I have a bookcase that I’ve been wanting to put some sort of basket in. I started sewing a fabric one, but wasn’t happy with the results. So I got the idea to do wood crates, but I wanted them to fit perfectly in the shelf space. This meant I would have to make my own. Woodworking always intimidates me because I don’t have any of the big tools most folks use. I’m excited that I was able to make these with only simple tools!
Step 1: Determine sizes
I measured the bookcase and determined that it needed to be 19″ long, 11″ deep, and 9″ high.
From that I needed to determine the sizes of wood to buy. I went to Home Depot with a plan, and learned that the dimension listed on the wood for sale is not actually the size. For example, a 2×4 is actually 1.5″ x 3.5″. This caused me to sit down on the floor in the wood department and rework all my wood sizes. Hopefully this will save you some on-the-fly measurement calculations yourself!
The sides and bottom were only 1/2″ in depth. The slats were 3/4″ in depth. The 1/2″ depth was very difficult to get a nail in without splitting, so keep that in mind, and maybe go up to 3/4″ depth for all wood. I was worried it would be too bulky, but in hindsight it would have been easier and not bulky.
Step 2: Get supplies
You’ll need the following supplies from a hardware store:
- Wood per the sizes and amounts above. You can ask them to cut it to size for you! The exact kind of wood doesn’t matter, so we went with a cheaper wood, the benefit is that it’s lighter weight too then. Just make sure it’s not rough on either side or you’ll have a lot more sanding to do.
- Wood glue
- Finishing nails (the skinniest possible, but long enough to go through both pieces of wood)
- Sand paper (around 100 grit)
Step 3: Sand, prime, paint
The first thing I did was sand down the rough edges from the cuts. Then prime and paint all the pieces. These Painters Pyramids were a huge help at getting all the sides painted faster.
Step 4: Nail together
See the picture to the left for how you will assemble and nail the pieces together. The sides and slats will all be flush with the ground. Be careful when nailing that you don’t go too far to the edge and split your wood.
Nail the left and right sides to the bottom first. Then the slats. I did the top slats to make sure they were lined up with the top edge. Then the bottom slats to line up along the bottom edge. Then just measure and evenly space the middle slats.
Step 5: Finishing touches
Finally you’ll likely need to do a little touch up paint from the nails. Then add any final touches such as handles as you wish. I did also add some felt pads to the bottom since it was going into a wood bookcase.
Share pictures of your creations!