pottery barn kids-esque toy storage.

i truly have a love relationship with the storage options of all kinds at pottery barn.

i mean, truly. love love love the look, hate hate hate the price!

[can i get an amen?]

however, i never expected to own any furniture from pottery barn unless i hit the lottery [which i don't play] or unexpectedly inherited a million dollars from my great aunt gladys [don't have a great aunt gladys]. but then, the shanty2chic girls showed me that with some extreme diy talent and very careful measuring, you can have a nearly identical pottery-barn-style type of furniture for literally a tenth of the price!

i decided to start small. after all, my only pottery-barn-esque experience so far has been the lovely pottery barn balls that now happily reside in a birdcage on my mantle. the inspiration was pottery barn kids' bulk bins for toy storage:
as soon as i saw these unfinished wood vegetable crates at my local michael's craft store... not to mention their $10 price tag [plus frequent 40% off coupons!] as opposed to the $99 at pbk... i decided i thought it really could be done!
i started with 6 bins since that's what the toy-designated area of our living room would accommodate. with coupons, each bin cost $5-$6 , making a total of $36 because i bought 6, and the same set-up of that many bins would have been $200 at pbk! M was ever so sweet and helped me glue them together with some wood glue- notice our lovely workout-weights weighing them down as the glue dried in our basement.
of course, after i bought the first four bins, they went out of stock and it took like six weeks to get the last two to finish it.

once i got the configuration all glued together, it was just a matter of smoothing down the sides and edges with just a bit of sandpaper errrm, a LOT of sanding, and painting them white with about 2 cans of primer and 3 of spray paint... ta-da!

toy area before:
toy area after!
[and a slight move to below the big window]
i love that the bottom layer is easily accessible to crawlers and it's sturdy enough to be pulled up on, and all the toys in it can easily be pulled out and put back away by the kiddos themselves. and now there are nice little separate bins to where each little type of toy can have a home, and my organizational/storage obsession can continue!
[now i need something on the wall up there in that one spot!]by the way, if you're feeling a little fancy and brave enough to bust out the jig saw, be sure to check out one of my absolute favorite inspiration blogs... knock off wood. the amazing writer of this blog makes replica step-by-step plans for building your own versions of lots of the pottery barn/crate and barrel/land of nod super expensive furniture. she did a version of these toy bins for under $20 in materials! although i'm a little too scared of a wood saw and prefer the glue-and-go version, i would love to see if anybody attempts this project with her amazing plans!
[ps] i keep calling them toy bins, but i also think they'd be adorable as veggie bins/a cool recycling center in the pantry!

i was so high on the success of the project that when i also saw their wood crates, i immediately thought of that cute apple crate bookshelf i wrote about a few months back:
they might need a little painting/aging/roughing up, but they could be so cute as basement wall/craft room organization! or maybe a media/tv shelf somehow?


  1. so cute! Thanks for the great idea!

  2. Great ideas! I've been searching for some simple, creative, and cost effective storage that would transform our current office into a playroom. I now have my inspiration!

  3. lindsey.. did you special order the crates from Michaels? The only ones I could find are the regular wood crates and I SO want to do this project! It's the perfect toy organization for our basement!!

    1. If you find them somewhere, PLEASE let me know! I have been searching for them for a while now and haven't been able to find them. I soooo badly want to do this, too.

  4. hi there! i didn't special order them, although that would be a great idea! i just went & bought one at a time every time i got my hands on a 40% off coupon. it took quite a bit longer that way [esp. when they went out of stock for awhile!] but that made it much more affordable to get all 6 of them. hope that helps you!

  5. Has anyone been able to find these crates? Or were you able to special order them?

    I have been wanting to do this project for so long and can't find anything even remotely close to these crates. Only the square ones. Not the ones with the slanted front. :(

  6. You can find these crates at craft stores like Michaels or JoAnn's. You can also download coupons from your phone,e-mail, or newspaper they have 40% or 50% off coupons

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. So I have bought these crates. My question is dud you add something to each of the corners of the crates? If so what? It looks like perhaps some quarter round or something.

  9. I've been trying to find these crates. I've checked at my local Michael's & Jo-Ann's stores and cannot find them anywhere! Has anyone found them any place else, or even online?

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