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How To Make Apple Crates From Reclaimed Pallet Wood

Updated on September 21, 2012

My Completed Vintage Apple Crates

Vintage Apple Crates As Primitive Home Décor

Before I get into providing basic instructions for making vintage apple crates from reclaimed pallet wood, I wanted to provide a brief synopsis on how I decided to take on this cool recycling project. The primitive, rustic or vintage home d├ęcor theme has really gained popularity of the past few years. It seems the more weathered the wood or the more rust or petina an item has the more desirable it is. My sister has been making primitive crafts for the last 10 years. She is really talented and puts a lot of work and attention to detail into each item she makes.

I came across 25 or 30 old discarded wood pallets and was not sure what I could do with them. I contacted my sister and she suggested I make apple crates out of the reclaimed pallet wood. She indicated that wooden apple crates were really popular with people that decorated their home in a primitive theme. She suggested I do a little research on the internet and I would find plenty of examples of wooden apple crates and how people used them to decorate.

My sister was right! It was not difficult at all to find information on apple crates. I was able to find instances of apple crates being used for vintage wine storage, vinyl record storage and even apple crate shelving taking up an entire wall. I was really impressed with people's talent and eye for decorating.

How To Dismantle A Pallet

Cool Weekend Pallet Projects

Side View Of Apple Crates

Making Apple Crates

The first thing I want to stress is that I am not a gifted or really talented wood worker! I have very basic construction skills. I can swing a hammer, turn a screwdriver, use a drill and use a saw. So, needless to say, building apple crates is NOT a difficult project. The hardest task in building apple crates is dismantling the wood pallets in order to reclaim the wood. I tried just about every way possible in an effort to find the easiest way to break down a pallet. The easiest way I came across that provided the most usable reclaimed wood was using a saws-all with a heavy duty blade. I was told at the hardware store that the blade I selected was utilized by fire rescue to extract an injured person from a vehicle.

After I dismantled a few pallets, I had the wood I needed to make a few apple crates. The tools needed: cut saw, jig saw, nail gun and measuring tape. Remember me saying this project was easy? Here is proof. You only need (2) different sizes of boards. You will need to cut (10) 24" boards and (6) 12" boards. The 24" boards will be the long part of the crates with the 12" boards used to make the ends. (2) of the 12" boards need to be cut using a jigsaw for the carrying end boards. I used a small lid off of butter container to place on 12" board and trace a handle out. Once you have completed the necessary cuts and have your boards ready you simply nail the pieces together. The long boards are assembled on the inside of the end boards as shown in the photo.

If you are going to be using the finished crates in your home you may want to sand the rough areas down. I guess you could stain them, but none of the people that bought apple crates from me wanted them stained. They liked the natural vintage look. So there you have it. Basic instructions on making your own vintage apple crates from reclaimed pallet wood. Have fun!

I also utilize pallet wood to make chicken coops. So, be sure to check out my DIY Chicken Coop Tips website for more information. And be sure to check back often as I try to provide updated photos, plans and tips for building durable and long lasting chicken coops that your laying hens will be proud to call home!

Vintage Apple Crates - Comments

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  • AuntBPrimitives profile image


    5 years ago

    A great idea and I can get many used pallets at my work.

  • TMHughes profile image


    6 years ago from Asheville, NC

    great hub. I love using pallets. I like to make chairs and birdhouses and have been looking for another good project. I will be making some crates soon. Hop on over when you have time and check out my pallet chairs.

  • Scott Ervin profile imageAUTHOR

    Scott Ervin 

    7 years ago from Russellville, Tennessee

    Thanks Heather!

  • Heather Jacobs profile image

    Heather Jacobs 

    7 years ago

    Very cute crates. I think they are very in style. Vote up!

  • noturningback profile image


    7 years ago from Edgewater, MD. USA

    If nothing else when pallets have become too worn to re-use they always will serve well for kindling or even firewood, but I have seen hickory, white oak, red oak, cherry, hard maple and other good hardwoods used in the making of pallets. Good idea, thanks.

  • Scott Ervin profile imageAUTHOR

    Scott Ervin 

    7 years ago from Russellville, Tennessee

    I have used pallets for fences also. The only thing that limits the uses of discarded pallets is your imagination.

  • Scott Ervin profile imageAUTHOR

    Scott Ervin 

    7 years ago from Russellville, Tennessee

    Thank you so much! I was so astounded to see how popular these are for home décor. Kind of a fun project! Have a great day! Scott

  • moonlake profile image


    7 years ago from America

    What a good idea. Your crates look so nice. Voted Up and Shared.

  • cloverleaffarm profile image

    Healing Herbalist 

    7 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

    Great idea. We use pallets around the farm all the time. They make great fences too! Voted up and useful.


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