16 Ways to Use Apple Crates in Your Home

As a designer, I am always on the hunt for unique and cost effective items for my projects. There are so many posts and ideas of what to do with apple crates or aka fruit boxes. In this blog, I am sharing with you just a small sample of what is possible and some of my favorites!

I've included the original tutorial if available through a link and a designer tip.


This is a great way to save on your budget with your design. $11 a box crate and a few hardware supplies this table can only cost you $60. And look how nice and unique it looks! It adds a vintage feel to a casual family room, or you could paint the boxes black for an earth rustic feel, bright red for a modern feel, white for a country feel, or even each crate different primary colors for a kids room. I love this idea. I think it's worth considering in your design if the style fits.

For a tutorial, click here, but I do know your handyman can pull this together no problem.

Designer tip: To get it stained this color use vinegar and steel wool soaked and mixed together. Rub it on with a cloth just like staining.

You can find other DIY ideas at this website.


So many bathrooms do not have enough storage. And there is always that wall above or to the side of the toilet that you just might want to be more creative than hanging a piece of art. This is a wonderful idea!!! It gives you space for towels and accessories!! It looks modern and rustic at the same time. I think this could fit in most any design, especially casual, modern casual, rustic, vintage, modern, and industrial.

The tutorial for this is:

  1. Purchase 2 apple crates at your local craft store or Walmart/Target.
  2. Purchase 1x4 and cut (or have cut at Home Depot for you) 4 pieces at the length of the short side of your crate x2 + 7-10" for the space between) approximately 27"  long (take your measurements before you have wood cut)
  3. Purchase steel wool (at Home Depot) and white vinegar or apple cider vinegar (colors vary depending on vinegar) and let steel wool soak overnight in vinegar. 
  4. Mix and stain boxes and wood pieces with a rag and vinegar stain (of course if you want to buy a stain color you are free to do that) 
  5. Nail first 1x4 pieces (2 on either side) on the short end with the top back corner of crate lined up with the end of the 1x4 and the bottom back corner lined up with the other end of the same 1x4. 
  6. Nail other 1x4 2" apart from the first 1x4 you just nailed
  7. Purchase at the hardware store and attach picture hanging hardware to hold the weight of up to 50 lbs. 
  8. Measure and mount on desired wall.
  9. Decorate with towels, accessories like succulents, tiny art, candles, mason jars with bath salts in them, or a clock, or vintage bath items like classic shaving kit etc.

Designer tip: Remember to group your accents in 3's and at different heights to follow design rules.


A great small space solution. If you want a mudroom but do not have room for one. Do a "mud wall" on the wall nearest your entry door. Place a shoe rack or shelves on the floor for shoes and hang painted apple crates with baskets fit inside for gloves, socks, hats, scarves and more! You can decorate the top of boxes with whimsical art and potted plants or your favorite metallic table top accessory.

Designer tip: Remember to group your accents in 3's and at different heights to follow design rules.

Photo credit:  My Pink Life

Photo credit: My Pink Life

Photo credit:  Apartment Therapy

Photo credit: Apartment Therapy


Oh my this is adorable! It is great for a project that needs to save space and you might want to put a reading chair next to this. It's vintage shabby chic or country style. You can make it on your own with paint, stencil and turned legs.

Designer tip: It is quite a small table so this is best for a guest room or as a secondary night stand in a secondary room.

Industrial style is super in right now and I love it!!

Designer tip: Mix wood and metal to get an in-depth rich look. See the DIY tutorial HERE


A clever way to fill a large empty wall is to build a wall unit out of apple crates. Stack them in a varying landscape and portrait orientation for interesting eye appeal and to create super clever empty square holes. The crates look amazing unfinished also!

Designer tip: This application would be amazing in an office, library, living room, media room, or teenagers room.

Photo credit:  Apartment Therapy

Photo credit: Apartment Therapy


Baskets have been the go to throw holders for years. But I am loving this new idea! Staining and adding the hardware makes it look like you purchased it from Restoration Hardware (of old) or Potterybarn. Here is the tutorial LINK

Designer tip: Choose hardware that matches your room's design.


This is funky but super clever with the old license plate. It is super simple just screw in through holes.

Designer tip: Shop antique stores for great finds!

Photo credit:  Funky Junk Interiors

Photo credit: Funky Junk Interiors


I love the asymmetry of this bookcase, it's just so simple yet so complex at the same time. This is a super DIY that anyone can do! The tutorial is here.

Designer tip: Fresh gray popped with bold accent colors creates a modern and unique design.

Or you can make a traditional wood stained bookcase that fits into more traditional styles of design. The tutorial is HERE


Sometimes floor plans are too open, and spaces need dividers. Why not get additional storage out of the divider?

Designer tip: Use this unit to act as a pony wall without having to pull any permits.

Photo credit: Original source not found (Pinterest)

Photo credit: Original source not found (Pinterest)


Our dogs are part of the family too and deserve a space they can call their own. And especially when we are out and they are sleeping waiting for us to come home. A nice touch would be to stencil their name on the front. The tutorial is HERE.

Designer tip: Use a washable fabric and make the cover with a zipper. *Bonus tip: Interline the cover with water proof material.

11. DESK

This is a great idea for a unique & one of a kind creation. You could paint the crates black and top it with a live edge wood top for a modern and industrial look. You could put a glass top on wood or black or white or even gray wash painted crates. You could even double the depth for a large craft table with storage down below. I really like that idea for my work space! I can just see all my floor plans, materials and fabrics spread out!

Designer tip: Make the top longer than the picture shown for more room for your body to move in.

Photo credit:  Holly Bruce

Photo credit: Holly Bruce


This is a unique idea for a kitchen remodel or custom made kitchen. Take a look at some other unusual kitchen cabinet ideas HERE.

Designer tip: Do not place these produce drawers near the oven because produce needs a cool place to last the longest.


This is such a sharp look and so functional! I love this black against the white walls and mid tone wood countertop for folding.

Designer tip: You could stain it in a warm wood tone and paint the walls a dark or mid-gray; or paint white and paint walls navy blue or aqua. The sky is the limit!

Photo credit:  BHG

Photo credit: BHG


This ladder step arrangement of the crates is a tried and true kid-friendly design. I love the cute letters on top of each tier to spell out READ. This has a large amount of storage space for all their books crafts and stuffed animals. You could stain the boxes, paint white, blue, red, yellow, any color you want in any variation for kiddos.

Designer tip: Screw boxes together and then anchor to the wall. Kids love to climb and hang.

Photo credit:  Maison de Pax

Photo credit: Maison de Pax


I love this bright red painted bench! The tutorial is here: Operation Home.

Designer tip: A potted plant inside the center crate and shoes or holiday decor in the others flanking it would look amazing! Accented with bright fun pillows covered in outdoor fabric would finish this bench off with style.


This is so functional! It is a shoe box and seat combo! This example shows another great color you can paint the crate. Tutorial HERE.

Designer tip: This is a great solution for small space! A loft, an apartment, a bedroom, a entryway in a condo, or even in your garage!