Excuse me a moment while I hop up on my soapbox….

….and preach to myself.

Self….next time the valentines are on sale at Wal-Mart for 75% off….

… don’t need 20 of them.


Under no circumstances are you to rationalize the purchase by saying….we could use these as crafts or maybe we could donate extra to the class next year or maybe we could use extra stickers or any of the million and one other reasons you muttered to yourself….. as you added boxes and boxes and boxes of them to the cart.

Ditto for the boxes from the 75% off aisle at Hobby Lobby.

Ditto for the $5.00 chairs you bought at the auction.


Ditto for the black iron basket that was the most amazing deal you ever found in your entire life (or so you told the entire aisle of shoppers when you found it)…..

…..and is has been sitting in the corner of the attic for the last five years.

Self….you are an amazing shopper.

One of the best.


But please, please remember when you spot the sale signs and your heart starts pounding and you rush your cart into the aisle and start filling it to the top…..75% off of stuff you are never, ever, ever, ever going to use…..

….is not a bargain.


I’m currently in the process of weeding through all of the amazing bargains I bought……that are sitting in my attic.

Stacks and stacks and stacks of 75% off purchases that are simply bridesmaids…..

…..that never became brides.

I bought this coffee crate at a yard sale for $10.00.  I almost fell over when I saw it.  I mean….I had seen coffee crates all over magazines and blogs and Pinterest and everyone was using them and coffee crating their way into super stardom.

So I bought it.

And there it….and it’s $10.00-bargain-self sat…..

….for three years.

I tried it everywhere and it was always too big or too empty or too awkward or too bulky to use…..

….until now.


How to Make a Coffee Crate Organizer


coffee crate from the depths of the attic

extra plywood for backing


Step 1:  Cut box in half

I don’t really have a decent before picture.

I know…..I know…..this is the part of the tutorial where you nod your head.

This is not your first rodeo with me.

You’ve been here before.

Here’s an attempt to visualize what the box might have looked like with a picture with a lot of arrows.


Step 2:  Cut each of the halves in half

Does this make sense?

I didn’t want the organizers to be the size of half the larger box.

So we reduced the size to about a 1/4 of the original size of the box.

It was easy.


It’s taking me more time to write this explanation that it does to actually make it. 🙂

Take board from the bottom of the box where you cut it in the middle and use the boards to reinforce the back of the box.


Step 3:  Add another board at the back

Cut another piece of wood the width of the box and attach to the back.

Make sure you place the older wood at the top because that is what you see when you hang it on the wall.

You may also want to reinforce the bottom if you are planning on putting anything heavy into the box.


Step 4:  Nail directly to wall

Start to organize.

I used them as extra storage for platters.

You could also store games or cards or wrapping paper or trays or out-of-season wreaths or baskets.


It’s an easy project and a great way to re-purpose almost-forgotten-about-crates from your attic.

Good thing I just bought a few more at a yard sale for a total bargain.


Totally kidding.

Maybe. 🙂

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  1. Image for Susan Susan

    Karianne your coffee crates are AWESOME! I love everything from the beautiful labels to the color. The size and depth is perfect for your dishes.... LOVE them! So glad we are junking together :)

  2. Image for Funky Junk Interiors Funky Junk Interiors

    Oh KariAnne, only you would #1 have the nerve to chop up a perfectly good crate and #2 manage to make two even better perfectly good crates! These are sooooo cooooool! I'm not sure I'm brave enough but darn it, you have me thinking otherwise! Love the look so much! Fabulous!

  3. Image for Becky Becky

    I love these so much--such a perfect way to use te best part of a crate, the print! The white plates look great in them, so would cookbooks, mail, magazines...

  4. Image for

    I agree with Carlene above - the darkish wood looks so beautiful with the white dishes - stunning! And I was just thinking about a big wooden crate that I bought last year - saw it upstairs in the barn yesterday - probably got a nest of some kind in it by now... maybe it needs to get broken up! -b.

  5. Image for andrea cammarata andrea cammarata

    Well my sure didn't make a mistake snatching these beauties up! I LOVE LOVE LOVE how you made two out of them an I adore the look! Totally Stunning! I hear you about the 75% off...but there is a place in my heart that doesn't want you to stop completely ; ) because how else would we get these amazing creations! Ok...ditch the 20 boxes of Valentines...but when some thing really Thistlewoody (this could be a potential word for Websters you know) comes along...don't leave it behind : ) hugs...

  6. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    You were absolutely right about grabbing the fantastic coffee box before anyone else did. It just took a few years for your genius to sort through all those other fantastic ideas in your brain. I think of it as a defrag -- all those little bits of info have to attach to the rest of the info and then "ecco" there you have it the marvelous idea that was lurking in the background. Now the boxes of card -- it may take a bit of time for that idea to formulate but I am positive our Kari will see it through. Have a Happy Day. Big Hugs!

  7. Image for Bliss Bliss

    I can say with some authority that this is a genius idea and I love the crate shelves. Why? I picked up a crate just last weekend that has advertising on all four sides and told my daughter I'll take it apart and have FOUR little somethings. Of course it might be 3 years till I get to mine too....

  8. Image for Betsy@coastal-colors Betsy@coastal-colors

    I'm smiling because I have done the same thing! You have an amazing style, both writing and decorating, that I adore! I don't have a link today, but I loved your post and the coffee crate is a great idea! It is a perfect accent for your wall!

  9. Image for Shelley Shelley

    Not only do I LOVE the Coffee Crate Organizers, but I also LOVE the lamp shade in the picture as well. Did you cover that yourself? Can you tell me what you used? And how you did it? I just love it!

  10. Image for Jan Jan

    Love it. I'll be on the look-out for old crates. I do have one did you get down in the box to nail it to the wall? Looks tight in there.

  11. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    I guess I have a soft spot for crates...old wood...but those are too pretty to fall into the category of junk! ;)

  12. Image for SheilaG @ Plum Doodles SheilaG @ Plum Doodles

    I have a basement full of bargains, and guess what- we're moving! Ack! What was I thinking? I need a truck load of your style and imagination to make the bargains into something as beautiful as your coffee crate racks. L♥ve them!

  13. Image for david david

    That's all kinds of genius - even if it only took you a few minutes. And I totally get the cleaning out vibe. In January I rented not one but two dumpsters and slowly weeded out everything I could. It felt good and embarrassing all at the same time. David

  14. Image for Kim Kim

    I have the same crate that I put a 1/2 inch plywood top on it and use it as a coffee table. I store seldom used table linens and serving pieces pieces in it.

  15. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Oh. My! I always knew I admired your talent, but this just confirms one of the MANY reasons why! In addition to our lovely home ~ generous enough! ~ we have the attic & a couple *storage units* filled with many things we've accumulated during our marriage! You'd have so many ideas for all the goodies, KariAnne! These organizers are just "to-die-for!" If I had any wall space left, I'd copy them in a minute. Since I don't, it will take longer ~ while I decide what to take down & replace! I may not have a coffee crate, but I have other types: this is just my style, and you are sooo very CLEVER! Can't wait to open your emails each time they arrive!

  16. Image for Tracy Tracy

    Hello. I am laughing so hard to myself at work. I am so glad I am not the only person who goes crazy when she finds a bargain! I just got one at Sams and had to stop myself from buying more. On sale was a HUGE package of cocoa mix for $1.19. I mean $1.19! I picked up two and I was so tempted to get more. I came home and told my husband and he was like did you get them all. See, he does not help my craziness with buying bargain stuff. Thank you for brightening my day. I LOVE your blog.

  17. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Love the coffee crates. Sometimes our bargain purchases are just waiting for their time to shine. Some just never make it to the red carpet...I am in the same boat and I too have been purging these items for a huge garage sale next month.

  18. Image for msshe msshe

    Just linked up our old family shipping trunk. Some might consider it junk. But to us it is a family treasure. It needs some work...but I hate to do much to ruin its historic patina. What do you think? Thanks for the linky party Karianne. sheila

  19. Image for Kris Kris

    Love the crates! Oh, and about your "bridesmaid" items--just never take up knitting. It's amazing how much yarn seems to leap into your shopping cart and come home with you. No idea how that happens. Freaky.

  20. Image for Jenn Jenn

    Uhm, 1. I LOVE THESE! 2. I am rolling, because I have that conversation with myself like daily (and I rarely listen to myself) and I can TOTALLY hear you saying this!!

  21. Image for Brenda Young Brenda Young

    I so love your creation with the crate shelves! They look wonderful. I think all us junkers are actually hoarders under the radar...LOL. Who can pass up on a great junk find after all, not me!

  22. Image for Lynnie Lynnie

    Hi KariAnne, LOVE your crate organizer! I want one, and for $10. Just loving this project, can you tell? These are terrific. I wish I had a big attic to store all my bargains in...I am over stuffed with my bargains too! My garage is stuffed with furniture I got deals on or free and waiting for all my big plans. LOL Hugs, Lynnie

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