How to Make a New Crate Look Old

Tutorials, Upcycled Decor & Accessories

Easily Make a New Crate look old with my easy tutorial!

Do you love the look of old crates but are shocked at the price of them? I will see some beautiful old Flower Crate, see the price tag, and keep moving. I wish I could find old wood crates in the Dumpsters I look in!

I finally decided I would take matters into my own hands and make a new crate look old myself! I started with a Brand New Pine Crate and did some searching online for inspo. I came up with this and put my stamp (literally) on my new crate.

This is from Funky Junk Interiors and her beautiful Stencil line

Where to start with your New Crate

I bought a bunch of new crates from Michael’s Pro. It’s their version of a wholesale craft site. You do not need a resale license to buy from Michael’s Pro. You can save with this site because everything is sold in bulk. These crates came out to be about $8.49 each when I bought 12.

Staining the Crate to look Old

Every old crate I have seen has a dark color, or at least a weathered look. I used DIY Paint Dark & Decrepit Patina to make my crate look old. You could also use DIY Paint Old & Grey Patina, or a watered down mix of both. Either way, the raw pine screams “brand new crate” so you will want to do something to darken the wood. I don’t recommend commercial stains as they are almost always pretty toxic and will off gas for a while. This is why I only use the DIY Paint Dark & Decrepit or Tint the Clear Liquid Patina as it is a product that is 100% natural and has no fumes or anything in it I can’t use inside with ease.

My favorite Stain and Dark Glaze!

Watch my Full Tutorial on How to Make a New Crate Look Old

Where to get the rest of the supplies to Make your New Crate Look Old

I mentioned in my video I used the IOD Typography Stamp; it’s an older IOD Stamp and can be hard to find; you can also use the Block Type Stamp or the Farm Hand Stamp or even the new Letterpress Stamp. Or you can choose to use a stencil. Home Depot has some cheap and easy number and letter block stencils you can use.

I decided to embellish the edges of my New Crate with the IOD Stamp in Rose Toile. You can easily customize how you want your crate to look. I can never leave well enough alone, so more is more!

The Hardware to make a New Crate look Old

I chose corner reinforcements and industrial-looking cabinet/gate pulls. You can add whatever hardware, or no hardware. I love the Vintage Industrial look so I opted for these add ons. I also added casters so I can move it around, but if your crate is going to sit on a shelf or higher surface, you probably want to skip this step. Here’s a list of what I used and where you can find the items.

Getting the Rust Look for New Crates to Look Old

I shared in my video my favorite tip for quick faux rust. I take just a little bit of DIY Paint in Summer Crush (a burnt orange color) and dab it random places on whatever I want to make a rust look. While it is wet, I dab on more Dark & Decrepit to lightly blend the two. I find that it looks more realistic if you don’t overwork it. Just dab it on, dab off and leave to dry. This is an easy way to get a rusty look on just about anything!

Make your New Stuff look Old

It’s funny typing that heading. I am almost always trying to make something old look new. But sometimes you have to take something new and give it some history, or something new to you and give it a better history. If you enjoyed this post, please let me know in the comments below. If you have any questions about how to make a new crate look old, please don’t hesitate to reach out. If you would like to get regular updates on my upcycled creations, furniture and decor tutorials and a little bit of humor to brighten your day, please subscribe! Thanks again for stopping by.


  1. Jan

    I have seen crates used in several different ways in indoor and outdoor home decor which is something I would never have thought of until I started watching HGTV, LOL. Right now I’m re-watching for the umpteenth time Sabrina Soto’s old series “The High/Low Project,” and crates were used for decorative accessories in several episodes. I also remember seeing Monica Mangin on the old Lowe’s series where she decorated a space over a weekend with homeowners/renters and showed them how to DIY (on Youtube) use crates stacked together to create book/display storage and a desk space arrangement. Also seen other creatives use crates screwed into walls in cool patterns to create storage for books and display things. Just really cool stuff. Your crate doesn’t look “fake” aged, which I find amazing just itself. The hardware really looks rusted. I keep looking at it and thinking “wow.” The wheeled crate would work really well on my patio to hold the few veggies I plant every season, and easy to maneuver. I was also happy to read that you still dumpster dive 🙂

  2. Kaessa

    Your videos are always fun and spirited?
    This is beautiful and quite creative, thanks for taking the time to share!!

  3. Cheryl Atkinson

    Hi Karen! I’m definitely going to Pin this for later. I have several crates and I was going to decopauge them but I love this aged industrial look alot more and I already have the DIY anf IOD’ products. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Cheryl Atkinson

    Hi again Karen! Do you have the link for the casters and hardware?

  5. Susan Chilberg

    I have new and old cratez. Some of tge crates I have I got at estate sales… another good place to look! Will have to file this newsletter where I can find it again!! And use it not lose it!


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