If you were to step foot in our house, as you walked from room to room, you may notice that SOMEBODY has a slight milk crate infatuation. Once upon a time, the milkman began to abandon his milk crates at M’s place of work. When they piled so high that they threatened to break the sky,
M rescued them, and much to L’s dismay, filled the backseat with 13 milk crates. (Okay, half on one occasion and half on the other… Sofia’s backseat isn’t quite that big. She is a Mini Cooper after all.) One by one the milk crates all found a home, on a wall, in some room, being great up-cycled storage.
The first addition was our DVD storage in our bedroom, followed by a bedside crate for M:
M really likes the pattern on the back/bottom of the milk crate we used for her bedside ‘table’.
To install your own milk crate wall storage:
1. Pick a crate, any crate. As long as it has built in holes on the bottom, which will become the back, this tutorial will work.
2. Pick a spot, any spot. Some might say you need to ensure that one of your screws is in a stud, but M never has, most of ours aren’t secured by a stud or anything other than the screws, and none of ours have fallen. (Well, one did, but that was because the cats pulled it down.)
3. You will need two 1 1/2 inch screws for basic storage, M recommends adding a third for heavy duty storage, but we’ll get to that later. Using a level, make sure the crate is, uhm, level. On the top side (the one closest to the ceiling) pick the two outer-most diamond cutouts. Place one screw against the top most point of chosen diamond and push into wall, hard enough to leave an indention, but not so hard as to push through the dry wall (it’s happened once or twice). Repeat with the other cutout. This ensures that your screws will go in level, and erases any chance of frustration after you place the milk crate on the wall and step back… only to see that it is slightly leaning.
4. Align screws with wall indentions, hammering far enough in that the screw doesn’t fall back out. Drill into wall, leaving 1/2 inch exposed. The left and right screw (below) are the standard, but the middle screw (below) is used for heavier object storage. If you need the third screw, install it after you have finished step 5. It tightens the crate to the wall and offers more support.
5. Slide selected diamonds over the screws, let go, and voila! Now put it to use!
The crates can withstand up to 20 pounds, without a wall stud.
We like having the bright red ones as statement piece in our dining room.
If you want to match the crates to a color palette, use outdoor spray paint or spray paint designed for plastic. M sprayed the outside of the bathroom crates blue. The inner sides stayed nearly black, but the backside caught enough of the paint that it turned blue as well. The two-tone effect of only coating the outside is very pleasing and works with our décor.
Cheap, matching side tables. One of the nicest things about using milk crates as side tables is that you have a storage area in the middle and a place to set drinks, ashtrays, remotes, cats, books, the list goes on ad infinitum.