Monday, July 13, 2020

Lined Wood Crates - DIY

Wood crates  -  sturdy, decorative, and functional storage for that farmhouse look that is so popular today! Adding a basket liner takes crates to the "next level"! Even Legos will not slip through the cracks. Detailed directions and photos help make this project "Sew-Easy"!

I love wood crates - large, small, in-between, any size goes! So, I guess it seemed the logical choice to use them for storage in my sewing and craft room. 

I wanted storage under my booth benches, and they fit perfectly. There was just one problem - I planned to put miscellaneous wood pieces in them, and I knew the small wood pieces would fall through the cracks!

The search began! I measured the available space and checked for something online and in stores, with no success. The lined crates and baskets that I found were the wrong size, color, or simply too expensive. That's when I decided to buy basic wood crates and use my fabric to line them myself!

I bought these wood crates for about $10.00 each, and the fabric was from my leftover "stash", so the price was definitely right!

Let's get started!

First, measure your crate. You will need the measurement of the length, width, and height of the inside and outside of your crate. 

Optional: Use these measurements to make a paper pattern for the "inside", "bottom" and "foldover" pieces. 

Ms. Nancy's Notes: The outside measurement of my crate is approximately 18"L x 12-1/2"W x 9-5/8"H, so my patterns are for these measurements. If your crate is a different size, adjust the patterns accordingly. Don't forget to allow for 3/8" seams on each end (total 3/4")! 

Choose your fabric! 

A medium weight woven (not knit) fabric works well for this project. I used a medium weight denim pin-striped fabric.

Fold the fabric together lengthwise. Use a yardstick and a cutting board to mark and cut a straight line crosswise of the fabric.

Carefully remove the selvage edges. 

Ms. Nancy's Note: The selvage edges are the edges that run the length of the fabric on both sides. If not removed, they will cause the fabric to pucker when sewn.

Use your measurement from above to cut an inside piece, a "foldover" piece, and a "bottom" piece from your fabric.

Fold the "inside" piece in half crosswise. Pin and sew a 3/8" seam. Zigzag or serge the edge.

Check for fit!

With right side out, insert the "inside" piece in the crate. if needed, you can adjust the seam at this point. Use clothespins to hold the fabric in place as you mark the corners with a Sharpie.


Remove the "inside" fabric from the crate. Measure and mark the bottom corners. 

"Stay-stitch" about 1 inch on both sides on the corner marks on the top and bottom along the 3/8" seam line.

Mark the corners of the bottom piece 3/8" from the edges.

Carefully clip along the corner markings from the edge to the stay-stitch line on the "inside" piece only.

Do not clip through the stitching!

With right sides together, pin "inside" piece to the bottom piece, matching corners.

Sew around all four sides, making sure corners match as you sew.

To prevent raveling, apply Fray Check to the corners.


With right sides together, fold the "foldover" piece together crosswise. Sew a 3/8" seam and finish with a zigzag stitch, or serge. Set aside.


Press the seam to one side. With wrong sides together, fold the piece together lengthwise and press.

Check for fit on the outside of the crate, and mark corners.

Pin the corners of the "foldover" piece to the right side of the corners of the "inside" piece.

Continue to pin all the way around, making 2 pleats near each corner to take care of the excess fabric.

Sew a 3/8" seam around all 4 sides. Finish seam with zigzag stitch, or serge. Press.

Insert the liner in the crate with right sides out. Adjust the corner pleats.

You have created a custom Lined Wood Crate for a fraction of what ready-made would have cost! 

Go forth and craft!

Additional Notes:
  • Crates can be stained or painted.
  • Felt circles can be attached to the corners to prevent scratching of the floor, etc.
  • Liners can be changed for the seasons/holidays.
  • I was fortunate to have fabric for that is wide enough for the "foldover" piece and the "inside" piece. If your fabric is not wide enough, you will need to sew 2 pieces together to achieve the right length.
  • Always "backstitch" at the beginning and end of your seams. 

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