Space is premium. Whether you live in an apartment in the city or a ranch house in the country, storage tends to be a problem no matter how much space you have. The more you can use everyday items for storage and something else, the better off you will be.
I recently cleared out my garage at the apartment to save the monthly payment. The problem I faced was where to put some of the items I’d been storing in the garage. Most everything was sold off in a garage sale or donated, but there was some sporting equipment and tools I wasn’t willing to part with. I purchased a small resin shed (the equivalent of one month’s garage rental) for the large items like a waterski, wakeboard and small stepladder. I needed something for the smaller items.
Enter: milk crates.
Like most collegians, I used milk crates for storage in the dorm. Those same milk crates have made every move with me since I graduated. One day it dawned on me that casters would fit perfectly into the holes on the bottom, that the crates are made to stack on top of each other and that I’d found a solution to my storage problem. I decided to transform those milk crates into a mobile stool.
It could very well be the easiest “construction” project I’ve ever dreamed up. All the stool needed was a seat to go on top of the top crate. I cut a piece of plywood so that it was slightly larger than the perimeter of the crate opening. To keep the cover from sliding while sitting on it, I measured and cut a reclaimed piece of 2×4 so that it fit snuggly inside the opening of the crate. (I measured too perfectly and had to do some sanding to keep the top from getting stuck.) Drilling screws down through the plywood into the 2×4’s allowed me to hide the screws beneath the seat cushion.
I had some fabric remnants on hand from a patio bench I’d made a few years back, but you could easily buy fabric at a craft store. Many craft stores sell their remnants for half the price of the same fabric off the ream. Just make sure there’s enough there to cover your seat. I also had a piece of foam that was just the right size for the seat. (Hint: you want the cushion to be a little bigger than the piece of plywood so it cushions the edges of the seat.)
Using a staple gun, I attached both the fabric and the cushion to the plywood simultaneously. Because I wanted the stool to endure the elements on my patio, I also cover the seat with clear vinyl. The vinyl adds a waterproof element and makes the seat easier to clean.
That’s it! The stool’s complete. I filled both crates with odds and ends, taking advantage of the two levels of storage the crates provide. The stool can be a seat, an ottoman and a mobile storage container making it a versatile storage option you can make yourself.