Decorating with milk crates

Written by rochelle connery
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Decorating with milk crates
Milk crates aren't just for milk; you can decorate with them, too (crate image by Paul Moore from

Old-fashioned milk crates with wooden bases and wire slats and new milk crates made in colourful plastic grid-sided boxes make for inexpensive, creative bedroom, bathroom or studio decorations. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, they're useful for storing clothing, shoes, office supplies, CDs and more. Stack them, rearrange them, make shelving units; it's up to you how you want to display your things when decorating with milk crates. But never steal milk crates from a company; purchase them online or at a flea market, or ask dairy product retailers for used ones.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wood or plastic milk crates
  • Tablecloth or other rectangular fabric
  • Thread (optional)
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Staple gun (optional)

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  1. 1

    Make a bathroom towel holder using an old milk crate. Roll up small hand towels or washcloths tightly and squeeze them individually into the wire grids of the crate. If there's still space left in the crate, you can put small bottles of shampoo or bars of soap on the bottom of the rack so it looks like a bath and body basket.

  2. 2

    Stack nine milk crates, three across and three down, to create an entertainment system. Keep CDs and DVDs in some of the crates and put a stereo or iPod dock in others. Feed any cords through the back of the grid to plug them into the outlet and keep them hidden from view. You can also stack books and magazines in the remaining crates.

  3. 3

    Place three milk crates on top of one other on the side of a desk or bookshelf to keep notebooks, study guides and schoolwork arranged neatly without getting bent corners. You can put individual trays or coffee mugs full of pencils, pens, scissors and other office supplies in each shelf to keep things organised.

  4. 4

    Cover one crate or two stacked crates with a tablecloth or fabric remnant to create a night stand. For extra storage, leave the open side facing the wall and place the crates six inches away from the wall so you can conveniently access late night snacks, magazines, portable media players or any other small items you might want to keep by the bed.

  5. 5

    Line the outside of milk crates with colourful fabric by sewing the sides of the fabric together with thread or stapling them along the edge. This way, you can obscure the view of what's inside and tailor the milk crates to fit the rest of the room decor. This is useful as a dirty laundry hamper or a place to store shoes, scarves, hats, mittens and other cold weather accessories.

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