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Monday, January 10, 2011

Storage Solutions: Pretty Storage Bin Tutorial

Don’t you love my new, fabric, toy storage bins for the living room?

How to make a DIY storage bin from a diaper box

Would you believe that they started out like this?

fabric covered diaper box

How about this one?

DIY storage box

Which started out like this:

DIY storage bin cover with fabric

Here are some guidelines for making your own…each box is different, and I’m not sure I’ve figured out the best way to do it, yet, so expect that it will take a little experimentation.

1.  Find a box.  Cut the corners off of two of the flaps.  It makes things a little easier later on.   (I’m not sure which two would be best…I tried the short flaps and the long flaps and either seems to work.) 


I used this handy dandy thingy (a zip and snip) that hubby bought me for Christmas.  It cuts through cardboard like (insert simile here.)  It’s also AWESOME on all that plastic packaging that toys, tools, and other Christmas presents come in.

zip and snip used to cut cardboard
(I also had to cut part of the flaps off on that box.)

2.  Measure.  Measure all the way around your box and add a couple inches.  Measure from the bottom of your box to the top of your flaps, and again, add at least 3 inches (you will want your fabric to wrap around the top and bottom.) 

how to make a diaper box storage binhow to make a diaper box storage bin

3.  Cut your fabric.  For the diaper boxes, I used two fabrics and sewed them together and pressed the seams.  This made the whole project a lot more complicated because I was obsessed with making sure that the seam was level and the same on both boxes.  It’s not.  I may come back later and glue some ribbon at the seam to even it out a bit more.  If you are a perfectionist like me, just use one fabric, or for Pete’s sake, don’t use a plaid fabric because it’s too darn easy to tell if you screwed up by looking at the top of the box.

*Note:  My boxes were almost 60 inches around (all 3 of them.)  So, if you are buying fabric for this project, I would buy 2 yards so that you have enough length, or plan on sewing (or gluing or stitch witchering) two shorter strips together.

4.  Glue.  Apparently I was too busy burning the flesh off my fingertips to take pictures of this part.  I started on one of the sides that was least likely to be seen (the short ends on the diaper boxes, for example) and used hot glue to attach the fabric along the bottom of the box.  Pull it tight as you go. After wrapping it all around, I folded under the edge and glued that down.

5.  Next is the tricky part.  The fabric isn’t attached yet on the flaps.  Fold the flaps down, and try to get your glue gun underneath them.  If you value your fingertips, you may want to use a piece of cardboard or a plastic knife or something to shove the fabric under the flap. Keep working with it, alternately swearing, tucking fabric, and picking glue off your fingers, until you have glued all four flaps down.  I’m sure there’s a better way to do this…I just don’t know what it is.


6.  Enjoy your new boxes!  The one under the end table holds games and puzzles.  Adam loves it. 

Last week, I said, “Look, Adam!  I made you a new box!”  Later that night, at my Grandma’s house for her birthday, he was asking me for it there.  Crazy kid, loves organization as much as I do.


One of these will hold dinosaurs, and the other will hold diapers and wipes.  I’ve had this fabric for almost 3 years, so I consider this to be a FREE, but beautiful project.


Do you have any cheap, pretty storage solutions?  I’d love to hear about them because I’m always trying to hide stuff!

More children's storage projects from On the Banks of Squaw Creek:

IMG_6552-3157(rev 1)_thumbCrib Spring Bulletin Board img_0634_thumb6

Stuffed Animal Zoo
bookshelf dresserBookshelf Dresser
img_1104_thumb[2]Wooden Puzzle Storage img_5571_thumb[1]Pretty Diaper Boxes

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