I hope everyone has been having a lovely summer so far!
Yesterday I got to visit my school one last time before I leave for vacation to Kauai on Tuesday, and it turns out that I got switched classrooms! Good thing teachers are programmed to be flexible, right? ;) I am actually SUPER excited for this switch though because I am now connecting-neighbors with my mentor from student-teaching's classroom! Just another reason why I am feeling so blessed for the path I have started. I feel so incredibly lucky to get to work with a team that I have already student-taught with. Plus, my mentor and I got along amazingly so the fact that I am now her teammate is beyond exciting. This shall be a fun year for sure! Anywhoo... back to the point!
my classroom crate seating!
I have been waiting YEARS for the day to come where I would finally have a reason to make these seats! If you are ever on Pinterest, you have probably seen these before! Crate seats, or self-made seats using milk crates, plywood, and a type of cushion! Throughout the years I have seen several variations to these seats, but finally narrowed it down to the materials that I wanted to use. I have already spent a lot of money on my classroom so I wanted to try and make these as cheap as possible, but also knew that they have to be sturdy and durable enough for my students.
Read on for everything you need to know about how to make these adorable storage seats! :)
- milk crates [I purchased mine for $3.50 each from Target]
- your choice of fabric [I purchased my fabric pieces for $1.50 each from A.C.Moore]
- 3/4" thick plywood [I purchased mine from Home Depot]
- staple gun with staples
- ribbon [I used 1" wide]
- a cheap pillow for stuffing [some people prefer foam pads]
Step 1: Buy your crates! I chose the Target milk crates because they are sturdy and have a lip in them meant for files, which works perfectly as a lip to hold up the plywood. Plus, they are only $3.50 each! You can find them in the containers section. I've seen them in white, black, and even a beautiful coral color! I chose to make three white crate seats.
Step 2: Buy your fabric! I bought my fabric pieces from A.C. Moore for $1.50 each. My classroom theme is Under the Sea so I wanted the crate seats to match my color scheme. I loved the watercolor-type of patterns.
Step 3: Buy your plywood! I bought my plywood from Home Depot for about $16.00 a slab. I only needed one slab for three seats but if you are making more than three seats, you may need more than one piece of plywood. Simply take your crate in and Home Depot will cut the wood for you for free! I had a friend cut my wood because I also had him round the edges for a perfect fit, but if you do not have a crafty friend then Home Depot helpers are your way to go!
Step 4: Pick your type of stuffing. This took some thinking because I have seen these crate seats done many ways. Some people choose to buy memory foam or other types of foam paddings and simply cutting them to the size of the plywood. This would definitely be the quickest route to take, but I was looking for cheap. I decided to buy a standard-sized pillow from Walmart for just $2.00. I cut the pillow in half and it worked great. You could also take the stuffing out of the pillow as well.
Step 5: Using a staple gun, pull and staple the fabric around the edges of the piece of plywood. Be sure the staples are not sticking out! I used a hammer to hammer them all the way in. When you flip it over, you will have the top of your seat! [pictured below]
Step 6: Cut a piece of ribbon about 10 inches long.
Make a loop with the ribbon and staple the ends on the bottom of the plywood, so that the loop will come up over the edge of the seat lid and stick out in order to easily open and close the storage department of the seat.
Step 7: Place the lid in your seat and ta-da! You've got yourself a wonderful mix of a storage bin and a seat! Many teachers use these are flexible seating in their small groups. I am using my three as seating options in my reading center!
Thank you for checking out my DIY Crate Seats!
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Have a great weekend!
~ Ms. Jones