November 12, 2012

DIY Vintage Wine Crate Bookshelf

I have been hunting online for DIY-shelf ideas. My favourite ones used recycled wood, and the ones that specifically caught my attention were made from old vintage crates. After doing some research, I found that people were selling them for about $50.00 a piece. This would make for a very expensive DIY project, and not one I was willing to finance. After getting a few head shakes from friends after wistfully holding up disposed of and partially rotted wood from alleyways in the city, I gave up on my idea.

One day, we happened to be down in the vintage section of the liquor store, when I spotted some wine crates stacked against the wall. I discovered that with a donation to the United Way Campaign- usually about $4.00 a crate- they could be my very own. Our arms already full of groceries and beverages, we stacked as many as we could and made the treacherous trek home with numerous stops and adjustments along the way. A few days later, I went back for two more, picked up two different colours of stain and got to work.

The most difficult part of this entire operation was removing the paper stickers that were on them for shipping. I literally spent about four hours in the first afternoon with oil, knives and sandpaper trying to scrape them clean. The next day, I came home to my partner who was a bit scared to share his discovery that if you simply soak it with a bit of water, it comes right off. Glue and all. At least the worst looking sides that were too far butchered to be saved could be hidden if I stacked them right, and I let the labels show as much as possible on the sides. The wood is really light, and so after picking up some carpenter glue, this was my finished product.


  1. This is awesome!!
    I work at a wine/liquor store, and picked up a handy trick to get rid of those stickers.
    Blast them with the hottest setting on your hairdryer for about a minute, and they should peel right off!

  2. Love this wine crate bookshelf! Do you recall which stain brand you used? Great contrast on the two different colors by the way.

    I understand that you wanted to keep the costs down for a DIY project. That makes sense and if the United Way supply of crates dries up feel free to visit Winepine, which has wooden wine crates in near-mint condition and ready for finish. The prices are more than half-off the $50 your used to seeing saving time and money on projects.