DIY Wine Crate Bookshelf

This wine crate bookshelf is one of my favorite projects ever, not only because of how it turned out, but because it was so easy and inexpensive to make.

The only real cost was about $20 for wood stain!


I’m in the unfortunate demographic of furniture-buyer who scoffs at IKEA, but also can’t really afford anything other than IKEA. Twenty-five is a rough age.

Since Pottery Barn and Ethan Allen aren’t in my forseeable future, I decided to make my furniture instead. I found a random carpenter to help me build a desk and a table, but this bookshelf requires no skills whatsoever and you can do it totally on your own.

All you need to do is stain wine crates and stack them however you like. You can nail them together if you want, but nothing lasts forever, so keep them loose if your structure allows it.


On a side note, when my mom was around my age, she also befriended a carpenter who helped her a make a bunch of the furniture for our house. I completely forgot she’d done this, and the life parallel gives me chills. Especially since Linda and I are nothing alike.


I SPY! These shelves are filled with references to friends (who are hopefully reading) in in the form of pictures,gifts, borrowed books, and things forgotten. Find yourself! Also, I accidentally caught my own reflection in one of these. Find me!


The hardest part about building this bookshelf is definitely acquiring all the wine crates. It took me several weeks of begging different liquor stores before I was able to complete the project.

Most wine companies don’t use the wooden crates anymore, and most liquor stores like to hang onto them, but it can be done if you’re persistent.


Because the directions for making this bookshelf are literally 1) Stain wine crates and 2) Stack wine crates, I’ll just give tips for actually getting the crates in the first place!

Tips for getting wine crates:

1) Don’t ask the young guys stocking shelves in the back. I originality thought they would be my in, but they have absolutely zero authority to give you wine crates.

2) Don’t go when the store is busy. This is an obvious one.

3) Offer to pay for the wine crates. They won’t charge you, but it’s nice to offer.

4) Be super appreciative. It’s just a wooden box, but it’s a wooden box they didn’t have to give you. And they might tell you to come back for more if they like you.

6) Buy something. If you’re a regular customer, you’ll probably get wine crates more easily. I’m not a regular customer to any liquor stores, but if you know anyone who is, get them to ask for you!



  1. kel says

    Your a “lil linny”! How funny is that, I remember when she would take us with her and we’d play in the wood shavings. I do love this idea, so clever and practical, and you come off as being so organized! :o)

  2. Aggie says

    wait I want this too… I especially enjoy the pallet and wine crate picking out advice. Fortunately, I am a liquor store regular (not like too regular… I hope).

  3. says

    Wow! the bookshelf turned out so great! I love wine crates, but have never considered stacking them like you did. I’m so pinning this for future reference!

  4. says

    Costco carries a brand of wines called Montes. The wine is terrible but it is displayed in some decent wooden crates. Just put other wines in the crates and go and pay up front. Costco likes it when people use their “storage” to carry stuff out, so no hassle there.

  5. Wendy says

    I am of the same demographic of furniture buyer as you, lol! However, there is a lot to be said for ingenuity. Thanks for the great project idea and tips. When someone asks you where you scored those awesome bookshelves, you can smile and say they are custom. Take *that* Pottery Barn, Ethan Allen and DWR! :-)

  6. Sharon says

    Also check out your local beer or wine distributors ( check out the name on the beer truck drivers door ) or ask a Manager who their wine distributor is or checkout the phone book. They usually have crates they will gladly give away. Just to clear space for them

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