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Summer is finally winding down, and most schools are back in session. It reminds me of how much I used to love buying new school supplies and diving into new subjects. It almost makes me miss the hustle and bustle of a new school year (almost). But if I can’t go back to school, I can at least craft with a classic school-day essential: the milk crate. This particular item is more useful than you might think. They stack easily and are made to support heavy loads. The best part? Milk crates are usually easy to come by and are often inexpensive or even free!

milk crate furniture
These outdoor stools take thrifty crafting to a whole new level. Christy Pitre of Working Class Magazine found her milk crates for free and painted one yellow for a cheery effect. The scrap wood on top was another frugal find which was pieced together to make a simple seat. Visit Working Class Magazine to learn how to make your own inexpensive outdoor seating.

milk crate record table
I found this cool record table on Apartment Therapy and fell in love. It’s such a great piece, and the vintage milk crates are a smart addition. They give the table a retro industrial feel, while also adding storage for records, books or whatever else. I’m thinking this might also make a great TV stand with ample movie storage. Visit A Beautiful Mess for the full tutorial.

milk crate garden
Do you move around a lot? Or maybe your only outdoor space is the terrace outside of your apartment. If either of these scenarios sounds familiar, a milk crate garden could be the perfect solution. This useful setup can move with you, plus milk crates drain well and have no trouble holding soil with the use of some basic landscape fabric. Learn how to make your own milk crate garden at instructables.com.

milk crate outdoor storage
If you need easy outdoor storage that doesn’t hold rain and is easily available, try hanging a milk crate or two on a fence or wall. It’s an especially great way to hold children’s outdoor toys and sporting equipment. The crates shown above fit right in with the fun construction vibe of this child’s play area.

milk crate knitting box
As an adamant MacGyver, I’m always looking for new places to store my craft supplies, and this pocketed covered milk crate looks like a winner. It is featured on Sewn Up as fun knitting storage, but it would also make a cute and organized coloring or homework box for kids. And even after it’s covered, the milk crates are still stackable, which would be great for a homework station, giving each child his or her own box. To learn how to make your own milk crate cover, read Laura Gunn’s easy-to-follow instructions.

Do you have a favorite milk crate craft or ideas for our next Designer MacGyver post? Share in the comments below!

8 Responses

  1. Helen says:

    Awesome !! This is what I've been looking for you are a genius !! Thanks

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  5. Cindy Anderson says:

    "Easy to come by" you really mean "easy to steal from the milk companies". I work for Borden Dairy and all the milk dairies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars replacing milk crates each month due to theft. The plastic recyclers and DYI crafters are driving up the cost of milk and dairy products. This is a huge problem to the milk companies.

    • Claudia Zaturain says:

      I see milk crates in the garage all the time!!! Small business like restaurants gas stations they just throw them away!!!!! If you pick them from the garbage is not call stealing!!!!!!!

    • Yudess says:

      So righteous! Like the milk companies aren't stealing from the cows! Perhaps if you were in a less heartless field, you would be fulfilled enough as not to serve your hypocritical opinion. I care as much about Borden Dairy as it cares about the miserable cows and calfs they abuse as well the environment that is destroyed just so they can make enough money to pay obtuse people like you. Get real!

  6. MarcioWilges says:

    Wow these ideas really do bring thrifty DIY ideas to an entirely new level! I am truly awe-struck by the milk crate garden idea. The milk crate is huge and spacious so it could really hold up a great deal of soil and seeds for easy gardening. Furthermore the milk crate has indents that enable easy moving from one location to another.

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