Dollar Store DIY: Vintage Locker Bins

When I gave my office a makeover this past fall I stocked my shelves with lots of Ikea boxes for storage. I realized a few days ago that I needed some extra storage for markers, pens and scissors. But I wanted easy access to them and I am maxed out on my Ikea storage. I needed a little something different before my office just looks like a display right out of Ikea! When I saw some bins at the dollar store the other day I knew I could do some Dollar Store DIY.
The Dollar Store was loaded up on storage bins and containers. When I stumbled upon these I knew they would make perfect faux, vintage style locker bins. Only one problem, they were neon green and plastic. Not exactly vintage looking.
But with a little of my favorite spray paint, I could fix that problem. I used Rustoleum Flat Antique Nickel to get the perfect metal look. I love this paint because you can use it on so many surfaces and it sticks really well.
I spray painted the sides and the inside and allowed them to dry. And then I flipped them over and sprayed the bottoms and under the lip of the bin to hide all that green.
I sell these little tags at my retail space and they look like the numbers that you would find on real vintage locker bins. They would also be great on baskets or attached to mason jars. To attach the tags I poked a hole through the plastic bin with a large upholstery needle. And then used some twine to tie the tag onto the bin.
I separated my markers and supplies into old cans and placed them in the bins. Now I have plenty of room for more supplies and I can easily see what I have. If you like this idea and would like to see more please visit my blog at

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


Have a question about this project?

10 questions
  • Crystal Riehl
    on Nov 5, 2015

    How many spray paint cans does it typically take to spray ONE bin?

  • Sabrina's Organizing
    on Jan 3, 2016

    I love this. How is the spray paint holding up?

    • Sally Shutt
      on Nov 23, 2016

      I always use Rustoleum 2X Ultracover. Made to work on plastic. Also their paint/primer spray is great.

  • Ashley
    on Jan 31, 2016

    How many cans of spray paint would you need to do these?

    • KathiT
      on Feb 25, 2017

      It looks like she did three bins here- you certainly wouldn't need more than 1 can of spray paint for that.

  • Jixyrocker711
    on Jul 10, 2016

    Nice! I've been spray painting my coffee containers, also plastic, & have found not all spray paints adhere well to it. This includes the ones that say they are for plastic. I use a clear coat to protect finish. Which spray paints did you find that are most plastic friendly?

    • Joannawg
      on Oct 14, 2016

      Rustoleum and Krylon both have spray paints that are for plastic items. I use them all the time.

  • You19092847
    on Feb 27, 2017

    Hi,from where u got the paint spray?

  • Ama21659404
    on Mar 10, 2017

    This is such a good idea! I was thinking of doing this for my class library. do you think that the spray paint will "rub off or scratch off" if books are being taken out or put back in them? So pretty much handled every day.

    • Jacqueline St.John
      on May 14, 2017

      I would suggest the decorative tape for your books
    • Stephanie Slack
      on Aug 2, 2018

      Jacqueline St. John, I don't understand. Please explain your suggestion. What do you mean when you say you suggest the decorative tape for her books?

  • Mar21901803
    on Jun 2, 2017

    Would love to purchase some of these tags for our new home "locker room.". Where??
    • Bob22030992
      on Jul 21, 2017

      Try Etsy or eBay or if you are crafty you could buy the blanks and stamp your own.
  • Emily
    on Jul 16, 2018

    Love these! I sprayed a couple of my ow,n but I noticed that the paint scrapes so easily. Any tips? Thanks!

  • Stephanie Slack
    on Aug 2, 2018

    Those look great! How well did the paint hold up?

  • Mara Salazar
    on Aug 10, 2018

    Where can i find the paint

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