Easy DIY Patriotic Crate Side Table

DIY patriotic red, white, and blue side table made with a crate turned upside down and wood legs.

This easy-to-make rustic side table is made of a wooden crate turned upside down and simple wooden legs that are attached inside the crate. I had fun decorating it with a red, white, and blue theme in honor of the Fourth of July holiday here in the States.  Decorated to your liking, it could be a lovely side table for use in a child’s bedroom, in a nook by the recliner, or even as a plant stand next to a sunny window.


 

DIY crate side table red and white crate with white star.
DIY furniture side table crate.

 

This is an easy DIY furniture project that can be made in less than a day, and that includes paint and glue dry times!  Here we go.

The Easy DIY Patriotic Crate Side Table project has four parts:

  • Cut, sand, and finish the legs
  • Paint and distress the crate
  • Attach the legs to the crate
  • Make the star, paint, and attach to the crate

CUT, SAND, AND FINISH THE LEGS

Tools/Supplies:

  • 2″ x 2″ cedar lumber board, 6 to 8 foot length
  • ruler, pencil
  • miter box and saw
  • palm sander and sandpaper (optional)

I cut my legs 18 inches long using a miter box and saw. If you want your side table to be different overall height, cut your leg boards accordingly.

Making a patriotic crate side table.
Making a patriotic crate side table.

Then I sanded the boards with 60, 150, and 220 grits sandpaper.

Making a patriotic crate side table.

I finished the legs with Minwax Wipe-On-Poly, clear satin.  If your crate table will be exposed to the elements outside, I suggest finishing with Minwax Spar Urethane or any other water-resistant coating. If you want to go more rustic, you could skip the sanding and/or finishing altogether.

PAINT AND DISTRESS THE CRATE

Tools/Supplies:

  • wooden crate
  • paint
  • palm sander (optional)
  • sandpaper

I repurposed this crate, which previously was used for paint can storage in the basement, into the “table top” for the side table. I’ve seen similar crates at Walmart and, well, all over the place. Crates are back in style, or maybe never went out of style. Pick a crate that seems rather sturdy, as some of the decorative crates available are maybe too delicate for a furniture project. Or, you could use a vintage crate, but keep in mind any writing or logo would be upside down on the finished table.

Making a patriotic crate side table.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of time or money on this project, so most of the paints I used were left-overs from other home improvement and DIY projects. I gathered up two different blue paints and one red paint. I bought a second color of red that better matched the red wood grain of my cedar legs.

First, I painted the entire crate inside and out with a navy blue paint that I had from redecorating my son’s bedroom several years ago. I painted very quickly and not all that carefully on purpose. I let this dry and then painted the crate with a slightly darker navy spray paint.  After that, I painted two slats on each side of the crate red, first bright red then a more maroon red.

Making a patriotic crate side table.

I let this dry overnight and then sanded with 220 grit sandpaper and the palm sander. It took just a few passes with the sander to roughen it to my liking.

Making a patriotic crate side table.

ATTACH THE LEGS TO THE CRATE

Tools/Supplies:

  • eight #10 x 1 34” wood screws
  • drill and bit
  • screw driver

I attached each leg with screws through the ends of the crate. Hold or clamp each leg in position, drill your pilot holes, then put in the screws.

Making a patriotic crate side table.

MAKE THE STAR, PAINT, AND ATTACH TO THE CRATE

Tools/Supplies:

  • five paint sticks
  • miter box and saw
  • wood glue
  • ruler
  • drill and bit
  • small screw
  • screw driver

“Collect” five paint sticks from you favorite home improvement/hardware or paint store. (Thank you, Home Depot!) I cut off the part with the indent using a miter box and saw.

Making a patriotic crate side table.
Making a patriotic crate side table.

Then I arranged them into a star shape as shown in the photos below.

Making a patriotic crate side table.

I put a dab of wood glue where the paint sticks overlapped, carefully moving the sticks one at a time to get the drop of glue put on, then moving them back into place.

Making a patriotic crate side table.

After applying the glue, weight your star and leave it alone for several hours to overnight while the glue sets up. Yes, that’s my little star squished under the menagerie of heavy things.

Making a patriotic crate side table.

The next morning, I rescued my little star and spray painted it an ivory color.

I attached the star to the crate with a wood screw from the inside of the crate. Alternately, you could attach it by screw (or nail) from the front, or glue it with wood glue.

Here are a few more photos.

DIY wood crate furniture side table.
DIY project patriotic side table.

I hope you enjoyed this furniture project. Sometimes it really is easier than you think! Thanks again for hanging out with me and making some furniture.

This project is dedicated to my mother, Helen Platt, who passed away last week. The Fourth of July was her favorite holiday.

Jen

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