How to Make Your Own Harvest Tote

Repurpose a vintage crate into a trusty tool for garden harvest that doubles as a drying rack for herbs and other gatherings.

Harvest tote  DIY

A vintage fruit crate inspired this project. A comparable wooden crate will work well. The garden tote design serves multiple uses: The open weave of the hardware cloth bottom allows you to rinse just-picked produce in the tote -- the water drains away readily. Turn the tote over and use it as a drying rack for herbs or seed heads.

Hardware cloth is galvanized wire mesh with 1/4- or 1/20-inch openings that's available in various-length rolls from home improvement stores. Wear heavy-duty gloves when working with hardware cloth to protect your skin.

In the organizing mood? Try this DIY outdoor gardening station.

What You Need:

Harvest tote tools and materials
  • Wooden crate
  • Measuring tape
  • 1/4-inch hardware cloth
  • Masking tape
  • Metal snips
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer or screwdriver
  • 1/4×3/4-inch wood edging (screen/shelf edge)
  • 1/2-inch nail or 1-1/4-inch nails
  • #6×1-inch wood screws
  • Drill
  • Exterior stain/sealer
  • Paintbrush
  • Drawer pulls

Step 1: Measure

Harvest tote DIY

Measure bottom of crate. Add 1 inch to the width and length (for a 3/4-inch overlap on each side), and use masking tape to mark dimensions on hardware cloth. Use metal snips to cut hardware cloth.

Step 2: Cut

Harvest tote DIY

Use pry bar to carefully remove bottom boards of crate. Remove any remaining nails or staples using hammer or screwdriver. Use metal snips to cut lengths of screen/shelf edging to fit outer bottom edges of crate.

Step 3: Fit

Harvest tote DIY

Fold down the four overlapping edges of mesh, fitting it snugly over bottom of crate. Cut away overlapped corners to ease and smooth the fit.

Step 4: Nail

Harvest tote DIY

Position piece of precut edging in place on an overlapping edge of hardware cloth and nail to crate using 1/2- or 1-1/4-inch nails, depending on thickness of board. Repeat to edge bottom perimeter of crate.

Step 5: Drill

Harvest tote DIY

Drill two wood screws through ends of each side board and into end boards to reinforce structure.

Step 6: Seal

Harvest tote DIY

Apply a coat of stain/sealer to entire crate using a paintbrush. Let dry overnight. Apply second coat of stain/sealer; let dry. Attach a drawer pull to each end of tote.

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