Ready for some of the cutest projects made from recycled fence pickets that you have ever seen?? Today I will show you those projects and how to make one of them yourself! Let’s get started!
pick up where we left off
Last time, I showed you how we take tired and old picket fence sections apart. Check out that post and then ask your neighbor if they still like their picket fencing ;). Just kidding! Read that post to see how all this started for me!
These little picket fence crates have been so popular in our shop. I have painted Mason jars in this crate but you could really put just about anything in them.
Let’s get this project going!
Here is a supplies list:
- two reclaimed chippy paint fence pickets
- reclaimed chair spindle or a thick branch
- basic cleaning supplies
- battery powered circular saw (like this one)
- measuring tape
- carpenters square (like this one)
- orbital sander
- cordless drill & driver
- forstener drill bit
- 1″ black wood screws
- wood glue
- Matte Polycrylic Protective Finish
Most of these tools are common in workshops. The orbital sander could be exchanged for a palm sander which are a little less expensive. You could also cut the pickets with a less expensive hand saw and build a little muscle at the same time 😉
a good scrubbing
The pickets are usually pretty dirty since they are used outdoors. They can have splashed dirt and even green algae growing on them if they were in the shade.
No worries! A good scrubbing with standard cleaning supplies will do the trick! You can read how I clean our vintage items here.
measure twice, cut once
With the pickets taken apart, grab two of them, the carpenters square and a pencil. Here are the measurements I use in most of our picket crates, but you could certainly make adjustments for your specific needs. I wanted three masons to fit comfortably in the crate.
- 2 picket end pieces cut at 14″
- 2 side pieces cut at 11 1/2″
- 1 bottom piece cut at 10″
The two picket end pieces are measured from the top of the decorative picket end. Use the carpenters square and a pencil to draw a straight line on both pieces.
Cut the two end pieces first.
I am a fan of batch working but let me caution you when cutting these sections: do not measure and mark all of the pieces at once and then cut! This might not sound like a big deal but remember the saw blade takes up space. Each new measurement has to start at the cut edge.
After the two end pieces are cut, measure and mark the two side pieces. Cut the two side pieces. Measure, mark and cut the bottom piece.
sand the rough spots
When all five pieces are cut, pull out the sander. I like to sand off the cut edges to remove and roughness. I also like to sand off any loose paint as well. Look for rough edges that could snag a finger too! Be careful not to remove all of the chippy paint!
Now to assemble the five sections! My workbench has a vice grip of sorts that will hold sections steady while I attach the other sections. If your workbench doesn’t have this feature, use clamps to hold the sections to your surface. Clamps can act as another set of hands!
Attach the side pieces to the picket end piece using wood glue and two of the black wood screws using the drill/driver. Look closely at the second image to see the placement before attaching the sections.
By the way, I always pre-drill the holes to prevent the wood from splitting :). My hubby taught me that!
After attaching the two end pieces and the two sides, the bottom piece can be attached. The bottom piece fits just inside the crate and is attached with two wood screws on each end going through each end piece. Check the image for placement of the screws.
I often use a reclaimed chair spindle for the handle on the crate. Drilling a large hole using a special forstner bit will allow the spindle to fit between the two end pieces nicely
Here is a close-up of the forstner bit. It fits my power drill/driver and can drill a large hole like the ones you see here on my workbench.
do as I say, not as I do!
Ok, so this is where I say “Do as I say, not as I do!” It is much easier to insert the chair spindle BEFORE assembling the crate!
Since I forgot to drills the holes and insert the spindle before assembly, I removed the top screws where the side sections meet the end sections on one side. That allowed me to pull the end section away just enough to get the spindle inserted. Problem solved!
I gave the picket crate a nice coat of Polycrylic to seal it. It is hanging out to dry!
cutest picket crates in town!
Aren’t these the cutest?? The one below was made using different measurements than I give in this post and I also used a branch from a live tree as the handle!
There is good news if you can’t find already-painted-and-chippy picket fences! Stores like Lowes and Home Depot carry individual pickets for about $2 each! Paint and distress and you have yourself a supply of pickets for this project!
Here are a couple of variations we have made over the years. They are just too cute!
thanks for dropping by!
So glad you popped by today for this recycled fence picket project! I would love to know how you would use them in your home! Or better yet, let me know if you make one yourself! Share we me in the comments 🙂