How to Style a Vintage Crate

Good morning you fabulous human beings and happy Thursday! Soooo from the title of today’s post you’re probably assuming that I’m going to tell you how to style a vintage crate. Right? Well that’s sorta what I’m doing, but really I’m going to show you the process I usually go through when I’m styling something or decorating a room. I actually didn’t plan today’s post this way, it just kind of happened. You see, my original plan was to style up this awesome vintage crate, which has a really unique design, and then use it as a centerpiece in our breakfast nook. I was all excited to play around with it and make something pretty to show you guys. But once I got to working on it I just couldn’t figure it out. I literally spent a good twenty minutes standing in my kitchen, just staring at it, trying to to figure out what to do. Really, I was like a deer in the headlights. Blinking like a frog as my Granny used to say. I was completely stumped. Well after a LOT of trial and error, I finally put together a centerpiece I love. And to be really honest with you guys, that’s how a lot of my decor comes together–it’s a slow process with lots of trial and error, moving things around a zillion times until I find a combination of things I like. I’m like a mad scientist, but with decor and not science-y things. Anyway, today I’m going to walk you through how it typically goes when I’m styling something and show you the steps I took to create a farmhouse style centerpiece with a vintage crate. Sound good? Okie dokie, here’s how the crate looked when I got started:

How to Style a Vintage Crate

Kinda cool, right? It actually reminds me of an old Coke crate with all the little compartments. And it’s hard to tell in this photo, but the right side of the crate is actually angled upwards. I’d never seen one like this before and I was so excited to style it. But I’m not exaggerating when I say I just stood there staring at this crate, completely baffled as to how to make this darn thing work as a centerpiece. But then I had a light bulb moment when I realized the slats actually pull out.

How to Style a Vintage Crate

Boom. Total game changer. I removed the three center slats and immediately put these candleholders in the middle. Finally I was making progress!

How to Style a Vintage Crate

Next I grabbed a few old books and some faux flowers and started putting those in the each compartment out from the center. I rearranged them several times, playing with the varying heights, until I found the right combo. I was liking the looks of it, but I felt like it needed a bit more to spruce it up.

How to Style a Vintage Crate

So I decided to grab all of my faux greenery and start trying each one in the outer compartments of the crate. You guys, it looked like a bomb went off in my kitchen, as you can see. And this part of the process lasted a good fifteen to twenty minutes. It’s a hot mess for sure, but I show you this so you can see how much trial and error goes into it. I always start by “shopping my house” to see what goodies I can find that might work for the look I want to create. Then once I have several options to choose from I begin trying every combination I can think of until I find the one I like. It’s messy, but that’s just my process. So don’t be afraid to make a mess and try a lot of different options before settling on the one you love. Go ahead and crank up some music, pour yourself a cup of coffee and just enjoy the process. It’s actually quite therapeutic! Ok, here’s the finished look I went with:

How to Style a Vintage Crate. Easy farmhouse style decor idea. How to Style a Vintage Crate. Easy farmhouse style decor idea. How to Style a Vintage Crate. Easy farmhouse style decor idea. How to Style a Vintage Crate. Easy farmhouse style decor idea.

I decided to make the middle of the crate the focal point of the centerpiece with the two candleholders and the vintage seltzer bottle. Then filling in the outer slots with lots of texture helped give this crate a bit more life. The colors of the faux flowers, lambs ear and old books are all somewhat muted, nothing is too bright or vibrant, and they all compliment each other. It took a while, but I really love how it came together!

How to Style a Vintage Crate. Easy farmhouse style decor idea. How to Style a Vintage Crate. Easy farmhouse style decor idea. How to Style a Vintage Crate. Easy farmhouse style decor idea.

How to Style a Vintage Crate. Easy farmhouse style decor idea.

You guys know that one of my all-time favorite things to do is repurpose old, vintage pieces like this crate and turn it into something pretty and useful. I love taking a find like this and figuring out how I can give it new purpose and life. This crate was definitely a challenge with all the slats and small compartments, but I’m really happy with how this look came together. I think this crate makes a great centerpiece and I can’t wait to style it up for fall soon. Wouldn’t it look super cute with a few pumpkins in there? Yesssssss.

Well friends, I hope you enjoyed seeing the step-by-step process that went into creating this centerpiece. And like I said earlier, styling anything definitely takes a lot of trial and error. So don’t be afraid to gather up a bunch of goodies and make a total mess. Think outside the box and for heaven’s sake have fun with it!

A few other posts you might enjoy:

Vintage Grain Sacks Framed in an Old Window

A Vintage Can + Easy Farmhouse Mantel

A Vintage Crib Spring Makeover & Bedroom Refresh

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How to style a vintage crate with farmhouse charm

Welcome!! I’m Sarah-- mama to three kiddos + wife to my high school sweetheart. I'm usually over-caffeinated, browsing Amazon + running on lots of grace. Grab a snack + get comfy!

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19 Comments

  1. 8.24.17
    Teresa O'Connor said:

    Oh wow thats an awesome tip . Love it

  2. 8.24.17
    Pam said:

    Love the process instruction….thank you and I love this center piece! Thanks for sharing your great tips!

  3. 8.24.17
    Rhonda S. said:

    That’s kind my process too…I tell my daughter it has to “feel right” before I am finished and yours is definitely a good feeling. Thanks for sharing the process, Sarah. I love this crate!

    • 8.24.17
      Sarah said:

      Exactly Rhonda. It has to “feel right” before it’s good–that’s the perfect way to describe it!

  4. 8.24.17
    Diania Abernathy said:

    Where did you find your faux dusty miller?

    • 8.24.17
      Sarah said:

      That’s from Michael’s!

  5. 8.24.17

    Yep! Sounds a lot like the process I use. All the possibilities are put on my dining room table. And yes, it looks like a complete mess. The part I don’t like is having to put everything away again that I didn’t use.

  6. 8.24.17
    Jully M. said:

    I have an old coke a cola crate that I couldn’t figure out what to do with. This is a perfect idea! Thank you! ♡♡♡

  7. 8.24.17
    Deedra said:

    I am a new follower of your blog and I have to say I love getting your posts! What drew me in was the warmth of your home and just the freshness and coziness of it at the same time. I am thrilled to see a home done in warm colors and something other than gray!

    Thanks for the crate ideas! It is simply beautiful!

  8. 8.24.17
    Heather said:

    Beautiful, as always! And I’m sooooo glad to hear that I’m not the only one who does this. Everything you do looks perfect! And I need some of your photography tips!! 😉

  9. 8.24.17

    Looks awesome! I love any kind of wood box, they always catch my eye and so I have a few and my style technique is just like yours. I just helped one of my daughter-in-laws decorate some new living room shelves and we moved stuff around a bunch till we liked what we did. She needs a few more things to “fill in”, but finances make it a process. It’s so fun though!

  10. 8.25.17
    Marilyn S. said:

    Love the crate -any idea what it was originally used for? And the brown paper wrapped lavender caught my eye …. are they from Magnolia Market? I can’t wait to see this crate all “dolled” up for fall, you’re going to have a lot of fun with this .

  11. 8.25.17
    Helen said:

    Love it Sarah! I’m excited for all things pumpkin too……just don’t want summer to end either!x

  12. 8.25.17
    Nancy said:

    I passed up a crate just like yours at Goodwill yesterday! Kicking myself. Yours is lovely!

  13. 8.25.17

    So stinkin’ cute 🙂 Love it.

    • 8.25.17
      Sarah said:

      Thanks Chelsea, hope you have a great weekend!

  14. 8.28.17
    Susan said:

    Love how you create! That’s so cool that the slates can be removed! And yes, it has to feel for me too!