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DIY Project Using Freebies from Haven


Today I can breathe. It seems like the heat wave and the lack of rain that has gripped North Texas all summer finally broke last week. Our temperatures have been in the 70’s and 80’s ~ which is crazy for this time of year ~ and we had several days of rain, good, slow, drenching rain. My poor, thirsty basil has perked up again and our flowers have be given a second life ~ hopefully they will last until October. Feeling invigorated, I was ready to tackle a DIY project using freebies from Haven.

So finally, I could open the garage doors, set up my table and do a little DIY. I do paint in the kitchen, but it’s nice to do it outside with no chance of spilling paint on the floor (Two years ago I dumped almost all of a new can of ASCP in Antoinette on my hardwood floors in the kitchen. My heart stopped, but fortunately I got it all up and Sweet Shark never knew a thing. ~ Oops, until now.)

I wanted to use a cute little wooden crate from Crates and Pallet that was in our swag bag from Haven.  I also wanted to try the Americana Decor Maxx Gloss Paint in Aqua Waters. I had painted a pencil at their booth at Haven and loved the color in my favorite shade of aqua.

This post contains affiliate links to products that I love, use and highly recommend. If you order any product, I may receive some compensation, but you do not pay one penny more.

The Wooden Crate

This cute wooden crate was in our swag bag. I just had to do something with it. The crate is about 5 inches square and 4 1/2 inches tall. When Sweet Shark showed me his new little orchid plant had sprouted a stem, I tried it in the crate and it fit perfectly. I found my purpose for the crate.



Setting Up my Workspace

For years, I have had this collapsible table that is also adjustable to 3 heights. I originally bought it to take to off~site cooking demonstrations. It’s easy to store and carry.


For cooking demonstrations and painting, I set it to max height of 36 inches. I covered it with my drop cloth ~ one of the best purchases ever.


The Project

The Americana Decor Maxx~Gloss Paint recommended sanding and sealing raw wood. I used one of my block sanders to smooth down the sides and corners. The only sealer I had on hand was Artisan Enhancements, which is what I normally use to seal stain vintage furniture. It didn’t take much to seal this little crate.


Then I set the crate upside down on a mason jar ~ the quickest thing I could lay my hands on. I stirred the paint, and using the brush from Americana Decor that was also in our swag bags, I painted 2 coats, allowing the first coat to dry about 30 minutes.


I really like this brush. The paint went on smoothly and the brush was easy to clean up with just water.


Even with sealer, the crate required 2 coats to completely cover.


I turned it over and painted the top edges. I didn’t intend to paint the inside, but I had paint on my brush, so I just kept painting.


When the paint was completely dry, about 1 hour, I place the orchid inside and filled the top with moss.



Here’s the best part: It matches my new Poppin stapler and scotch tape dispenser from The Container Store perfectly. See my little pencil? I love how everything looks together; the aqua just screams cute!


When I get a real office (I keep saying that ~ wishful thinking leads to wishes come true), these will be on my desk, all pretty together. Until then, they have to lead separate lives in separate rooms.

Because of the drying time, this whole project took about 2 hours. Thanks Crates and Pallet and Americana Decor. You brightened my space.

What other uses could you find for this wooden crate? I’ve got a few ideas. Share yours here with a comment. DIY ideas are open to all.

I will sharpen that pencil one of these days. I just like looking at it for now.



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  1. Will have to see if I can find a similar crate for a fall tabletop display I am planning. I want to follow your painting directions. However, I think the blue came out really cute

    1. Melissa, that crates are available at Jo~ann’s. I’ve used a much larger size for another project and I know carry different sizes. Thanks for dropping by Bluesky Kitchen. Come visit again.

  2. Carol,
    Meant to be… the little crate, teal paint, and Sweet Shark’s orchid. I totally relate to looking at a new pencil in a luscious color… but I also love the smell of freshly sharpened new pencil. That has to come from years of doing math problems with pencils. First as a student; then as a math teacher.


    1. Judith, it is funny how things are just meant to be. I was an English teacher, so I also know about sharpened pencils. Mine were always red!