DIY Vintage Crate… Summer Reading Station Tutorial

My children both have required summer reading from their schools. Each summer, it never fails….someone loses a book somewhere in the house! Can you relate? So, this summer I decided to create something new…

A Summer Reading Station !!


Today, I am going to show you part 1 of my summer reading station. Part 1 is how I created the vintage crates to store all of their summer reading supplies in, to {hopefully} prevent the books from “disappearing”! This idea was inspired by the absolutely adorable Mason Jar Planter over at Hoot Designs!


Supplies Needed to Make the Vintage Crates…

unfinished wood crate {these came from Jo-Ann}
stain in color of choice {I used dark walnut}
sponge tip brush
paper towels
self-adhesive book plates {these are from the Martha Stewart collection by Avery, available at Staples}
Handles for sides {these came from Lowes}
Jute Twine
First, apply the stain to the crates with the sponge tip brush. Wipe off excess with paper towels. Allow the crates to dry thoroughly!
Next, apply the self-adhesive bookplates to the dry crates. I used the silver bookplates and centered them on the crates…


Finally, attach the handles on the sides. Originally, I was going to wrap the handles in jute twine, but decided I liked them without it! A girl can change her mind, right?


Of course, while I was doing this project, I also redid the entire bookshelf as well! I’ll post about a few of those projects soon!
For now, I am going to be organizing the crates. I’ll show you how I did that next week for part 2 of my…

Summer Reading Station!!

**UPDATE! You can see how I organized each child’s crate over at the post on Organizing The Summer Reading!**



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Welcome to Uncommon Designs. I am Bonnie Mauney and the co-author here at Uncommon Designs. My love for creating crafts, home decor, seasonal decor, and sewing has led me to my desire to share that with you here at our blog. I am happy to have you stop by our little slice of the blog world and join us in Creating A Beautiful Life!

Latest posts by Bonnie Mauney (see all)


  1. says

    What a lucky lady who received these crates as a planter for a birthday gift. Love your creative idea to use them as a book organizer, or reading station, both ideas are unique and creative!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. says

    I love the dark finish of these and the book plates are the perfect touch for the front ! I tried to view this post this morning and it didn’t work so I’m glad I found it through the TT&J link party!

    I used the same tutorial as Hoot Designs (saw that last week and loved it!) but with a painted finish.

    Next week I hope to be posting a project that was inspired by one of your recent projects! I’ll send you a message when it’s done so you can check it out :)

  3. says

    LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!! How simple and fabulous! And love the idea of a reading station… so super creative :)
    Oh, and by the way, you girls won the UPrinting Giveaway for die cut business cards! Congratulations!!! :)

  4. says

    Hi! I just came across your blog from the Sunday Blog Hop and I love all the creative ideas! I am your newest follower – hope you can stop by my blog sometime too and check it out – I can’t wait to check out the rest of yours!

  5. says

    Came over from Overflowing. As a former teacher I salute your valiant effort to keep those books corralled! (In a very classy way, I must say.)

    Distressed Donna Down Home

  6. says

    Very cute Bonnie! I love crates so this caught my eye!
    I would love for you to come by my party and link it up – the party just opened!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  7. says

    Those really are so cute! They turned out great! We appreciate you linking up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” We love seeing all of the great recipes and fun ideas! Hope to see you again next week! -The Sisters

  8. says

    Great idea and I love that dark stain! Looks fabulous on your beautiful bookshelves! Summer reading is the BEST! I remember library visits and being absorbed by great stories as a kid. I love that you are celebrating it (ok- Keeping things in order) like this! Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create! <3 Christina

  9. says

    Great idea! And I love those crates – the hardware you added and the stain colour are pure magic!!!
    P.S. Thanks for linking up to our party!

  10. says

    Congrats on your feature at Creatively Living. I loooooove this project! I also love the styling on the bookcase…and I look forward to your upcoming post about it. I’m going to pin your crates to my craft board on Pinterest. I can’t wait to make some for my home. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Sharon @ mrs. hines class


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