DIY Crate Stools for Toy Storage


I am excited to share with you my most recent DIY project that turned milk crates into some of the most functional little things in my house. I found these old black crates off Craigslist for $6. There are six of them, they are all identical. I brought them outside and pressure washed the grime, stickiness, and everything else off of them.
I chose a few fun colors of spray paint (most I already had) and sprayed them.
Next I began to create padded seats for the top that double functioned as lids. I received leftover wood from my dad. I used fabric scraps and old t-shirts from my seamstress mother. I resourced the foam from one of the most unusual places...but that's a long story. If you need to know, read the blog post link at the bottom of the page!
Big squares of foam!
I laid out the fabric (three of them were made using old t-shirts) and cut it to size.
Then I laid the foam (flat side down) on the fabric, followed by the 3/4 inch plywood, and used my gun to staple the fabric to the wood.
Lastly, I added skinny wood bars to the bottom that will rest inside the milk crate to make the lid fit tight. These will keep the lid in place when you sit on the crate and provide it with a bit of extra strength. The brad nailer function of the gun made fast work of this step.
I did this process six times. When I was done, I couldn't believe how cute these padded stools for toy storage turned out!
They store all my kids' toys in the basement (a.k.a. the play room). My kids love to use them, taking the lids off and putting them back on, sitting on them, and trying to fit their toys in them like a jigsaw puzzle.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 9 questions
  • Marge Sharick
    on Jun 21, 2017

    Where do I get the crates?
    • Bree
      on Mar 6, 2019

      Somtimes the man at our 7-11 will give us some.because i also use these to put my grocery bags in, in the back of my car

  • Vivian
    on Apr 6, 2018

    Perhaps after spray painting adding a coat of clear coating would make paint stay on longer? Like this.

    • Nancy
      on Mar 7, 2020

      Vivian, I have also used a clear coat on many items and they have lasted much longer than anything without it. Many of the items are outside flower pots and decorations that have handled the northeast weather in all seasons for several years now.

  • Ruby
    on Jul 12, 2018

    I get how to cover the board, how do you make and attach the plat form that sit on the top. That's where i got lost.

    • Carol Currie Sobczak
      on Jan 30, 2020

      I thought that maybe you were referring to the frame that makes the cover fit inside the crate? She says that she used a brad nailer. I think that they could be glued in place and then add brads to extra-secure the boards...

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