooden drawers full of open, empty nail and screw holes. I originally thought I’d fill them with wood putty, but decided to just leave them be…I was recreating vintage crates after all, so a few holes and battle scars would just add character, right?

The drawer fronts also had to be pried off from my drawers- and this step (and result) will vary from drawer to drawer. To do this, I used our chisel set and a hammer to gently loosen the front from the drawer. If this leaves a messy finish, you can either sand it smooth and go about your business, or cut out a small rectangle of plywood or scrap wood to glue across the front of your drawer to cover it up.

The side rails on two of my drawers covered up non-aged or non-stained wood…and that stripe of pale wood left much to be desired. I also sanded off the pencil marks that had been left by the original contractors.

Upcycling idea for wooden drawers to transform into vintage crates or cheap farmhouse decor by Sadie Seasongoods

So, I decided to paint those two wooden drawers- one in red, one in pale aqua blue. Cottonball demanded to help…which was worrisome (visions of red and blue paw prints all over the house popped in my head).

Of course, I’m sure there’s some cat hair in my paint job, but that’s just par for the course.

Using Behr Paint on wooden drawers for upcycling them into old wooden crates and industrial decor by Sadie Seasongoods

Thankfully, Cottonball was well behaved during the entire painting process. Huge sigh of relief…

Using latex paint on wooden drawers for repurposing them into vintage crates or cheap farmhouse decor by Sadie Seasongoods

Final Touches for Vintage Crates / Old Wooden Crates from Wooden Drawers

In the end, these were how the wooden drawers – I mean, vintage wooden crates – ended up looking like. Paint for the two with side rails, and weathered wood accelerator on the plain wood drawer, just to deepen/age its existing reddish stain.

Cheap farmhouse decor with wooden drawers that were upcycled into vintage crates by Sadie Seasongoods

They’re starting to look like old wooden crates, right?? I think my idea for cheap farmhouse decor or industrial decor is going to work out!

Now it was time to stencil my vintage crates…but you know what? I had a hard time finding good stencils for this- there aren’t a lot of soda crate stencils out there. And I didn’t want to buy one that said Coca-cola or Pepsi, because I didn’t want to be accused of copyright theft.

SO. I found one made by Knick of Time from her Vintage Sign Stencils line that was PERFECT for my needs.

Vintage Sign Stencil from Knick of Time on wooden drawers that were upcycled into old wooden crates by Sadie Seasongoods

For the long and narrow space on my vintage wooden crates, I only planned to use a portion of the stencil. So, I centered it, taped it in place, and stippled on some black craft paint.

Stenciling graphics on wooden drawers that are now vintage crates and cheap farmhouse decor by Sadie Seasongoods

Vintage Crates from Wooden Drawers for Cheap Farmhouse Decor

When all was said and done, I had three vintage crates made from upcycled wooden drawers! I was able to re-use my fresh produce stencil from this project and my multi-sized star stencil from another project, too. Gotta love it when that happens!

Vintage crates made from wooden drawers for cheap farmhouse decor or industrial decor by Sadie Seasongoods

And are you looking closely to my red soda crate? I used aluminum label tape to recreate the look of reinforcement brackets that authentic soda crates have!

Now I have a whole set of vintage wooden crates that I can use in any number of ways…and for a lot cheaper than the real thing. Such a fun and unexpected way to repurpose some wooden drawers.

Industrial decor and vintage wooden crates that were made from wooden drawers from a wood dresser by Sadie Seasongoods

If you’ve ever wanted vintage crates to decorate your home with, then this is a great option for cheap farmhouse decor or industrial decor.

Want another amazing upcycling idea for cheap farmhouse decor with an industrial touch? Then you have GOT to see how I created this rotating hardware bin from thrift store finds!

Lazy susan organizer and rotating hardware bin that is industrial decor and looks rustic industrial by Sadie Seasongoods

Craft on!


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  1. I just love your crates Sarah and the fact that they were made from drawers makes them that much better! They look vintage and I think they’re great!

  2. Carol Whewell says

    These look fantastic!!

  3. Those came out wonderfully!! Nicely vintage feel with the stenciling. I like the weathered wood look the best.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thanks, Carole- it’s my favorite, too. My original plan was to keep them all plain wood…but plans changed when I removed those rails, LOL!

  4. Tiffany Benton says

    That is awesome! I’m thinking of using this as a couples workshop for my new charitable organization. I’m off to collect as many drawers as possible now…Great job, they look beautiful!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Tiffany!! If you wouldn’t mind giving my blog a shout-out as to where the idea came from, I would sincerely appreciate it!

  5. Cute idea, Sarah! Hate to admit though…I just burned a bunch of old drawers;( I did save the hardware…

  6. mary scott says

    What a genius idea! They look fabulous. I can imagine seasonal ones and personalized ones for kids’ stuff too.

  7. Creative! I like this idea of repurposing – I see these at yard sales all the time. Thank you for sharing

  8. so cute

  9. Wendy Oyler says

    I love what you did with the drawers. I hadn’t thought about using them that way. I made one into a doggie bed for a friend (used an old chair too). Now I will have to try to do a few of these crates too!

  10. Another great project! I look at the price of soda crates and cringe so this is a great alternative. Another thing to add to my “look-for” list!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, Kathy! Nothing beats the real thing, of course, but I agree- the price tag on these makes them cost prohibitive!

  11. Awesome as usual!

  12. Those turned out so cute! Oh the wheel on the back of the drawer was for it to slide in and out – goes in a track – our farmhouse cabinets have those. Very squeaky.

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I figured as much, but was far more familiar with the side rails for sliding in and out. I can definitely see how that would become quite squeaky!

  13. I love these so much!! Crates are one of my favorite things but they are so in demand and more than I want to spend so yeehaw!!

  14. I love this clever idea!!

  15. Mind blown. Drawers. DRAWERS! I did not see this coming! Why again do I build everything from scratch when I don’t have to you ask?

    Be like Sarah. That’s all.

    You can bet I’m going to feature these this weekend at the party. Thanks for linking up!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so much, my friend! They don’t have the glorious, rustic gorgeousness of your apple one, though!!

  16. Very clever idea using the drawers to make your own crates. They all look great! Love how you added the aluminum tape to the red one. Makes it look like the old coca cola crates.


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