Cardboard Boxes Turned Storage Bins

Amanda C, Hometalk Team
by Amanda C, Hometalk Team
8 Materials
2 Hours

Ever need to organize some space? I certainly do, but storage bins are seriously pricey and can add up the more you need! That's why I decided to up-cycle some cardboard boxes and turn them into cute little storage bins. With just a bit of fabric and glue you can also make some bins in the color and pattern of your choice on the cheap!

Learn how you can use storage bins in your closet, to keep it organized --- Hometalk's online workshop registration to organize your closet closes May 15th!

SUPPLIES: -Cardboard Boxes -Fabric (I used a yard and covered both of these and had more to spare!) -Spray Adhesive / Glue + Water Mixture / Mod Podge / Matte Medium -Iron -Scissors -Ribbon / Used 2 kinds) -Measuring Tape -Sewing Machine (if you don't have one see instructions below) -Decorative Brads -Milk Jug (not pictured)

STEP 1: Cut off the flaps to your cardboard box if it has them. Measure your box from front to back including the bottom panel. Also measure the width across. Cut out a piece of fabric as follows: Front to Back + 2" x Width + 1". For instance my box measurements were Front to Back - 42" + 2" = 44 x Width - 14" + 1" = 15". Set this piece aside for now.

STEP 2: Measure out the length and width of the sides of your box and add 2" to each measurement and cut out 2 pieces of fabric in those dimensions, one for each side. My box sides measured 19.5" x 11.25" so I cut 2 pieces that were 21.5" x 13.25". Using your glue mixture or adhesive spray coat the side of your box and lay your fabric centered over the side being sure to leave an inch on each side. Fold the extra inches over each side and glue them in place. On the bottom you will have to fold it like wrapping a gift so that the corner lays flat.

STEP 3: Now take the first piece you cut out for the front to back (and bottom) of the box. Fold over 1/2" on each long side and press it in place. I used a gauge to help keep the fold even, but it's not necessary. Now sew a simple stitch down each side to keep the folded 1/2" in place. If you don't have a sewing machine you can simply leave the piece pressed over and glue it as is.

STEP 4: Take your freshly sewn piece and glue it to the box. Be sure to leave 1" on each end to fold over the edge of the front and the back. Make sure to keep your fabric centered and smooth out any creases. Also be sure to conceal any raw edges that were folded over from the side pieces. Now grab your ribbon and cut out a piece that is long enough to wrap around the entire perimeter of the box. Glue the ribbon over the raw edge that is exposed on the inside of the box. You don't have to do this, but it helps to give it a finished look and elevates it a bit. Allow all of this to dry.

STEP 5: Cut out a piece of ribbon in the length that you need for your handle. I cut out one in 7". Center the handle where you want it to be on your box. I put mine on the front end of the box. When you have it in place mark where it will lie at each corner of the ribbon piece. *Be sure not to lay the ribbon flat on the box. You need a bit of space so that you can fit your fingers in between the ribbon and the box and pull it as a handle. Glue the ends of the ribbon so that it doesn't fray and glue about 3/4" of the ribbon down to the box.

STEP 6: Take an old milk jug and cut out a piece that is long enough to rest under the entire length of your ribbon handle. I cut 8" just to be safe. Glue your plastic piece behind the ribbon. This is simply a way to reinforce the handle since it will get tugged on a lot. Allow the piece to dry.

STEP 7: Once your ribbon has dried and the plastic piece as well you can grab your decorative brads and pierce them through all three layers. You will go through the ribbon, cardboard and the plastic. Simply spread the legs of the brad to secure it in place. At this point you are done, however I also covered a shoe box and thought I would share how to cover the lid... If you so choose, these instructions are below.

STEP : 8 (Optional) Cut a piece of fabric out that is the same length and width of your shoe box lid, but also long and wide enough to wrap around the sides and fold an inch over. I think this added 2" to the length and width of the top of the lid. Glue your box lid to the wrong side of the fabric by first placing it in the center. Press the lid in place.

STEP 9: (Optional) Cut each corner out of the fabric piece making sure to leave 1/2" extra from where the fabric meets the box, but cutting a slice 1/2" in from the sides. (see picture to the far left) Glue the sides in place. Pin them to hold it in place as it dries.

STEP 10: (Optional) To fold the corners so they look nice and neat fold the side in and crease the 1/2" top and bottom flap and glue it down. I know these instructions seem a bit confusing but hopefully the pictures help.

I probably need about 20 more of these to organize my closets, but they are quick and easy, so I might just go for it Maybe switch up the prints and make a fun little collection.

The great thing is you can make these in such a great variety of shapes and sizes to cater to your needs!

You can see how much the ribbon helped to "complete" the piece.

You could use a thicker thread if you want the seam to pop more, or a contrasting color.

Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 7 questions
  • Peggy Peggy on May 15, 2018

    Could youvalso make it easier and youse a patterned sticky shelf paper.?

  • Linda Knowles Linda Knowles on May 15, 2018

    Really cute and I love recycling - however - I don't think i could make myself use these as cardboard makes good roach food I have read somewhere. I wonder if that is a threat if you don't currently have roaches???

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Feb 04, 2019

    I like the idea of covering cardboard boxes, but termites, roaches and such are attracted to cardboard. Wouldn't they still be even though it would be covered?

Join the conversation
2 of 98 comments
  • Mary Coakley Mary Coakley on May 17, 2018

    Very pretty love the. Fabric

  • Pamela Pamela on Jan 11, 2019

    Not only a great way to organize, but also it keeps those boxes out of the land fills. I am a firm believer in reuse/recycle as much as possible in our "throw away" society.