Annabelle is friendly, smart and always up for cuddles. She’s fit perfectly into our home and we’re quickly getting used to keeping everything off the floor and away from her teeth — shoes, Legos, Barbies, straight pins, socks, you name it.
Annabelle is crate-trained, so while she sleeps in our bed at night (like a snuggly little hot water bottle), she goes into her crate whenever we leave the house. We received a great hand-me-down crate from her furry cousin, Tyson, and at first we stuck it in various corners of the living room or the kitchen — covered with a hot pink sheet to make it cozy. Ugly, but cozy.
I toyed with the idea of sewing a nice neutral slipcover for the crate to make it blend in with the main level decor. (Hot pink was not cutting it.) But that wouldn’t do anything about the fact that the crate was also taking up a good chunk of floor space. We had to rearrange the furniture and everything felt crowded.
So I decided to DIY two birds with one stone! I would build a removable wooden cover for the crate so it could take the place of an end table.
Now, of course, I did this entire project without measuring — that’s just how I roll. It was really easy, though.
I started with a stack of 1x2s (my go-to boards because they’re light and easy to work with) and cut four pieces to make a little rectangle that fit around the bottom of the crate.
Then, holding more wood up against the rectangle, I cut four more pieces and build a second identical rectangle that would fit around the top of the crate.
Then I held another 1×2 against the crate, vertically, to see how tall the legs needed to be. I marked the height with a pencil and cut four identical pieces to use as legs and secured one in each corner — connecting the two rectangles and making a skinny wooden cube. It had an IKEA feel at this point!
I laid a 1×2 across the top of the cube and marked off how long each plank should be and kept cutting identical pieces until I ran out of 1x2s. Then I stole a couple of 1x4s from my handy husband’s wood stash and cut more pieces until I had enough to cover the entire top of the crate. Since I was using two different widths of wood, I alternated the boards to make a pattern.
After a quick sand, I did two coats of stain on the top (Minwax’s Golden Oak) and three coats of white on the base (Fusion Mineral Paint’s Casement) while watching Dance Moms reruns. The paint was barely dry when I was excitedly lifting my new end table over the crate — a perfect fit — and sliding in between the couch and the wall.
And yes, this all happened on the same day — the building, the staining, the painting and the installation — because I’m completely impatient.
I’m so happy with this two-in-one solution. Annabelle still gets the crate she loves (and needs), but we’re not sacrificing a chunk of our main level to an ugly black metal box that crowds the rest of the furniture. The crate-cover matches our coffee table perfectly and looks so much nicer than a metal cage draped with a sheet.
Who knows? I might end up donating our other end table and building a new one to match this crate-cover. Maybe the kids would like a nice time-out crate? (#kidding).