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DIY Antique-looking Crate Centerpieces

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Learn how to make vintage antique-looking crate centerpieces using raw wood crates and some household items!

crate centerpieces
Katie B

I love these vintage antique-looking crate centerpieces and decided to make them for my own wedding. Here is an easy way to age any type of wood to give it that rustic vintage look.

First, you needed to get the crates.

I would have loved to find some reclaimed wood or truly vintage crates. However, when you require 15-20 of them, that requires quite a bit more legwork and time.

So I caved, and I bought the crates. #timeismoney

I got some raw wooden crates online from Joann’s and used a coupon to save a little extra.

The crates are 12” long and will look great on the tables. They looked just like the inspiration picture, except they were white pine, which was not the look I was going for.

So I headed down to my local hardware store to look for some wood stain.

After browsing around and reading the different warnings about fumes and toxicity, I decided there had to be a better DIY solution. And sure enough, there was!

Instead of using chemical stains, I decided to stain my wooden crates with black tea. Super affordable and non-toxic.

To create this look, you will need:

  • Wooden Crates
  • 2 glass containers ( or mason jars)
  • 1 old paint brush
  • white vinegar
  • super-fine grade steel wool
  • black tea (10 or so tea bags)

How to Antique Stain Wood Crates:

Start by soaking some steel wool in vinegar overnight. The acid in the vinegar will break down the steel wool.

While you are waiting, paint the wood crates with two coats of strong black tea. Let them dry between coats.

After 24 hours, remove the steel wool and ‘paint’ the vinegar onto your wood. You may not see a reaction right away, but after a few minutes, it will start to darken.

After about 20 minutes, the wood turns a lovely dark color. It is amazing!

The metal that is dissolved in the vinegar essentially rusts when it hits the wood and gives a lovely rustic finish.

In the picture below, the left crate has just been painted with vinegar, and the right is about 30 minutes later.

crate centerpieces

And the best part is that they are eco-friendly and inexpensive! A great DIY for any bride-to-be.

Katie B

is a bride blogger who got married in 2014. You can read her wedding planning posts here.