This old crate has been kicking around for quite some time. I used it to store old patterns and sewing stuff in the laundry room, and over the years it had accumulated a lot of dust and dirt and grime. It was time to clean it up and put it to work.
I popped it on top of the sink and started rinsing it off, using an old toothbrush to get into the nooks and crannies of the crate. It was surprising to see how much dirt came off as I rinsed. To my dismay, I realized that I’d also removed the Del Monte logo!
The dear husband came to the rescue, finding the same logo online. He printed it out, backwards, using a laser jet printer. After the wood had thoroughly dried, I applied Fusion’s Transfer Gel, then carefully applied the logo, smoothing it down to ensure there were no bubbles.
I used my finger to push the paper down into the crevices of the wood. I wanted to make sure the ink had contact with the wood, even though the crate was old and banged up a bit. The hard part was next: I had to wait hours and hours and HOURS for the transfer gel to dry.
Removing the paper came next. I wet the paper fairly well, then using my finger, I gingerly began rubbing the paper away. In this picture you can see the bits of paper on the right side. It was long, tedious work, but I kept busy watching reruns of Grey’s Anatomy to pass the time.
After I finished rubbing all of the paper away, I lightly sanded the entire crate. Each side turned out well – I didn’t mind the old, weathered look, because the crate is old, and weathered!
This is where the history of the crate comes in. On one end, hardly visible in this picture, there’s a pressed or embossed area that reads “California Packing Corporation”. Founded in the 1880’s, the Del Monte company began with distributing a premium blend of coffee prepared for the Hotel Del Monte on the Monterey Peninsula. The company then began distributing peaches, then pineapples and other fruits and vegetables. In 1916, five distribution companies amalgamated and formed the California Packing Corporation.
Isn’t it fascinating to imagine where this crate has been? How’d it end up in Canada? If only it could tell the tale.
I want to keep it around, so I protected the crate with hemp oil, which is a natural preservative that soaks into the wood and gives it a bit of a sheen. I’m happy with how this crate turned out!