Creative Ways To Repurpose Milk Crates In & Around Your Home

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Milk crates have always been handy storage boxes, a humble item that everyone seems to love. However, the durable and stackable containers are more than just for housing your goodies. You can use them as tools and bases for DIY furniture around your home or garden. Whether you're creating a homeschool classroom on a budget or preparing the ground for a growing season, these dairy containers are prized possessions.

Milk crates are typically made from plastic, but you can also complete these hacks with wooden or metal ones. To get your hands on some for free, ask your local grocery or convenience stores if they have any crates they'd be willing to part with. Retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart also keep these storage containers in stock, but they're far from free. Quality and prices will vary, ranging from $5 to over $20, but at least you can pick the milk crate color you like. Turn the simple crates into custom supplies and furnishings with these tricks.

Create floating shelves

Floating shelves are a stylish modern design, and you can recreate the feature with crates. The process is simple. First, spray paint the containers for a lavish look. Then, line them up where you want each box to go before drilling them into the wall. You can even use command hooks to secure them, but they won't be able to hold significant weight compared to mounting them with screws. Once they're up, you can store anything from clothing to decor.

Use them as under-bed storage

Under-bed storage is excellent for capitalizing on every available space. With the milk crates, you can tuck things away neatly and categorize your items for easy organization. You can attach multiple crates with zip ties to create a long storage unit that fits underneath your sleeper. Or, attach wheels like these from Amazon to swivel the crate from under the bed.

Turn it into an ottoman

An ottoman is a budget-friendly piece of furniture that maximizes your storage space. With fabric, 2-inch thick foam, and wood board, the milk crate becomes just that. The foam cushion can be the same size or slightly larger than the crate, and the plywood board should be an inch smaller than the foam. Glue the foam to the board, cover it with fabric, and staple the cloth to the wood. Next, create four anchors with a 1-inch-by-2-inch beam and drill it on the bottom side of the board to keep the cushion in place. Now, you have a comfy footrest that doubles as storage.

Make a recycling bin

Although short, your milk crate can become a recycling bin. Place it near the garbage to store your empty plastic, paper, and metal. You can make the container taller by cutting out the bottom of one or two crates, leaving one intact for the base. Then, stack and glue the crates together. Line it with a plastic bag to make removing the junk easier.

Fashion a bookshelf

For this DIY bookshelf, you need eight milk crates, zip ties, two 26-inch-by-11-inch boards, and eight 12-inch-by-10 ┬╝-inch boards. First, line up four rows with two crates each. Then, zip-tie the rows together. Next, drill a 26-inch-by-11-inch board to the top and bottom of the bookshelf. Finally, insert the 12-inch-by-10 ┬╝-inch boards into each compartment. Place the four-tier bookcase in any room to house decor, miscellaneous items, and more.

Use it as a planter

Milk crate gardens are a great way to get your thumbs green when you don't have an entire yard to yield. Simply line the crate with landscaping fabric, which you can find at your local gardening or hardware store, and fill it with soil. The fabric will keep the soil from escaping and allow water to drain. Then, plant your favorite seeds. Keep the crates on a balcony, porch, or deck, and watch your garden grow.

Sift lumpy garden soil

Another way to use milk crates in the garden is as a makeshift sifter. The holes in the container will separate larger chunks of dirt and rock, leaving you with healthy ground to sprout your seeds. Just shovel the soil into the crate, grab the container's handles, and shake. Gravity will do most of the work. It is a great way to aerate the soil so your plants have proper drainage and the ground isn't too compact.

Create a step stool

Need to get to that pesky cabinet above the fridge? Have uneven ground or a steep drop-off in your yard? No fear, the milk crate is here. Turned face down, it becomes the perfect step, adding just over a foot of leverage. Screw a plywood board to cover the bottom and increase its sturdiness. You can always spray paint the crate and stain the wood to match your aesthetic.

DIY a pet bed

Your fur babies get to benefit from the milk crate magic, too. Both wood or plastic containers provide an excellent base for a bed. Turn the crate on its side for small dogs or keep it upright to lure in cats. Don't forget to add a pillow. It is best for small dogs and cats and also works great for puppies and kittens. You can customize the mini house with sandpaper for scratching, squeaky toys for play, and other accessories your four-legged friends love.