15 Ideas for Decorating Wooden Boxes

One great way to recycle is to decorate wooden boxes. There are hundreds of ideas that you can apply to reuse these pieces in your home. Get some inspiration here!
15 Ideas for Decorating Wooden Boxes

Last update: 27 May, 2022

A bedside table, a bookshelf, a towel rack, and a pet bed are some of the uses you can get by decorating wooden boxes or crates. These boxes can be used for many things related to home interior design. In addition, giving a second chance to the crates commonly used to transport fruits, appliances, and bottles means preserving natural resources and reducing pollution rates.

The results of a study published by the academic journal INNOVA Research Journal highlight that reusing wood minimizes the negative environmental impact of discarding it. The study also suggests promoting business management that provides a basis for creating healthy recycling habits even outside of the home.

That said, let’s take a look at some ideas to recycle wooden boxes or crates.

Ideas for recycling and transforming wooden boxes

Decorating wooden boxes is easy. All you need to do is let your imagination run wild and practice what you know about crafts. Take note of the following recommendations!

1. Kitchen spice rack

Wooden boxes come in different sizes. In the middle of the range is the box that holds wine bottles. Turn it into a container for kitchen spices. Paint the box with soft colors and trace shapes on it if you’d like.

Especiero artesanal.
A spice rack will help you better organize your kitchen to find ingredients quickly.

2. Magazine rack

For magazine collectors, decorating wooden boxes means having a nice, convenient piece of furniture to store them.

To make this, clean and polish the frame. Apply a coat of wax and varnish to make the sheets smooth and shiny. Let it dry and then arrange the material in your new magazine rack.

3. Trays and displays from wooden boxes

Lightweight, medium-sized boxes are useful as trays for serving appetizers at parties. They’re also great for displaying fruit, flowers, and other decorative arrangements.

4. A pet bed

Designing a pet bed out of reclaimed wood will save you money. To make you, you’ll need a fruit crate, quilts, old pillows, and paint.

Insert the pillows in the bottom and cover the edges with the quilt. On the outside, you can draw little paws, bones, smiley faces, or whatever images you like!

5. A toy chest from wooden crates

Pine drawers are a great alternative when there’s a lot to store. Decorate them to fit with the motif of the room.

Paintings, appliqués, and decals are allies to decorate toy chests. A second option is to arrange cardboard tubes inside a box to function as a toy car parking lot!

6. A shoe organizer

Prevent shoe clutter by organizing your shoes with wooden dividers. Instead of leaving shoes scattered around the room, use old boxes as shoe racks.

You can place them inside your closet, or – if you have enough space – one on top of the other next to a wall. If it goes with the tones of your room, don’t change the color of the wood.

7. A mail tray with wooden boxes

Our kitchen tables often become accumulators of letters, bills, and all kinds of papers. Avoid this by building a mail tray.

To do this, just paint a couple of small drawers and add them to a wall by hanging them. Set it up in the spot of your choice. However, make sure to also have a lightweight paperweight on top of the papers so they don’t fly out. 

8. A wooden jewelry box

When it’s time to update your jewelry box, instead of spending money, recycle a small box. It’s best if the box has a lid; if not, you make one.

You can leave the box in its natural color or seal or varnish it. For the inside, cut two pieces of cloth according to the measurements of the box. Put the materials one on top of the other and fold them in the shape of a fan, as you can also store your jewelry on them. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can always search for ideas online.

9. A planter

A wooden planter never goes out of fashion. Wooden planters look perfect outdoors, as they match the plants and the garden.

Although i’s a resistant material, it is a good idea to varnish the wood with a product that protects it from the sun and water. Depending on the model of the box, you may also need a permeable mesh or fabric for planting.

10. Shelves with wooden boxes

If you have a few empty crates, place them on top of each other to form a shelf. This doesn’t require a lot of creativity, just putting them in a space that fits.

These shelves can be where you store light tools. Install a handle on the front side, and it will be easier to move them when looking for utensils.

11. Towel rack

Decorating wooden boxes that serve as towel racks takes up little space in the bedroom or the bathroom. All you need to do is arrange the boxes the way you’d like them. It’s that easy!

12. A lamp with wooden boxes

To made this, paint the inside of a wine box with a strong, bright color and use wallpaper to cover or upholster the outside. On the front, you should place a sheet of acetate; if you want, you can shape it, too.

You can also spray a small amount of white spray so that it looks translucent. No matter what design you choose, you’ll have to arrange LED lights inside (these can be string lights to make it easier). Then, close the box with the acetate lid, and you have a recycled lamp!

13. A nightstand or coffee table

Three overlapping boxes can work as a nightstand. With a fourth box, you get a coffee table useful for storing books and magazines when you join them all together!

14. Decoupage box

Decoupage is a technique based on pasting paper images on surfaces. The method is considered to form part of art therapy. According to a study published by the journal Community Development Procedure, it’s as much fun as playing with electronic devices for children!

When transforming wooden boxes with decoupage, you’ll have to use fine sandpaper to remove the roughness of the wood. After, you can use acrylic paint to change the look of the box.

While it dries, cut figures out of napkins, magazines, or newspapers, but you can also use fabric. Fix the cuttings with white glue and varnish diluted in water in the box. Then, you can add details with markers and stencils if you’d like.

Caja decorada con técnica decoupage.
The decoupage technique is very useful for transforming elements that seem destined for the trash and giving them a second chance.

15. Room dividers with wooden boxes

Positioning wooden boxes in small spaces is a good idea to separate rooms. Arrange them in such a way that they harmonize with the living room, for example, and decorate them with plants, pictures, and other elements.

We think you may like to read: 5 Ideas For Beautiful Recycled Furniture That You Will Love

How to build a wooden box from scratch

You may need to reform a wooden box for new use. If this is the case, you will need the following:

  • Wooden boards
  • Measuring tape or a ruler
  • A pencil
  • A hand or circular saw
  • One hammer
  • A wood stapler
  • Finishing nails
  • A wood filler
  • Sandpaper

Decide what size the box will be, and based on that, measure and mark the boards. Cut with the saw to the required dimensions. Join the pieces together at right angles, using glue and staples for fastening. Then, hammer in the finishing nails.

Have a sheet ready for the lid. Attach this part with a hinge, with the roller going outwards, and fit it to the sides and top so that it opens and closes smoothly. Fill the nail holes with putty and sand when dry.

Why reuse wooden boxes?

Items made of wood have a long life cycle and thousands of reuse possibilities. In the case of boxes, if they’re FSC Recycled certified, they even alleviate the pressure of demand on virgin material sources and help protect the world’s forests, as highlighted by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Plus, you’re not only taking care of the environment. By recycling and decorating wooden boxes, you won’t spend money on new furniture or home accessories and you get unique, one-of-a-kind decor!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.