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Make a Back-To-School Crate Station

Back to School Crate Station Organization Station

My kids go back to school in less than a week.

Where did the Summer go???

I have been thinking of ways to get us all a little more organized with everything that is going to be happening once school starts.

It seems like the older my kids get, the more activities and events that are added to our family calendar. So I found some inexpensive crates at Hobby Lobby which were perfect for what I had in mind.

I also wanted to pretty up the crates and the pendants from {Styled By Tori} jewelry line that were perfect.

Here’s what I did:


  • I  picked up a little tray at my local thrift store. I loved the scalloped shape and it was $1 – yay!! I spray painted the tray with chalkboard spray paint. I love that stuff.
  • Then I personalized some file folders – I made one for each person in our family.
  • I took 4 inches of ribbon and folded it in half. I cut the edges and then stapled it onto each folder.
  • Then I added a letter tile to the ribbon with a glue dot. The staple helps the glue dot stick adhere to the tile better.
  • I spray painted the crates.
  • Then I took some silk fabric in my fabric stash and ripped a length 5 inches in width. I folded it over and wrapped it around each crate, tying it in a knot through one of the wood pieces to help it stay in place.
  • I added a little Distress Ink to the edges and wiped off the excess with a rag.
  • Then I attached a Styled By Tori Spelling pendant to the center of each knot. I used a needle to atttach the pendant by bringing the needle through the backside of the knot, through the loop at the back of each pendant and back through the knot to secure it.
  • I attached the chalkboard, magnetic platter to the wall with a 3m Picture Hanging Strip.

Then I assembled the crates. In the larger crate I put the folders. I love having a folder for each person in the family. That way I can put papers, permission slips, mail and flyers in each folder and that person can check their folder each day. It will save us time in the morning too. Instead of running around trying to find papers that have been misplaced, each person will know where their important papers are.

In the smaller crate I put my kids might need for homework and to take messages — message pads and paper, pencils, paper clips, erasers.

The whole station is right next to our family computer and the phone. So it’s easy access for everyone, even the smaller kids in the family. And after they take a message or jot down a to-do item, they can stick it on the chalkboard with a magnet or write the message there with chalkboard pens.

I am hoping this will get us on the road to an organized happy school year!


How do you keep your kids organized?

Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear YOUR ideas!!


You can find the {Styled By Tori} jewelry line at your local craft store.

Michael’s Crafts carries some of the line and JoAnn Crafts carries the full line. For lots of style inspiration, news and information on the new line –  follow along with Styled by Tori Spelling on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!!

Disclosure: I am thrilled to be a brand ambassador with {styled} by Tori Spelling. I love the line and concept. All opinions are 100% mine. See more disclosure information here.


  1. I think I should try this for a work schedules it will help me a lot.. thanks for a nice idea

  2. Love this idea! :) Can you tell me the dimensions of the larger crate, please? Also, for the chalkboard message tray– is it just a metal tray that you painted with chalkboard paint? So crafty, I love that too. Thanks!

  3. It looks great and would be easy to adapt to different families and uses.

  4. I love these! I want to make some- our family could definitely use them! One question though- how do the magnets stick to the tray?! In the first picture, the tray doesn’t appear to be magnetic…

  5. You are soo organized. Your kids will appreciate it and do so well in school this year. Good luck to all of you. xoxoxo

  6. summer flew away so quickly! this project is lovely though, I love the end result!

  7. Great idea. My kids went back to school last week and I am already drowning in papers.. On my way to Michaels for some crates this afternoon.

  8. I have got to buy some of those crates…love them!!!

  9. After remodeling our kitchen, the main cabinet under our peninsula was freed up from storing dishes, so we moved all of our school/craft supplies in there. So far, throughout the summer, everything has remained in its designated jar or shelf area. We’ll see how it survives the onslaught of school!

  10. Fun! Love that blinged out crate, Jen. My oldest starts 1st grade tomorrow (Open House is today), and I think we need a system like this.

  11. Very cute. I just made up a homework basket for the kids, love the crates though!!

  12. I just posted our family organization station, too! I love your chalkboard tray and those cute “complaint” and “apology” notes :)


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