DIY wine crate indoor planter – 10 minute upcycle!

DIY wine crate indoor planter – 10 minute upcycle!

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A few weeks ago I was driving around when I spotted four discarded wooden wine crates on the side of the road. With more enthusiasm than I’ve displayed since last eating my body weight in potato wedges, I immediately snatched them up and put them in my shed, promising myself I’d get to them the next day.

As it often does, life got in the way of my DIY plans. The crates sat neglected in my shed until last week, when I was reminded of their existence when I tripped over several of them while working on another project. I decided that was my signal to do something with them. After a bit of umming and ahhing about what I wanted to use them for (crates are super diverse home decor items!), I decided to make one of them into a pretty indoor planter.

When I got to work making my wine crate planter, I realised something awesome about this DIY project.

You want to know what that is?

This project can be done in 10 minutes or less.


You can upcycle an old wine box into a gorgeous farmhouse indoor planter in less time than you spend on Pinterest in a day (or, ahem, an hour, if you’re me).

10 minutes to make something super cute for your home? That’s my kind of DIY project!

So, in the spirit of ‘things that can be done quickly’, I won’t bore you with any more talking. Instead, let’s hop straight to the tutorial so you can make your own DIY wine crate indoor planter!

Make your own DIY wine crate indoor planter

To make your own farmhouse indoor planter, you will need:






Step 1: Sand your wine box

Picture of a plain wine crate

This is what my wine box looked like before I transformed it. Pretty much every wine box I have worked with previously has been coated in a light, clear varnish (you can see evidence of this around the letters especially). If your wine crate has this coating, I’d recommend you remove it before beginning work as it’ll interfere with the application of your stain.

Picture of a hand using an orbital sander to sand the crate

To remove the varnish, quickly sand your wine crate using your orbital sander and 80 grit sanding disc. This should take no more than 1 minute. If you don’t have 80 grit sandpaper on hand, just use the next closest grit you have available. Unless all you have is 240 grit. Then you’ll need to sadly go buy some coarser grit.

Step 2: Apply your first coat of stain

After your wine crate has been sanded, it’s time to apply your first coat of stain. My base stain was Cabot’s Interior Water-Based Stain in Walnut. If Cabot’s isn’t available in your country, this stain from Minwax is a close match.

I personally like to water the Cabot’s stain down as it’s incredibly pigmented and viscous. I use a mix of 60% stain to 40% water. If you’re using a water-based stain, don’t be afraid to experiment like this – the worst that can happen is you don’t like it and have to sand it back.

Use your brush to apply quick, long strokes of stain to your crate. You can really be as messy as your little heart desires. The less perfect your brush strokes, the more rustic your indoor planter will look!

Picture of a paintbrush applying stain to crate

Unless you would like your DIY wine crate indoor planter to be very pigmented, I recommend pausing periodically to wipe off any excess stain with a rag.

A picture of a hand using a rag to wipe excess stain from the planter

Step 3: Apply your second layer of stain

I personally like to layer different wood stains to give my DIY projects that weathered look that is so essential to farmhouse decor.

To layer your stain, grab your rag and dip it into a stain that is darker than your base stain.

Picture of ragged dipped in dark wood stain

Use your rag to apply the darker stain to random parts of your wine crate. Use a clean corner of your rag to wipe off the stain immediately after application. Focus in particular on the corners and any areas wood would naturally show signs of ageing/weathering.

Picture of a hand using a rag to apply dark stain to wine crate planter

This step should take you no more than 2 minutes.

Step 4: Sand your wine crate (optional)

By now, your DIY wine crate indoor planter is almost complete.

Using medium to fine grit sandpaper (I find anywhere from 80 – 180 works fairly well), sand random parts of your wine crate to remove some of the stain. I personally like to focus on the corners and edges. This will further weather your crate for a nice rustic farmhouse look.

Picture of a hand sanding the wine crate planter with sandpaper

This should take 1 – 2 minutes at most.


Picture of the completed DIY wine crate planter

I love how the stain layering brings out the wood grain for a pretty, rustic look.

Have you made home decor items from wine crates before? I’d love to hear about what you made in the comments!

If you liked this DIY wine crate indoor planter, please consider pinning it for later! 

Pinnable image for DIY indoor planter upcycling project


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