A colourful Toy Box out of an old fruit crate

Like many other people, I also love those old wooden fruit crates that are now so in vogue. So even though the one I got my hands into had suffered quite a lot and its wood was dirty and darkened, I decided to give it a second, more joyful chance to be useful -and transformed it into a toy chest!

I couldn't leave the wood as it was, all dark and gloomy, but I didn't want to 'lose' the printed letters underneath several coats of paint either, so the solution came by staining the surfaces. Then, to keep the 'old', rustic look, I applied a dark tinted wax that also left a satin shine with a smooth, nice touch.
I added four casters, and also adapted an old working cabinet door from the early 20th century to serve as a lid, leaving its rugged side underneath so the top of the chest would stay flat and could serve as a table for the kids to play on.

The lid can be opened completely and folds against the back of the chest, taking no room at all. Like this, children can have an easy access to their toys without the risk of the lid falling down after a brisk movement...

Here, some details up close: The fiery inside, the colours on the outside, the hinges, the rounded corners of the lid and how the original letters still show up underneath the tinted-aged wood.

And some pictures of the making process:
The main parts, before treatment
Sanding the crate
Scraping the old paint from the rugged side of the future lid
Rounding the corners of the lid
One side of the crate was lower, so I had to lift it slightly for the lid to be able to rest evenly onto it
Drilling necessary extra holes on the hinges
Happy tint colours
Dark wax to finish
This toy box measures 52x35cm, 42cm high; is rustic and sturdy but smooth and cheerful too, and has a great storage capacity plus the surface on top can serve for sitting or as a table... all and all, a very useful piece!


  1. What a genius idea - absolutely love it!!!

    1. Thank you so much! it was such fun, I'll probably make another one soon :)