DIY decorative storage bin – cardboard box upcycle

DIY decorative storage bin – cardboard box upcycle

Storage, we all need more storage in our home. Unless you have a plethora of closets, (not likely) getting creative with storage is a must. Today I am sharing how I added just a little bit of storage and decor to my home; all with one easy project! This DIY decorative storage bin – cardboard box upcycle cost me nothing and took me 15 minutes of work time. Not counting the time that spray paint was drying because I sprayed and moved on with my life while it dried.

DIY decorative storage bin, simple craft recycle project. Perfect way to hide kids toys with this cardboard box upcycle.

I did a small make over to my dining room a few months ago. I am still 100% in love with this space after a long process of finding the right flow for furniture, but am making tweaks to having it fit my ever changing families needs. Just little changes here and there. We have now made the small table to the right of the dining room table a work space for the kids. We have a small laptop there, which works great for them doing homework, but still in the main living area. With this now being my kids go-to homework spot the dining room had to add storage.

dining room with coastal decor

Great, I have these store bought shelves that I customized that has ample room for “stuff”. But, two problems presented themselves to me. One; I did not want my kid’s flash cards, ruler, pencils, or scratch paper just sitting out on the bookshelves. Two; finding bins that could hide these items proved to be difficult with how narrow these shelves are. I put off finding them because life is crazy busy for us right now and I had zero time to store hop for the perfectly sized bins. I also did not have time to whip some wood ones up, like I said… life has been busy right now. My dream of narrow and adorable storage for these bookshelves was at a stand still.

narrow bookshelf

Cut to me getting something in the mail and having two awesomely narrow cardboard boxes. They were beat up but I saw the potential in them, I put my DIY skills to work one Saturday and created the perfect little decorative storage bins! I had the time for this plan, it took me literally 15 minutes of active time working on it. I am not counting the time that my spray paint was drying. In fact my kids and their friends were running around our house, in and out of the sprinkler. Towels were on the floor, watermelon was cut and divvied up, Dale was mowing the lawn all while I was creating these quick and painless to make storage bins.

cardboard box upcycle before

First step was to cut off the folding flaps of these cardboard boxes. I even cut out the small little flap that was on the bottom of this. Hoping to make these rough looking cardboard less cardboard-like. Just go with me on this, it works, I promise!

cardboard box upcycle

Spray paint time. I know that the inside of these most likely will not be seen, but on the off chance it is seen I wanted a nice pop of color. Time to break out my handy turquoise color! Yes, I have left over spray paint from other projects. Just how I roll, I am a crafting supply hoarder.

spray paint

cardbox upcycle

I only spray painted the inside. Because my plan was to cover the outside with something else.

peel and stick craft project ideas

This patterned peel and stick paper has made the rounds in my home. I upcycled another cardboard box and put this on the bottom of it. I also put this as backing for a storage cabinet and lastly a bench upcycle. This is the end of the line with this paper, I used the rest of it on this project.

laying out peel and stick paper

I rolled out the paper and then cut the entire paper in half down the middle. This is enough to cover both of my boxes.

craft room

Just to show how glamorous my crafting time is, here is Finn sprawled out under my feet in the dining room while I worked.

peeling back the peel and stick paper

Peel back a portion of the paper.

step by step tutorial to DIY storage bins

Then smooth on one side of the cardboard box.

how to lay peel and stick craft paper down

Here is a situation of “what you should not do,” do not pull the peel and stick paper tight unless it has been smoothed out. Notice the bottom left side? I had to pry the paper back off of the box and start over. There is still a small crease that I wish was not there, but the beauty of it is that whoopsie side becomes the backside of these decorative storage bins!

folding paper on bottom of box

To cover all four sides without a crease or line I simply wrapped the paper around each side. This way there is no seam I have to try and match. Once all four sides was covered I cut off the small excess, then folded in the bottom pieces under the box.

details to make DIY storage bin

Next, trim the top.

cardboard box craft

Fold over any small excess piece.

rope craft

I wanted to add a little texture to this box, and also felt that the top needed a little something more. I am using regular rope and then adding a row to the top of the box. This gives it a more polished and finished look. In stores there are storage bins full of rope and other rustic elements, this is a popular look right now and also simple to DIY!

laying rope on DIY storage bin

Use your hot glue gun (that can definitely hurt if you touch with your skin, and can get any surface hot, so be careful). Line the glue on the top edge and then push down the rope.

crafting person workspace

Like I said, towels on the ground and exhausted dogs who were chasing a whole crew of kids through the sprinkler. There is always time to do a little crafting during the madness that is life.

easy to make DIY storage bin

My original plan was one line of rope, however it still did not feel done.

adding second row of rope to storage bin box

One more row of rope was what the craft doctor ordered. I am “the craft doctor” with zero training, PhD, or title…. but still… just go with it.

easy to make cardboard box recycle craft

Boom, done! Two adorable DIY decorative storage bins – cardboard box upcycle. 

DIY cardboard box upcycle. Low cost and cute way to make a decorative storage bin. Hide those toys or gain storage in the home.

They fit perfectly in my bookshelves in the dining room with perfect access for the kids to get to their study items.

bookshelf decor

I am in love with this pattern and would use it a lot more but I worry with how often I have already used it that my cute pattern will go from adorable to matchy-matchy very quick. I am picturing the equivalent of matching throw pillows, curtains and rug, oh my! As of now the paper has been used in a few places in my home, but they are all in different spots. So it is not overkill in one room, yet. Now I just need to fall in love with a new peel and stick paper and then get to crafting again!

homeschool supplies storage ideas

Here is what one decorative storage bin will hold. My kids last day of school is tomorrow, and then there is three solid months of fun in the sun, swimming, hiking, bike rides, art projects, pajamas days, and a little brain enrichment if I have a say. These flash cards as well as printed out (that I still need to print) work pages for my trio of littles. Let’s not let their brain go to complete mush this summer. These items will be easy to reach and use in their little homework area in the dining room.

easy to make DIY cardboard box turned decorative storage bin

I added some cloth napkins in the other bin just to show how versatile these little bins are. I will be stocking this with even more homework and summer brain building items for my kids. I just have to get my ‘ish together and organize it all.

cute and simple DIY decorative storage bin

I am loving the contrast of the gray and white paper, that feels very sleek and modern. Then the rope adds a rustic flair, really warming up these DIY storage bins.

how to make simple decorative box storage bins for kids toys

DIY cardboard box upcycle. Low cost and cute way to make a decorative storage bin. Hide those toys or gain storage in the home.

Last but definitely not least, is how these beauties look in the shelves. I am all for creating storage and I am all for decorating my home, when I am able to combine both with a low cost and simple DIY it makes my heart go pitter-patter. Function and style, oh yeah, nailed it!

DIY cardboard box upcycle. Low cost and cute way to make a decorative storage bin. Hide those toys or gain storage in the home.

how to store kids homework supplies

Now I just have to convince my kids that flash cards, sight words, and math problems can be fun. I also need to get my Mommy-butt in gear and prepare those other learning tools I want to have my kids use this summer. There is zero chance of my kids learning at all, other than reading books unless I plan for it. The days of summer always seem vast and infinite; but fly by. Cut to my kids on the first day of school and not recalling much of anything their teachers painstakingly taught them last year. I owe it to the sweet teachers and my kids to force a little education into their summer routine.

how to hide storage in living space

Guys, I may never throw a cardboard box away again! Seriously, the possibilities of this are amazing and now I want to use these DIY decorative storage bins everywhere in my home. Anyone up for some garbage can sifting, dumpster diving fun? Moms night out? Anyone..? We need to find all of the cardboard boxes now!

DIY cardboard box upcycle. Low cost and cute way to make a decorative storage bin. Hide those toys or gain storage in the home.

DIY decorative storage bin


How crazy is that rough before picture of the cardboard box? Who knew what some peel and stick paper, rope and spray paint can do? With little skills or effort I have added a little storage, a ton of style to my home, and am one step closer to enriching my kids lives this summer with more than Popsicle’s and sleeping in late. This DIY decorative storage bin – cardboard box upcycle were so easy and fast to make. I was joking earlier about never throwing away a box, but imagine the possibilities for organization?!!!! Yes, this is what gets us Moms shaking with excitement- low cost, easy, and adorable storage. All perfectly wrapped up in one cardboard box upcycle!





  1. Wait? This is an awesome and easy idea! I’m trying to figure out if I have a box I can transform into something nice. This was a clever idea. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oh I do love those storage bins and the design would go well with my gray and white decor. I love the pops of blue you have here and there. I will start saving my boxes to see what I can come up with.

  3. Now that is a brilliant idea. I need to so something like this for my magazines so they aren’t laying everywhere. Such a great idea for storage.

  4. That is one way to recycle stuff and use them as a storage holder. Brilliant idea and love the detail in this post about how to do it. 🙂

  5. Those are so simple but yet stunning. I can think of a few different places in my house that I could use storage like that. Thanks!

  6. Wow! That is super cute! It’s amazing what can be done with something so simple that many would just throw out. Love it!

  7. Don’t you hate it when you find a pattern you love, but have to restrain yourself from using it ‘all.the.time’…But using it like you did adds the perfect amount of it…I love it too.

  8. WOW! I’m so impressed! At my house boxes usually end up as rocket ships, boats or castles I might have to see if i can sneak a box away from my littles and try this out! Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. This is the cutest idea ever!!!! I Love it. It looks like it’s easy enough for me to do 🙂 I can’t wait to make one.

  10. I had no idea by looking at the first pic this was made out of a regular box. I have tons of boxes around here, I could make a lot of storage pieces out them

  11. Claudia Krusch says:

    Decorative storage bins are my favorite way to keep things organized. I will have to get the supplies I need to make a few of these on the weekend.

  12. That looks so chic! I can’t believe it’s made out of a cardboard box. Love the style of your home, too!

  13. No way!!! I struggle with finding baskets I like all the time! This is genius and so cheap and pretty!

  14. Very nice! And easy enough I think even I could do it. We are still getting settled in our home and these are a perfect way to convert all these bicea we have from moving and hide some items in a decorative way. Thanks!

  15. This is awesome. I recycle so many boxes that I feel bad. I’ll have to try to do this!

  16. Dawn nieves says:

    This is such a brilliant idea! They came out beautiful. I love that you totally repurposed them into something useful!

  17. That;’s a cute storage bin! A great way to repurpose old stuff, such as unused boxes! Love it!

  18. These are really great ideas to decorate bins. Keep the cartons as they are doesn’t look good, now I’ll show my creativity.

  19. That turned out really nicely, it looks great in your home. It sounds pretty simple to do and it’s a great way to recyle as well.

  20. I love it! It’s beautiful and easy to make! I always look forward to getting ideas like this. They’re not going to cost you much and they look great as well.

  21. What an awesome idea to make for the house! I love how it’s really very easy and that you won’t even notice that it’s made from a box.

  22. I have a couple of storage bin in my house but I need something new. I should try this DIY then.

  23. I recently let go of our apartment and just got back to my hometown, I have so many boxes and this is a good idea to recycle it. Glad I came over this post.

  24. Rebecca Swenor says:

    These DIY decorative storage bins are a great idea. I love the idea of using cardboard boxes and decorating them to look this good. The rope along the edge really make it look great. Thanks for sharing the idea.

  25. What a great idea to hide their supplies. I hate when they just leave them lying around on the shelves. This is a great way to hide them!

  26. What a great idea to store things and super pretty on the eyes!!

  27. Alessandra Lim says:

    Wow. That is so cool! You converted an ordinary box, one which I would usually throw out into something as pretty as that! Amazing! I wish I had a least a tad of your craftiness!

  28. Jenn Mitchell says:

    DIY projects are always the best! I love the way this turned out.

  29. What a fantastic idea! I never would have thought to use cardboard boxes like this–it is genius! And the fabric you chose is beautiful!

  30. This storage bin is really nice and simple to create. thanks for sharing DIY

  31. Thanks for the cute, clever idea! Sounds like a great place for a family-
    your home !!

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