Tag Archives: box

Beer crate to kindling box

Last week I finished a little project which was free and very simple, but so useful and satisfying! Many of you will have seen sneak peeks on instagram (@duckeggblueblog) or Facebook, but here’s the step by step process with all the details!

I started with a beer crate, which came from a little liquor store down the road and around the corner a bit. I expected to pay a few dollars for it, but they were happy to give it to me for free. Ask around – I’ve heard some places will charge up to $7.

When I got it, I wasn’t sure what, if anything I was going to do with it. But being free, I thought I may as well attack it with the sander to start with. Just to make the beer branding a little less obvious.


Somewhere along the way I thought I’d give it the dipped look, so I didn’t worry about sanding it back too much. I’m a bit slow on the uptake with creating a dipped piece of furniture (although my dining chairs have a similar look – and caused a bit of controversy over on Apartment Therapy!).0604_7123

I started with a coat of primer, and decided it didn’t need a top coat. I don’t want it to look too polished (it’s a kindling box, not a lingerie drawer) so the roughness of the primer is perfect. And there is just a teensy bit of show through with the ABC branding and wood grain, which I’m delighted with!0604_7124

This was all done one sunny afternoon when we were all desperate just to be outside for a bit. We’ve had a lot of rain lately and moods are washing up with the grass seed. We are not good at winter around here, but this new kindling box is helping a little!

The crate is way too small for a firewood box (which I originally thought it might be) but perfect for kindling and paper. So I built a divider (which also covers the gaps in the bottom of the crate to prevent the kindling dropping out) by screwing a piece of scrap ply at right angles to another. Rough… really rough… but it does the job. And you can’t see it when the box is full of kindling and paper!0604_7126

I did consider adding castors (these are authentic vintage! It’s truly amazing what one can find in the husbands garage!) but a friend brought up a very good point that it would only encourage the kids to trundle it all over the house. Totally right. So we’ll give those a miss. They would have looked awesome, but I prefer my kindling and firewood mess to be confined in one spot. So the retro castors are back in the depths of the man cave, until I think of something else to do with them.0604_7128

One beer crate turned kindling box (I keep wanting to call it a firestarter box but it sounds a bit wrong?!) – nice huh?!0604_7131

And here it is insitu alongside the Rondo log basket which I bought from The Warehouse (one day after the sale so it cost me $50 instead of $30… too  s l o w  for the discount).0604_7139

I’ve grown used to the fireplace now and barely notice it’s motley appearance, but if you’re new to this blog you can see what happened here. The hearth definitely needs some tile, but the brick surround may just stay as it is. I kinda like it!

Here’s a couple of gratuitous close ups and birds eye views.0604_7142

0604_7143Love how such cheap and easy projects can be just as satisfying as the more costly and time consuming ones!

Note: The wardrobe poll is sitting at over 80% for freestanding! Wow! It’s still running, so go and have your say if you want to join the argument. Me: “Huh! Over 80% for free standing!” Andre: “Yeah, but how many times have you voted?!” Me: “None! I promise!”.

One for the mailman

Dear postman,
We hope you are enjoying the lovely sunny weather. No doubt you are now sporting quite the tan?! We’d like to make our apologies for providing you with a substandard location for delivery of our mail during the last few weeks. We now have a top quality (from your side… our side is still getting there) polished stainless, spring-hinged mail slot of a generous size (we know it really bugs you to have to get off your comfy bike seat and leave larger parcels at the door) along with a newspaper slot, should you choose to use that also. Your grumblings views have certainly been taken into consideration and we hope you are pleased with the outcome, as we are. If so, please grant us a smile or two when we next meet at the mailbox.
Yours sincerely,
Andre & Jolene

We opted for a through fence mailbox because it means I can send Master W to get the mail without him going out the gate. Plus, we like the look of it, and it works with our fancy new fence.


After looking at Bunnings, and online for a decent size through fence mailbox, and being well scared off by some big prices, we chose to buy just the cover plates for a mail and newspaper slot and then build the box ourselves. We had loads of recycled sign ply (which we used for the gate) still left and a piece of spare PVC pipe for the newspaper slot so the total spend was only on the cover plates – around $60-70.

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The cute little knob on the letter compartment came from a box of random hardware in the garage, and it matches our laundry and linen cupboard handles inside. 0312_6513 0312_6540

The old letterbox lies forlornly on its side while its replacement is fitted… I did consider repurposing it as a birdhouse or even a postbox for the kids to play with inside. But it’s pretty rusty… it’s destined for the rubbish heap. 0312_6542

Oooh a bearded hot guy! (He called for me to come and look at something last night… he was laughing out loud so I knew it was worth getting out of bed for – this was it.)0312_6606

From this side (for the mailman) – stunning! A teensy touch up to do on the fence and the pillar needs some plaster and paint, but – s t u n n i n g ! I can’t help smiling everytime I see it. 0312_6609

The hedge is growing ever so slowly, and now that the fence is fully painted (yes, more of that gorgeousness later in the week) I need to give it a bit of a tidy up and get it training up the fence. Eventually it will cover the fence and match the short bit of hedge at the left and down the side of our front yard. I’m hoping it grows fast so I never have to paint the fence again! I’m also working on painting the gate, Andre has plastering the pillars on his list, then I’ll be at them with a paint brush too.0312_6610

From this side – not so stunning. Obviously that pipe is a bit too long, and a paint job is on the list.0312_6614

But it’s great to have it built and useable. Don’t you think?!