Over the years, I’ve seen several examples of people making their own decorative bins using a simple cardboard box and fabric. Some people custom-make the box to the size they want, but I recently came into possession of a box that was perfect for the Craigslist shelves I got for our playroom.
The cubby style shelves are just IKEA bookcases turned on their sides. We’re going to use them to store books and all of the toys that aren’t in larger storage bins with lids.
I wanted to put the Mr. Potato Head stuff into one of those cubby holes, but I needed a container. We had been using a bin in our small multi-bin shelving system, but that whole unit recently got repurposed as Playmobil and LEGO storage, so Mr. Potato Head was in a pile.
When I got my latest Vitacost deliver, I knew I had the perfect solution:
I just needed some fabric.
Then our town had its annual end-of-summer garage sales last weekend, and I found the perfect fabric, for a dollar. I love the colors and pattern, and it’s outdoor fabric which made it very easy to work with. The box only used up about a third of the fabric, so I have plenty left over for inspiration to strike again. And I already had the glue on hand too, so this project cost me all of about 30 cents.
I used two long strips of fabric for this project. They’re each glued from the inside bottom of the box, up over a side, down the outside, under the bottom, and then up the other side and down to the bottom. So the outside bottom of the box has two layers of fabric on it. Here it is after the first strip of fabric is attached:
And here it is with the second strip:
With the first strip, I just wrapped the excess on the edges around to the sides that hadn’t been done yet. But with the second strip, I wanted to keep the edges a bit cleaner, so I folded the excess under and glued it in place. The whole project took about 45 minutes. I used Liquid Nails for small projects (comes in a tube instead of a caulk-gun cylinder) and smeared it around on the cardboard with a little piece of wood to get an even layer. It dried very nicely and the outdoor fabric was easy to use – no bubbles or wrinkles.
I left it outside overnight to dry and air out, and then used it to corral Mr. Potato Head into his new home:
Stay tuned for some more organizing posts coming soon. I’ve since rearranged this area with some more repurposed (ie, free!) storage buckets.
Do you have any cardboard boxes that could use a fabric makeover? If so, make sure you check out Craigslist, garage sales and thrift stores for fabric scraps. You can always go to the fabric store if you have a particular pattern or color in mind. Sites like Homeclick Community have tons of videos and how-to guides that may give you some great ideas for some new projects. And if you’re open to possibilities, you’ll probably be able to find all sorts of fabric for a fraction of retail prices if you shop for secondhand scraps or repurpose other items like sheets and worn out clothing.