The Coca-Cola Hope Chest: Part 2

Two weeks ago, I showed off the lid of what I hoped would be a new art project – creating a hope chest or storage box from old wooden Coca-Cola soda carrier crates.

Now comes the rest of the fun.

In addition to the lid, I needed three more soda crates – dimensions 18″ x 12″ – for the storage part of the chest.

Each one of these carriers was disassembled – the metal flashing along the crate edges was removed, along with the rusted nails.  Took a while.  A long while.

While my available crate choices featured either red printing on a yellow background, or white printing on a red background, one crate contained red printing on a wooden background.  To make the wood stand out, I stained the wood with Minwax Golden Oak stain treatment.

Yeah, that looks nice.  I’ll use that panel for the front of the chest.

Since I already had a yellow panel for the chest lid, I used an alternation of red, yellow and stained for the remaining three levels.  After I installed three boards across the bottom of my base level, I added four 11″ poplar sticks in the interior corners of the chest, and screwed the poplar to the inside of each panel.  This makes the chest stable and secure.

As I added each separate level to the chest, I screwed the poplar staves in to reinforce everything.  I installed three levels, which was tall enough for my project’s needs.

Oh yeah, remember the lid?

One thing I realized when I built the lid – the printing on the inside of the lid is on a horizontal axis with the printing on the outside of the lid.  That means that if I open the lid from the front to the back, although the advertising on the top of the lid will appear normal, the advertising INSIDE the lid will be upside down.  Can’t have that.  I decided to install the lid so that although the top advertising would be upside down, the interior printing will be correct-side up.  It’s a trade-off, but it’s my chest and I’m building it, so I get to determine how things are set up.

A quick trip to the hardware store for some hinges and a front clasp…

Some quick screw-downs…


Here’s the final result.

The Coca-Cola Chest. Crafted by Chuck Miller.

And remember what I said about the interior graphics?  Here’s what the chest looks like when the lid is opened.

See?  It looks much better when the interior graphics are right side up.  And you can see the poplar staves holding everything together.

Now what can I put in this hope chest?  I dunno … old folded T-shirts, bed sheets, pillow cases, whatever i want.  And although I made this one specifically with a Coca-Cola theme, I have enough crates to build a second chest – this time focusing on other popular sodas and soft drinks.

And maybe the next time I build one of these chests, I’ll have the foresight to film a video showing the step-by-step process of building one of these little treasures – just in case you’re feeling “crafty” and want to construct one.

Projects like these are fun.  You take your creativity and your craft skills and your construction skills … and build something new from the scraps of old.  Recycling, upcycling, whatever it’s called.

So what do you think, dear readers?  You like what you see?  If one of these were available for purchase, would you buy it?

Meanwhile, I’ll commence building the second non-Coca-Cola chest soon.