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canadian butter box storage

March 29

Back in the ’90s I snagged this old, wooden Canadian butter crate out of my dad’s basement workshop. It was serving a satisfactory purpose as a rag bin, but I decided to transform and elevate it into an ottoman by constructing a DIY damask upholstered top from a square of plywood and 2″ foam and adding some wooden feet.

butter box - saf affect

Fast forward a couple of decades and this box had been relegated to my parents’ attic. Until I came across this photo from Apartment Therapy, of a desk transformed into an industrial chic change table…

butter box - apartment therapy

…and (on the same day) this photo from Covet Garden magazine, of an old butter box in new decor.

butter box - covet magazine

So I asked my mother for it back, for I realized (without the ’90s top) it would fit in well with the industrial vintage touches in my decor. Now, inspired by the Covet Garden image, it sits nicely under my vintage metal typing table night stand.

butter box bedside storage - saf affect

9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4 8:36 am

    Everything old is new again. Love it!

    • April 4 11:21 am


    • Anonymous permalink
      September 19 4:05 pm

      hi there! i love what you have done. i have a few old butter boxes that i would like to re-purpose and am wondering if you have any guidance on how you get the boxes clean and not greasy in order to use?

      • September 20 9:25 am

        Thank you! I have a good friend who is good at these sorts of things. She recommends that you clean the box with pure vinegar, applied with fine steel wool, testing it on the bottom first. You may need to cut the intensity of the vinegar with water. Try out a solution that works for this piece. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can try mineral spirits, cautiously, again testing on the bottom. Then you can wax or oil the box to bring out the full colour and character of the wood and remove further butter markings. If there are some remaining ‘blemishes’ these tell the history of the piece. Have fun!

  2. Amy permalink
    April 8 2:18 pm

    I remember putting my feet up on this stool in our apartment after graduation! 🙂

    • April 8 2:32 pm

      Well you do tell me I tend to hang onto the odd thing longer than I probably should. But look – it might just come in handy one day again! 😉

  3. April 15 10:04 am

    I love old crates. Yours is pretty fab! All it took was a second look 😉

  4. Anonymous permalink
    October 2 11:56 am

    thank you so much for the guidance. super helpful and i will give that a try!

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