Reclaimed Soda Crate Caddy

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Inspired by vintage soda crates, this flatware caddy was made from reclaimed food pallets.  You can make this crate with new boards too.  This easy project features a sturdy handle and four cubbies, suitable for bottles, gardening tools, or even a wedding centerpiece.


I've been meaning to tell you where the flatware went after I cleaned out our junk drawer.

With the summer BBQ season just around the corner, I got to thinking wouldn't it be handy if my flatware was in a caddy, that I could put on the table, on our kitchen island, and then outdoors?
So I thought I would borrow a few elements from vintage soda crates, add a handle, and create a decorative, reclaimed wood flatware caddy.
And a chalkboard label.  And then I thought, wow, this would be great in the garden for holding your tools and flowers that you have picked.
Of just as a centerpiece.  Wouldn't this make a pretty, inexpensive centerpiece at a wedding?  

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

Cut List
  • 1 - 1x8 @ 9 1/2" (Handle)
  • 2 - 1x6 @ 9 1/2"
  • 4 - 1x6 @ 11"
  • 2 - 1x6 @ 4 3/8"
Cutting Instructions

My caddy was made from boards reclaimed from a pallet. The 1x6s measure 5 1/2" wide. Because there is no 1x8s on my pallets, I used a new 1x8 scrap that was quite weathered.

General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Cut the handle as shown above from the 1x8. I used a hole saw kit and drilled two 1" holes, and then cutout between the two holes with a jigsaw. For the angled tops, I simply clipped the corners at 45 degrees off square, and then rounded the top edge with the jigsaw.

Step 2

Next attach the sides to the handle piece. Use glue and 2" finish nails (nailer would make this go so fast).

Step 3

Attach the remaining sides in the same method.

Step 4

Now the bottom. Just tack on with finish nails and glue.

Step 5

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Robbi Montgomery (not verified)

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:06

I think you just helped me decide on my Christmas presents for this year! My family always makes things for each other, ex: I got a wooden frog house for Christmas this last year and we really have little frogs living in it! It is adorable!

We all (aunts, uncles, cousins) bar-b-Q, so this would be perfect! I also have nine Coca Cola crates sitting in storage. I took three of them once and made a little chest out of it to keep my garlic, potatoes and onions in, this will go very nicely!

I read your site every afternoon now just to see what you will do next! I took a "news fast" and am now only reading things that I can learn from. I have watched your site grow from a little blog to this and I am so happy that you are here! Thank you!

Debbie Christianson (not verified)

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:55

How fabulous and simple!  I'm thinking of making one to roll towels in for my guest room.  Thanks so much -- always grateful for you.  :)


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 13:01

I've got two pallets sitting in my backyard, and this will be the perfect way to use them.  Though I don't know what I'll store in this caddy yet, I know I need to have one (or three!).  Thanks for posting!


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 14:29

This is soooooo cute!!  I can think of about 10 places in my house I could use one of these! :)


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 15:18

I have several pallets in my carport that I'd promised my husband I would cut up and hadn't finished yet.  As soon as I saw this post I ran out and cut all the pieces for this caddy...I just hope I have a few minutes later to assemble it.  Thank you for the simple plans! 


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 19:27

Today I finally decided I would make a vintage crate with the pallet that has been sitting on our back porch for months. I've been terrified of the circular saw so I started with the jigsaw when I broke the blade and couldn't find another I had to use the circ. Now I'm hooked. And of course, I get on tonight and see this. Yay! This will be project #2 without hubby...because I can ;)

Ashley Mjoen (not verified)

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 20:11

Today I finished my farmhouse headboard, and tomorrow I plan to finish the footboard!!! It is turning out amazing. I can't wait to post pictures! But since I am finishing one project and have to stop by Lowes anyway....I figure I might as well pick up some of the supplies for this also! Thank you so much for all you do, Ana!

Joe (not verified)

Sat, 03/26/2011 - 07:35

Did you ever modify plans for the pottery barn cushins


Sat, 03/26/2011 - 18:08

I can think of several places that can use these. I went past a pallet at the lumber yard but it was snowing and I couldn't stop to get it today. Thanks Ana I love this one.



Pam theGoatherd (not verified)

Sat, 03/26/2011 - 21:32

A friend just posted a picture of her father's antique toolbox on her FB wall today and it was constructed exactly like this only a bit longer in length with dividers to make six compartments. I've got access to an unlimited number of pallets and was thinking I could make a bunch of these for friends and family and to use to decorate my deck and picnic area...the possibilities are endless!

Sara Jayne (not verified)

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 15:15

Love this! My 4 year old loves to carry her toys around the house in shoe boxes or her stacking tower boxes all the time. I think one of these would be perfect for her. Then she can fit so much more in and keep it organized LOL. Must find weathered pallets ...

Sara Jayne
on the corner of W & Somewhat

Sunny (not verified)

Thu, 03/31/2011 - 09:13

I was thinking i could make this a bit bigger and use it for a cleaning supply caddy (maybe with 6 holes instead of 6).

Then I thought, it would be perfect on my desk for holding pens, pencils, crayons, markers, highlighters
Then I jumped to the bathroom (sealed of course) for a hygien caddy (toothbrushes, tooth paste. mouth rinse, deoderant, lotion, and of course a rubber ducky)
In the kitchen:  A condiment tray, a silverware caddy, coffee/tea tray (with creamer, sugar, etc), breakfast tray (jelly, butter,)  Flower tray
in the garden:  a tool caddy with room for organic bug remover, a hand trowel and rake, gloves, sunscreen & burts bees bug spray
At the grill:  Barbeque sauce, grill gloves, cleaning brush, extra long spatula
in the living room:  A block caddy for my 2 year old, a remote control caddy, or just a place to store all those treasures (rocks, pinecones, leaves, etc) that my 2 year old brings home from our walks
In the guest room:  A perfect place to roll up and store guest towels.  A caddy for travel sized bath & body supplies
In my 2 year olds room:  Hot wheels, thomas the train, airplanes, blocks, lotion, wipes, diapers...
In the laundry room:  organize all those sprays, cleaners, softeners, clothes pins, spare change, etc
I need to go get more pallets.

Guest (not verified)

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 12:13

OMG ... I just happened to stumble into your site ... it's FANTASTIC!!! I can't believe that you actually build all these yourself. You are so talented. Thank you for sharing all your plan. There are several plans that I will definitely try since I have been looking for just a specific furniture and can't find them in the store. But you have them here! :-) Thanks again for being so generous ... continue your great work! Have wonderful week!


Wed, 06/01/2011 - 22:50

so I just built this with reclaimed cedar...
and while it is reclaimed it doesn't have the beautiful weathering that yours does.
also my boards that looked straight were slightly warped so they're not quite square. is that normal?

Sarah Heise (not verified)

Tue, 06/07/2011 - 11:55

I was laying in bed the other night and thinking of all the pallet wood I have in the garage all cut...then flipped to the birthday parties that we are hosting and thought of making a project like this....I was actually here searching for the red, white and blue flag like thing you made from scraps, and of course you have a plan for this!!! You are awesome!!;)

Corrie (not verified)

Sat, 02/25/2012 - 18:13

I am planning on putting jars in them and I have the jars already (cleaned ragu jars) do u think they will fit?

Ricky (not verified)

Sun, 07/15/2012 - 23:23

If you're in or around the Santa Monica area, I will pay to have about 30 of these made. Please e-mail me to make arrangements.