Use vintage and handmade crates as repurposed furnishings to add character to your porch, deck, or patio.


Finished footstool

A crate made from pallet slats fashions a sturdy base for a storage footstool. Painted in a vivid hue and topped with a colorful padded cover, the piece combines flair with function.

Materials for footstool cover

To make the padded cover, you’ll need the following materials:


Cover plywood with poly quilt batting

1. Cut a piece of polyester quilt batting the same size as your piece of plywood and lay it on top of the wood.


Cover poly with cotton quilt batting

2. Cut a piece of cotton quilt batting that is slightly larger than your plywood and lay it over the polyester batting. Smooth the cotton batting over and around the cover,


Staple cotton batting

3. Turn the cover upside down and staple the cotton batting in place, making the cotton snug as you go around the wood.


Staple batting and remove excess

4. Pull the corners tightly and staple in smaller increments to get a smooth finish. There will be more fabric bunched in there so cut away the excess as needed.


Cover with muslin

5. I like to cover my upholstery projects with muslin before adding the final layer of fabric but consider this an optional step. The muslin helps create a smooth surface for the top of your cover and it’s handy if you’re a serial reupholsterer to have that fabric layer over your upholstered pieces when you remove the decorative fabric. As with the cotton batting, cut the muslin to size and staple it in place.


Cover seat with fabric

6. Before you cut your decorative fabric, place it over the top of the cover to determine the best placement for any pattern or motif. Mark an outline with tailor’s chalk or marking pen, remove the fabric and cut to size. Position the fabric over the cover, smooth out the wrinkles, and turn over to staple.


Pull corners taut and staple

7. Pull corners taut gradually as you staple the corners to minimize folds. When you’ve finished this final layer, trim the excess fabric and batting.


Attach cover to painted crate

For a storage crate like ours, attach two hinges with screws to the bottom of the long side of the cover equidistantly from the corners. Then, screw the hinges to the inside of one long side of the crate so that the cover folds down over the top of the crate. If you don’t want a storage crate, you can turn the crate over, place the cover on the bottom, and screw it in place from beneath.


Jazz up neutral chair with colored accents

We used our colorful footstool to jazz up a porch corner decorated with neutral furnishings. With pink as our foundation hue, we added a few other elements to liven up the space.


Vintage crate used as side table

A vintage crate au natural balances our brilliantly painted footstool. Turned on its side, it makes a simple side table with space to stash gardening guides or summer reading. You could also use the interior to showcase a unique object.


Garden bouquet on crate side table

A bouquet of fresh-picked garden blooms fills a vintage McCoy swan vase. The vase adds an element of design while the white finish allows the blossoms and foliage to steal the show.


Lush plants on porch

Lush potted plants add life to the porch and help to blend the outdoor room with the landscaping just beyond the screens.


Add softness to porch with textiles

Flowers and foliage do their bit to warm up an outdoor room but textiles will take it into the realm of soft, cozy, and comfortable. An  outdoor rug underfoot, cushions and pillows on the chair, and billowing curtains give the porch an inviting stay-awhile style.


Hanging hardware

A trip to the hardware store is all you need to fashion curtains and hanging hardware for a porch. Metal conduit around the ceiling perimeter acts as a curtain rod while canvas drop cloths on clip rings make affordable draperies.


We’d love to know how you’ve repurposed old pieces to furnish you outdoor rooms. Tell us in the comments section below or share with us on our Facebook page.


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

© Caruth Studio