Bound-Up Bookcase

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This upcycled bookcase uses painted apple crates to make a rustic chic place for books and knick-knacks.

Turn empty crates into a stylish bookcase to fill an open space. Be sure to look around for your crates. They can be old, and they don’t have to be identical. If you want new ones, you can find plain, untreated pine crates at most home stores.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Time to make: About 5 hours

Tools & Supplies:

  • 7 apple crates
  • White matte wood paint
  • Medium round sash brush
  • Small roller
  • No. 2 pencil
  • Ruler
  • Large pliers or clamp
  • Drill
  • Fine drill bit
  • 11-foot-long, 3/16-inch-wide natural leather strip


Arrange the crates as pictured to create this DIY bookcase (fig. 1). Pass the leather straps through the crates and securely tie them together (fig. 2). Image Courtesy of Weldon Owen

  1. Paint the crates white, somewhat roughly, using the sash brush and roller. Allow them to dry.
  2. Position the crates as shown (Fig. 1, above). Use a pencil to mark small dots 2 inches from the edges of the crates at points where the crates will be connected, as shown (Fig. 1, above).
  3. Starting at the bottom, hold two crates together with pliers or a clamp, and drill through them at the same time. Repeat this process to create the remaining holes.
  4. Put the leather strip into 16 pieces measuring 7-3/4 inches long. Pass them through the holes to tie the crates together, as seen in the diagram (Fig. 2, above). Be sure to knot them nice and tight to stabilize the bookcase.

Get inspired with more DIYs using common materials in:

This project was excerpted with permission from Turn Everyday Objects Into Home Decor by Sonia Lucano, published by Weldon Owen.

Upcycle! Turn Everyday Objects into Home Decor” by Sonia Lucano reveals simple and stylish DIY projects that use common household objects.

  • Updated on Oct 27, 2021
  • Originally Published on Jan 3, 2019
Tagged with: bookcase, chic, DIY, Recycle, Repurpose, Rustic, Winter 2019