During homeschool time, we usually end up on the floor. This is fine for the moment; however, an upright position with a table at the right height is a much better position for writing activities. I have wanted to make or acquire some child-sized tables and seats for a while now. I got to the seats this past weekend. Plastic Sterilite crates and an underlayment panel from Home Depot were the main materials needed for these DIY Crate Seats.
- Plastic crates (I used Sterilite Brand Crates)
- Plywood or other wood-like material (I used a 2×4′ underlayment panel that was $6.78 at my local Home Depot)
- 1″ or thicker seating foam
- Staple gun and staples
- Fabric (I used some flannel backed vinyl I had in my stash)
- Ribbon or scrap to use as a pull handle (I used 1″ satin ribbon)
This is the tag from the underlayment panel I bought from Home Depot.
Measure and cut the wood
Start by measuring the inside of the crate. The Sterilite crates I own measured 16″ x 13″. To allow for ease in sliding the wood pieces in and out of the crates, I drew out 15 7/8″ x 12 7/8′ rectangles on my underlayment panel. My husband cut the pieces for me using his table saw. As the crates have curved corners, I sawed off each corner of the seating piece.
The panel fit 3 whole seating pieces. I hate to waste materials, so I pieced two more seats together. I laid the two pieces together to make the correct sized rectangle. Then I glued a scrap piece (2″ shorter then the other two pieces) to the bottom using wood glue. Then I stapled the pieces together (using 3/8″ staples) on both sided for extra stability. I still need to trim the corners off the seat pictured below.
Assemble the seat
Next, lay the foam piece on top of the seat piece. Draw on the foam to mark where to cut the foam to size. The foam can be cut with regular scissors. Placed the foam piece on the wrong side of the fabric with the wood seat piece on top. I cut a rectangle out of the fabric, making each side about 5-6″ larger than the seat piece. Pull one side taut and staple it down (using 1/4″ staples). Staple the opposite side down next. Then, pull in the corners of an adjacent side and stapled them down. Continue pulling the fabric and stapling it down until it is secure on all sides. The fabric I used does not fray, so I did not finish the edges. If you are using a woven fabric, you will probably want to fold under the raw edges to prevent fraying. Lastly, I folded a 12″ ribbon in half and stapled it down. The loop allows for easy removal of the seat to access the items stored in the crate.
Here is an image of the finished DIY crate seat. My kids have been sitting on them and claim that these DIY crate seats are comfortable.
Summary of DIY Crate Seats
To make a DIY Crate seat you will need plywood or other wood like material, crates, foam, and fabric. A staple gun is used to hold the material in place. The seat slips perfectly into the crate, turning it into a seat with storage. I love how mine turned out and think the crates look a lot better with a top.
CLICK HERE to read about how to make a table to use with crate seats.
If you want a sturdier seat for an adult to use, CLICK HERE to read about how to make a DIY sturdy seat.