DIY Crate Storage Bench

diy classroom crate stool bench

I wholeheartedly believe we can never grow too old for “story time”.  Of course, you could never actually call it that in a 6th grade classroom, but the philosophy behind an intimate interaction with others and a text remains the same.  Let’s instead call it a meeting area (completely appropriate and acceptable in the eyes of a middle school student.)

The meeting area is my favorite area in my classroom.  It’s a place where 20-25 6th grade bodies can relax on the floor and participate in meaningful conversations about literature.  Because middle schoolers grow like weeds, this area can easily become constricted and intertwined with lanky legs and bodies.  To free up some room, I created these milk crate storage stools for less than $10 each.  An added bonus, they store all those supplies that you never have room for at the beginning of the year!  (Don’t worry, the Kleenex will be gone by November, and you’ll have free space to store something else.)

 

These would be great for the classroom or playroom. I can't believe how easy it is to make these stools from plastic file crates and foam!

Supplies you’ll need:

  • 1/4″ plywood
  • plastic storage crates *I bought these Sterlite crates from Walmart for $3 each!
  • 1″ thick foam
  • fabric
  • thick ribbon
  • staple gun

It was super easy to make these.  It probably took about 2 hours total to make all six of the benches.  Here’s a rundown of the steps:

These would be great for the classroom or playroom. I can't believe how easy it is to make these stools from plastic file crates and foam!

Measure and cut 1/4″ plywood to fit inside the lip of the top of the crate.  Cut a piece of 1″ foam to the same size as the plywood.

These would be great for the classroom or playroom. I can't believe how easy it is to make these stools from plastic file crates and foam!

Staple sides of fabric to the back of the plywood, folding corners neatly. 

These would be great for the classroom or playroom. I can't believe how easy it is to make these stools from plastic file crates and foam!

 Continue stapling fabric around all the sides.  Staple a loop of ribbon to one of the shorter sides of the cushion.  This will allow you to easily lift the top off of the bench to access the supplies inside.
These would be great for the classroom or playroom. I can't believe how easy it is to make these stools from plastic file crates and foam!
Place the top on the crate and, voila, a cheap, yet durable seat that doubles as storage.  Although these are awesome in the classroom, they could also be very useful in a kid’s room or playroom.
So far, they’ve already withstood a year of sitting, bouncing, stacking, and an occasional jump or dive (kids will be kids) with very minimal wear.  I’m extremely pleased with how durable they are.  Nothing seems to last this long in my classroom! (I purposely didn’t show the side of the carpet that’s all frayed up.)

diy crate storage bench

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12 thoughts on “DIY Crate Storage Bench

  1. This is such a fabulous idea! I’m going to make one for each of my kids to store their individual coloring books and crayons in. Thanks for sharing with us at Merry Monday this week!

  2. I think these would be great for camping! Use it to store pots/pans and then sit on them around the camp fire. Maybe oilcloth to make it water resistant and easily sponged off.

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