Thursday, February 15, 2018

DIY Custom Decorative Storage Boxes

When looking for storage boxes or baskets for the RV bathroom cabinet I realised what a tall order it was to find something just the right size. With some pipework in the way I already knew I'd have to cut down a box to make it fit and storage boxes and baskets just aren't cheap!

Plan B came into effect (And it turned out waaaaay better than my Plan A!)

I realised that my shelves were going to fit 2 photo-copy paper boxes side by side rather perfectly! Our local Staples leaves these boxes out by the front door and you can just pop in and grab them - for free!

I took a slow browse around Michaels deciding what I was going to use to cover these boxes. My original vision was baskets, and I certainly wanted to stick with the natural fibres - both colour and look. I went with what I could find really and in the end that turned out to be burlap.

I bought some rolls of laminated burlap - which had some kind of backing holding it together a bit but it was pretty see-through.

I needed to cut down 2 of my boxes in height for the top shelf so I did this first. I also had to cut down the back of one of my boxes to fit around the pipework - this box doesn't really have any functionality - its pretty much just the front and sides of the box acting as a cover-up to the pipework behind.

Once all cut to size I gave them a quick once-over with some tan spray paint. Because the burlap was pretty see-through the colours and print on my boxes showed through. With a quick and imperfect coat of paint it blended in.

Starting in the middle at the back of a box I used my hot glue gun and spread out a 1 inch strip of hot glue I stuck down one end of the burlap roll. The hot glue dries so quickly I found that I was only able to glue a couple of inches at a time - giving myself enough time to pull the burlap taut, stick down and smooth off, all the while making sure I was keeping it in line with the bottom of the box. It moved along nicely and before I knew it I was back to where I started - I overlapped the burlap at the back of the box by about an inch.

My roll of burlap was deeper than my boxes so I'd left my excess at the tops of my boxes. Once all the sides were stuck down I cut the corners and folded in the excess and stuck that down too. It is preferable to have a bit of extra to fold in to keep your top edges nice and finished looking (especially since burlap has a tendency to fray).

My boxes were done! But I felt they needed a little finishing touch of some kind. Another trip to Michaels and I found a sheet of brown leather. It was a pricey addition compared to the cost of the rest of the boxes but worth it!

I searched Google images for travel trunk handles and found a shape I liked. I sized and printed out the image and then used this as a template to cut out my four handles.

Using the hot glue I stuck down the 2 ends of the handles, making sure to leave 'room' so they stick out (you don't want them lying flat or you'll have nothing to grab a hold of!). Finally I sewed around the ends using some strands of the burlap which I'd frayed off the edge of my leftover sheets. I think rivets or eyelets would also have been a great way to fasten them on!

I did add a sheet of felt to the bottom so the boxes slid in and out of the shelves a bit smoother but that's unnecessary!

I am totally loving the way they turned out! They are a perfect fit for the shelves and look great! I'm wondering where else needs storage boxes now.....?!
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