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DIY Reclaimed Crates + Bookcase Makeover

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I have a secret love affair going on…actually, it’s probably not all that secret. And my husband fully approves.

I lurrrrrv me some wood grain! On old doors, on tabletops, on walls, ev.ery.where.

So then the day came last week when I stumbled upon these babies at the thrift store for about $1 each…

DIY Reclaimed Crates + Bookcase Makeover | blesserhouse.com

…and I instantly had heart eyes. I didn’t have much use for these wooden boxes as they were, but all I had to do was give them the same treatment I gave my DIY herb garden crate from last summer.

DIY Reclaimed Crates + Bookcase Makeover | blesserhouse.com

I gave them a good sanding with my mouse sander, and they looked instantly like vintage wine crates.

Then, on a whim, I decided I was ready for a change on our living room bookcase that I originally found on Craigslist.

DIY Reclaimed Crates + Bookcase Makeover | blesserhouse.com

Lately, I’ve discovered I like a little bit of drama, as in the high contrast kind. So I grabbed a paint brush and a bottle of Fusion Mineral Soapstone and went at it. Fusion Mineral Paint was so nice to provide me with the paint.

I put two coats on the back of the bookcase, added my freshly sanded thrift store boxes along with lots of greenery, old books, and a few hand-me-down family items, and I ended up with this!

DIY Reclaimed Crates + Bookcase Makeover | blesserhouse.com

The dark bookcase backing definitely gave it the oomph it needed.

DIY Reclaimed Crates + Bookcase Makeover | blesserhouse.com

The bookcase sort of disappeared on the back wall of our living room before, and now it has really added some interest to that corner.

DIY Reclaimed Crates + Bookcase Makeover | blesserhouse.com

And since we’re in the middle of winter, it’s nice having all of this livened up greenery… even if it is all fake.

I grab one or two artificial plants every once in a while at Ikea and HomeGoods, and over the past couple of years, they’ve added up to a pretty big collection.

DIY Reclaimed Crates + Bookcase Makeover | blesserhouse.com

Oh, and I found that big wire birdcage at the thrift store for $10 too. Yay! Score!

DIY Reclaimed Crates + Bookcase Makeover | blesserhouse.com

So what do you think? Are you a fan of drama? Or have a love affair for wood grain too?

DIY Reclaimed Vintage Crates

Later this week, I’ll have a little sneak peek of the happenings in our master bedroom makeover progress. I cannot WAIT to share!



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  1. Curious what two colors you uses when creating this piece? I’m not familiar with Fusion Mineral and curious to learn more. I typically use Annie Sloan chalk paint but really like the variety of colors offered by Fusion Mineral. Thank you!

    1. Hi! I used Seaside and White. If you cannot find the colors you should be able to grab the link in the post. I hope you enjoy!! 🙂

  2. I love the small, artificial plants. That’s going to go on my “Keep an eye out at Homegoods” list. 🙂 I have to smile going through all the pictures on your website. I keep seeing the tea-themed throw pillows on your couch; I have the same pillows, with a dark gray back to match our love seat.

  3. I am s excited to have found your log! You give me hope for all of the decor I want and can’t afford and can now DIY! I am on a tight budget so this is so inspiring! Keep up the awesomeness and God Bless!
    P.S. Where do you find all of your greenery that you have on your bookcase?

    1. Yaaaay! I’m so happy to hear that, Nicki! Thank you! Pretty much all of my greenery comes from IKEA and HomeGoods. If you don’t have an IKEA near you, you can order it on Amazon too, but it’s not quite as cheap that way. They still look very real though: http://amzn.to/1OuPs1d

  4. I struggle to handle how amazing you are Lauren! You’re style and work is simple perfection. Love it. You did such a great job and what a bargain on the birdcage! I need to get to thrift stores more often. Hard when you live in a foreign country and struggle to know where to find things! haha

    1. Aw thank you, Maria! You are too sweet! I’m sure it’s tough to find good thrifting places in a foreign country. Definitely an adventure though!

  5. I loved both versions of your bookcase. But the color you painted on the inside this time around is gorgeous. I think you may have inspired another project for me my dear. And I love how you styled the bookcase this time around. Thanks for all the great inspiration!!

    1. Hi, Wendy! It’s just one bookcase, but it has two vertical sections, so it does sort of look like two separate ones.

  6. It’s a lovely result for the bookcase, I hope you don’t mind me asking though – the painted back was tongue and groove wood in the ‘before’ picture and now appears to be smooth – did you change the wood on the inside back before you painted? and if so, what with? The whole look comes together really nicely but I am a stickler for detail!

    1. Actually, the tongue and groove look was a little optical illusion. I had just painted thin gray stripes on the back the first time to make it look more textured. 😉 It was always smooth though.

      1. thanks for replying, the tongue and groove effect was clever and has inspired me for a future project, I would not have thought of it!. the end result for the makeover colour contrast is beautiful though.

  7. I live in wine grapes area and have a crush ( oh…that was not on purpose I chose that word!!) on the old grape boxes they haven’t used in years. They are selling locally by truckloads!!!! And it’s like–when they are gone, they are gone. As a kid I picked grapes one summer. The boxes are too big to really use indoors but we’ve already used at Christmas to hall stuff! But the wood!! There’s even a square of chalk paint on one end of the crate they’d write the row and something else. So neat. But I’m going to use them somewhere!!! Because you’d just love the wood??

    1. Haha! You so punny. I would LOOOOOVE to have those old grape boxes like that! Ahh! Lucky lady! Just know I’m over here being extremely jealous of you. 😉

  8. Love that paint colour at the back of your bookcase. Your plants don’t look fake! . It’s nice to change things around in January- you have great vision.

    1. Thank you, Shirley! I really like the Ikea ones because they do look fairly real considering how inexpensive they are. I kill any live plant that ever dares to enter our house…black thumbs McGee over here.

  9. Hi Lauren!
    Your bookcase turned out fantastic.The color choice on the interior is genius, it reallys pops and your stacks of vintage books paired with the wooden crates and succulents is perfect. It’s like I’m watching a clip from “Fixer Upper.” lol!! I love it, you are inspiring us all, girlie. Have a blessed day!!!

    1. Oh goodness, Sherri, you just paid me the biggest compliment ever to even think this is similar to Fixer Upper. Thank you! Haha! You are too sweet. Hope you have a blessed day too!

  10. Hey Lauren – love the new look on the bookcase! The paint definitely added the little bit of “drama” that it needed. I love how you styled it with the wooden boxes, books and all of the greenery….not to mention the great birdcage! I’ve seen those boxes at Goodwill before….I think I might need to be on the lookout for them again. Thanks for sharing – always enjoy your thrifty finds and great projects. 🙂

    1. You’re always so sweet, Lanita. Thank you! I think I’ll be snatching them up at my neighborhood thrift store too. 🙂

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