Hi, all! This past week, I’ve kind of been MIA as I’ve been battling a flu bug. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that when I feel an illness coming on, if I stay home and sleep for 24 hours, I usually can kick the booger out of my system, without much damage. So last Monday, I stayed home and slept and have only had to deal with some lingering exhaustion, which I’m okay with! So, rather than tackle a big DIY, today I’m going to share how I took some little crates and made some easy DIY Farmhouse Utility Shelves!
So… I’ve created these little cuties for a very special purpose that I will be revealing next week. But, for now, I thought I would give you the tutorial in case you want to use them in your own special way. These crate-type shelves are pretty versatile!
Oh, and just so you know… lots of blue and white coming your way, as these little ‘helpers’ are going to be used in my bedroom which is in the process of being decorated in a blue and white palette (always been a fave of mine!).
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
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- Unfinished crates (I got mine at Hobby Lobby, 30% off, HERE)
- Sand paper, 220 grit and 320 grit
- Lint free cloths
- Base chalk paint in your color choice (I used my homemade chalk paint using Behr’s Ice Drop)
- White chalk paint for dry-brushing (again, I used my homemade chalk paint using Behr’s Ultra White)
- Large paint brush (I love Zibra brushes, and I used their chiseled wedge brush for this project)
- Fine art paint brush (1 inch wide… always use the Hobby Lobby coupon)
- Fine art detail brush
- Printable of your wording choice (I’ve included mine at the end of the post)
- Wax for sealing (At this point, my favorite is Americana Décor clear liquid wax)
- Hardware of your choice (Hobby Lobby is my fave spot for hardware)
- Large Picture Command Strips (16 pound weight limit)
BUMPS IN THE ROAD
Okay… let’s just get these “bumps” out of the way, shall we? I tried painting these sweet-things FOUR times… count ‘em… FOUR times! (These are the times I sometimes want to hide in the closet and let out a scream… just a little one. LOL.) I think my biggest issue was that the blue I used is so pale (which is what I wanted), that the white I wanted to accent with just wouldn’t…. accent! I won’t bore you with the details of the different techniques I tried, but, in the end I decided that I liked the subtle finish that the dry brushing gave, and I REALLY like how the lettering gave them a little ‘umph’. SO, if you want more distinction in colors, I would suggest going with, at least, a slightly darker base color.
Bump number two… when I tried to install wall-mounting hardware on the back of the crate, the wood split. I actually had a sinking feeling that this would happen… I should have gone with my gut! Command Picture Strips to the rescue! Okay… let’s get on to the good stuff…
WHAT TO DO
- Sanding: I used the 220 grit sand paper and gave the crate a light sanding all over in order to remove some of the roughness on the wood. I was especially careful about the splinters that were between the front and back slats (I had a near miss with death a couple times)! After sanding, I took a cloth and wiped down the crate to remove any dust.
- Using my Zibra chisel brush, I covered the whole crate in the Ice Drop chalk paint, making sure to catch drips and dribbles of paint on the corners and edges… that’s always a little tricky for me. I used two coats to get solid coverage.
- Taking the white chalk paint, I mixed two parts paint with 1 part water. I then dipped the brush in the paint/water mixture, dabbed my brush on a lint-free cloth until it was almost ‘dry’, and then brushed white across the areas of the crate where I wanted a subtle difference in color. If you don’t like where the white is brushed on, you can always re-paint and do it again, or even add more (I had LOTS of practice on repainting, remember?!)
- After the paint dried, I printed out the “This ‘n’ That” wording. I took a pencil to the back of the lettering and ‘scribbled’ across it. I then cut the wording down to a size that could easily be aligned on the center of the top slat and placed the wording with the penciled side down. Then, I traced the lettering with a sharp pencil. This transferred the outline onto the crate! 🙂
- Next I painted in the lettering lines with black paint. I enjoy painting detail like this, as I did free-hand painting for a living many moons ago. 🙂 Artist tip: When painting any kind of ‘line’, let your hand and brush follow where your eye is leading. I always look ahead of my brush by about ½ inch, and my brush naturally follows. Make sense?
- After the lettering paint had completely dried, I took 320 grit sand paper and lightly distressed the lettering. It left a bit of a black smudge when I did this (which I thought might be another bump-in-the-road!), but it easily wiped off with a damp cloth. 😀 Whew!
- I used a clear liquid wax to seal the crates. I didn’t have my favorite on-hand, so I used some very inexpensive product I had purchased to try-out. In the future, I will probably only use it on small items like these crates. I dipped a lint-free cloth in the wax and put an all-over even coat on the crate. After 24 hours (yes, the directions said 24 hours, believe it or not), I took a clean lint-free cloth and quickly buffed the wax to a subtle sheen.
- Almost to the final step! At this point, I drilled holes in the middle of the bottom slat of each crate and inserted the knob. (Oh… I did hit a bump here… “That” wasn’t centered correctly on the slat, so I had to add my favorite punctuation to the front “…”. Kind of fitting, huh?) These knobs not only look pretty, but will be able to serve another purpose, as well! More on that next week!
- The final step was attaching the Large Command Picture Strips. (Be sure to read and follow the directions on the back of the package before proceeding.) I placed the strips horizontally on the back of the crates… one on the top slat to the left, and one on the bottom slat to the right. In order to mount them on the wall, please follow the rest of the instructions on the package. (Remember, this can’t hold more than 16 pounds.)
- Oh… one more step! Come back next week to see what my special ‘duty’ is for these “farmhouse utility crate shelves”! (I’ve given y’all a couple hints!)
I thought you might like to see how these can be styled a couple ways for different areas in the home. But, mine will not be used this way, though I’m tempted! I love how soft and pretty these are!
What do you think? Would you like to make some of these and use them for something special? What would you do with them? Let me know in the comments… I love hearing from you , and I answer every comment!
(Ooooo, that’s a pretty big crack in the corner! I need to fix that when I paint! 😉 )
Come back next week and find out what I’m doing with them! It’s pretty nifty, and just a small part of a larger (and easier) DIY!
Oh… almost forgot the printable! Just click on the image or link to download. 🙂