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DIY Dutch Tulip Crate

How to Make a Dutch Tulip Crate for Spring

Dutch tulip crates are new to me, I have never seen a real one, but when I stumbled across one online it was an instant I want that. Of course being a tulip crate I needed to wait for Spring decorating season but I had the pallet wood hoarded aside while waiting make my own DIY Dutch tulip crate

Like any simple hard working wood crates you can use them in multiple ways, but for now my dutch tulip crate pallet project is holding a Spring centerpiece for my coffee table. I am always curious about anything vintage so I did a little reading about tulip crates.

A DIY Dutch tulip crate filled with assorted Spring decor. A large bunny, wood beads, a wooden Easter egg in a clay pot, and a large vintage jug holding greenery.

Tulip crates were used to force tulip bulbs, the metal mesh base allows air to circulate and prevents the tulips from rotting. The four corners posts are used to stack the tulip crates on top of each other, and the growers name is typically stenciled on the outside.

Because a dutch tulip crate is meant to be vintage and working you can make it as rustic or a fancy as you like. Some have wire mesh bottoms, others like this one also have have wood slats. Some have stencil on the sides, and some are stained shiny and new. This particular DIY tulip crate has a wood slat bottom and no mesh so it can do double duty as a rustic table riser. Because the tulip crate can be used flipped over I didn’t add a stencil to the side of mine. Its made out of old pallet wood and cost us nothing to build. I so love when things are free, don’t you. Lets get started.

Tulip Crate Supplies

A piece of 2 by 4 scrap lumber 8 inches long

5 full length pallet boards.

80 grit sandpaper

Nails or air nails

Piece of metal hardware mesh or wire mesh for the bottom (optional)

Pallet Wood Cut Lengths

We may be thinking of Spring in our house but it is very cold -28C while we were building this tulip crate. Hubs bless him cut the wood outside in the garage and then we assembled it in the kitchen. He used his mitre saw to cut the wood to the following lengths.

Pallet wood cut into lengths for building a tulip crate. There are 4 posts, two long strips and 7 short strips for making the tulip crate.

4 pieces of 2 by 4. Cut the 2 by 4 in half, and then cut into 4 inch lengths.

2 pieces of 1 by 4 pallet boards cut 20 inches long. For the long sides

7 pieces of 1 by 4 pallet boards cut 16 inches long. For the short sides and the bottom.

Once cut he used 100 grit sandpaper and gave each board a sanding to remove slivers.

How to Build a Tulip Crate

Once all the wood was cut the tulip care is super easy to put together. We began by laying out the pallet wood the way we wanted it assembled. Notice the four posts are on top of the bottom pieces meaning no cut outs required. By placing the long 20″ boards on the outside of the 16″ ends it meant the bottom and the ends could all be 16″.

All the different cut wood pieces lined to assemble into a tulip crate.

Hubs began by nailing the four corners of the outside pieces together at each corner.

Nailing the corners of a tulip crate together around the small wood post in the corner.

Once he had the four outside pieces aligned square and nailed. He went around and connected the four posts through the side pieces using longer nails.

Building a tulip crate using pallet wood. The image shows the corner of the tulip crate being nailed together with an air nailer.

As a final step, he spaced the bottom pieces evenly leaving slots and then attached the each bottom piece with two air nails on each end.

Attaching wood cross pieces to form the bottom of a tulip crate made using pallets.

I didn’t place any stencils on the side of this tulip crate because it would look strange if I used it as a table riser.

A tulip crate thats been turned over to use as a table riser.
A DIY tulip crate made from pallets is holding a Spring decor arrangement with a bunny, neutral fabric carrots, a wooden egg, beads and a vintage jar with a large branch.

Finishing the Tulip Crate

You could stain it or add varathane to protect your tulip crate if you like, but I liked mine rustic and shabby and industrial looking just as it was. I imagine that is how the vintage tulip crates are.

Once it finally warms up here I want at least one more for the picnic table outside. I might play around with white washing or stenciling on it but I don’t feel its needed. The one addition I did make was to add four lengths of floor protection felt to the bottom of each corner on the tulip crate. I don’t want to even think about the damage the crate could do to modern veneer furniture.

Adding beige strips of felt to the bottom of a tulip crate to protect furniture.

Tulip Video Tutorial

These really is a simple build, here is a video that shows how easy it was for Hubs to nail it together.

A DIY Dutch tulip crate made out of old pallet wood. The tulip crate is on a coffee table with a vintage jar holding a branch, bunnies, neutral coloured fabric carrots and other Spring decor.

Now I have to ask Hubs to make me a second one for the kitchen, maybe with hardware cloth and a stencil? It will eventually quit snowing and the tulip crate can make its way out to the picnic table. Its such a neutral piece it would look great with white dishes, or plants, or a book stack, a fairy garden, and more.

A tulip crate DIY made out of naturally aged pallet wood.  The tulip crate is holding an assortment of neutral Spring decor.  There is a bunny, wooden Easter egg, Terracotta pot, vintage jug as a vase and farmhouse beads.

Other Pallet and Scrap Wood Ideas

Large table riser made with wood for rustic farmhouse kitchen decor.

DIY Wood Riser Stand

A very quick and simple to make DIY wood table riser. The soft wood grain adds warmth to a bright white dining area.

DIY Cutting board in white with a french farmhouse graphic sheep on the front.

DIY Cutting Board

Glue some leftover wood together, trace the pattern, cut, paint and stencil and you get this fancy farmhouse DIY cutting board for cheap.

10 Comments

  1. Leanna, this is such a cool crate!! I just saw a tall wooden pallet with tall wood sides up next to our fire department station’s trash bins… It still hasn’t been scavenged! I did ask Hubby if he’d want it for a project, but at the time he said no. I still think it has potential and could drag it home… 😉

    So glad you stopped by to link up your post. <3 Happy to have featured your crate at this week's Share Your Style #380. I took the past two Wednesdays off with exhaustion and then eye surgery (cataract removal/new lens), so SYS is back.

    Hope you had a nice St. Patrick's Day,
    Hugs,
    Barb 🙂

    1. I am honoured Barbara, thank you for the feature. Scoop the pallet. I am sure you will love having the tulip crate. I need/want more of them.

  2. Hi Leanna –
    This is such a good idea – and particularly for spring! Thank you for the step by step instructions.

  3. This is so pretty! Tulips are my favorite flowers and this reminds me so much of Spring.

  4. I’ve never heard of tulip crates either so I’m really glad you shared this tutorial. It makes it much easier to reproduce and we have so many pallets we could use. If we live closer I’d send some your way too.

    1. I bet you could use them in many ways, and the shipping rates would be just a tiny bit brutal lol.

  5. Love this so much! We made one for my Mom several years ago because one of her favorite childhood memories was going to the tulip fields and she loved it. We love ours and use it all the time and I hope you get a lot of use out of yours too! Hugs, CoCo

    1. This is the first one I have made, but they are fantastic I want at least one more as long as I can locate some pallets. Thank you for commenting.

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