Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tool Time Tuesday...Milk Crate Cover

Milk Crate Cover for a title? I know boring. I wanted to write something clever changing "great" to crate..."Crate" Ideas or "Crate" Expectations, but just couldn't type them in the title box...who's searching for Crate Expectations in their search box?

Any who, here is a tutorial to turn those old ugly milk crates in your garage or basement into something you can actually use in your home.

This cutie...

is covering this dirty little crate that I stole from my husband. Shhh don't tell him, but his golf supplies are in a pile on the shelf in the garage.

This tutorial is a method type pattern, because all crates are different sizes. I used 1/4 inch seam allowance throughout.

First measure the bottom of the crate. Mine is 11 1/2 inches square. Add 1/2 inch for seam allowance...my final square is 12" x 12".

Measure the side from the inside of the crate, over the rim and...

Down the other side. Mine is a total of 21 inches...here I added 3/4 inch. 1/4 for one seam and 1/2 inch for hemming the bottom edge. Total for this measurement is 21 3/4 inch.

Now measure all the way around. Mine was 51 1/2 inches. Add 3/4 - 1 inch so you have a little room to fold fabric over the crate.

Any fabric works great, but Tool Time Tuesday has a touch of hardware store, so I used my drop cloth fabric I bought for $5.00. Remember this fabric from the purse I made with it? It looks like linen, but so much cheaper. Click here for the purse tutorial.

Here are your supplies...
  • rectangle of fabric...the long length is the distance around the crate and the height of the fabric is the measurement from the inside and over the side.
  • the square is your bottom measurement

Hem ONE long edge of the rectangle. I folded over 1/4 inch and fold over another 1/4 inch.

Sew down seam...

Fold over the rectangle, right sides together and sew the sides together on the right.

You now have a tube. Try in the crate to see if it fits before sewing the bottom in.

Put it in the crate, wrong side facing out and the hemmed edge on the top.

I match that seam to one of the corners of the crate...just for looks really.

Now fold over so hemmed edge is now at the outside bottom.

Your raw edge is on the inside.

Now to sew the bottom...First you need to find the FOUR corners.

Place tube with wrong side out, side seam on the right. Place a pin on the fold to the left where my finger is.

Now take that pin and the side seam and bring them to the middle.

close up of the first pin and the seam in the middle...

Place a pin in the left fold and...

the right fold...

Take your square from your bottom measurement...

To help you sew the corners easier, place a dot 1/4 inch down from the top and over from side. This will be your pivoting point when sewing the corners.

With RIGHT sides together, match your four pinned corners with the four corners of the square. Pin the corners first, then you will pin to ease in the extra tube fabric to the bottom square.

Here it is all pinned.

See how much fabric you have to ease in. This is where I don't care if it's perfect. It's on the inside on the bottom which will be covered with all the things you put in this crate.

Sew all the way around, pivoting at the corners. Just make sure you keep all the excess fabric away from your sewing foot as your making your way around.

Place inside the crate wrong side of fabric facing out.

Place it in and fold it over.

Done. See how I place the seam matched up with the corner. Kind of hides it there.

Add a pretty bow...

or maybe sew a band of contrasting fabric to the bottom to match your decor.

Perfect for this open cubby in the hutch. You can hide lots of junk in there.

a nice black ribbon looks good too.

This may seem like a complicated project, but I made this Monday morning before I went to work in less the 1 hour and that included making up the pattern as I was went along. Only had to rip one seam out...ggrrr.

These crates would be great for so many things...keeps things together, nice and neat and it's pretty too
  • magazines
  • toys
  • sewing projects
  • scrap booking supplies for one particular project you're working on
  • reading materials by the side of your chair or bed
  • kids shoes by the back door
  • cute emergency kit for the trunk of your car
  • sports equipment
  • food pantry
  • linen closet supplies
The list is endless for crates...now they're even better if the have a pretty little cover on.

Have fun with this one. If we all get together, we'll make all those ugly crates...Crate (great) to look at!!



  1. Love this - a simple basket with this size could cost more than $20 here...I love the one with the black ribbon...but now I have to hunt for some crates first...

  2. How about, homemade gift pack as the title of the post. This is very creative. And it looks nice. There can be multi-purpose use for this item. Bottles, Eggs even something valuable like Sapphire Rings can be securely carried from it. Good Work!

  3. Karen,

    Less than 1 hour?! You are so amazingly talented!!! :) I love it!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Crafty hugs,

    partridgelu at yahoo dot com

  4. Fantabulous idea! You took something really ugly and made it adorable. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Just visited you blog , for first time yesterday and both days have found great project,, thanks,, wonderful site..

  6. Great tutorial! I think I have a milk crate somewhere and if I don't, I plan on finding one. I'm thinking of several places in my house I would like to do thid for. Thanks for the great idea!

  7. Have crates in garage, didn't know what to do with...thanks for the crate idea.

  8. I've used big baskets by the front door for shoes, but they don't last long. This would be much more sturdy. Thanks for the idea!

  9. This is one of your best ideas yet. I have a few milk crates left from when I was a nursery school teacher. They were great for storing materials I needed for class. They have been languishing (or maybe lounging since they're not doing anything)in my basement. Time to let them come out and work for a living. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  10. Karen that is way to simple for such a cute project. Hubby is going to be mad when I take all
    of his crates. Oh well, I need those for fabric. :)

  11. Amazing job!

    ~Mrs. Delightful

  12. You are so clever ... what a great "crate expectation". Thanks for sharing.

  13. Love this idea. I also love the drop cloth! May make some baskets I found on Moda's Sew4Home with the drop cloth also. Smaller but would coordinate with the milk crates!

  14. Thanks so much! I am interested to try this with the cardboard banker boxes.

  15. You just continue to amaze me. I found your blog a week or so ago and I have been reading and really enjoying it. I plan to implement several of your great ideas - hopefully this month. This one is very doable for me. Thanks again for sharing your creativity.
    Linda Kay

  16. I'm bookmarking this page! I will certainly be copying it.

    Is the bottom of your crate perfectly smooth? My concern is that it may scratch a painted surface.
    -Mary Alice

  17. What a great idea!! I have a few milk crates I can snich - woops borrow from my husband in the basement and use in my sewing room!! they will look great on my shelf! THANKS!

  18. Thank you, I love this! I've been using organizational bloggers ideas about using what you already have, but I just couldn't see past the ugly duckling/college furniture of these crates! I cannot wait to try this out.

  19. This is such a great idea! I've been dumping things out of my ugly crates and taking the crates to hide in the basement. I never even thought to cover them.

  20. I have made several of these for my sewing room and closets and they are wonderful!

  21. Superb job on tht crate.

  22. I need to run to the garage and retrieve the ugly milk crate I just put there before the DH takes it over. Great and easy idea.

  23. I just whipped up this up. Funny thing was, I was trying to figure out how to make a liner for my rectangular wicker basket & this was so easy.

    I am really glad that I stumbled on your site & hope to use a bunch of your ideas for my new craft room.

  24. Oh I like this to! My plans are to build shelves on one whole wall of my sewing room from the roof to the floor to hold all my fabrics and store all my other things on. This would really be neat since I have several of these milk crates sitting around. I could do a cover for all of them and sit them along the floor under the shelves. VERY NICE INDEED! Thanx for the nice tut!

  25. Your Milk Crate Cover came just in time!! I have just moved into a new home and I've been trying to figure out what to do with all these crates I've just unpacked. Now I know!! They will be beautifully covered and used in my utility room. I tried to use a couple for paint brushes and supplies but everything kept poking through. Now I have a much-needed solution! Thank you so much!!

  26. Seriously? I would never have thought of this myself, yet it's absolutely a fantastic idea! LOVE IT!!! And I just happen to have a crate sitting in my bathtub filled with a few things I was going to take to Goodwill (along with the crate!) I'll be grabbing that crate right back out and making this! Thank you so much for the step-by-step tutorial!!!

  27. Thanks!! I've got a couple of these babies that need a pretty cover. I appreciate your tutorial -guess I don't have any excuses now ;) AJ@queenofmynest

  28. I wish I could machine sew! How about a field trip???????? What a great idea.

  29. Wow, this is a first, I've never seen a milk crate look good!

  30. Karen, I have been following your blog for a while now and it gave me so much inspiration to design my own sewing 'studio'. We don't have a lot of space in our house but your tips and tricks certainly helped and i now have a beautiful sewing space in a converted wardrobe. So thankyou! (from Australia) xx

  31. Such perfect timing for this post! I just discovered your blog by google--I bought 6 milk crates this morning, certain that I would find a tutorial for covering them somewhere online. I found only two, and yours looks more up my alley. Thanks so much!

  32. You are so clever. I have had a box fetish all my life. I have gotten grief for sooo long about keeping all the boxes in wood, plastic,& baskets of course (not cardboard yet). Now, as I "dress" them, no one needs to be the wiser.
    Now is the time to get those cheap Christmas boxes & baskets at huge discounts @ Michael's crafts & similar stores. You can "expose" the Christmas theme at the right time of year again, but dress the rest of the year.
    I especially appreciate the sturdiness of the crate you've shown, since so many crates would never carry the load of yours; books & magazines are very heavy.

  33. Glue some felt pads onto the bottom so it doesn't damage furniture.

    So...NOW where does your husband put his golf stuff? :)

  34. Thanks for the idea. I am terrible at sewing so I cheated a little by using 2 old pillow cases. It turned out very nicely!

  35. Great Idea! I love the black ribbon... but I also love the 'drop-cloth linen'. This process could unify a whole collection of crates, boxes, laundry baskets... I think I hear the sound of saving $$$$ Thanks!!!

  36. Great idea. Wish I could sew. :P

  37. This looks way more professional than my pillow case box (http://thecozycondo.blogspot.ca/2012/03/pillow-case-box.html) but I wonder if a pillow case could be used for a crate? Hmmm need to do some measuring...

  38. Awesome! Love it! Must do! Would make great gifts to seniors graduating! Or sons who live on their own! Lol

  39. What a creative way to transform an ugly milk crate!! Such a beautiful accent for the home. Think I'll try this one in my own home.

  40. Its look do beautiful. I will made it for my tools and crafting stuff.

  41. you explained this so well, thank you. I am off to make my crate covers! I have 10 crates.

  42. I made this today to put baby stuff in. It came out a little snug, but it works. Thanks for this handy and easy to follow tutorial! You can see photos of it on Facebook: WWW.Facebook.com/jpdysart00

  43. This was SO EASY!!! Thank you SO VERY MUCH!! I did it in a little over an hour. Awesome!!!!

  44. Wow!! Great Idea!! Love it!! Thanks for sharing!! going to cover ALL mine TODAY!!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment...I just love hearing from you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Related Posts with Thumbnails