In the Garage

DIY Wooden Crates

My husband Ted is a big beer lover. Huge! Last year, a friend got him hooked on brew-your-own beer and every few months he goes to our local brewery and bottles his favourite organic white beer.

Ted inherited some reusable plastic beer bottles from a friend and two ratty cardboard boxes to transport the beer from the brewery to beer fridge. The cardboard boxes have seen better days — like 10 years ago. It was time to replace them with solid, wooden crates. But, at $50 a pop retail (plus tax), we decided to forego forking over the cash and build the crates ourselves!

First, Ted did up a quick sketch of his crate design. Then, we headed to Home Depot to buy some wood. We opted for $3 a board spruce wood. Cheap and cheerful! When we got home, we locked ourselves away in our freezing cold garage and made our measurements and cuts.

Building the first crate was like putting a puzzle together. We definitely needed two sets of hands. While Ted held the wood together, I used to air nailer — my favourite tool! The final result was a super sturdy spruce wood crate that beat the pants off of that yucky, old cardboard box! I love Ted’s expressions in these photos!

Originally, we planned to only build two crates, but we were having such a ball that we ended up building four crates. After a few hours, we were done and here is a shot of the fruits of our labour — four beautifully built crates made by us!

And, here’s the crates holding 24 bottles of Ted’s freshly bottled beer. He added some simple handles to the sides of his crates for easy transport.

We had two crates left over, so I decided to dress one up with some vinyl lettering using my Silhouette Cameo. Just like my first project, vinyl lettering is a super easy (and inexpensive) way to dress up any piece. The crate now sits on our front porch and it is filled with mums to celebrate fall. When Christmas rolls around, I can easily change the vinyl lettering and swap the mums out for fresh, winter greenery. Oh, I can smell the pine needles now!

At $10 a crate, we couldn’t go wrong. In fact, we managed to build four crates for less than the price of one $50 crate. Plus, we had the satisfaction of designing and executing a project all in one evening and working together as a team. Not bad, not bad!

Linking up with…
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating 

Review: Household Low Volume, Low Pressure Spray Gun

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably have heard me tweet (non-stop!) about my love for my new paint sprayer. Let me just say, this sprayer rocks! So much so, that I had to share this great find with you!

I was in the market for a paint sprayer for a few months, but I didn’t know which one to buy and I didn’t really want to spend a fortune because I knew I would only need it for a handful of projects. We already had a large capacity air compressor, so all I needed was the actual spray gun.

Enter Beckie and her review of Harbor Freight Tools’ Household Low Volume, Low Pressure Spray Gun review. After reading her review and seeing the before and afters of some furniture pieces that she completed using this sprayer, I knew my decision was made! Plus, she did all the work for me by finding a coupon code online! For a cool $15, I had a new sprayer! Thanks Beckie!

After weeks of putting off spraying my new{ish} bathroom vanity for our upstairs bathroom re-fresh, I finally swallowed my fear and busted out the sprayer this weekend.

I will admit, it took awhile to get used to the sprayer. Before I even set foot at spraying the vanity, I practiced on a scrap piece of wood. It took some time to find the right setting, especially since I had to fiddle with three different knobs to find the right amount of paint. Also, the primer I was using needed to be thinned a bit, so that was a bit of a challenge finding the right paint consistency that wasn’t too thick or to thin.


  • The price — for $15 delivered (to my US mailbox), you can’t be beat
  • The sprayer is lightweight and easy to hold
  • The cup holds just the right amount of paint to spray a medium to large piece
  • The gun is easy to clean — just rinse the cup out really well with water (when using latex paint), then run a cup of fresh water through the sprayer to clean out the insides (I simply sprayed the water into a bucket until it ran clear, then I let the gun air dry)
  • Sprays pieces quickly and evenly without brush strokes
  • Little over-spray — of course, you’ll want to protect your work area with drop cloths, but I was expecting there to be more over-spray than there was (bonus!)
  • The trigger is easy to use and responsive
  • Finding the right spray consistency takes awhile to perfect — practice on a scrap piece of wood to find the right consistency (too thick will have an orange peel finish and too thin will run)
  • The gun didn’t come with a female connector, so I had to purchase that separately for a few dollars at my local hardware store

I can’t wait to show you my painted vanity when it’s complete! I’m so glad I swallowed my fear and primed and painted my vanity with a paint sprayer, rather than paint it with a brush. If you are in the market for an economical spray gun, I highly recommend Harbor Freight Tools’ Household Low Volume, Low Pressure Spray Gun manufactured by Central Pneumatic.