Crate Expectations

crate expectations

I won’t lie, I’m a bit of a Pinterest addict… standing in line? Pinterest app. Waiting for Josh to get home? You’ll find me on Pinterest. Waiting for food in the microwave? You betcha, I’m back on Pinterest. So as you can probably imagine, I’ve built up quite the collection of pins from the internet and my lovely friends. And then it happens- Pin-nesia. Aka, forgetting about what you’ve pinned until someone else pins it again (I like to make up words…)… that happened to me this week when a college friend pinned this little beauty:


And it sent my heart all a flutter (from here)! I had pinned this way back when I was still in college myself, but it was one of those cute ideas that I had never gotten around to, until this week! Thanks for the nudge, Em!!

So, here’s the run down of what you’ll need:

crate supplies

But mostly what this project needs is time. Time for the stain to cure and absorb into the wood if you add more than one coat which I almost always do because I’m a sucker for a nice dark stain.

stained side

When staining, it’s a good practice to have your brush strokes go with the grain of the wood. Otherwise it might look a little funky when you’re done with it. You also don’t want to have any drips or runny lines of stain as you go along because if that is allowed to dry, the drips will show in the finished piece. Here I’m using a Minwax stain in Provincial 211 that I had leftover from another project, it worked perfectly for this crate (Also, for health/safety reasons, make sure that when you paint or stain, work in a well ventilated area- I chose to do it outside on our patio, this stuff is a little fume-y!)

wipe it down

Once the whole crate is stained (which doesn’t take long) go back over the whole thing with a rag to remove any of the excess stain that hasn’t been absorbed. And wait a couple of hours for the stain to cure. The wood will only absorb a certain amount of the stain, so the longer you wait the better. You can always go back and add another coat or two, but be sure to wipe it down to remove excess stain (otherwise it becomes sticky) and let the stain cure.

Levi stencil

I wanted this to crate to be used to store all of our doggy accoutrements in, so I added little personalization to it- Levi’s name. To make the template, I wrote his name out in a Word document in a font that I liked (I used Mayonaise from this site). Using an xacto knife, I cut out the letters to make a stencil of Levi’s name.  Using painter’s tape to hold the stencil in place, I stippled in white paint onto the crate itself to spell out Levi.

levi stencil 2

Once everything had been dryed and cured, I sprayed two coats of polyurethane (also from Minwax) on the crate just to protect it a little bit and let the whole thing dry over night, which was probably a good thing since I was running out of day light.

The next morning, on our walk, Levi and I tried out the new doggy-toy crate…

Morning crate

He hopped right in! He was quite cute in the little crate, just like a special delivery- I should have put a bow on him…. next time! We spent a few minutes getting acquainted with the crate, he was content to just sit in the crate the whole time…

little levi

Apparently Levi is part cat and likes to sit in boxes… such a strange pup! But seeing that crate on our front porch has inspired me even more! I hope to make a few more of these bad boys to make planters out of and fill to the brim with lovely, colorful flowers! I think it would make the perfect addition!

As for how much this crate took to create, he’s the run down:

  • Wooden crate from Michael’s: $13.87
  • Minwax Wood Stain (already owned): $0.00
  • Paint brushed (from my stockpile..): $0.00
  • Total (after tax): $13.87

Not too bad for some new storage! Who knew dogs needed so much stuff? Just kidding, I knew that. I’ll definitely get on some new plantings here soon… maybe next week! I’ve been seeing some absolutely gorgeous flowers at all the nurseries lately, might have to get on that sooner rather than later!

What have you guys been creating lately? Ever suffer from a Pin-nesia episode? It certainly happens to me a lot more than I would like to admit…


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17 thoughts on “Crate Expectations

  1. Ha ha. I’ve totally had Pin-nesia before…I just didn’t have a name for it before now. Thank you! And how cute is Levi in that awesome crate?! He’s so content! Also, I really like the combo of the vintage looking crate with a more modern font: a great look!

    • I like to pretend I’m a wordsmith every now and then 🙂

      Levi is the happiest little pup I’ve ever met, and I will admit, I really didn’t think he would jump right in! But I’m glad that I had my camera ready to capture that moment!

  2. I was actually really close to buys a little doggie toy box at Target the other day and I’m so glad I didn’t! This is so adorable and I love how its personalized for your pup (even if he can’t read his name ;)). I’ll definitely be doing this when I get some extra time on my hands!

    • Oh! Thank you! 🙂 We are already in the habit of spoiling our little fur-baby!

      Yes! These are great little totes for doggies! We will be using ours this weekend to take all of Levi’s play things and food with us this weekend when we go out of town! Very handy to have!

  3. That is perfect! I have been searching everywhere for some crate inspiration (but secretly didn’t want to build my own). These are awesome! Thanks so much for sharing! Headed over here from the Framed Frosting link up! I’m linked up there too so check it out!

  4. Pingback: Down in Front! | joyosphere

  5. Oh this is SO cute! I was just telling my husband we need an open box of some sort for our pup’s toys (I had left them in the laundry basket after washing all her toys & blankets) and she loved pulling them all out! I think I’ll have to personalize a crate like this for her!
    Thanks for the staining tips! I haven’t stained much in my life, so it’s nice to hear those little tips and tricks that you need to know for a successful result!
    Hopping over from Framed Frosting.

    • Thank you! Levi’s blankets and toys were getting out of hand, so I am really glad that we ended up doing this! Glad I could help with staining tips, one of the many things I learned from my Dad!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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