Rustic Wine Crate with Rope Handles

A friend gave me some magazines the other day and she put them all in a new yellow pine wine crate. I was overjoyed when she said I could keep the crate. I immediately had visions of staining it to create a rustic display box for magazines or other décor items.


  • Wine crate or wooden box
  • Dark brown stain
  • Paint Brush
  • Paper towels
  • Damp rag
  • Rubber gloves
  • Medium Grit (100 grit) sandpaper
  • Sisal Rope
  • Scissors
  • Drill w/ bits


1. Start by cleaning off your crate with a damp rag. Then brush the stain on and let it sit for a minute.

2. Wipe the stain off with paper towels.

Add a second coat if you want your crate darker. Allow it to dry thoroughly. It might take several hours or overnight.

3. Sand any words and printing on your crate until you start to see some of the wood coming through. Be careful not to sand too deep and expose the bare wood.

4. Wipe off the crate. Mark the location you want your handle to be on the sides of the crate. Be sure to measure the same distances from the top and edges on both sides.

5. Choose a drill bit slightly larger than your rope. Drill holes at your marks.

6. Insert one side of the rope through the hole.

7. Tie a double knot inside the crate to keep the rope from slipping back through.

8. Determine how long a rope handle you want and tie a single knot in the middle of the handle.

9. Feed the other end of your rope through the other hole and tie another double knot on the inside of the crate.

10. Fray the edges of your rope by untwisting them.

11. Fill your crate with magazines, blankets, or décor goodies and display it!

Easy tutorial right? How many of you are running to your local wine shop and begging for wine crates now?


  1. I LOVE this! And you’re right; as I was reading your post I was wondering where I could get my hands on a wooden wine crate!

  2. I love this…very very nice! Thanks for the nice post! Linda

  3. That wine crate is just the right size. (I pass on my magazines, too, but not in a wooden crate like you received.)

  4. This crate is so gorgeous! Great job and idea.

  5. Nice when you get your crates already made. Then you don’t have to spend a couple hours making new ones and distressing them to look old. :-)

  6. I LOVE that crate! It looks wonderful- perfect for magazine storage! Good Job!


  7. Ohhh its the cutest w to house magazines!

  8. I love this idea and it’s great that the crate came to you for free! Glad to see you’re feeling a bit better.:)

  9. I love tutorials that are 1) easy; 2) quick; and 3) I have everything! Love the look.

  10. Just came across your blog and I LOVE it! Can’t wait to look through it some more!
    Your newest follower,
    jenn 😉

  11. You sure made that crate look stylish. I love it. Every handy girl would love this project. I have a metal magazine rack that the magazines stand on their sides and end up rolling to the side. I think I want to one similar to yours and it will hide most of the magazines while looking great. Thanks for sharing. Hope your ear is getting better as the days go by.

  12. Charlotte says:

    guess I need to start buying my wine by the crate… my hubby would be proud of me…..however, when he saw the cute magazine box I made from all my wine drinking I don’t see how he could be mad….. Good job with you wine crate.

  13. UGH! I just passed one up the other day! I thought to myself,”Hmmm, pretty cool, but what would I do with it?” Dang.

  14. Check with restaurants in your area. I work at a place that throws these wine crates away constantly.

  15. Rope handle is a nice idea. I’ve seen it first time and its looking so attractive and beautiful.

  16. I love it! This is a fantastic project, and I really appreciate your adding such great step-by-step detail and photos. Also, the photo of the piece next to the couch is perfect. Your staining to match the decor was brilliant. I can’t wait to share it!

  17. Donna Sammis says:


    I found your website and am planning to acquire a wine crate and stain it and add rope handles as you did. I want to use the crate as a way to transport books from one library to another. I will ask a woodworking relative to help me construct the base (a small dolly with a frame for the wine crate) and attach a telescoping luggage handle. I looked at a number of plastic crates and most of them had reviews that said they fell apart, so I wanted to create a durable crate that would also be stylish. Thank you for giving me the idea to use a wine crate.


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