Make Vintage Berry Crates

berry baskets

Do you love vintage pieces? Today, we are going to speak about how to make vintage berry crates.  As I said summer is here and this means berry season.  I especially look forward to this produce being available in abundance!

I begin thinking about berry smoothies, blueberry galettes, blueberry pies and adding these to fruits to Sangria. Dfo you enjoy berry season as much as I do?

Besides enjoying berries, I also am a fan of vintage fruit crates. Are you a fan? You know the ones with the metal edges and the patina? For me this has been on my search out thrifting. Unfortunately, I have had no luck.

So, I came up with the next best thing, make my own vintage looking crates. And wait until you see how I make these little berry crate gems! This is such a simple way to add an old look.

First off, it took one click on my computer and BAM I find these HERE.

Before I get into how to make vintage berry crates, I think I will share a few ideas of how to use these too!

Different Ideas to Use These Berry Crates for Food Ideas and in the Home and Gift Giving

A Few Ways to Use This Crate Idea

  • Besides berries, how about lining these containers with a pretty napkin and filling it with your favorite snack poolside?   
  • Also, line with a napkin and fill with a slider and fries. 
  • How about adding a small glass dish in this container and filling it with your favorite dipping sauce for fries?
  • Another example is lining these with paper and filling these crates with an assortment of cheeses, fruits and crackers on a charcuterie board or tray.
  • I also think these fruit baskets will be fun with different sorts of candies and small desserts. Think about, cubes of poundcake, wrapped chocolates and M&M’s.
  • Store hair ties inside
  • Make a May Day basket for a family member or friend.
  • How about adding nail polish wrapped pretty and giving this as a gift?
  • Use this to store teas

These will also be great for favors for your guest. Filling a cellophane bag inside the crate and assorted cookies and other treats.

Make Vintage Berry Crates Easily Using Natural Products Such as Tea

After receiving these crates, I began coming up with an idea of how to age fruit crates.  Also, how to make them crates have a vintage worn old look.

So then became the plan.  I didn’t want to deal with stain.  Besides these containers are balsa wood and I think stain would have been too heavy.

Also, I am trying to keep this food safe as well so the idea of chemical stain seeping through didn’t site well with me. For the most part, unless the food is wrapped, I will always line these with food safe paper. Because you never can be too safe.

baskets before doing anything to them

So, how did I make these berry crates look old? 

Step 1: Make Hot Tea or Coffee to Begin Staining

I brewed some hot tea using our Keurig machine.  After it cooled, using a chip brush I began adding the tea to stain these naturally.

Supplies Needed:

Above you can see the tea did change these crates, however this didn’t give them quite the look I am wanting for this craft project.

Adding Dry Clove and Tea for More Texture for an Aged Look

Step 2: Pour a Decent Amount of Clove on a Paper Plate

Next, I began adding dry clove.  Here, take the plastic top off and pour a decent amount of the clove in a bowl.


hot tea and cloves

By the way, my craft room is smelling amazing while adding the clove to the craft idea. If there’s no clove available, cinnamon will also work for this step as well.

How To Make Vintage Berry Crates after brushing using the brush

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container after painted with tea for staining

Meanwhile while the cartons were drying a bit I kept the tea nearby, so I was able to keep my brush a bit damp. I did this to have the ability to move the clove around. 

Above, you will notice the different texture beginning to take shape from the spice.

How To Make Vintage Berry Crates dipping the brush into to the tea to add more dry clove
adding the cry clove to add even more of a vintage look to the berry crates

the baskets drying overnight

Adding More Texture and Age Using Craft Paint

Step 3: Brush a Bit of Medium Grey Craft Paint on Edges

Next, to have these berry crates begin to have even more of a vintage look, I use a small brush and medium grey craft paint. 

a small paint brush

I begin adding a bit of paint and smooth into the containers.  Fruit crates tend to get that blackish/charcoal color on seams and corners.  Doing this step didn’t take long and added extra age to the vintage look.

How To Make Vintage Berry Crates adding medium grey craft paint to add another layer of an old age look

Adding These Vintage Containers to My Decor

Step 4: Adding These to Different Spots on the Top of My Kitchen Hutch

Lastly, adding this tea and spice-stained crates to my summer hutch brings a touch of whimsy.  They also add a rustic natural look that I love mixed with elegant pieces. 

the vintage crates next to a topiary, old green seltzer bottle and a small flower pot with a moss ball inside
How To Make Vintage Berry Crates a close up of the baskets

Here’s an example where the texture and details of this simple aging process can be seen.

the vintge berry crates next to a cloche with a flowerpot inside filled with lambs ear.  two flower pots stacked next to the cloche with moss inside the flowerpots

I truly think these fruit baskets definitely have the old, aged appearance of a vintage berry basket! Don’t you?

Just look at this patina beauty on these on display! I must admit when I see these, I am beyond thrilled with this natural technique.

a close up of the finished craft project

I hope you enjoyed this easy and natural process to make vintage berry crates. This project is especially fast and easy to create. Let me know if you love old pieces in your home too. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments. 

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Hello, my name is Cindy and welcome to Cloches & Lavender. I enjoy making our house a home with antiques and thrifted finds. Antiques are used as my staples in my dcor to remain on a budget. I will often upcycle pieces with paint to make them new again. I enjoy DIYs

53 thoughts on “Make Vintage Berry Crates

  1. I can almost smell the cloves through the computer screen. I thought you were going to show us how to make the actual berry crate based on your post title. The way you stained the wood resulted in a beautiful color. Enjoy using these for summer decor!

  2. These look lovely and aged. Vintage inspired…I’ve done this with new grape crates. I used diluted paint. I love your layered technique.

  3. This is such a great craft!!! Thanks so much for sharing how you transform these little berry baskets… How cute!!!!

  4. Pinning these right now, Cindy, they are so fantastic! I love the way you used the cloves to add texture and tea for the stain. You are so creative and always coming up with ideas I would have never thought of in a million years. I’m super excited to try these! Hugs, CoCo

  5. These are so cool Cindy! I have some berry baskets and I can’t wait to try this technique on them! Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Farmhouse Friday – we’re featuring you at tomorrow’s party!

  6. Popping over from Farmhouse Friday. Wow, they look just like authentic timeworn berry baskets. So cool! I’ve used the tea technique for aging but never cloves and gray paint. I’m definitely trying that next time.

  7. Great post, Cindy! I love vintage berry crates! Thanks for sharing all these tips! Have a great week!

  8. These are so cool, Cindy! I love that they can be used throughout the year and how you aged them to perfection too. They’re fabulous! Pinning – CoCo

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