Hello again! It’s Jamie from anderson + grant and I’m back today to share another easy DIY with you.
Have you been seeing the Dutch tulip crates for sale at shops like Joanna Gaine’s Magnolia Market and Painted Fox Treasures? I noticed them being used on different blogs for decorating, but it wasn’t until I saw them for sale that I actually learned what they were.
Theses “trays” were originally used to force tulip bulbs to grow. The metal mesh base would allow air to circulate around the bulbs so that the tops would not rot. They were able to be stacked on top of one another using the wood blocks in the corners. And the outside was stenciled with the grower’s name.
Recently, I was asked if I wanted an old wood crate that had no bottom. As a person who can never turn down something old since it probably can be used for a project, I accepted the freebie. If nothing else, the wood could be taken apart and used for a rustic sign.
But then it dawned on me that this useless wood crate without a bottom could become not one but two of my own version of a Dutch tulip crate. It even had stenciled words on some of the wood.
I began by cutting the crate apart into three sections just underneath the board above. (One section had a broken board which is why I couldn’t create three from the crate.) By cutting here, I was left with the sections in the corners that would stick up above the crate.
Then I cut hardware cloth (available at the hardware store or online) into a rectangle the size of my crate. I used 19 gauge hardware cloth with 1/2 inch wire mesh.
The hardware cloth was stapled onto the underside of the crate. You don’t need to staple over each wire of the hardware cloth, but don’t leave large spaces in between.
Mine could have used more staples, but the wood is old and a little brittle, so I opted for just making sure it was secure to the bottom of the crate. You’ll see in some of the picture it isn’t attached completely, but I’m okay with that since it is something I’m keeping for myself.
The only difference between my tulip crate and the real thing is that I’m missing planks of wood underneath the crate. As soon as I can find some aged wood that will match the finish of the crate, I’ll be adding them. Until then I’ve got the look I was going for.
I’m not telling anyone to go out and destroy a perfectly good vintage crate to make this project. This one was not going to serve it’s original purpose anymore and maybe you’ll be “lucky” enough to find something like this. But new wood crates are available at any craft store and there are numerous tutorials out there for aging new wood. Those can be cut apart and used to create your own version of this DIY.
Whether you buy a vintage version or make your own, Dutch tulip crates are a great way to add a rustic touch to your home. They can also be a bit of a conversation piece if you tell you guests about their original use. Use them as a tray as I’m showing here or create a unique way to store or organize objects around the house.
Thanks so much for letting me share with you today. I’d love to know what you think of my project using an old crate! What would you display in yours?