Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How to Make a Crate Seat

I finally made my own crate seats after much Pinspiration!! I have had many requests to share the process with you and I just couldn't wait for Monday Made It!

Things to consider:
* The crates I purchased were from Walmart. They are not the standard sized square crates. These measure 12 by 9 inches whereas the typical square crates are 15 by 15 inches. You can choose whichever works best for you. If you have older students, you will probably want to go with the regular sized crates.
* I chose plywood from Lowe's that measured a half inch in thickness. You can go smaller, but I wanted to make sure these were durable and last me a LONG time! 
* Choose a fabric that will match your room decor! Duh!
* I used a TWIN XL mattress pad from Bed Bath and Beyond, but if you make these using the regular sized square crates, you will want to buy a larger size depending on how many crates you are making. 

I made a total of 8 crates to go around my kidney table. 

Here is what I purchased:

* 8 crates from Walmart for $4.97 a piece (You can probably find them cheaper, but I got tired of going to different places to find the ones I wanted.)
* 1 large piece of half inch thick plywood from Lowe's for $17.47. 
* 3 yards of fabric for $5.33 per yard. (Determine how many yards you need based on the size of your crates and how many you plan on making.)
* 1 foam mattress pad from Bed Bath and Beyond for $19.99. (You can get them from Walmart too, but I wanted a higher quality so that they would last longer)
* Staple Gun (FREE because I already had one!)

What I spent: $93.21

Here's how I did it:

1) Measure the length and width of your crates so you know how your plywood needs to be cut. Or, do what I did and just take your crate into Lowe's with  you and have them measure it for you! =) They're super nice! We had to cut the plywood a bit smaller than the exact dimensions so that it would be easily pulled out for the storage space underneath. The people at Lowe's or Home Depot will cut the plywood for you for FREE!
2) Lay your plywood on top of the mattress pad and trace as many as you need. I wanted to have two pieces of foam per seat, so I cut out 16 pieces of foam total. 
 3) Cut out your fabric making sure to leave enough around the edges to fold over the seat. We placed the plywood on the fabric and cut that way. My mom even taught me a little trick! If you just make a small snip in the side of the fabric, you can just rip it the rest of the way and it makes a clean line! See as my mom demonstrates! haha
4) Place your foam pieces down on the plywood.
5) Flip your plywood over face down on the fabric.
6) Pull the fabric around and staple it to the plywood! We did it like we were wrapping a present!
7) Staple your ribbon to the plywood where you stapled the fabric so that you have a handle to pull your seat up and access the storage!
That's it folks!

It took us a little over an hour to make all 8!! They came out super cute and I love them! 

Stay tuned for my room theme 2012-2012 reveal! I'm excited!


  1. WONDERFUL Tutorial! THANKS FOR SHARING! I LOVE THE COLORS!!! Creative way to spice up one's classroom!

  2. Thank you for the awesome directions! :) I appreciate all the visual aid for it too.

  3. Thanks for the tutorial! These are on my 'to do' list. They came out really cute! I love the idea of the ribbon handle!


  4. I just made mine last night, too! I love the zebra!! Target has their crates on sale right now for $3 a piece. I needed one more and went to pick it up - wish I would've known so I could've bought ALL of them on sale!!
    Rowdy in Room 300

    1. I went to target, but they didn't have black crates like I wanted so I had to go elsewhere. =)

  5. Esmeralda AlanizJuly 25, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Thanks so much for sharing the process! I've been on a few other sites trying how to figure out how to do it and by far...yours was the easiest to process! I will be doing this before school starts for sure! Thanks again!

  6. Thanks for sharing! I really want to make these, but I am super nervous! I am also wondering if the crate seats might be too short for my kiddos to use at our kidney table. Hmmmmmm, I have a lot of thinking to do!
    Your seats look great!
    Blessings of Teaching

    1. Our kidney tables are adjustable if I'm not mistaken, so I am just going to lower it to the right level! =)

  7. I love your step by step directions! Thank you!
    An Open Door

  8. Thank you for posting and taking so many photos as you worked. It is so helpful. These are the easiest directions , so far. Hands down! I think I'm finally ready to take the plunge and make my own :)
    New Adventures in First Grade

    1. YAY, I am so glad Mrs. Smyth! You will heart them!! =)

  9. I see you are making use of your new purchase. ;-)
    Finally in First

  10. Thanks so much for the step by step! I have all of my materials to make these, I just wasn't sure of the best way to do it. All I need to do is head to Lowe's and I'll have mine made as well.

  11. LOVE them! This is also something I have wanted to do for years...Just never have!

    Tonya’s Treats for Teachers

  12. These directions are PERFECT!!!! Thank you Ginger, this is just too fabulous! I love, love, love how you used the ribbon for the handles as well--gorgeous!! :)

    1. All of your new signs inspired me!! I just posted my room theme and blogger about you a bit. =)

  13. Amanda ChildressJuly 25, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    These would be great to use as "desk" because I will have tables in my room this year. I love the idea, however my husband hates it because that means he has some work to do! HAHA

  14. Alison WingfieldJuly 25, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    My classroom is zebra too.. I only want to make 4-5 for my library. Hoping I can find some cute on sale fabric :)Great directions!!! Love them lots!

  15. Those are wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  16. AWESOME! Making these has been on my to do list! Now I want to do it today!

    I think I am going to get some of that clear plastic tablecloth cover and put it over my fabric to help them last longer!

    Love your new color scheme!

  17. Probably won't help for those who want them to start school, but last year when Walmart began clearancing out their school supplies I picked these crates up for $2 each because they wanted to get rid of them. They are running $4.97 right now... yuck. Great step-by-step directions. Going to use those few I bought last year and make a few for our reading area...perfect to store some of the books in.

  18. How did you put the cusions onto the crate so you have access to them and the tops don't fall off?

  19. Crates are now $3.97 at Walmart! So crate create, is ON! Thanks Ginger

  20. I was also wondering if you sat the plywood down onto the ledge into the opening of the crate. Just nervous about them holding my older students

  21. I just really like working with wood made and am always looking for new techniques of doing it.I have obtained a lot of information from your blog.

    MDF | Veneered MDF

  22. Homeschool mom of three with one on the way! Best tutorial I've found! THANKS! Hubby works for Lowes, too! I'll be making four of these to slide under our coffee table. I'm thinking of adding a marker board surface to the underside of the plywood to give them a lapboard purpose too. Love them!

  23. I too have been looking for a DIY tutorial…I want to repurpose the crates that I have. Thanks for this!

  24. So adorable! The only thing I can say is that it might make a cleaner finish if you stapled a square of fabric on the underside, to cover the exposed wood and the uneven edges.

  25. Loved your great directions! Following your blog now. I featured this post on my fb page Hope you get more traffic.

    Burke's Special Kids

  26. I have a question, now that you have used these for a while. Have you had any issues with the seats falling into the crates? My husband is very worried. :)

    :) Jacoba

    1. One or two of mine do that, but I think it's because the boards weren't cut to the right size. The rest of mine are great!


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