Designer Storage Box Makeover With Free Printable Craft Room Labels

3 Materials
$10
1 Day
Easy

It’s impressive how a little paint and decoupage can create a designer look for this storage box makeover. I’ve had these cardboard Ikea TJENA storage containers for a while now. They are an inexpensive solution for organizing my craft supplies.

I’m in the process of updating the decor and organization in my craft room/home office. If you’d like to see how I built this Ikea office, you can read all about it  here.

I’m saving my budget for some other DIY projects and wanted to sneak through this home office update without spending much money. I was able to update all six bins for about $4, since I had many of the supplies on hand. Above is a picture of the bins before I started the process.

BEFORE WE BEGIN


This process is a little different from the traditional method of decoupage. Instead of using Modge Podge, I used a protective top coat (Polycrylic) and heat.


I think this process works best on flat surfaces. Before I started the project, I tested this on a wood board. I found that the finish was smoother on the board than it was on the cardboard lid. I think this was because I could apply more pressure to the board.

APPLY PAINT AND POLYCRYLIC TO THE LIDS


Using a brush, I painted the lids white (Behr Snowy Pine). I chose white because the napkin is very thin and the paint color will show through it. Let them dry.


Then, using an inexpensive foam applicator, I added two coats of Polycrylic to the lids. Allowing them to dry in between coats. The Polycrylic is the adhesive we will be using for the decoupage in the next step.

PAINT THE STORAGE BINS


Start out by painting the sides of the bin using Behr French Gray and a Purdy paint brush. I found it easiest to paint two sides and move on to the next bin. Then, by the time I reached the last bin, I started over at the beginning and painted the other two sides. Finally, I flipped them over and painted the bottom of the bins. One coat would have been sufficient, but I decided to do two coats for better coverage.


Alternatively, you could use a high density foam roller. You will need a paint pan or paper plate. Add the paint to the pan and roll it on. This will give you a really smooth finish. I just enjoy using a paint brush.

SEPARATE AND IRON THE NAPKINS


Usually the napkins are three-ply. Meaning you need to separate the layers before you begin the decoupage process.

Unfold the napkin, starting at one corner, begin to separate the layers. Repeat this process for the number of lids you have.


Once they are separated, take the decorative layer and iron it. I covered it with parchment paper and pressed it with my easy press at 290 degrees. I moved it around until most of the creases were gone.

DECOUPAGE WITH HEAT

To support the lid, I placed a pine board under it covered in parchment paper.

Then I placed my napkin on top of the lid and covered it with parchment paper. Be sure your Cricut Easy Press or iron are preheated. Then press the napkin to the lid for 10 seconds and move to the next section. Take care not to hold it in one place for too long or you can scorch the napkin and make it yellow.

Once the face side of the lid was done, I moved on to the edges of the lid. I placed the lid on its edge. Supporting the weight of the Easy Press, I gently held it to the edge of the lid for 10 seconds and repeated until the entire perimeter was finished.


Cut off any excess napkin with a pair of scissors or kraft knife. And your lid should look like the image below.

COVER THE PRESSED NAPKIN WITH A PROTECTIVE TOP COAT


At this stage, you need to place another coat of Polycrylic over the napkin to seal and protect it. Using your foam applicator, place an even coat of Polycrylic over the surface of your napkin and let it dry.


Please note: The napkin will bubble and leave some texture when you apply the top coat. If you get any large air bubbles, insert a pin to release the air bubble and then press the spot down with your foam applicator. Also, do not apply too much pressure with the applicator or you can tear the napkin while it’s wet.

When the top coat is dry, press it one last time with you Easy Press or iron. This will flatten it out a little more.

I included this closeup picture of the lid to show you the texture. I love the texture. It has a handmade paper feel to me. But, I know some of you may be looking for an ultra smooth finish and I wanted you to see that is not how it turns out. Honestly, I’ve never been able to get the traditional method of decoupage smooth either. If you have a special tip for this, let us all know in the comments.

HOW TO GET YOUR FREE CRAFT BIN LABELS


These craft labels are large in size, approximately 4.75 inches in diameter. You can either print them on Avery full sheet label paper or card-stock and add adhesive. The files are available as a free downloadable PDF file and as a free SVG file to print and cut with a cutting machine.


To download your file and receive instant access to my free library, just subscribe at the top sidebar or at the bottom of this post over on my blog. You will be sent a welcome letter with the password to the library.

Hopefully this storage box makeover gave you some ideas to decorate and organize your craft room or office space.


Blessings,


Laura

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Laura

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Deb M Jones
    on Feb 14, 2020

    What setting would you use if you just used your iron?? These are wonderful!!

    • Laura
      on Feb 14, 2020

      Thank you Deb! I didn't try it with an iron. But if I were testing it out, I would start with a medium heat setting. If it doesn't stick, go a little warmer. Be sure to cover the napkin with parchment paper so the poly doesn't bleed through the napkin and get on your iron. Hope this helps!

  • Tessyatl
    on Feb 15, 2020

    Great idea, but I’m a little confused about the lids. Did you use wooden lids, or the cardboard lids? If you used wooden lids where did you find them and how did you get them to fit over the tops of the boxes?

    • Laura
      on Feb 15, 2020

      Thank you for checking. The boxes are from Ikea and they came with cardboard lids. I just placed a board inside the lid to support the weight of the iron/heat press. Hope this helps!

Join the conversation

4 of 14 comments
  • Benesse
    on Feb 22, 2020

    I am blown away! Being a neat freak and an organizer extreme this really speaks to me because it's clean, pretty, classy and uniform. Thank you for thee inspiration.. I would have most likely just purchased those boxes and made my own lables but it's nice to know that doing it yourseelf is attainable.

    • Laura
      on Feb 22, 2020

      Thank you for your kind words. I'm so glad you found inspiration in this project. I love to make things and come up with helpful design ideas. It brings me joy, especially if I'm helping others.

  • Gill Osborne
    on Feb 22, 2020

    You are right, it is so hard to do decoupage with tissue and get it flat. It’s best not to try and enjoy the finish the way it happens. It’s still beautiful. If you want a flat finish, go with fabric decoupage. They look gorgeous by the way.

    • Laura
      on Feb 22, 2020

      I've never tried fabric. What a fun idea. No handmade project is ever perfect, but I feel like that's what makes it special.

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