Better Boxes

I’ve used paper boxes like these (boxes that once held ten reams of paper) to organize both my quilt fabrics and my acrylic charity yarns for years.

They’re a good size, big enough to hold quite a bit, without becoming too heavy for me to easily lift or move around. They were readily available and free, from DH’s last workplace. They do the job.

I need storage containers for my new craft room, but I want something better-looking than paper boxes.

The ones that will sit on top of my bookcases, where they’ll easily be seen from the entry way and the dining room, need to look especially good! Once I realized that I needed at least fifteen boxes, I knew chances weren’t good for me to find something I wanted in a retail store. Remember, I need to like both the containers and the total cost for fifteen of them!

I briefly considered spray painting paper boxes, but figured the color choices would be limited and the chemicals dreadful (I cherish my remaining brain cells). Besides, the best result I could hope for would be nicely painted cardboard boxes, okay for a closet, if that.

Thoughts of contact paper, wallpaper, and iron-on fabric also passed through my head. But I knew that, far sooner than I would like, any of those would need replacing and I’d have to go through the covering process again, so forget those ideas!

Given enough time, I’m sure I would find just what I need at a tag sale or a thrift store, but I don’t want to wait that long, so I decided that I will “shop” in our attic, garage and basement instead. I wrote a list of eclectic containers that we might still have around: some wooden boxes (I knew right where to find this one up in the attic),

picnic baskets (got this gorgeous one for $2.00 at a tag sale in March 2006),

and wicker suitcases, similar to these, that I think will look good together. Although I know there aren’t fifteen of them, I should be able to find enough to make it worth the effort of digging around.  They’ll be far more interesting to look at than cardboard paper boxes!

One of the library books I mentioned the other day, Sewing in a Straight Line by Brett Bara, gave me another idea. The introduction to its Make-it-Your-Way Ottoman Cover project says, “you can also use this pattern for any boxy item”. I bet that means it would work to cover a cardboard paper box, eh!?! I found a tissue box cover tutorial over at “Make It and Love It”, which shows a similar construction method (if you skip the slit in the top where you would pull the tissue through). Ashley used an upholstery weight fabric for her example and I think that would be perfect for my box slip covers too.

I may add ribbon pull tabs, like the ones on these fabric-covered boxes (the Woman’s Day’s tutorial is very good, but covering boxes that way takes far more fabric than the slip covers). I can sew a tab into the seam on each end, where the top piece of fabric meets the end piece. Tabs would make it easier to pull the fabric covers up and off of my boxes.

I like the label pockets on these fabric storage baskets, which I found at J Caroline Creative!, but I’ll make mine larger. I know I’ll visit that website again to explore the long list of other projects. Just check out this cute desk idea that I found there!

Three cheers for brain-storming – Yay! Yay! Yay! Soon I’ll have plenty of great-looking storage boxes for my craft room.

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6 Responses to Better Boxes

  1. What a great way to think out of the box! I like that you are planning to combine different ideas. You’re great at that! I can’t wait to see how the slip covers come together.

    • “a great way to think out of the box!” Oooh, you’re very punny!! 😀

      Thank You. Yes, I do love playing with ideas! It’s something for my brain to do while I’m rippling.

      I’m reconsidering the fabric slipcovers. I can easily imagine how wrinkled/creased they could get after awhile. That might not be so apparent if I used a busy print, if I could find a such a print that also looked good with the oriental rug, but…

      it also occurred to me that I could use regular brush-on type paint, instead of spray paint. Lots more colors to choose from and no volatile chemicals, so I could do the painting indoors! Hmmmmm. Decisions, decisions.

  2. Northern Narratives says:

    Wow, I can’t wait to see the finished boxes 🙂

  3. Renee says:

    My craft room looks somewhat like that,I did recieve a new craft table for my birthday from
    D.H,that I got to pick out at Art Van. I need to clean it up& organize………..
    Now to get that weight bench out of there that’s hogging up crafting space.

    • The weight bench sounds like my electronic piano, which we moved into our bedroom. Have you figured out where your space hog can go?

      Congrats on the new table! I added a second four-foot banquet table from Staples, because it fits perfectly in the space I have.

      I haven’t heard the name Art Van in years!! Do they have stores outside of Michigan?

      Yup, clean up and organize, that’s our game plan. Once I got started I didn’t want to stop; we’re going through the entire house and garage! 🙂

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