DIY Recipe Box Using a Wine Crate

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I promised last week that I would show you one last item that I wanted to make for my kitchen cart island.

A few posts ago I shared that I added a second shelf to the island. One of the reasons I added the second shelf to my rolling island kitchen cart was that I wanted a handy place for my recipe box.

I have a small kitchen with no room to keep it handy. 5 years ago, I totally reorganized my recipe box. How I organized it has worked extremely well over the years so I didn’t change that aspect of the box. I did however want to give the box a new look so it would feel more “foodie chic” on my cart.

I was inspired about a DIY wine crate idea when we were in France last year.

I have always wanted a wine crate basket for my bike after seeing one like this when I was in NYC a few years ago for a blogging event. A very stylish woman was on her way to work on a black vintage bike with a wine crate on the back holding her tote. So chic…

When I saw a few again in France, even though I knew I didn’t have a place to ride my bike, I was inspired to find a way to use a wine crate in my home somewhere.

As you can see, I found a way.

I custom made it to fit my needs and on the shelf on my kitchen cart island using wine crate fronts so there would be a winery logo on each side of the recipe box.

I am thrilled with it as it adds a little more of the ” foodie chic” feel to my kitchen. I know it is just a recipe box, but I love it for the fact that I made something I envisioned and custom designed it for my needs.

How to Make a DIY Recipe Card Box By Repurposing a Wooden Wine Crate

I made my DIY recipe card box to fit large 5′ x 8″ index cards. I also only used wine crate front panels instead of just one wine crate. This way I could have a winery logo on each side of my box.

Try to find front panels with the same thickness, but know it still can be made if they are not. One of my panels was thicker and one had grooves.

supplies needed:

I cut the panels down to size. If you have one wine crate, you will have enough wood to make the box, but will have only one winery logo, unless your crate has more than one logo on it – some do.

Further down in the post is a list of where you can find wine crates.

  • 5 Wine crate front panels
    • 2 for Front and Back: Cut to size: 9-3/16″ (w) x 4-3/8″ (h)
    • 2 for Sides: Cut to size: 13″ (w) x 4-3/8″ (h)
    • Optional: Wood Divider: Cut to size: 8-1/4″ (w) x 5″ (h)
  • 1/4″ plywood for bottom – Cut to size: 8-1/4″ (w) x 13″ (l) *If using one wine crate, no need for plywood – you can use bottom of wine crate.
  • Clear acetate – saved from packaging or you can buy a few sheets at your local copy shop.
  • Pencil
  • Straight-edge
  • Saw
  • Wood glue
  • 5/8″ long carpet tacks
  • 100 grit sandpaper
  • Hammer
  • Drill and thin drill bit

For recipe cards and dividers:

Time needed: 2 hours.

How to Make a DIY Recipe Box Using a Wine Crate

  1. Take Wine Crate Apart

    If you are using an intact wine crate, you will need to take it apart. Use a small pry bar to carefully take it apart. If you are using wine crate front panels to make a box – proceed to next step.

  2. Cut Each Panel To Size

    I used 4 wine crate panel fronts and cut them down to fit the width of 5″ x 8″ index cards. When the box is assembled it is 4-4/8″ high.

    I cut a piece of clear acetate to make a template. This makes it easy to see the logo as you center the template over it when marking each for the size. The sizes are listed in supplies list above.

  3. Find Center of Each Wine Crate Panel

    Lay clear template over logo, find center and lightly trace around it using a pencil. Repeat for each panel. Using a table saw or jigsaw, cut each out.

    Note: Front and back panels will be shorter. The side panels will be longer so choose longer winery logos for the sides so you won’t have to cut as much of them off.

  4. Cut Plywood For Bottom

    Since I used wine crate front panels to make my box, I needed a piece of plywood for the bottom of my box. If you are using a full wine crate, use the bottom of the crate for the bottom, no plywood needed.

    Use a straight edge to mark the plywood to 8-1/4″ (w) x 13″ (l). Cut on lines.
    Sand edges smooth.

  5. Glue Pieces Together

    Lay wine panels and bottom of box on worktable. Apply wood glue to attach the front, back and sides to the bottom. Let dry.

    Note: You want to make sure to glue the front, back and sides of the box to the side of the bottom. This is important as the inside bottom of the box needs to stay a little wider than 8″ to hold the index cards.

  6. Drill Holes for Tacks

    Use a small drill bit to make a tiny hole to hammer nails in. Drilling a hole will help keep the nails from splitting the wood.

  7. Hammer in Tacks

    Hammer in a nail/tack into each drilled hole.

  8. Add Nails

    Once the glue is dry, reinforce the assembly of the box using rug tacks or very flat head nails that resemble wine box nails. I placed two nails on each side of the box

  9. Optional: Make a Movable Wood Divider

    I made my recipe card box longer than I needed, not only for when my recipe card collection grows, but also to divide it into two sections. This give me a place to put magazine recipe clippings and recipes I printed out from blogs into the back that I want to try out. If we like them, then they will get a recipe card. If not, the clipping or printable goes into recycling.

    I used a 5th wine crate front to make this wood divider. I cut it to be very snug inside the box. This way I can move it when needed, but it is snug enough to keep the cards in the front of the box from falling down inside the box.

  10. Close Up of Divider

  11. Fill the Box With Recipe Cards

    I made my recipe cards using 5 x 8 index cards and followed the same recipe box organizing I shared in this post: Recipe Box ReDux

    I used super thick plain white index cards and stick on insertable tabs to make the category dividers.

    I printed out the category names using MS Word and the font Century Schoolbook.

How to Make a Stay-Clean Recipe Card Cover

I am sure you are familiar with the acrylic cookbook stands that you place an open cookbook in so that you can see your cookbooks through it so it won’t get splattered as you prep and cook.

I made something similar on a much smaller scale for my recipe cards.

It is stored right in the recipe box where I can easily grab it when I remove a card to make a recipe.

To make it I used a thick piece of acetate. I save acetate from packaging to use to cover drawer labels, make clear templates as I did to make sure I cut the winery logos so they were centered.

I cut the acetate to 8″ wide x 6-1/2″ tall. I then scored a line 1-1/2″ down from the top using the tip of a pair if scissors. Scoring is not cutting, but making a groove in the acetate that you can then fold.

When the cover sits on the counter, it is raised up a bit and the recipe card slides right in.

Where to Find Wine Crates for Creative DIY Decor

Wood wine crates, wine boxes or crate front panels to repurpose can be found:

  • At thrift stores and yard sales. Many times they may be holding smaller items for sale so don’t overlook them.
  • On Ebay and Etsy. Check the shipping price though, many of the listings are from the UK and shipping is way too much.
  • Ask at your local liquor store. They may give them to you or charge a nominal fee.

More Wooden DIY Wine Crate Ideas

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