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Milk Crate Modification

Milk Crates are extremely versatile for modification, so much that the use of them for their original purpose to carry milk may not be the most useful use of this object. The modification of milk crates is widespread, with their standard proportions and milk crates being a common object these features make it ideal for modding. The modding of milk crates is also even tied to other mod cultures such as fixing a milk crate to the rear rack of a Honda CT110 postie bike. The feature of milk crates being stackable makes them able to be used to make large elaborate conctructions.

For my modifications I will be converting milk crates into furniture. Milk crates are already widely used as seating in their original state, however milk crate bum becomes a problem after sitting on one for too long. For furniture milk crates are very versatile in construction and can hold the weight needed to support a person very easily.

Mod 1: Removable Padded Cover

For this modification the brief is to make a removable top that can fit onto the modular shape of a milk crate. The initial concept I was thinking of was to have sime kind of pillow slip that could fit over the top of a crate, however I decided a second hand pillow attached to a timber base would be a more feasable solution.

The images above are of a mock-up prior to construction of my final prototype showing how a lip around the stackable area would work.

FILE:Thicknessing.jpg

This image is me thicknessing the timber that was used for the lip.

FILE:Checking lip.jpg

After the timber for the lip was cut, checking the size.

FILE:Cutting angles.jpg

Using a circular saw I cut 45 degree angles in my timber for the 4 joins.

FILE:Finished lip.jpg

The finished lip.

FILE:Pillow 1.jpg

Checking the original pillow for size.

FILE:Measuring mdf.jpg

Measuring up the sqare MDF top.

FILE:Countersinking 1.jpg

FILE:Countersinking 2.JPG

The 2 above images are of me countersinking the timber for screws.

FILE:Glueing.jpg

Glueing the top to the lip using PVA wood glue, the top was also screwed for strength.

FILE:Drying.jpg

Clamped up for drying.

FILE:Sanding lip.jpg

Sanding away the lip for spray painting.

After this stage I filled any gaps with putty, undercoated and spray painted the timber. I then used contact adhesive to connect the pillow to the timber.

FILE:Workshop finished.jpg

FILE:Finished 2.jpg

The final result, could be used on a single milk crate or two stacked as a bar stool. This has fitted on all the milk crates I have tried it on so far.

Mod 2: Park Bench

The second mod I produced is a more permanent use of a milk crate compared to mod 1, using milk crates as the base of the bench.


I used a black spray paint to prepare/treat the timber.

The way this is constructed is a bolt clamping a stop to the 3 timber slats. I needed to countersink the timber for this job because the shape of the bolts meant that it would protrude from the surface if it wasn't.

I then had to assemble the bench. The drill holes happened to correspond through the plastic of the milk crate so I needed to drill holes in the crate for the bolts.

I then lined all the holes up and bolted all the parts together.

The final outcome is very stable and there is not any bending in the timber when somebody sits on it. However, if I were to do this project again I would have used a much more lightweight material, not necessarily timber.

Mod 3: The Organisation of My Horrible, Wonderful Life

The milk crate's versatility means that it can be used in many situations and for my final mod I made a few modifications with milk crates to my existing desk area.

The size and shape of a milk crate makes it ideal for holding the size of a garbage bag so I will be using this as a rubbish bin from now on.

The desk in my room has an additional part that is meant to be mounted to a wall in an office building, however I have used a pair of bongos to suspend it for the past 10 years. Replacing them with milk crates means that I have a lot more space underneath the additional piece.

This extremely large olde black and white printer is the centerpiece of my room and using milk crates as a stand it can be now presented with the majesty that it deserves.