Wednesday, September 7, 2011

DIY Storage Boxes: Decorative and Functional!

Here's an easy craft that puts the FUN back into functional: Decorative storage boxes! Fact: we all need storage... and we all have things that we need to keep accessible but that we don't necessarily want visible.
For me, this is receipts. In our budget conscious time, my husband and I save our receipts so that we can go through them at the end of the month to make sure we didn't go off track. Rather than keeping a messy stack of receipts or hiding them somewhere that was inconvenient (meaning that my husband's receipts would never make it there), I decided that I needed to create an easy and accessible place to put them when we come in the door.
Spending money on something to camouflage my messy reciepts seemed counter-productive, so I decided to create something from what I had at home! Follow these steps and you too can have pretty little boxes to hide your mess...

1. Find a box to use that will be large enough for whatever your need to hide. I always save old gift boxes for wrapping presents later, so I raided my gift box storage and found a great box with a gold lid. Perfect!
2. Gather your other supplies:
  • Material to cover your box (this could be paper or fabric... in my case I used fabric so these instructions will refer to this material),
  • Glue that is appropriate for your material (paper glue for paper, or fabric glue for fabric...)
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge (If you are using fabric to cover your box you'll need this craft glue because it dries clear and smooth... super for sealing things like fabric edges to keep them from fraying!)
  • Brush for applying the above
3. Measure the height of your box. Add 2" to that amount so that you'll have enough to wrap inside the top and over the bottom.
4. Measure the lengths of all 4 sides of your box and add those amounts together. Add at least 1" more to make sure you have enough to wrap around all the sides of the box.
5. Use your measurements above to measure and cut a long strip of fabric that will cover your box. Hold an edge of the fabric up to a corner of the box and wrap it all the way around the sides to make sure you cut enough. Now you're ready to go!

6. Cover one side of the box with your glue and smooth your fabric over the side. Be sure to keep it straight if you are working with a pattern!
*TIP* In my case I used tacky glue, and a little trick about tacky glue is that it is best if you apply it first and then let it sit for about a minute before adhering the other material to it. It actually does get tacky and will hold better if you do this!

7. Continue around each side until you reach the corner you started with. Now your box's sides are all covered!
... Try to line up the pattern of the fabric if you can and cut off the excess fabric, then glue down that edge.

8. Cut slits in your fabric where it sticks up at the box's corners. These slits make it easy for you to fold the fabric over the top edge of the box.
... Glue the fabric down along each of the sides on the inside of the box.

9. Turn the box over and again cut slits in the fabric at each corner so that you can fold the fabric flat along the bottom of the box.
*TIP* The folded fabric can make the bottom corners of the box bulky which can make the finished box sit cockeyed. To avoid this, you can cut the edges of the fabric at an angle to remove excess fabric and make the finished box sit evenly.

10. Brush on your Mod Podge (or another clear drying glue) along the fabric edges on the inside of the box, the fabric edges at the bottom of the box, and the fabric edge along corner of the box where your fabric met itself. This glue will seal the edges of the fabric to keep them from fraying.

Ta-da! A beautiful place to stash my receipts...

Now it's you're turn. Happy crafting!


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