DIY Mid-Century Style Beer Crate Side Table

Every once in a while one of my (many) project failures turns into an unexpected success.

I originally started out staining a smaller wooden crate in which I received some cheese I won (I know, I’m the luckiest girl alive) to make into a side table. All was going well until I tried to attach the hairpin legs that I ordered and found that their bases were too wide to even fit onto the box itself. Since all of my messier projects are done at my parents’, I scavenged around to find something else I could attach the legs to.

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I remembered an old wooden Pabst Blue Ribbon crate that used to hold firewood at our house and dug it out of the garage. After dumping out the wood scraps and cleaning the dust off, it was the exact style I was looking for, right down to the “Blue Ribbon” stamp on the side and the circular bottle marks worn onto it—and, more importantly, the perfect size for attaching the hairpin legs!

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I gave the crate a cleaning and a couple of coats of stain. After shaving down the length of the screws so they wouldn’t poke through onto what would become the bottom shelf (another perk of doing projects at home since I don’t exactly have a sawzall in my apartment—thanks, Dad!), the legs attached easily and I had a new-old table! 

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I absolutely love how this table turned out. From the size to the color to the beer theme, it was the perfect thing to use (and much better than the one I originally intended on using).

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It fits right into my apartment and is the perfect scale for a small space. I wasn’t sure what I would use it for, but it’s been working great to hold photo albums and assorted tchotchkes I want to display (like my antique mitochondria slide, duh).

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St. Patrick’s Day Beer Coozies

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A trio of St. Paddy’s Day coozies (and just in the nick of time).

You didn’t think I’d let my second favorite holiday pass without a theme project, did you? Well, I might in the future because these were a lot harder than they seemed. There’s not one of these that I didn’t have to restart at least once. I should probably be hiding that fact but, hey, I’ve had a couple of beers so let’s get real with each other.

First of all, I could not find a pattern for exactly what I wanted. You’d think there would be lots of other people with Venn diagrams of interests where knitting and beer overlapped, but I guess not. For the bottle coozie, I based it off of this pattern, adding in the stripes. This one worked out pretty well but I had to restart it after I realized that using the amount of stitches it said to cast on, it was gigantic (more like wine bottle size). I adjusted it from 56 stitches to 34.

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Bottle coozie in Irish colors.

The next coozie turned out pretty well, at least compared to the first one. I adjusted the same pattern for the size of the can by measuring and multiplying stitches per inch. Stay in school, kids. Algebra is real life. Turns out checking gauge is actually a pretty good idea! Note for the future.

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The Irish flag coozie.

This next one was what I intended to do all along and had to work my way up to. While I knit the others in the round, I could not figure out how to get the intarsia clover pattern in there at the same time and ended up starting over. I knit it flat and then sewed it together up the seam. It turned out being much taller than I intended and also don’t look at the lower right leaf. I don’t know what happened there. I’m not even sure if this counts as a beer coozie. Any idea what else it could be? Whiskey bottle coozie? Arm band? Garbage?

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The fancy one. Hey, I tried.

I would say I’ll be making this next year but after these projects…maybe I’ll just stick to drinking beer. Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Cheers!