Flip a Simple Ikea Crate Into a Game-changer Junk-infused Planter!

3 Materials
3 Hours
Any other Ikea or garden fans out there? If so, I have a suggestion to put on your shopping list next time you visit!
Ikea sells the cutest little unassembled and unfinished crates. They come in two sizes, and the quality for the price is simply amazing.
But what makes the crates even more enticing are all the things you can do with them! And you don't have to be a builder nor pay a small fortune on an antique crate to get the look.
Here's a simple and beautiful crate idea that fits in so well with spring and summer! And if you happen to love plants, this one's most certainly for you...
Ikea crates are must-gets! They come unassembled and unfinished, making them a dream supply to create with!

This is a small crate that I put together with a cordless drill in just a few minutes. Sturdy as a rock too!
While all the pieces were still unassembled, I stained up 3 crates in various tones so they'd all be different.

Next, I stenciled 3 different garden-themed stencils on the crates in black, using various pieces on the front and sides.

How to stencil:

After loading your stencil brush with paint, remove most of it onto a rag until the brush is dry-to-the-touch. This will help produce the sharpest stenciled images possible.

Learn how to stencil HERE which leads to many short easy to follow video tutorials!
About the stencils:

These 4 stencils are from the Garden Collection HERE at Funky Junk's Old Sign Stencils.

They come with a bold headline, smaller subtext and a cute graphic, designed to mix & match with each other so you can create your own designs. Fun, right?!
After stenciling, the crates were assembled using a cordless drill, which made putting them together effortless.
Here's the game changer part.

To make each crate super unique, I grabbed my stash of rusty junk containing casters, drawer pulls and such, and screwed on extra details to each crate.

And below are the delightful results!
Fresh Cut Flowers looks so fresh on a white-washed crate!

The odd hinge and rope detailing along with some pricing action on the side was just cute enough!
Wild Flower Seeds looks weathered and adorable in a grey wash stain.

With a decorative flourish on the sides and a simple S-hook just for fun!
But my all-time favorite was Locally Grown Herbs. Stained in a traditional stain tone with such a universal saying, along with all that delicious junk jewelry!

Corner brackets, pulls, and of course, those to-die-for casters that couldn't be any cuter!

What plain Ikea crate?!
These crates were so fun to enhance, and are even more fun to decorate with!

Fill them with faux plants or flowers or even pens tucked into jars during off-season, but be sure to bring in the real deal when spring and summer rolls around!

Ikea, bet you never saw this coming...

Be sure to click to the blog post link HERE to watch a video of the staining process and more on these crates, and the link below to check out all my other easy and creative stencil projects!

What's your fav part about the crates now? Think you'll pick some up next time you're there and make a few junk- enhanced garden planters yourself?
Resources for this project:
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Donna at Funky Junk Interiors
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Luannnurmi Luannnurmi on Feb 01, 2020

    Did you use the same product for stain and stenciling?

  • Paula P Paula P on Feb 03, 2020

    How much were the crates from IKEA? Your total cost said $120?

Join the conversation
3 of 14 comments
  • Miss Daisy Miss Daisy on Feb 06, 2022

    Stencils are expensive

    • This would depend what you're comparing them to. These stencils are made from a durable high quality 10 mil mylar, and the art / designs are unique and professionally designed. It's nice that you have many options out there so you can choose the right one for you. :)

  • Dl.5660408 Dl.5660408 on Jan 29, 2023

    Love the look, especially the little one with wheels, handles and trim!