Thursday, July 24, 2014

Classroom Project: Crate Bench Tutorial

Phew, it's been awhile since I've blogged! I've been taking time to enjoy what's left of summer, and managed to sneak into my classroom and get a head start in there as well. ;) I wanted some extra seating for my library area so my students could really use the space. I didn't want to buy chairs or bean bags (too expensive), and I also wanted something that would help define the space. Here's what I came up with:

This project was SO quick and easy! It took me about 30 minutes, and cost less than $20 to make! I had the crates on hand, so that cut down the cost for me. However, right now at back-to-school time, these crates are EVERYWHERE!! I've seen them at Target, Wal-Mart & Big Lots in lots of fun colors. Anyway, on to the tutorial!


You'll need:
3 Crates
2" Foam (I got mine already in squares from Hobby Lobby, but you could also buy a roll and cut it)
2 yards of fabric
Zip Ties
& not pictured: Hot Glue Gun & a lot of hot glue sticks

First, zip tie your crates together. I used three zip ties to connect each crate.

Then, lay your fabric upside down on the ground. Place your foam in the middle. I ended up cutting a little fabric off that I didn't need. I have big plans for the scraps. ;)

I did the ends first - it was easiest this way. Make sure you pull the fabric tight, and just use hot glue to adhere the fabric to the foam. Then continue wrapping the fabric around the foam, just like you're wrapping a present! :) Just keep remembering that the fabric should be tight!!! 

{My fingers were a burnt mess by this point ;)}

This is when I started getting excited!! I NEVER do any projects involving fabric -- I own a sewing machine that was given to me by my grandmother, but have zero clue how to use it. I might be able to stitch up some pants...maybe...if I really wanted to. Anyway, I was excited that this seemed to be turning out okay, since fabric is something I never work with! :)

 
{Excuse the boxes of books in the background!}
Then, just add it on top of your crates!!! I didn't want the cushion sliding around too much, so I came up with a quick and easy way to take care of that. I just looped some ribbon around the cushion and crate to "tie" it together. It does the job!

Here's the finished product -- complete with the ribbon! I love that it doubled as more shelf space for some chapter books. I'm loving it so far, and I'm sure my kids are going to love it too!!! :)



45 comments :

  1. I love your bench! I've been wanting to make the individual seats but now I just have to make the bench! Thank you for the instructions and I love the ribbon that you used to hold the seat down, it gives a great pop of color. Looking forward to reading more of your blogs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I wanted to make the crate seats too but never wanted to make the trip to Home Depot for wood ;) Thanks for stopping by!!

      Delete
    2. LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!! I have been wanting something in my reading corner other than pillows on my cold floor. This is perfect! I know what I am doing this weekend, lol. Thank you for your step by step instructions (being a visual learner myself) to help me see how it's done!

      Delete
    3. This is a great Idea because I used the crates last year for storing student books. But this year I wanted to try something different and this hit the target! Will be completing this project tomorrow for the 2016-17 school year

      Delete
    4. This is a great idea because I used the crates last year for storing student books. This year I wanted to try a new idea and didn't know what to do with the crates. Now I know this idea is so working for me this year. I'm on this tomorrow and thanks for sharing the idea.

      Delete
  2. You have inspired me! Thanks for the easy tutorial. Definitely will be making this. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't seen a way done without wood so thanks for that!

    Anisa @ Creative Undertakings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was my main goal in making this! ;) Thanks for reading!!

      Delete
  4. Adorable! I will be giving this a go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! Good luck to you, Dawn ... it is super easy!! :)

      Delete
  5. I love this bench idea! It may be my next project. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Mechele
    Barrow's Hodgepodge

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay, I'm so glad! Thanks for stopping by! :)

      Delete
  6. I need to make one of these! I love it! I have the crate seats, but I would love to have a little bench!

    Ginger Snaps

    ReplyDelete
  7. LOVE THIS! Might have to make on for my library. Really cute.
    Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much!! Thanks for stopping by :)

      Delete
  8. Great looking bench! Also, I love the baskets that you used for your books. I saw that type of basket at the local dollar store and wasn't sure if I should get them but, I think you've convinced me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, the baskets are from the Dollar Tree. I got mine last year, but I've seen some around this year too. :) They're easy for the kids to take down from the bookshelf.

      Delete
  9. OMG - Love it! I have seats but I might turn them into a bench this year for a change!
    Thanks for the great pics and tutorial!
    Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the crate seats too!! I just never want to make the trip to Home Depot for the wood ;) That's why I ended up doing this one!! Thanks for stopping by, Laura!

      Delete
  10. I just bought crates to use as a bookshelf and now I definitely want to make them into a bench!! This is AMAZING!! :)
    -Elyse @ A is for Apples

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually used my crates for a bookshelf last year! Those things are so darn useful!!!

      Delete
  11. Is the plastic sturdy enough?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was sturdy enough for my second graders! :)

      Delete
  12. I know you posted this awhile ago, but it popped up on my Pinterest. Did you find that the crates were strong enough to seat your kiddos safely? It's so cute, but I'm worried 4th graders may smash them? What do you think? Thanks! This is such a cute and easy idea, so I'd love to do it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm..mine held up okay with 2nd graders but started bowing in the middle towards the end of the year. With 4th graders I would definitely recommend using actual milk crates to make it more stable, as well as add a piece of wood in between the cushion and the crates. These plastic crates are probably too flimsy for 4th graders, but heavy-duty milk crates should do the trick! :)

      Delete
    2. Megan, If you're worried about being sturdy enough, look around and find the old fashioned real milk crates. I used those for stools in the classroom and I always sit on them without worry. Sue

      Delete
    3. Megan,
      If you are worried about this, flip the crates over and do the same to the bottoms. You will loose the storage but the cute effect is the same. I have 5th graders and it was not sturdy enough. Turning them upside down was perfect and they turned out awesome.

      Delete
  13. How did it hold up over the year? Were the kiddos able to sit on it without damaging it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine held up pretty well, the middle crate became a little bowed in the middle but was still completely usable. :) I plan to add some wood in between the cushion and the crate this summer just for extra stability.

      Delete
  14. I absolutely loved this and definitely plan on making one! Thanks to your tutorial!!!
    How does it hold up with kids sitting on them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine held up very well this past year! The middle crate got a little bowed, but it was still usable. I think I'm going to add a piece of wood underneath the cushion this coming year just to add stability. But, if you have young kiddos, it should be just fine! :) Good luck with making yours!

      Delete
  15. Can you tell lots of us are thinking about next school year? This looks like a great alternative to expensive benches or bean bags and extra storage to boot! I made the individual stools from real milk crates last year and have three more that I didn't need so I'm ready to get started! Thanks for the great tutorial. Sue

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh hooray! I start back tomorrow for teacher work week. I already have crates so I just need all the other nifty stuff! I'll probably not use the crates as storage though and just flip them upside down so I don't have to worry about that bowing :). With my 3rd graders, I'd be worried they wouldn't hold the whole year. Thanks for the great idea. Super cute!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Did you put in the extra wood yet? I am thinking of doing this and I'm wondering if it will be expensive or difficult to get the wood.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I did something similar but I used the boogie boards at Wal-mart. I cut the ends to square them off. They fit perfect on top of two crates with some batting glued on top of them then I slid them into a pillow case, folded the extra fabric over and hot glued it closed .

    ReplyDelete
  19. My bigger 4th graders bent mine. But I couldn't tell them not to sit on it. It was really only one kid. They still used it just not comfortable

    ReplyDelete
  20. Omgoodness I can't wait to try this. So useful and cute!! I may try this! Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi,

    I love the crate bench! I'm in the process of making mine now. Did you adhere the cushion to the crate? If you did, what did you use?

    ReplyDelete