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Making a Book Case with Old Apple Crates

By: Everett S

I’ve been working hard on getting the garden going on virgin ground (again), customizing a calf shelter to make a chicken coop, setting up the new house, turning a pig-pen in the front yard into an herb and fruiting shrub garden, cutting up firewood for next year, planting flowers, chestnuts and paw-paws in various locations…  One project I’ve really been wanting to get done though is to build book shelves so I can get my books up again, and out of the boxes in the meditation room walk-in closet. The original plan was to custom-build some beautiful book shelves like my friend and neighbor Tommy has at his place. This time-consuming and somewhat expensive job kept getting put on hold until finally I gave in and decided to use a short cut (old apple crates), which turned out even better than I expected.

Apple crates and various fruit cases ready to be stacked.

Empty apple crates + various other fruit & drink cases cleaned and ready to stack.

Cleaning the apple crate

Cleaning the apple crates with a wire brush and broom only took a few minutes.

Audrey likes to be on the other side of the lens.

Audrey put in a lot of elbow grease and took the other photos.

Apple crate book case

Stacking only took us a few minutes…

Organizing books

Organizing my books was another story. It took until about 2am.

Finished book shelves

But it was well worth the effort!

The thing I like most about this is that I can just add more crates if when I need room for more books. Also – God forbid I ever have to move again, my books are already packed in boxes.

I think the calf-shed-turned-chicken-coop thing is going to turn out nicely and I’ll be sure to post about that soon. It could be a good, cheap way of having a solid chicken coop up quickly if you have any of these at your disposal. Also on the agenda soon will be writing about the new garden (cardboard kill mulch this time around) and trying out Mike and Erin’s chicken mash fermentation recipe.

Category: Arts & Crafts, DIY Projects, The Transplants

Comments (6)

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  1. EcoCatLady says:

    Wow… your bookshelves look great!

    I used to have a similar contraption, but finally took them down… er… well, actually the cat took them down! It was lucky he didn’t get hurt too, because the entire mess of them came tumbling down practically on top of him.

    Can’t tell how sturdy yours are from the picture, but since you have a small child around, it might be worthwhile to consider tacking them to the wall or something just to be safe.


  2. Tommy says:

    HA! That pic of you organizing your books is probably why I’ve been putting off doing it myself! I keep saying I will do it some snowy winter day, but it hasn’t happened yet!

  3. Everett says:

    Hey Cat,

    Thanks for the tip on sturdying up for our child. I was going to tie them all in together but I figure it’s safer to have them all separate so he’d only pull one or two over instead of the entire thing. All of the books are in the back of the crates, which are really deep, and the whole thing is very sturdy… I think.

    Tommy get to work you lazy bum!

  4. Jessica says:

    Love this idea! I also love that Cheerwine crate. My brother is a Cheerwine fanatic (my whole family is from NC) and he would love that! I’m going to have to try to track down some old crates — lots of projects floating through my head now. Great post and thanks for sharing! :)

  5. Everett says:

    Have fun Jessica!

  6. […] back-to-the-land, rural skills, foodie, self-sufficiency books (which I need to update), and this post about building book shelves with apple crates if you need a place to store all of these great books! Please share your own favorite reads in the […]

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