I absolutely love boxes and crates that I can reuse for something purposeful. Some of my favorite crates to reuse are the ones that you get when you buy clementine oranges. Instead of tossing those little crates in the trash or recycling bin, transform them into a variety of items for multiple uses -- whether you need something to tidy up your kitchen, organize your desk or you are simply looking for your next frugal DIY project.Kitchen Organization
If you're like me and have an over abundance of spices and various baking supplies that seem to overcrowd the pantry, create a storage container for these supplies out of your clementine crate. You can simply keep the crate as is or add a little color with some spray or craft paint (make sure it is non-toxic). Just remember, you will want to make sure there are no open containers or anything that could potentially become contaminated if it comes into contact with the crate. If you are worried about bacteria or other contamination from the crate, spray the crate with a solution of water and bleach. After, leave your crate out in the sun for an afternoon to dry.Shelves
One of the most useful ways to repurpose clementine crates is to turn them into shelves. These little shelves are great for children's rooms or hallways to place small memorable keepsakes on display. You can fasten them to the wall by adding wall anchors. However, since some clementine crates are made of plastic, wax or cardboard, this transformation is best used only with wooden crates.Box Garden
Head outside and create a small box garden. Simply fill your crate with a soil of your choice and either plant seeds or starter plants. Creating a small herb garden in a clementine box is useful if you do not have a lot of direct sunlight in your yard, patio or porch, or if you want to bring it inside to pick off your herbs while cooking. If you're not sure how to care for a box garden, make sure you read more about container gardening for beginners.Storage
The easiest way to reuse clementine crates is to use them to store various items in your home. You can use clementine crates to store and organize:
- important paperwork or photographs
- napkins, salt and pepper shakers and other condiments
- remotes, TV guides and other coffee table items
- small trinkets or knick knacks
- craft or office supplies
With a little paint, fabric or colored paper, redecorate the crate to match the decor and/or theme of the room.Gift Box
Whether it is for a housewarming party, anniversary, graduation or birthday, giving a box (or crate) filled with the person's favorite items is always a hit. I like to put together these types of gifts as a creative way to give someone a few items instead of just one. For example, I like to give gift boxes to the men in my family for birthdays, Father's Day and sometimes Christmas, because a.) I never know what to get them and b.) I can fill it with a bunch of items they like (e.g., candy, chips, sodas, razors, etc) that won't go to waste or sit in the closet.
No matter how you repurpose your clementine crate, you can personalize and decorate it with a few simple items you may already have in your home. Search through your closets, your basements and your attic to see if you have any:
- paint (spray, chalkboard, craft, acrylic or house paint)
- fabric, old tablecloths or curtains
- scrapbook paper
- glue (school, craft or hot)
- stapler or staple gun with staples
With these supplies, there are dozens of ways in which you can decorate your crate, such as repainting it, stapling scrapbook paper to the outside or fashioning it with fabric. If you know how to work a sewing machine, you can also create a removable fabric covering that you can change with each season or holiday.
Refurbishing clementine crates is a great way to not only create something of your own, but also reuse what you already have. It not only saves money, but is also good for the environment. Just remember to use proper safety precautions when performing any DIY tasks or working with materials that you are not yet familiar with.