Thursday, 8 November 2012

Easy to make fabric covers for milk crates!

Like most households, milk crates appear in and about our house as they are the right size to sit on, strong enough to stand on and the right shape to store things in. They are usually free or picked up for a dollar or two at garage sales or at dump/tip shops. They come in red and blue in our area (depending on weather they are originally from Paul's or Dairy Farmers!) and that simply doesn't go with my outdoor decor - neither does the plastic look but that's another issue. Something had to be done.

I decided to cover them with material that fitted in with the rest of our current outdoor setting - A quick look on the Internet for inspiration and confidence and...

The finished product being modelled by the cat!

Here's what I did...

I started with the standard Brissy Blue and Red Milk Crates...

Then I bought a sheet and a couple of pillow cases from the local Footprints Op Shop

This is less a pattern and more a method to follow - Cut the sheet into a strip that fits around the sides of the crate with a few inches to spare that will go over the top. Pin and then when you are happy, sew it into a tube (seams inside) and fit back onto the crate.
Fold the top down so it fits snugly into corners/triangles and pin securely.

Sew each corner so it stays in that position and put back onto the crate.

If you want to use these as small tables or to sit on - a layer of cardboard makes all the difference!

Unpick the pillow case into a large piece of material and cut a square that is a couple of inches larger than the top of the crate. I used an iron to press the pillow case into the right shape and then pinned it to the tube piece on the crate.

Its a bit tricky to sew on but can be done with a bit of patience...

For extra padding, I folded up a bit of old towel off cut and put it between the crate and the cover (not in between the green and the patterned bit - that's way to tricky for my sewing skills!)

Once the top is sewn onto the tube, put it back onto the crate, place in back yard to photograph and a cat will leap upon it and claim it as her own! - At least that's what happened to me!

Obviously, a reasonably relaxing place to spend an afternoon!

I ended up making four covers - but can't find the fourth crate that I swear we had...
And then the Husband came home and the cat thinking that he might feed her, leapt off to greet him after spending nearly an hour preening and sleeping on my brand new crate covers!

There are some amazing examples of these on the net. Put something like "milk crate cover" into google images and surf away! These ones were the ones that inspired me!

There are some great examples of using crates for very stylish storage in the home, some where an armchair has been made from crates and some funky playroom/classroom stoage ideas! And for the crocheters and knitters - have a look at this!

Its another straight-ish line sewing project that has plenty of room for slack, misunderstanding and guessing (that are trademarks of my style of making things!) and is cheap enough to have a go at even if it doesn't work out exactly as you had hoped - It would seem my Harper's Bazaar taste is not matched by my beginners sewing capabilities!

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 upcyling, recycling and multi purposed item created!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 for getting four covers made for $6
Time cost: The first one was a bit fiddly - maybe 20 minutes - and then I made the other three in forty minutes
Skill level: Basic straight-ish line sewing
Fun -ness: Great fun to make something cheap and useful so easily!


livingsimplyfree said...

I wish I would have seen this earlier this summer when I saved one from the dumpster! I will bookmark this to remember if I come across any more.

Practical Frog said...

It was only once they became a permant fixture that i decided to cover them - its really very easy to do! - K xx

Sarah said...

great idea and so clever.
I love your model. x

Practical Frog said...

Ah, my model! I have a love hate relationship with that creature! She hates me ( I dont sit still long enough for her to sit on, bathe and sleep)but Im the one that feeds her most often and are home the most, so she follows me around a lot, just in case im going to feed her - you never know... after 5 years she thinks I might start feeding her on demand instead of in the morning and evening! - K xx

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