Creative Island

If kids are going to have fun and have a place to toss their stuff at the end of the day, easy-to-use storage containers are a must. Here's how to make a creative island that serves as both a workspace and a clutter catcher.


A creative kids' work island made from wooden crates and a plywood top.

Materials and Tools:

wooden crates
tack cloth
spray-paint primer
enamel spray paint in desired colors
wood screws
piece of laminated plywood for top
marker and paint can to draw rounded edge on tabletop
jigsaw and reverse blade
iron-on laminate trim


1. Pick up wooden crates at your local home store for less than $10 apiece. Buy the kind of crates you need to make the island the size and shape you want.

2. Prepare the crates for painting by sanding them smooth, making sure to sand the handle area. Use a tack cloth to remove all the dust.

3. Spray-paint the crates outside or inside in a well-ventilated area. Prime them first with spray-paint primer, and when the primer is dry, apply top coat. The durability of enamel spray paint makes it a good choice for kids' furnishings.

4. Arrange the crates as desired to form the base of the unit, and attach them with wood screws.

5. Top the base with a piece of laminated plywood. Laminated plywood, available in 4' by 8' sheets from home-improvement centers, can be ordered cut to size, but you'll have to finish the square corners yourself. Trace around a paint can at each corner, then cut the rounded corners with a jigsaw. Use a reverse blade to prevent the corners from chipping.

6. Cover the rounded corners with iron-on laminate trim.

7. Attach the tabletop securely to the base with screws, inserting them from underneath.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Treasure Chest

These tiny treasure boxes are perfect for hiding the smallest of keepsakes.

Tips and Tricks for Creating Wall Murals in a Kid's Room

Murals are one of the most popular design elements for children’s bedrooms, playrooms and nurseries. Find out what you need to know whether you plan on DIYing or hiring a pro.

Creative Wedding Decorations

Make a beautiful pew marker from silk roses, ivy, silk ribbon and pearls. The embellishments are up to you.

How to Make a Fairy Costume

Learn how to transform a plain dress into a fairy costume come true.

How to Host a Kid-Friendly Painting Party

Find practical tips for how to throw a creative painting party at home.

Bathroom Organization on the Micro Level

The bathroom is a collecting point for countless toiletries and knickknack that can make for a big mess. Here's how to keep them within reach but out of the way.

Homemade Costume Wings

Wings are a fun thing any time of year. The authors explain how easy it is to create your own butterfly, angel or fairy wings.

Creative Genius: Meet the Blairs

Learn more about the husband and wife behind the popular blog, Design Mom.

How to Plant a Kid-Friendly Garden

Encourage your kids to embrace their inner gardener this season.

10 Ways to Banish Winter Boredom

Entertaining and occupying kids during long winter days isn't easy, but it can be fun. We have lots of ideas to get you started.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.