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!
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  • Lora Lora on Jun 02, 2022

    Where did you get the crates?

  • Mcgurnb Mcgurnb on Jun 02, 2022

    Awesome project and so easy. I’ll be making them for my covered patio area. I have some beautiful fabric to use. Thanks for posting. Looks like the padding is from an eggcrate??

  • Denise Denise on Aug 16, 2023

    Great idea! If you had some of the sturdy old milk crates do you think you could stack them for taller seats?

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  • Renee Renee on Sep 08, 2023

    I'm going to try this with the longer crates from Wal-Mart, and use them in my classroom. Cool seating options!

  • Gbe69776730 Gbe69776730 on Mar 17, 2024

    I had old milk cartons as a bookcase when in collage (1980s). Those old milk crates are now screwed to the inside wall of the garage and used to store toilet paper, paper towels, tissue boxes and bleach wipes etc. I keep two longer milk crates in the car trunk to carry groceries into the house.