Stained washcloth crate with DIY metal tag

In one afternoon recently, I transformed this small, unfinished crate (from Crates and Pallet, available at Home Depot) into this washcloth holder for our master bathroom using some stain and sheet metal.


To replicate this project, check out the steps below.

Step 1: Apply a coat of Varathane® water-based wood stain in Worn Navy to any unfinished crate.


This stain dries in one hour and cleans up with soap and water, which means there is now hope for finishing a project during my toddler’s nap time. 🙂


Step 2: Apply a coat of Varathane Antique White stain over the navy color, using a piece of steel wool to rub it into the grain to create an aged finish. Wipe off any excess.


Step 3: After the stain dries, seal the crate with a coat of polyurethane. I like Varathane Triple Thick Polyurethane. I used the satin finish for this project.

Step 4: While your poly is drying, trace an oval shape onto a piece of thin sheet metal. You’ll want to keep the shape rounded to avoid any sharp corners.

Sheet-metal-labelStep 5: Cut out the shape using a pair of tin snips. I bought mine for about $10 at Home Depot.


Step 6: Label the cutout using a hammer and letter stamp punch set. I used this one.*

Step 7: Attach your label to the crate with tiny screws or brads. Done! 



What do you think of my new washcloth crate?

Special thanks to Rust-Oleum for providing the Varathane products needed to complete this project. As always, all thoughts, opinions and projects are 100 percent mine.

*This is an affliate link. Purchasing through this link won’t cost you anything additional, but a small portion will come back to Living Rich on Less, helping me continue to provide great, free content to you. Thanks in advance for your support!

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5 Responses

  1. Kim R says:

    very cute! I had no idea the stain dries so quickly! and I really like your antiquing technique.

  2. I really like the paint technique you used … Have never used steel wool but look forward to giving it a try. Love the stamped metal also. So clever! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Brittany says:


    Did you use a corse or fine steel wool? Also did you sand the project prior to the navy stain?

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