16 Creative Ways to Upcycle Used Wine Crates
Oh, wine, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. You take the edge off at the end of a long day, you bring out the flavor in the yummiest foods and your bottles make for the best DIY projects. Come to think of it, so do wine corks. AND wine crates. Sure, most of us only buy wine by the bottle, but the fine folks at our local wine shop usually don’t mind parting with their open-faced wooden boxes once they’re through with them. Maybe we can’t all have the wine cellar of our dreams or order our bottles by the dozen, but that won’t stop us from enjoying our favorite reds, whites and rosés and thinking up cool ways to upcycle those crates into something awesome.
1. $3 DIY Nightstand: The process behind this upcycling project has just two steps: stain and stack. The folks who made it spent $1 per wine crate and used a can of wood stain they already had on hand. Looking to add a little color to your bedroom? Paint would work just as well. (via Redbook)
2. High/Low Modular Bookshelves: It’s amazing what a few binder clips and a bit of ingenuity can do. Case in point: this bric-a-brac-style shelving system which can be modified at any time to fit a different space, accommodate items in a different order or just plain mix things up for fun. This one in particular is an IKEA hack, but you can use wine crates for a similar — and even cooler — effect. (via Remodelista)
3. Wine Crate Display Cases: Sure, wine crates are eye-catching enough to use as display cases all on their own, but if you want to go the extra mile, consider adding some pretty paper or fabric into the mix. A high-contrast pattern in a palette of colors that pop against your wall can make a project like this the greatest conversation piece in the room. (via Design*Sponge)
4. Hanging Display Shelf: If you’re more of a minimalist, a naked crate hung with a simple hook and string is just the ticket for a handy display shelf. Just be sure to do a little due diligence before stocking it up: Sand down the surface to avoid splinters and make sure the string is strong enough to hold whatever you’re storing on the shelf. (via Homedit)
5. Rustic Nightstand on Hairpin Legs: Stain or no stain, if you’ve only got one crate to work with, the simple addition of a set of legs will give you an equally beautiful and quirky nightstand (or side table, for that matter). Find a vintage set of hairpin legs for a nostalgic vibe or go with brushed metal or painted wood for a more current look. Whichever kind you choose, just make sure they’re the right height for comfortably hitting the snooze button a few times. (via Apartment Therapy)
6. Upcycled Double Height Wine Box Storage Ottoman: Especially great for those of us who live in small spaces, furniture that doubles as storage delivers a practical one-two punch that saves space — and money, in this case. Available on Etsy or perfect to use as an inspiration point for your own project, this double-stacked storage ottoman could even be used for extra seating. (via Made Anew Shop/Etsy)
7. DIY Wine Box Storage Case: For an ambitious DIY undertaking, a storage case with a hinged top might take a bit of effort, but it’s worth the work in the end. It requires a wine crate with a top, but in absence of that, a well-measured and cut piece of plywood works just as well. Its components can be mixed and matched however you’d like, but TBH, we’re in love with the jean-pocket feature. After all, who doesn’t have an extra give-away pair tucked away in their closet? (via DaWanda)
8. Elevated Dog Bowl: Even though Fido definitely can’t drink wine, he can still dine in style when the kibble hits the bowl. While this setup is available online, the DIY version is simple. Just take a measurement and cut a bowl-sized hole in the bottom of the crate, and voila! It’s doggie dinnertime. (via Whiner & Diner)
9. Zig-Zag Serving Tray: Another slightly advanced project (requiring some woodworking skills), this DIY yields a super cool serving tray, perfect for enjoying breakfast in bed, serving snacks and drinks to guests or using as a TV tray in a cute throwback to the 1950s. Also, did somebody say metallic washi tape? Game on. (via Lovely Indeed)
10. Rustic Magazine Holder: A bit of stain, a drill and some rope: That’s pretty much all you need to convert a simple wine crate into a rustic-elegant magazine holder. It could also be used as a living room catch-all for blankets, remote controls and the like. Choose a stain that complements the room and you’re in business. (via Pretty Handy Girl)
11. Outdoor Garden Crate: If you’ve got a little outdoor space but not enough lawn for a proper garden, wine crates can be your answer to everything. They offer a perfectly organized system for keeping plants separate from one another but are still pleasing to the eye. Plant some edibles for the most drool-worthy (not to mention easy-peasy) landscaping in the neighborhood. (via Remodelista)
12. White-Washed Window Box: Maybe you don’t have enough patio or yard for a garden (or maybe any patio or yard at all!), in which case you can still enjoy a garden, just on a smaller scale. If you have an available windowsill, you have space for a box garden of herbs, flowering plants or whatever kind of green goodness you feel like tending to. Once you’ve completed your project, just be sure to go with plants that need the same amount of sunlight the window provides. (via Pretty Handy Girl)
13. Colorful Crate Shoe Storage: Whether you’ve got a mudroom or a small entryway space for shoe storage, isn’t it nice to get that footwear up off the floor? In places where sand or mud is prevalent (Pacific Northwest and coastal region dwellers, we’re lookin’ at you), compartmentalization can actually extend the life of all those shoes since they’re no longer landing in a messy pile every time you kick them off. A little high-gloss paint makes these containers easy to clean and cute as can be. (via Apartment Therapy)
14. Decorative Storage Box: Similar to the rope-handled storage box above, this whitewashed bathroom crate can hold towels, bath products or even books and magazines, but instead of rustic rope handles, it takes cabinet pulls to complete the look. Either way you slice it, it’s a whole lot cuter than a plain plastic crate or that busted old Caboodles you’ve been using since middle school. (via HGTV)
15. Decorative Wedding Box: If you’ve got all the home accents you need but happen to be planning a wedding, wine crates are the perfect solution to a host of problems. Here, they’re a beautiful way to display table cards with the help of a little baby’s breath. This takes literally no effort at all: Just put in some filler and place cards, and poof! Instant charm. (via HGTV)
16. Wedding Centerpieces: Few things give off as cozy and romantic a vibe as warm wood tones and wildflowers, especially when they come together in a winery-inspired centerpiece at a wedding reception. Then again, you can always fancy up your dinner table at home with exactly the same thing; who cares if it’s a special occasion or not? (via Brides)
Are you trying any of these, or did they spark an idea all your own? Tell us in the comments section!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com