Repurposing Old Fruit Crates into a Rustic Coffee Table
I’ve always loved the rustic, vintage look of old wooden fruit crates. Recently, I came across a stack of used apple crates at a flea market and was inspired to repurpose them into a unique coffee table for my living room. Here’s how I transformed the crates into a functional work of art.
Selecting and Preparing the Crates
The most important step is choosing crates that are sturdy and structurally sound. I inspected each crate carefully, testing the strength of the wood and looking for rot or damage. Apple crates worked perfectly because they are typically made of thick, hardwood planks that can withstand weight.
After selecting 5 well-preserved apple crates in various sizes, I took them apart using a pry bar, hammer, and nails. Taking apart old nails can damage the aged wood, so patience at this stage pays off. I also lightly sanded each plank to remove splinters and rough edges.
Planning the Design
I measured the dimensions of each deconstructed crate and sketched plans for assembling them into a coffee table. I wanted to keep an organic, uneven look, so I arranged the crates with small gaps and overlaps to create a rustic aesthetic.
My design called for 3 large crates to make up the tabletop, supported by 2 small crates stacked on either end to form the base. This created an ample surface area for books, drinks and decor. I played around with different arrangements until I found a look I loved.
Assembling the Table
With my plans in place, I was ready to construct the table. I first attached the base crates lengthwise using wood screws and an electric drill. Pocket hole joinery and wood glue ensured a tight bond.
Next, I attached the 3 top crates using the same pocket screw and wood glue technique. I staggered them slightly instead of lining them up perfectly. Gaps can be filled later if desired, but I liked the authentic unevenness.
Once assembled, I sanded the table lightly with 120 grit sandpaper to smooth out rough spots. The natural wood patina was ideal, but stain or paint could be applied to match any decor.
I filled in larger gaps between crates with wood putty for stability and safety. Smaller holes can be left – they add to the charm! Lastly, I applied polyurethane to protect the wood from food, drinks, and other wear.
The end result was the perfect rustic, vintage-inspired coffee table with tons of character. Revitalizing old crates only took a few simple steps but made a big DIY impact. Customize your own design for a fabulous one-of-a-kind furniture piece!