Let’s Make Something Together – Lined Canvas Bins (from Diaper Boxes!)
There are times when I finish a project and I am absolutely giddy to share it with you here. This was one of those! The idea for these bins came about as I was brainstorming projects for the Upcycling challenge at So You Think You’re Crafty a couple of weeks ago. I have been in dire need of some new containers for the built-in shelves in our living room to hold things like DVD’s and remotes, but I wasn’t wanting to spend a fortune on them. It occurred to me that a diaper box had precisely the dimensions I was looking for, so I determined myself to figure out a way to gussy them up to suit my needs!
In case you missed it, here is the blurb from SYTYC…
Over the years, my household has acquired an abundance of two things in particular: 1) little items that need to be stored away in some semblance of order; and 2) diaper boxes. I actually think there could be some sort of mathematical equation that could show the direct relationship between the presence of those two categories! I have been in the market for some storage boxes to stow away movies, remotes and games in our living room, but each time I would look into purchasing some, I was stopped in my tracks by the appallingly outrageous prices asked by places like Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs. So, in the spirit of upcycling, I decided to make some on my own, for a fraction of the cost! Curious to know how I did it?
What began as three diaper boxes became in just a couple of hours a chic collection of lined, numbered canvas bins. The custom look of these really belies the fact that they all started off life as a vessel for holding diapers, don’t you think? My head is already dancing with ideas for all of the other rooms in my house that will get a set of similar containers!
Ready to make a set of your own? Let’s get started!
For this project, you will need…
A diaper box for each bin you want to make
Heavy canvas fabric
Disappearing ink marker
Fabric to make your bin liners
Basic sewing supplies: Machine, shears, thread, etc.
Die cutting machine and adhesive vinyl (optional)
step1 / Cut the flaps off off your box. Flip your box over and use your measuring tape to measure up one side of your box, over the narrow bottom width and then down the other side, as shown. Write down this width measurement. Now, rotate your box and take the box’s length measurement in the same manner. Cut a piece of your canvas fabric that is your width measurement by your length measurement.
step2 / Lay your cut piece of fabric on a flat surface, and place your box on top of it, so it is precisely centered on the fabric. (Make sure the long sides of your box is aligned with the long sides of your fabric piece.) Use your measuring tape and disappearing ink marker to mark a line out 2 inches out from one of the corners of your box, as shown. Now, mark a line out from the bottom of the mark you just made that is perpendicular to the raw outer edge of your canvas piece, as shown. Repeat with the remaining three corners of your box. Cut along all of these lines, so that you are left with a cross-shaped canvas piece, making sure to cut along the angled corner lines, as well.
step3 / Apply a thin, even coat of spray adhesive to one of the long sides of your box. With your box precisely centered on your cut piece of canvas, fold the corresponding canvas flap up and over the box, pulling the fabric to ensure it is snug and your bottom edge is crisp. Use your hand to smooth out any bubbles. Repeat with the other long side.
step4 / Working on one of the short sides of your box, apply an even line of glue to one of the outer edges, and fold over the corresponding flap snugly to adhere it to your box. Make sure to pull enough so your edges are crisp! Repeat this step for the remaining flaps on the short sides of your box.
step5 / Apply an even line of glue on either side of your remaining short flap, as shown. Fold in and adhere the outer edges of the flap so that the creases formed are in perfect alignment with the outer edge of your box, as depicted below. (Once these outer edges are folded in and adhered, your flap should be precisely the same size and shape as the short end of your box.) Apply glue to the top and sides of one of the short ends of your box, and then snugly fold the flap of fabric up and over this side, making sure everything is smooth and even, and that you have a nice, crisp corner at the bottom edge. Repeat with the other flap on the opposite short side of your box.
If at this point the edges of your fabric aren’t exactly aligned with the top rim of your box, don’t worry! The liners to make will cover up this part of the box. If the canvas sticks up taller than the rim of your box, though, I do recommend that you trim away the excess so that you liner will fit your box properly.
step6 / Use the basket liner tutorial of your choice to make liners for your bins. There are so many great tutorials out there! For this set of bins, I used this tutorial from Make It and Love It, with the following modifications: instead of creating a casing as the tutorial details, I simply hemmed the edge of the liner, and then I added two button holes to the center front of each liner to thread a piece of coordinating ribbon through.
step7(optional) / Use your die cutting machine to cut coordinating numbers and/or letters from your vinyl to label the front of your bins. I labeled mine Nos. 1 through 3, but another great option would be to make a label to indicate the contents of each bin (movies, games, etc.).
Helpful hints and tips
Here is another terrific basket liner tutorial found at Sew 4 Home I might try on my next set. Peruse the blogosphere to find a basket liner tutorial or pattern that suits your tastes!
The fonts I used for the lettering on my bins are Engravers and Lobster.
No die cutting machine, but still wanting to label your bins? Stencils and acrylic paint are another great option!
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