DIY Crate Bookshelf

DIY Crate Bookshelf

This project creates functional storage out of wood crates.

5 col


(8) Wood crates
Small box 1” wood screws
Small box 1 1/2” wood screws
Nail gun 16-gauge with 3/8” brad nails
Drill with a Phillips head bit
Safety glasses
Wood stain, color of choice
Dry rag
Rubber gloves

Hanging Materials
18” French cleat hanging set
Small box 3/4” wood screws
Small box 1 1/2” drywall screws
Small box 1” self-tapping drywall anchors
Drill with a Phillips head bit
Tape measure
Stud finder



1. Put on rubber gloves. Dip a dry rag into the stain and rub it back and forth over the first crate until all surfaces are covered. Use a brush if needed to get into the tighter spaces between the wood slats. The stain will dry very fast so wipe any stain drips immediately. Repeat the staining process for all the crates (See images below)


2. Position four crates in a square in the configuration below

3. Put on safety glasses. Using a nail gun with 3/8” brad nails, temporarily secure the crates together by putting brad nails through every point the crates touch. If there are 3 slats per side on the crate, use (4) 3/8” brad nails per slat. The crate bookshelf will be reinforced in later steps (See images below)


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4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 to make a second configuration of four crates. Place the two crate configurations next to each other and secure using (6) 3/8” brad nails per connecting slat (See image below)

REINFORCING THE BOOKSHELF WITH 1” and 1 1/2” wood screws:

5. Reinforce the bookshelf using a drill with a Phillips head bit and (2) 1” or 1 1/2” wood screws wherever two crates meet. To determine which length screw, hold a screw up to where the two crates meet and check to see if the screw is short enough to go through both crates without breaking through the opposite side. Use the longer option wherever possible (See images below)


6. Center an 18” French cleat flush with the top of the back of the bookshelf with the screw holes on top. Secure in place using a drill with a Phillips head bit and 3/4” screws through each hole (See images below)

7. Place a second 18” French cleat against the wall with the screw holes on the bottom and at the height you want the top of the bookshelf to hang. Make sure there is enough space for the bottom of the bookshelf to clear the floor. Check with a 12” level that the French cleat is straight. Mark through all the screw holes onto the wall with a pencil and set the French cleat to one side. Check with a stud finder to see if any of the pencil marks are over a wall stud. If so, mark an “X” through it to identify it. No wall anchor is needed where there is a wall stud

8. Self-tapping 1” drywall anchors will be used to help bare the weight of the bookshelf. Using a drill with a Phillips head bit, drill 1” dry wall anchors through every other pencil mark, not all of them. This is because the holes are close together and the wall anchors through every hole would be too close and weaken the wall. Hold the French cleat back up to the wall and secure it in place using a drill with a Phillips head bit and 1 1/2” drywall screws through every screw hole with an anchor behind it. For the screw hole over the wall stud, use a 1 1/2” wood screw. Leave all remaining screw holes empty (See images below)

9. Lift the bookshelf up and slide it down onto the wall so the French cleats meet and lock, holding the bookshelf in place (See image below)

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