Crate Storage Coffee Table
Our family spends most of our time in the family room. We have young kids, so keeping this main area of our house organized is a challenge. This easy to build and unique Crate Storage Coffee Table and stools are perfect pieces to get organized. The crates easily pull out to organize kid activity supplies, blankets, magazines, etc. The stools offer extra seating and portable storage space.
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Cut the face frame pieces. Download our cut list here.
On the backside of each of the 8 - 18 ¼” face frame H pieces, drill 2 pocket holes on each end. On 4 of the boards drill a vertical pocket hole to attach the top later. On each of the 6 – 14 ¼” face frame V pieces measure and mark 11 ¼” from the top. Make 2 face frames, 2 - 18 ¼” pieces at the top and 2 at 11 ¼”. Use wood glue and 1 ¼” screws to join the wood together.
Cut the side panels and side accent pieces. Use wood glue and 5/8” brad nails, add the side accent pieces around the side panels.
Drill 3 pocket holes on the backside of each side panel end. Use wood glue and 1 ¼” screws to attach one side of the panel to the face frame. Make the tops flush and the front of the side panel flush with the end of the face frame. Repeat for the other side panel.
Drill pocket holes for ¾” material in the ends of each 2x4 bottom support. Drill a couple pocket holes facing the sides on 2 of the bottom supports. Use wood glue and 1 ¼” screws to attach bottom supports to the face frame and side panels. Center the middle support with the face frame center vertical piece. Make the 2x4 flush with the face frame opening so the crates will slide smoothly.
Optional – I decided to add swivel casters to my table so I could easily move it while vacuuming, etc. The casters are not necessary, but will be mostly hidden by the molding. Attach swivel casters to the bottom support. Rotate caster around and make sure there is plenty of room for the molding later.
On the inside of the table, measure and mark on the supports from the inside face frame 11 ¾”. Dryfit center divider and trim as necessary. Add 3 or so pocket holes in the center divider to attach it to the bottom supports. Use 1 ¼” screws to attach the center divider to the supports. The center divider is the backstop for the crates.
Attach 2 -2” drawer guides with wood glue and 1 ¼” brad nails, these should be flush with the center face frame piece and 19 ½” from the side panels. Attach 4 - 1 ¼” drawer guides with wood glue and 1 ¼” brad nails flush with the side openings of the face frame. The drawer guides help the crate slide in straight.
From the bottom of the face frame opening, measure and mark 1” in a few places. Use wood glue and 1 ¼” brad nails to attach the 42 ½” molding pieces to the front and back of the table. The molding edges should be flush with the sides, trim as necessary. Attach the 27 ¼” molding pieces flush with the other molding pieces.
Dry fit the large crates and make sure they fit nicely through the face frame and on the bottom supports. Make any adjustments as necessary. (Note: I haven’t installed the molding yet in this picture) Sand, sand, sand finishing with 120-150 grit. Paint or stain the table as desired. I primed the table and crates and painted them with white latex paint.
Cut the top pieces, 4 @ 30 ¾” and 2 @ 28”. When using 2 x 8 for tops, I like to trim down the sides with a table saw to get a straight edge. The widths of the 2x8’s are trimmed down to 7” wide.
Drill pocket holes for 1 ½” material in the top boards, about 5 holes along each joint, 1 on each end. Use wood glue and 2 ½” screws to join the top pieces together. Sand, sand, sand finishing with 120-150 grit. Paint or stain the top as desired. I used wood conditioner then applied 2 coats of Varathane Carrington stain and finished with Varathane satin polyurethane.
Once all of the pieces dried I attached the table to the top with 1 ¼” screws. To help with the sliding motion and save the paint surfaces, I stapled plastic hanger strap on the bottom supports (optional). Cut the plastic hanger strap flush with the front and if needed hammer down the staples.
I added a cup cabinet pull to each crate and decorated the crates by hammering upholstery nails into each slat.
Crate Stools: Paint or stain the crates as you like. Cut the top according to the cut list, paint or stain if desired. Cut 2” foam to the same size as the top. Cut batting about 6” longer and wider than the top dimensions. Line up the 2 hinges with a short edge of the top, predrill holes for the hinge screws.
Wrap the batting around the foam and top, tack into place with staples. Trim the batting and the corners, so it’s not too bulky.
Wrap cloth material around the foam and top, fold a small hem on the material and staple into place. Fold the corners and tightly finish stapling.
Locate predrilled holes and attach 2 hinges to stool tops. Place the top on the crate and mark and predrill the holes for the hinges to attach to the crate. Attach the hinges to the crate. Optional – attach 4 swivel casters to the bottom corners of the crate.
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4 - Large Crates
2 - 2" x 8" x 8'
1 – 2” x 4” x 8’
2 – 1” x 4” x 8’
2 – 1” x 3” x 8’
1 – ½” sheet of plywood
3 – ¼” x 2 ½” x 4’ poplar hobby board
1 ¼” & 2 ½” pocket hole screws
5/8" & 1 ¼” brad nails
Optional - swivel casters, cup pulls, upholstery nails
plastic hanger strap
2 1/2" hinges
2" foam, batting and cloth material