Milk Crate Ideas for the Classroom

Milk crates are commonly used in classrooms for many different functions. While they can be used for storage, they can also be repurposed into DIY classroom furniture. Teachers use them because they are durable, stackable, and strong enough to hold heavy weight. It’s one of those items that teachers collect to make things for themselves rather than having to buy expensive ready-made items. These random milk crates that are colleted, are usually spray painted to match the classroom theme.

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  • Make create seats: Lots of teachers make their own crate seats for students using milk crates and seating cushions. I found this ready made set on Amazon and let me tell you, IT IS PRICEY. So instead, it is best to make it yourself, using milk crates and small bar stool cushions with ties. 


  • Use them to store file folders: Your hanging file folders can be placed into milk crates. They can be stacked with the folders. If you need to store files that you hardly use, and you really just want to have them stashed away in a corner, then I would recommend this. In the second picture, the teacher drilled holes on the lips of this milk crate, added a few ‘O’ rings, and her laminated labels.

  • Build a laptop charging rack: Use milk crates, zip ties, and heavy-duty lid organizers (#ad) to build charging stations for your students’ screen devices.


  • Use them to store clipboards: You can take this a step further by inserting rods horizontally through the milk crate from one end to the next to keeep the clipboards upright.

  • Add them to your library shelves: If your library shelves are spaced apart enough, you can add a few milk crates to hold some books.

  • Make a cubby shelf: First of all, a milk crate shelf is the most practical purpose that most teachers would have need of. Use glue and zip ties to hold the milk crates together. If you have mismatched crates, spray paint them to match your decor. I recommend these milk crates from Sterilite because they are super strong.

See milk crate classroom library shelves in this blog post about classroom library ideas.

How do you use milk crates and where do you get them from? You can tell me in the comment section below. See more classroom DIY ideas for recycling everyday items into something that most teachers need for their classrooms.