Crate Seat Tutorial ~ Classroom Organization

Hello everyone! I hope that everyone is having a fabulous summer so far! As I was pouring through Pinterest last week, I decided to take on a summer classroom project! One struggle that I face is that my classroom is very small and I teach fourth grade.  Fourth graders are big bodies for such a small space.  With that being said, the amount of space that chairs take up and the clutter that they cause really bothers me.  I have seen these adorable Crate Seats all over the place so I decided to pursue making them for my Guided Reading Kidney Table! Not only will they be adorable for the kids to sit on, underneath the cushion provides more storage space for Guided Reading materials! I know SO many people who love this idea as much as I do, so I decided to make this blog post to show you how to make them for your classroom!  Below are step by step instructions with pictures showing how to make them:

  Materials needed ~ 

  • Crates (I purchased mine from Wal-Mart for $3.47 each)
  • Fabric (1 yard will make 4 crates.  I purchased mine from Jo-Ann Fabric with my 15% off Teacher Discount.  I bought 2 yards for $10.98)
  • Mattress Pad (I bought a Queen Size from Wal-Mart to allow for extra crafts in the future ~ 18.94)
  • Plywood (1/2" thickness.  I purchased my crates first and took them to Lowe's.  The wonderful staff there helped me measure and cut the wood to perfectly fit my crates.  Even though they cut the wood for you, it's still cheaper to purchase a whole piece which cost $18.45.)
  • Staple gun
  • Hammer
  • Ribbon
Total Cost of Materials (to make 8 crates) = $76.13
**Rembmer, this cost comes with a lot of extra wood and mattress pad for future crafts-- (I'm thinking maybe a crate BENCH??!!)

1.  Purchase all items from the store.  When purchasing your wood, make sure to have them cut it for you.  They will do it for FREE :)

(What a teacher's car ALWAYS looks like)

(Getting my wood cut at Lowe's)

(Perfect Fit!)

Shopping is FINISHED! I'm ready to start.

2.  Lay out your mattress pad to measure where to cut it.  I used a thick Sharpie to outline my pre-cut pieces of wood.  You want to make sure that the cushion is exactly as large as the piece of wood and no bigger.  If the mattress pad folds around the side of the wood, this could make the wood bigger, causing it to no longer fit your crate.  

3.  Cut the mattress pad.  
4.  Measure and cut the fabric (like I said, 1 yard should make about 4 crates.) When you measure the fabric, make sure that there is enough fabric to fold around the sides.  It should look like this when compared to your board and foam:

5.  Lay the fabric out upside down (pretty side that you want to show facing the ground) like this: 

6.  Next, lay the mattress pad and then the wood on top of the upside down fabric.  Here are the steps:


7.  Next, wrap the board and foam with the fabric like a present.  I found that using tape to secure it first was easiest and it made it easier for me to use the staple gun.  

8.  Next, use the staple gun to secure the fabric to the back of the wood.  My staples had a really hard time going in at first.  I learned that I had to use A LOT of force and be strong when using the staple gun.  If your staples aren't going all the way in, try using a hammer to finish the job.  That worked pretty well for me! 

9.  When you are finished, flip it over and it will look like this.  YOU ARE ALMOST FINISHED!! :)

10.  Lastly, cut your ribbon and attach it to one of the sides.  Fold the ribbon in half and attach the loose ends to the underneath of the board with the staple gun.  The ribbon is used to easily lift the cushion to access the storage space underneath :) 

Here is what your finished product will look like when everything is completed:

I hope that EVERYONE enjoys this tutorial and that it is helpful for you! If you have any questions please contact me! Also, as always please make sure to "like" me on Facebook, follow this blog, and check out my TpT store for super fun products! Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July weekend!


  1. I purchased crates mid-year, last year, but just put pillows on the seats, because I didn't want to mess with creating the cushions. I think I will have to make cushions before the school year starts! Thanks for making it look simple.

    Thriving in 3rd

    1. Absolutely! Thanks for stopping by :) it REALLY is as simple as it looks!

  2. One of my buddies made these last year - they turn out so well! Such adorable seating.
    Buzzing with Ms. B

  3. I have been looking for a tutorial for how to make these. Your directions were so specific and clear. Thanks!

    1. Absolutely! I'm glad it was helpful for you!

  4. Any idea how much weight one can/should hold? ;)

  5. How do your kiddos size up when using these seats? I used to worry they would be too small for my 4th graders. Thanks!