Vintage Crate Carts

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 09/13/2010 - 16:34
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Cute pallet carts made from reclaimed wood boards.


These turned out so much better than I would have ever expected for $8 each.

Especially with a few setbacks.

You all already know that I can't spell.  Stencils really should come with spell check.  Or at least you should have to pass a test before you can purchase stencils.  Or they should sell sandpaper with stencils.  Good thing I had some sandpaper handy.

And while I was working on these carts, a bee stung me.  So now I smell like vinegar too.

At least I got our wedding date right on the first try.

These crate carts were intended for my great room, but because of the setbacks, I ended up photographing them in Grace's room (that's where all the evening sun is in my house).  And I just think they look adorable filled with kids stuff.  They will look adorable as bumper cars too, ugh, I know that's coming!

Here is a breakdown of the price per cart:

  • 2 feet of 1x12 boards - $3
  • 2 sets of 1 5/8" Caster Wheels - $4
  • Reclaimed boards from pallets
  • 2" Wood Screws
  • 2" Finish Nails
  • Wood Glue

Not bad, eh?  And did I mention that my carts are made of oak?  Yep, sanded down the pallet boards, and it's oak!

You just gotta make your own!  If you don't have a pallet to reclaim, you can use 1x6s and 1x4s, but don't expect the character to be as fabulous when you use new materials. You can watch a video on how to reclaim boards on a pallet here.

Dimensions for the cart are shown above. If you are using reclaimed boards, your dimensions could be different than those listed above.


Cut List

2 – 1×12 @ 11 1/2″
2 – 1×6 @ 18″ (bottom, adjust width as desired)
6 – 1×4 @ 18″ (sides, adjust width as desired)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1


If you have a pallet, follow the instructions in this post to reclaim the boards. Otherwise, cut all of your boards. Drill holes on the ends of the 1x6s, two per end, with a countersink bit.

Step 2

Build the Bottom and Ends

Insert screws into holes. Apply glue to the joint. Screw the bottom boards to the sides, keeping the outside flush.

Step 3


Apply glue to the edges of the bottom and ends. Be careful not to apply glue in the spaces between the side boards, as glue will not take stain. Use 2″ nails and glue to nail the side boards on.

Step 4


Mark then ends as shown above. Then drill holes with the 1 1/2″ spade bit on center with the marks. Cut between the marks with a saw to create handles.

Step 5


Melissa (not verified)

Mon, 09/13/2010 - 17:47

Any suggestions where to acquire some free pallets in/near Fairbanks or North Pole area? I really want to make some of these :)

Ana White (not verified)

Mon, 09/13/2010 - 18:05

Hi Melissa, getting pallets should be super easy to do as so much is imported to Alaska on pallets, but very little leaves Alaska on pallets. Try calling warehouses, stores, and asking at shipping companies. Even using broken pallets would work for this project.

lyndyjo (not verified)

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 02:56

Love these! I do see the bumper car danger. My youngest is just starting to walk and he would love one of these to push around :)

chrisandpatience (not verified)

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 08:10

I just picked up 3 amazing pallets. Thank you Ana, for making me a wood working junkie. Can't wait to show you my creations.

megnstuff (not verified)

Tue, 09/14/2010 - 09:07

I am building these for my basement/playroom/family room area. I love them. My boys will love to play in them and they just might even love putting their toys away in them!

I can't wait to make these. I promise to post pics as soon as we get them done!

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