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Project: Upcycle a fruit crate

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Project: Upcycle a fruit crate
Upcycle fruit crates into stacking boxes by covering them with decorative paper

Upcycle fruit crates into stacking boxes by covering them with decorative paper

Has your family been eating cute little tangerines, clementines or other fruits by the cratefull over the winter and spring? We have.

Fruit crates like these that hold tangerines or clementines are too good to waste! Upcycle them and turn them into useful, decorative boxes

Fruit crates like these that hold tangerines or clementines are too good to waste! Upcycle them and turn them into useful, decorative boxes

These little wooden fruit crates are the right size for storing so many things around the home. For a rustic or kitschy look, they are fine as is. But you could also paint them or cover them with paper. Here’s how I covered our wooden fruit crates with paper for a recent upcycling project.

These fruit crates are stackable, so you can keep different kinds of items in each one like a bin. They make nice containers for gifts like a gift basket. And you can even turn them upside down to make a stand for a vase, frame, base for a table centerpiece or a small collection.

First, get the surface of the crates free of extra mesh and labels that they come with.

Start upcycling your crate by stripping off any mesh liner

Start upcycling your crate by stripping off any mesh liner

Remove labels and unnecessary staples from the fruit crate

Remove labels and unnecessary staples from the fruit crate

Choose some adhesive paper or wallpaper. You could probably use burlap, canvas or other strong fabrics.

Adhesive paper like Contact Paper or wallpaper is thick enough for being glued and lasting as a crate cover

Adhesive paper like Contact Paper or wallpaper is thick enough for being glued and lasting as a crate cover

Trace your crate the way you would a gift box to wrap. Be sure to include a little extra on the side to cover the edges.

It's helpful to trace the outline of your crate on the back side of the paper when measuring how much to cut

It's helpful to trace the outline of your crate on the back side of the paper when measuring how much to cut

Use a hot-glue gun to make the paper stick to the crate. Even though Contact paper is adhesive, it won’t stick to the crate well enough on its own.

Working in sections, apply hot glue to the crate, then smooth on the paper

Working in sections, apply hot glue to the crate, then smooth on the paper

Use your hands to smooth the paper across the crate.

Smooth the paper up each side of the fruit crate

Smooth the paper up each side of the fruit crate

Snip the paper near the corners so you can fold the paper down over the edge.

Snip the edge of the paper to fold down around the corners

Snip the edge of the paper to fold down around the corners

And cover the edge if possible.

Fold a little paper over each side for a finished look

Fold a little paper over each side for a finished look

Fold the paper at the short ends like a gift. I should have thought of a better way to do this so my edges would be covered at this end, too.

Wrap the paper on the shorter ends of the crate as you would a gift box, or fold as you like

Wrap the paper on the shorter ends of the crate as you would a gift box, or fold as you like

Now the outside of the crate is covered with paper.

The outside of the fruit crate is covered

The outside of the fruit crate is covered

For the inside, measure the paper and cut enough to cover the bottom of the inside of the crate.

Measure the crate again to cut paper to cover the inside of the crate

Measure the crate again to cut paper to cover the inside of the crate

There should be enough to go up the sides a little bit.

Smooth paper across bottom inside of the crate and up the sides

Smooth paper across bottom inside of the crate and up the sides

Then, cut four rectangles of paper to cover the four inside “walls” of the crate.

The fruit crate is covered in decorative paper

The fruit crate is covered in decorative paper

That’s it! It’s a great way to upcycle something for basically the cost of some paper and glue sticks.

Now I want more crates to cover!

  1. Pretty contact paper. It also helps to protect the wood from moisture. Nice upcycle!

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