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A few years ago I was looking for a way to help supplement my son's savings to pay for his 8th grade trip from San Diego to Washington , D.C. I am very fond of watching the HGTV network and finding ways to recycle everyday items into something new and useful. As luck would have it, I noticed my neighbor regularly discarding wooden wine crates in the alley.
On one of my evening walks with my dogs, I dragged one of the crates home, and the rest is history. I have probably made hundreds of these by now, and have actually done pretty well selling them at local craft fairs. It took a few trials and errors, but I am quite satisfied with the finished product I have come up with.
First I take the crate and sand it smooth, removing all staples or stickers that may be on it. Next I measure the top, and cut a piece of 5/8 inch thick plywood or wafer-board (also scavenged from the alley,) to fit neatly on top. I drill holes on the bottom at each corner and attach wooden knobs, usually scavenged from old discarded dressers etc. which act as feet on the bottom of the footstool.
After sanding the ply-wood top, I measure a piece of fabric to line both sides with, one piece about 1 1/2 inches larger on all sides, than the actual lid. Initially I used remnants from sewing projects, but it only requires 1/2 yard of fabric, so I can afford to go a little wild when fabric goes on sale. I cover one side with spray adhesive, and carefully cover it with the smaller piece of fabric. Next I cut a piece of 10 oz. quilt batting to the size of the lid. Laying the batting against the other side of the lid (the unlined side,) I cover it with the second, larger piece of fabric, turn it over , and staple it tightly around all four sides. I cover the staples with gross-grain ribbon, which matches the color of the fabric.
After the glue has dried, I place the lid on top of the box (padded side up,) and attach 1 1/2 inch hinges to the back edge about 2 inches from each end. When it's finished, it makes a great storage footstool or bench, strong enough to sit on. They make great gifts, and are a wonderful conversation piece to give as a gift to a wine collector, perhaps including a nice bottle of wine.
My son uses his to store all of his video game junk. I put casters instead of wooden feet on the bottom, so he can just roll up to the TV, sit on it while he plays, then put everything back inside, and roll it back into the corner.
You can make them to match any decor. They make especially wonderful baby gifts, which match the nursery, and can be filled with a matching quilt, or any other baby gifts you can think of. As the child grows, they make a great toy box! I think they would make a great addition to any college dorm room. When any gift giving occasion comes around, I just go down to my work room, and pick one that suites the recipient. Making these little storage footstools, has become my own personal therapy.
By Donna Napolitan from San Diego
I am in the process of trying to locate some old wine storage boxes. You know, the kind that are made like lots of X's and you lay the bottles down in them?
Anyway I think those would make a fantastic way to store and organize all my yarns! And it'd look nice too because I plan on painting them a nice happy color!
Once I get them all done, I'm going to attach some small 3-drawer units to the top to store smaller things in.
By Cricket from Parkton, NC
I have acquired many wine crates recently, so I made some of them into serving trays. I have given a lot of these as gifts and sold quite few also.
Ask your local liquor store for wooden wine crates or wherever wine is sold to use for planters... line with moss if need be.
Christmas cheese and wine hampers are often presented in high quality wooden boxes. I recently took one which has slots for two bottles of wine and two pieces of cheese above them, stood it on end, and used it for toiletry storage in the bathroom.
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Does any one have any ideas for reusing wine boxes? I have the 5 liter size.
By Kathleen from Portland, ME
If they have separate compartments use as a shoe rack storage.
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Next time you are at the grocery store, ask for those empty boxes used to hold bottles of wine. They fit really well under most bathroom sinks and with the 12-bottle insert left inside (most important!) you can store all the various bottles of shampoo, liquid soap, toilet bowl cleaner, ajax, etc; one in each slot. I even wallpapered my boxes, because I wanted them to look pretty every time I opened my cupboard. Best of all, the stuff under our sinks is now organized (it is so much easier to find things!) Who could ask for more, free stuff, easy to do, and it looks good.
By Liz A. from Escalon, California
These boxes are also great to store Christmas tree bulb ornaments in. (10/01/2008)
I love those boxes too for holding breakables. (10/03/2008)