My family and friends tease me a bit about my obsession with reycling. I just can’t stand to throw a plastic bottle, anything glass, and especially cardboard in the trash. I have this compulsion to either let it pile up in my recycling closet until I have time to haul it off, or to find some way to repurpose the items into reusable and purposeful home decor. Recently, one such item I let pile up was the Barkbox cardboard boxes from our monthly subscription for our dogs. These are great sturdy boxes with lids and I just had to make something useful with them. So I came up with a way to make them pretty and useful as fabric covered storage boxes for my craft room.
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience which means I may earn a commission if you are to purchase anything through these links, at no additional cost to you.
My craft room is always a work in process trying to figure out storage, storage options, or finally getting around to finishing up a project so it can be moved out of the space.
This room includes a full wall of built in shelving which is fabulous for organizing so much of my random craft supplies. I do have the problem though of not enough containers for all of my stash. I didn’t want to buy any more plastic containers and instead came up with a very budget friendly way of adding some storage – and color – to that side of the room.
Fabric Covered Storage Boxes
For this project you will need:
- A small cardboard box
- Spray Adhesive
- Fabric squares or Fat Quarters
- Hot glue gun
- Glue Sticks
- Decorative ribbons and trims as needed
I didn’t need to search long for several boxes around my house because each month I receive the perfect sized storage box in the mail from Bark Box – an online toy and dog treat subscription for my dogs. They don’t pay me to advertise their product, but let me just tell you my dogs know exactly what is in THAT box when I bring it in the house. They love it! For months I have been letting the boxes pile up not only because they are good sturdy boxes and I hated to recycle them, but I have had this idea in the back of my mind for some time.
The next thing I needed was adorable fabric in the same colors as the tops of the plastic containers I already owned and in colors that matched the storage bags hanging on the wall above my work table. I actually found exactly what I was looking for in the fabric department at Walmart – yes Walmart. I wasn’t even shopping for fabric but saw these 20″ x 20″ Waverly fat quarters on an end-cap and thought they just might work. For only $.97 cents each they were a great option to try out.
This is a creative way to recycle and reuse cardboard boxes.
Imagine how excited I was to find out they fix the boxes perfectly! My boxes are 7 1/2″ wide x 11 1/4″ long x 5″ high. Not very big boxes but the right size to fit on my shelves. I removed the top off each box because I wanted open tops for my fabric covered storage boxes.
After ironing each fat quarter to remove the folds, it was easy to attach the fabric to each box using spray adhesive and a glue gun. I laid the box in the center of the fabric and made four cuts around the edges to make the fabric folds.
The next step will be to spray the outside of the box with the adhesive and fold in the two ends pieces over the side of the box, smoothing out any wrinkles in the fabric. Then fold the longer pieces over the the two smaller side pieces to cover up the outside of the box.
This is a great project is use quilting fat quarters or leftover fabric.
The fat quarter was a little taller than the height of the box so I trimmed off the excess. Since I planned to wrap some white cotton fabric inside the box it just made sense to trim off the excess fabric.
I could have purchased white color fat quarters for the inside of the box – or any other coordinating color – but I knew I already had a few yards of white cotton fabric in my craft fabric stash so decided to use that instead.
I could have also just used another matching piece of 20″ x 20″ fabric from the fat quarters I purchased so whatever you use for the inside is fine. Burlap is another option for the inside of the box.
After several attempts at attaching the fabric to the inside of the box, and some frustrations and failures, I finally found what seems to work the best for me.
First, I cut a piece of the cotton fabric to the size of the bottom of the box and secured it with spray adhesive.
Next, I measured and cut a long length of fabric in the same length of all four sides of the inside of the box. With two sides at 7 1/2″ and two at 11 1/4″ I cut the fabric at 36″ with a height of 8″ to make an overlapping cuff on the top of the box. To make it very easy to attach to the inside of the box, I rolled the length of fabric in a tube and just rolled it around the inside of the box sprayed with adhesive.
Fabric covered storage boxes are pretty and functional.
Making decorative storage boxes is a great way to recycle cardboard boxes.
The inside fabric doesn’t fit tight and smooth but with things stored in it you really won’t see the inside much anyway. You need the extra length and give in the fabric to be able to fold it over the top of the box. I tucked in the fabric around the top edge to make a cuff and secured it with hot glue.
At this point, I could have called this project done. But I wanted to hide the outside seams on the cuff so I dug around in my craft stash for some decorative trim to fancy up the boxes a bit. Or, as I mentioned earlier, I used the excess trim that I cut off the fabric to make some creative flower petals.
I am thrilled with the pop of color on the shelves and the extra storage I now have in my craft room. One of the best parts, I get one of these boxes every month on the 15th so I can continue to make more decorative storage boxes as I need them. In all, I have less than $2.00 in each fabric covered box and they are unique and one of a kind to match the decor of my craft room.
Update! My craft room went through a new update and style and you can see the new look of the room in this post: Newly Organized and Updated Craft Room
“Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights; with Him there is no variation” James 1:17
Similar items to consider: