free wooden boxes

njcher(Zone 6)November 14, 2004

Now is the time to head to your local wine store and ask them to save you wooden crates that wine comes in. At this time of the year, the holidays, they receive their more expensive wines, which are packaged in those nice wooden boxes. Most of the smaller stores, a wine store owner told me, only get these types of wines in during the months of November and December.

In fact one mega-wine store here sells the wood crates for $7 each all year round. But why buy them when you can get them free from other stores!?!


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drasaid(zone 8)

which is not bad. However, if you are going to use them as planters, seal them well. I've had several warp really fast.
We are in the middle of a renovation and those crates are the only shelves our kitchen has (all piled up on the counters...)
The wine stores do use them to send large orders out, so they may not let you have them free; however, they should not ask for much.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2004 at 8:01PM
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gardenfaerie(z5b Michigan)

Hi Cher,

I'm always keen on free wood finds, but I must admit that I'm not a wine drinker and have no clue what wine boxes look like. I did a web search and found a few that housed one or two bottles of wine. It sounded, however, that you were referring to something larger. How big is what you mean and what kind of wood is it generally made of? Do they have tops? Are the boxes solid or made with slats?

I'd appreciate a photo (or link) if you have one... I'm already thinking of a few projects I could do if they are what I imagine them to be.

Thanks!! Monica

    Bookmark   November 19, 2004 at 6:44PM
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alex_z7(7 AL)

I'm glad you asked that, Monica, because I too have been wondering what they look like and what I could do with them.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 12:44AM
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njcher(Zone 6)

I've posted a link to a pic below.

The ones I've been getting are twice as high as the one in the pic, however.

Types of things to use them for:

--I lined one with plastic and put compost from my worm bin in it. Sorted out the new worms and took out the plastic bag and the box was as good as new.

--As posted above, they are terrific for storage. Very stackable.

--They can be used for planting but drasaid has a good point. They need to be sealed...but on the other hand, if you're lazy, they could be used for at least one season without the sealing.

If you do use them for planting...

Once the box has started to disintegrate,if they have a nice French (or Italian) wine label on them, pull the imprinted part off and hang it somewhere around your garden shed as a sort of aged French sign. My husband brought home a couple of signs that were actually manufactured to look like aged wine crate pieces.

Years ago I had a wine crate like the one in the pic below. I divided it with wooden pieces from another wine crate that had fallen apart. It was divided into six equal areas and into each area, I put various types of soils (sandy, loamy, etc.). This allowed me to grow plants like hens n' chicks right next to plants that needed plenty of water. After the plants grew enough to cover the dividers, it really looked amazing! My gardening friends could not figure out how I managed to grow dry-condition plants next to moist-condition plants, heh!


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 9:26PM
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njcher(Zone 6)

I wanted to add this tip. I was just reading an article on vermicomposting and the author said that worms do much better in wood bins than plastic. I think I'll change my bins over from plastic to wood wine crates.


    Bookmark   November 25, 2004 at 11:44PM
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I have to agree, why buy wine crates when you can get them for free?

Let me tell you why this is very difficult. Only fine wine stores really get wine crates, because wine crates are used to ship very expensive wines. The vast majority of wine is shipped in cardboard.

The wine stores that actually do get wine crates use them for displays, remove the engraved panels for wall decoration or give them to their best customers. The crates they give away to the public are usually the ones that nobody wants! Mostly, these crates have been shipped several times and are in very poor condition. The truth is: Who has the time to go to 10 different wine shops looking for an unusable wine crate, they probably won't find?

At, We have been in the wine business for over 10 years. The crates we offer are in the best possible condition, because they were only shipped once. They come directly from their country of origin to us, and then are stored in a clean and secure warehouse designed to protect high-end wine. Special attention is paid to the crates to prevent imperfections. Once the actual wine is sold, the crate is then lightly sanded, all excess staples/nails are removed and any stickers are also removed. The end result is the best possible crate and the most time saved for our customer.

At winepine you will know exactly what you are getting. Our rating system points out any mild imperfection that may exist. Looking for a specific type of wine crate? We probably have it! All types of French, Bordeaux, Spanish, Italian, Australian and many many more.

Please visit us at and browse our huge selection.

Over 1,000 transactions & 100% Feedback on eBay!

Here is a link that might be useful: Winepine Website

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 9:58PM
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kelpie473(9b sw Fla)

Check the Terms of Service you agreed to WinePine:

"You agree not to make postings of a commercial nature"

    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 6:15PM
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I'll do that tomorrow! I may not use them all for planters, but they'll come in handy.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 11:27PM
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Sam's Club always has wine crates, although this time of year you will have a hard time finding one that is close to empty due to the high demand. They are free. I am not advertising for Sam's but have grabbed about 9 crates so far over the course of about 4 visits.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 10:23AM
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danaoh(SWOhio zone 6)

just a quick funny - I was looking for wood crates, wine shop didn't have any. So I called a large grocery store, asked the young man if they had any orange crates. He said no mam, we don't have any color crates.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 12:40PM
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Grapes used to come in little crates too.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 8:14AM
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Corn is shipped in crates also. Ask they are free.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 11:53PM
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Treat the wooden boxes with what? I need something non-toxic if I am going to be planting edible herbs and veggies. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 4:33PM
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budgetmaven, I have the exact same question. What veggies do you want to plant? I also need to hunt down as many boxes, bins, crates, and buckets as I can for my tomatoes seedlings, and so far wood supplies seem to be the easiest to nab.

Speaking of wine crates, I incidentally found a wine box (big enough for ONE veggie plant, maybe) the day before yesterday. I decided on a whim to go hunting for bins/containers of any sort, and one of the very first little streets in my neighborhood that I turned onto had a bunch of wood furniture pieces out on the sidewalk. Among these were some older wood play-kitchen "appliances," just a couple feet tall, if that. One even has a little plastic tub in the top for a "sink," which I figured I could use separately for seedlings/winter sowing as well.

Not only exactly what I was looking for, but pretty adorable.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2010 at 6:26PM
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Does anyone know where I can score a few crates in the Hampton Roads area?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 2:32PM
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Does anyone know what are wooden wine crates are treated with and is it safe to plant edibles in them?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2014 at 11:42PM
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