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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I only spray painted the inside. Because my plan was to cover the outside with something else.
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.
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.
Just to show how glamorous my crafting time is, here is Finn sprawled out under my feet in the dining room while I worked.
Peel back a portion of the paper.
Then smooth on one side of the cardboard box.
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!
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.
Next, trim the top.
Fold over any small excess piece.
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!
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.
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.
My original plan was one line of rope, however it still did not feel done.
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.
Boom, done! Two adorable DIY decorative storage bins – cardboard box upcycle.
They fit perfectly in my bookshelves in the dining room with perfect access for the kids to get to their study items.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!