Create Your Own Custom Storage Bin
I won’t say it's quick and I won’t say it’s easy, but I will say it is definitely doable! Anyone can turn unwanted cardboard and fabric scraps into a customized decorative storage bin or box to suit your needs. What better way to repurpose what would otherwise become junk into something that is not only functional, but can be made specifically for your decor!
If you are a parent, then you know all about the fundraisers that come home from school with your child. This year my daughter’s school participated in fundraising from Yankee Candle and my husband bought the Spiced Pumpkin potpourri mix to show support. Now, I’m not a fan of the cinnamon fragrance and had I known the spiced pumpkin was his selection, I most definitely would have intervened. But what can you do, that's what he bought. And that's what ran thru my mind when I opened up the package that showed up unexpectedly on my doorstep. Let the record show that 2016 became the year that school fundraisers made it easier for people to spend their money. Yankee Candle brought innovation to the fundraiser because this year participants were able to set up and seek support online. Nothing significant to the project, but I just had to mention that, smh.
The package came in a nice-sized box which typically is a large box for one item surrounded with some sort of stuffing. Potpourri really isn't something that I buy so I had nothing to put it in when it was delivered so unexpectedly. So I literally took the same box the potpourri arrived in to create my custom fabric storage bin. Once the potpourri loses its fragrance, I can either re-up or use the bin for something else….I am so going to use it for something else!
What you will need:
2 different sheets of fabric, one for lining and one for the outside covering of the box
1 ½ Ribbon
Any embellishments for your design
Glue gun, glue sticks
2-3 large butterfly hair claw or alligator clips
Let's get started!
DISCLAIMER: There are no measurements in this project because it is customizable. Cut your cardboard to any shape and size as you desire and also ensure you cut the corresponding amount of fabric necessary to accommodate your chosen bin design.
- 1Determine the size of the bin or box that you want to make. Since I used the same box that the potpourri arrived in, I simply cut the flaps off of the box that will serve as the four walls of my storage bin. I cut a full side off the cardboard box that will serve as the foundation for the bin. This storage bin is rectangular in shape so i had to cut two of the flaps down to size.
- 2Glue the walls to the foundation with a hot glue gun. If there is any labeling on the cardboard, glue it with that side facing towards the inside of the box. Put glue in the joints of your bin to ensure sturdiness. Use a pencil or dowel to immediately spread the glue in joints to allow for full coverage. Not necessary but recommended. You don’t want you storage bin falling apart when you actually try to use it.
- 3Position the fabric that you have selected for the lining of your storage bin over your bin frame so that it is centered. Press the fabric into the corners of your bin. Hot glue the corners, keeping the fabric taut enough to keep smoothness.
- 4Once all the corners are glued, work on gluing the fabric to the walls of your storage bin. One wall at a time, glue the fabric to the sides of the wall. You only need a squirt of hot glue to fix the fabric to the bin wall. You will have to work the fabric, and work fast, by pressing the fabric down at the bottom of the bin with your palm, while pulling the fabric taut as you fold it over the sides. Do this for all four walls.
- 5Next, pull the fabric firmly over the side of a panel wall and hold taut while holding the bin down in the center with your free hand.. Do this first before you glue, so that you can get an idea of WHERE you need to put your hot glue. It just helps with keeping the fabric uniformly smooth and taut against all four sides. Once you have an idea of where you need to put the hot glue to keep the fabric taunt, glue to secure that fold over the cardboard wall for a completed panel. Add more glue and pull the fabric tight as needed.
- When you get to the corners feel free to bunch the fabric as needed so that you have the desired look when you hot glue.
Now that the lining is completed, we move on to the outside fabric.
- 6Place your storage bin in the center of the decorative fabric. Line up the corners of the bin with the corners of the fabric as best you can.
- 7Cut diagonally from the corner of the fabric toward the corner of the box. Do that for all four corners. You will be left with what looks like 4 trapezoids that are connected in the center.
So this is where it can get a little tricky. Just think of it as if you were wrapping a gift and pull those gift wrapping skills out.
- 8If the shape of your bin is rectangular, start with one of the longer side walls. Fold the fabric over the wall edge while pressing down the center of the bin with your free hand. The “wings” of the trapezoid can be wrapped around the corners of your bin. Depending on how much fabric you are working with, this can take quite a bit of maneuvering to form the fabric around the walls so that it is smooth and uniform. This is why I say buss out your gift wrapping skills. Because of the cuts in the fabric, you will see where you need to make your folds, tucks, and cuts.You may need to trim excess fabric; do so as needed. Pull the fabric taut and get an idea of where you need to place your glue to secure the fabric on the inside of the bin wall. Use a butterfly claw clip to help you keep fabric in place so that you can glue the fabric to the inside wall of your bin. Complete one wall panel first to help as a guide for how you should proceed next.
- 9For the shorter sides fold the “wings” of the trapezoid into itself so that the fabric makes a square. Fold that new shape of fabric over the edge of the wall and secure with butterfly claw clip. Continue gathering, pulling taut, and arranging and clipping the fabric for the rest of the sides. You can immediately go into glue all the rest of the sides if you are comfortable with the appearance of your bin. Staging the bin before I made any finalized gluing helped with fixing and shaping the fabric until it was perfect enough for me to proceed.
- 10Once you are satisfied with how you’ve folded the fabric over the edge of your bin wall, place a long strip of glue on the inside wall and quickly fold the fabric over and into place. Continue until all the sides have been glued. Trim excess fabric as needed.
- 11Use a wide ribbon to hide the raw edge of the fabric on the inside of your custom storage bin. This is not necessary, but it really adds a polished look to the design. I used 1 ½ inch wide ribbon.
- 12Cut the ribbon according to the measurements of your bin walls but allow an extra inch or so of ribbon to overlap into the corners. This helps to make the finished product have a more polished appearance.
- 13Install the ribbon by gluing down the top and bottom edge of the ribbon to the interior of the bin to secure the ribbon in place.
- 14(optional)Decorate the front of you bin with the embellishment of your choice or leave as is. You have completed your own custom storage bin!