This decorated Christmas crate has been, upcycled from an old children's toy that I found in our basement. It turned out to be perfect for me to transform for, 'The Great Create Challenge', a DIY, upcycling blog hop which I'm taking part in today.
A decorated Christmas crate is useful in so many ways. Style it up as a table centrepiece for parties or rustic weddings or fill it with mini gifts or daily activities as an Advent calendar to enjoy year after year.
Another lovely idea is to transform your crate into a Christmas Eve box and fill it with games and activities to keep the kids occupied while they wait for Santa on Christmas Eve.
This DIY is so easy, you could easily have it finished in one day and who doesn't love an easy Christmas DIY? If you love my wooden crate Christmas decorating ideas but don't have a crate, that's not a problem because below you'll find some of my favourite wooden crates to buy online.
A QUICK REMINDER: When attempting any DIY project, please take care to undertake the necessary safety precautions. You should always follow the manufacturer’s safety recommendations when using any product or tool. When following my instructions for a DIY project, you are doing so at your own risk.
THE GREAT CREATE CHALLENGE
Are you crafty or love to DIY? If so, then why not join us in 'Great Create Challenge' a brand new Facebook Group for creatives? Anyone can join, you don't have to be a blogger although you do have to take part in the challenges as often as you can – this group is not for lurkers!
The 'Christmas Re-Imagination Challenge' is the first 'challenge' in the 'Great Create Challenge'. The brief was to 'Repurpose, recycle or renew a jewel in the rough, to become the perfect holiday decoration for your nest.' Thanks to my lovely friend Allison of American School Of Charm and owner of the Facebook Group for organising and for choosing the Christmas Re-Imagination theme for our first group challenge.
The Christmas crate
This wooden Christmas crate has been in our basement since our boys were small. My oldest used it as part of a Christmas craft when he was around seven years old. The box has been in the basement, sad and neglected ever since.
If I'm honest, I'd forgotten all about this little wooden Christmas crate until I started scouring the basement for my 'jewel in the rough'. There it was, all sad and forlorn like one of those old, unused toys you see in a Christmas movie! As soon as I saw it, I knew it was going to be the perfect piece to decorate for the 'Christmas Re-Imagination Challenge'.
Favourite crates to buy online
If you want to make this Christmas crate project but don't have a crate at home, here are few of my favourite wooden crates which I've found online.
Crates - USA
Crates - UK
Materials need to decorate a Christmas crate
Wood stain – I used walnut
Chalk paint (I used white)
Fillers (see below)
Foliage (see below)
Christmas decorations (plus extra for styling)
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Christmas crate decorating Part I
step 1 – Stain the wood
If your wood is light as mine was, you could stain it a little darker if you want. I used wood-stain in walnut which I had left over from making other projects like my Farmhouse style pedestal tray.
First I covered the wheels with aluminium foil so that they wouldn't get stained.
I gave the Christmas crate two coats of wood stain.
Step 2 – Apply a Christmas style stencil
Don't you think my crate looks a little boring as it is? Hmm, me too! That's why I decided to use one of my new Christmas stencils to decorate my crate. You can find the Christmas stencil I used here.
As you can see, the stencil is far too big to decorate the side of my little wooden crate. I'm going to tape part of the stencil to the front of the crate then I'll use just the top of this Christmas tree stencil.
Step 3 – wax
To protect the stencil design, I'm waxing my Christmas crate with clear furniture wax. It darkens the wood-stain a little and gives the crate a more 'finished' look don't you think?
Step 4 – buff
As always when you use furniture wax, you need to buff it up with a cloth afterwards.
Step 5 - Add some cord to your Christmas crate
I found this length of red and white cord in our basement. It was a little long so I twisted it around the handle of the crate a few times to shorten it.
Christmas crate decorating part II
Now it's time to decorate the inside of the Christmas crate.
Here's what you'll need.
Christmas crate - Fillers and foliage
If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you will know how I love to 'bring the outside in' and use natural elements and greens in my décor.
At Christmas you could use:
Twigs and sticks.
Dried seed heads.
Dried flower heads.
If you don't want to fuss with fresh evergreens, faux greens will work just as well or even a mix of the two.
Add something tall to your Christmas crate
I used a tall Christmas tree decoration because I already had it and didn't want to buy new. Repurpose is the name of the game for this Challenge!
Here are some other décor items you could use:
A small Christmas tree – faux or real
Bottlebrush Christmas trees
Add something small to your Christmas crate
Add some fillers to your Christmas crate
If you put your lovely decorations directly into the deep box, they would disappear to the bottom. That's no good. We want your Christmas décor to 'stand up and be counted' so you are going to have to use a little decorating trick of mine.
You need to use some fillers to the inside of your Christmas crate (don't worry, you won't be able to see them afterwards). Doing this also means that you won't need as many pretty Christmas décor items to decorate your Christmas crate.
Here are some ideas for things to use, to add height inside your Christmas crate.
Large or small cans
Cake stands (depending on how large your crate is)
Scrunched up paper
Here's what I used to fill out my Christmas crate.
I stacked CDs on one side, to stand the wooden Christmas tree on and added a pedestal candleholder for the white candle on the other side. Afterwards, I filled up the gaps in between with scrunched-up newspaper.
Christmas crate décor – Greens!
Now, it's time to fill in around the top of your Christmas crate with greens – see, when I told you the fillers wouldn't be visible, this is why!
TIP: Don't just fill the top of your Christmas crate, try to get some of the greens to 'fall' over the side to soften up the edge of the wood.
I like to tuck my greens into the crate at the back so that they stand up high, serving as a green backdrop behind the Christmas decorations.
Christmas crate décor – Styling tip
Your decorated Christmas crate is all finished but that doesn't mean that YOU are! Now it's time to finish off with some styling that will take your Christmas crate from 'Wow' to 'WOWZER'!
Do you know how sometimes you see a room where it looks like the furniture has just been, plonked down into the room without any thought or care for how to integrate it into the room? You see it in gardens too where a feature (maybe a birdbath) stands alone in the middle of a garden with no plants around it to help blend it with the rest of the garden. Well, it's the same with decorating small vignettes in your home.
If you display your Christmas crate on its own, it will look a little lost and at odds. The trick is to make it look as if it's integrated into the rest of your décor. Don't fret though, it's easy, you can do it! Here's my best Christmas styling tip for you!
Keeping to the same theme as the Christmas decoration in your crate, use similar décor elements to decorate around the outside of the wooden crate.
I tend to use more greenery and some of the natural elements which I've already used in the main decoration. Here, I 'sprinkled' fake snow and added pine cones, walnuts and dried fruit etc. around the sides of the crate.
Then I placed a faux mini Christmas tree and some large wooden stars to one side of the crate. (balancing out the Christmas tree and stars already in the crate). I draped the sparkly fairy lights over these side decorations too.
NOW, you have finished!
I hope you liked my little Christmas crate decorating tips, what do you think of the finished result?
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Save it for later!
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Christmas re-imagination blog hop
Don't forget, that this post is part of a Christmas blog hop. There is so much more Christmas decorating loveliness for you to discover over on my friend's blogs!
More Christmas inspiration
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