Friday, March 2, 2012

105 Project Pretty: DIY Fabric Boxes & a Link Party!

Last week I got the itch.  Not a rash.  An itch to do something.  To DIY.  To project.  To organize.  To make something PRETTY!

And so I challenged myself along with you, to do some organizing and beautifying.  How did y'all do?



I am pretty gosh darn excited about the outcome of my project!


We have this fabulous piece of Craigslist furniture sitting in our playroom.  It's intention is to hold lots and lots of toys.


Nope, for this project I didn't paint it, but that is next on the list.  I actually tackled something that has been hiding behind those doors:


Yep, a pair of boxes.  Acting as toy and puzzle storage.  Aren't they purdy?

Not so much.

Here are some of the supplies  I used to spruce them up a bit:


  1. Fabric
  2. Craft Knife or Scissors
  3. Spray Adhesive
  4. Yard Stick
  5. Cotton Cord
  6. Grommets
  7. Empty Boxes
I have a bit of a color scheme going in the playroom which is green and turquoise, so to cover the boxes I stuck with fabric in those colors.

{1 / 2}

I went with indoor/outdoor fabric for the outside of the box for durability and because of it's thickness {to better hide imperfections}.  I purchased 1 1/2 yards of each and had some leftover when the project was done.

The boxes I selected were equal size and 15" squares {a super sized bin!}.  I started by cutting the top four flaps off so I just had an open top box to play with.

I used the yard stick to measure A LOT and draw straight lines on the back side of the fabric for all of my cuts:


First, I cut a square piece a bit larger than the bottom and used my spray adhesive to attach it to the bottom of the box.


Then I cut two long strips of fabric to wrap along the inside.


Quick tip, it helps to roll the fabric and then unroll as you spray and affix:


So now the inside of my box was completely covered:


Then, I cut square pieces of fabric for two sides of the box.  Enough to wrap the top edge and the bottom edge:


For the corners on the inside, I just cut the fabric at a diagonal and wrapped it down:



So now the boxes looked like this:



Halfway there!

This time, I cut the fabric a little bit shorter so it would just slightly overlap the existing fabric that was wrapped around the corner.


The spray adhesive rocked for this project.  Everything was nice and easy to affix and it stuck really well.

Two fabric covered boxes later...



I really wanted the kids to have some handles on the front to not only dress up the bins even more, but to make it easy for them to pull them out when searching for their toys.

We started with grommets and a grommet setter:


Next step was to measure, cut holes in the box with the craft knife, pushed the grommet head through, set the grommet head face down on the grommet setter, place the grommet cap on the other side...


And set it!


Leaving us with two holes to feed the rope handle through:


I taped the ends of the cotton rope, to avoid fraying and to make it easy to feed through the grommets:


And just knotted them on the backside so they wouldn't fall through:


Oh my greatness how cute are these bins?!?



I really can't believe I made them myself.  So much more satisfying than running out to the store and spending $80+ dollars on something similar!  Wahoo!

We quickly filled them up!


And placed them in their new home!

Now for the fabulous before and after moment:




The handles make it easy for them to pull out the boxes bins and they store SO much since they are such a great size!


I think more challenges are in order!  It was uber motivating and SO much fun!

Now it's your turn!


And a button for you:


I can't wait to see what you creative folks did!  Anyone else try covering a box?  How did it go?



105 comments:

  1. I love the fabric you chose, What a great project and inspiration!

    Big Bloggy Love,
    Lauren D. @ Besweetlyinspired.blogspot.com

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  2. ahhhhh I love love love the fabric you chose!!!!! =) The grommets are genius -- I almost bought bins that look like these but I'm glad I didn't now that i know grommets are this easy to install! Thanks for the inspiration chica! And for hosting the party!

    Hope you have a fabulous friday!

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  3. This is crazy super cute!!! And absolutely amazing. And looks so easy to do!! And I have boxes all over my house that I am now going to turn into bins! I LOVE THIS!! I think this is now my favorite project of yours EVER!! (Too many exclamation points? I don't care!) :D

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  4. Oh wow, these are so beautiful! Isn't fabric just the best thing ever? You would never know that those used to be ordinary boxes! Thanks for the fantastic inspiration, I'm adding this to my list of DIY projects!

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  5. Great project. Thanks!


    Nina

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  6. Wow, that is a really amazing transformation! If I had just seen the finished project, I would have assumed that you bought them somewhere like the Land of Nod! Very impressive!

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  7. Oh my goodness!!! I absolutely love this idea. Once I start working on my daughter's playroom, I am definitley going to do this. Fabulous job!

    Hugs & Lots of Blog Love,
    Kristin
    theocdlifestyle.blogspot.com

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  8. These are great, I would never have thought to have done that!!

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  9. I recently started covering pampers boxes, but mine did not turn out like this!!! I used hot glue, so maybe that is why.... LOVE your fabric pick@ You inspired me to start over with them!

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  10. Those boxes are so cute! Great job!

    Allyson
    http://cupcakescandycanes.blogspot.com

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  11. Amazing, I am sooo doing this in my closet update this month. You are amazing and inspiring. those look so professional, like what I would buy at the container store. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. So easy and pretty! I'll have to try this!

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  13. I would have never guessed that those were cardboard boxes, we have an abundance of those in our house, I will be certainly looking at them with the idea of making some of my own. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  14. Jen you are a genius!!! Love how this project turned out. Great inspiration. As always thanks for the awesome inspiration. :) Have a great weekend!!!

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  15. I am a fan, these are adorable.

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  16. thank you so much for hosting! i was excited to complete this project and share...and more importantly see what everyone else is up to. love what you did to the boxes!

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  17. Where do you buy your fabric? I swear our local JoAnns doesn't carry patterns that cute!

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    Replies
    1. I find some great options at Fabric.com and I love that they have free returns if you receive something that you don't adore! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  18. I love this. This has been on my to do list but I was going to sew a liner. I like this better. You could even add some fun labels to the front with some of Martha's stuff at staples I think she has plastic pockets that you insert labels that attach to the front and those cute metal ones.... They look pretty awesome without labels though :) great job !

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  19. Loving this project!!! Looks AWESOME!! I've had it in my mind to do this same kind of project with a few boxes that I've been collecting. Great inspiration. :)

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  20. Great job!!!

    Could you give a cost breakdown or total? I know you compared it to a PB teen similar bin for sale, but I was wondering if I could find something comparable at Target etc. if would it still be economical to make these??

    The cool thing is its so customizable, you can pick you box size and fabric etc. love it

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    Replies
    1. Hi Valerie!

      You are right, there may be a point in which is just as economical to purchase one at Target. It really depends on the box size, the amount of fabric needed, if you already have fabric/scraps, etc...

      For me, the boxes were really large so to find something that size for a good price has been a challenge. The cost of the fabric and supplies was about $25-$30 and I got two custom large bins. And as you mentioned, it's customizable!

      I am excited to show that this is an option for those re-using shoe boxes and repurposing items to use as storage.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  21. Your bins turned out great! I love your color combo.
    CAS

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  22. Thanks for hosting Jen - great idea and loving your work as always!!

    I've posted a project I had already done for the link-up, but I've another one in the pipeline inspired by you!!

    I got some parcels delivered during the week and for the first time ever the packaging didn't get thrown out - I'm going to upcycle them into something useful and thanks to your tutorial it will be a much less scarey task (me and crafts are not really the best of friends yet) - but cheap, custom and pretty storage, got to love that!

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  23. I love these fabric boxes? Why have I never thought of this...it's just so simple!! The color combo is fantastic! Thanks for hosting this linkup! It's great to see so many ideas!

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  24. GREAT JOB!! Those are adorable, girly!!! :)

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  25. Great project and great link party! I have a stack of various sized shoe boxes that I refuse to trash because I know I can use them elsewhere and avoid the high cost of storage bins. This post has given me real inspiration to cover those boxes and pretty up the place! Thanks once again for your innovative ideas and inspiration!

    ~ Ferly
    Gifts We Use {to grow, love and serve}
    http://www.GiftsWeUse.blogspot.com

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  26. The boxes turned out so great! I have been meaning to do that to some boxes I have in my laundry room! It was funny, while I was looking at this post, my 2 year old daughter came up to me and started saying "have it, have it" about the picture of your boxes! She already appreciates beauty and organization at such a young age. :)

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  27. Wow, that is amazing. I wouldn't have thought to do that but now you have me itching to find some boxes and cover them! You have so many great ideas--thank you for all the inspiration!

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  28. It looks darling, Jen! Such a great project!

    Becky B.
    www.organizingmadefun.com
    Organizing Made Fun

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  29. LOVE!!! :D This looks so fun and easy! Now I am on a hunt for some boxes to turn into beautiful storage bins! How awesome :D

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  30. Omgoodness, I've been wanting to do cardboard box bins! I was orignally going to use fabric, but I thought sewing everything together would be too complicated. I didn't know they made spray adhesive! (Talk about a duh moment!!!) I ended up using scrapbooking paper instead, but they aren't finished yet. If they were I'd link them :)

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  31. SO cute! I love these. You made them look so nice and your tutorial is great! Thanks so much for sharing! Most definitely saving this one!

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  32. Love these! Inspired to use them to organize the yards and yards of fabric I have in my workroom.
    Thank you!

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  33. Those boxes are so stinking cute! What an awesome idea! Thanks for hosting the link up!!

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  34. Your recovered boxes look incredible! I'm gonna have to try this!

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  35. Jen, you are just too good at these things!!! I love the color combo you picked for the boxes. I kind of went a little crazy with fabric covering too this week...from our old baby formula cans to old plastic trays. Btw, thanks so much for hosting the link up! You are awesome! :D

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  36. Thanks for doing the link up have found so many good ideas all in one spot!

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  37. I've been wanting to make boxes like these for the bottom of my pantry...just haven't chosen the fabric yet! Love your idea to use indoor/outdoor fabric. Will definitely be referencing this post when I make mine, thank you!

    Elisabeth @ Simply Parkers

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  38. Renee in MichiganMarch 3, 2012 at 6:23 AM

    Those are great! I noticed your puzzles in the one bin, did I miss the post about how you organize those?? I have a bazillion puzzles that take up so much shelf space and the boxes are breaking down. What's your solution??? Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I don't believe I have ever posted on that subject specifically, but yep, those are puzzles in that bin. We take them out of the box, cut the picture out and store them in ziploc bags. Huge space saver! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

      Delete
  39. Lovely! I love that these are no-sew--when you try to sew a cover, it's super hard to measure and get everything to turn out right. How did you keep your edges from fraying? I'm guessing you didn't use fray-check, or you probably would have mentioned it. Maybe because it's the heavy, outdoor fabric it doesn't really need anything to keep it from fraying? And spray glue is a brilliant idea. Thanks! :)

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    Replies
    1. The spray adhesive seemed to keep the fraying at bay, but I did pick up some fray-check this weekend just in case, since they are going to be used in a playroom.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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    2. I've done this with fabric and wallpaper. If you use wallpaper, you're going to want to use the spray adhesive anyway; wetting pre-pasted wallpaper will also soak your box. A possible solution for the fraying problem is to cut your pieces with pinking shears. Alternatively, you can use heavy duty heat-n-bond to adhere the fabric, which does solve the fraying problem but also costs more and is more time-consuming. You could probably cut the fabric so that the exposed edges are all the selvedge edges of the fabric, but again, more fabric, more money.

      Delete
  40. I love those boxes! I really want to try that project!

    Working through a 40 bags in 40 days challenge right now, and much of my inspiration comes from your site! Thanks for hosting!

    http://theterpblog.blogspot.com/

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  41. Awesome!!!! I never would have guessed those were ordinary boxes! You are so inspiring Jen :)

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  42. OMG Jen! This is the perfect project to for storing my craftiness in a pretty way. This is the ideal project with our tight budget. I can do this for just a few dollars and end up with some pretty storage. We just moved so have tons of boxes. I'm a fabric hoarder, so this is the prefect stash busting project as well. Thanks for the great idea!

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  43. That's a great idea. I actually just started organizing drawers with boxes I had lying around, so this is a perfect way to spruce them up.

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  44. Oh my goodness! Best idea ever!!! Why have I never thought to cover up the ugly boxes I use to organize stuff? I am a fabric hoarder so this totally kills two birds with one stone!! Thank you thank you for the inspiration!!

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  45. I'd thought of doing something similar with a couple cute boxes, so thanks for the encouragement:) Question: is spray adhesive the same as contact cement (just in a spray bottle)? From Heidi

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  46. Those are stinking cute!!! And i love your fabric choices!!

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  47. They are fabulous! You just gave me a wonderful idea for my IKEA book cases. You're so clever!

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  48. WOW! Seriously, they were just boxes and now they look fabulous! They'd still be lightweight as well which is great! I've been doing some organising and have been concerned about how much it can cost to buy pretty boxes and things, and this post shows that you don't need to have a lot of money to do so. Amazing!

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  49. LOVE this!!!! I have fabric, spray adhesive and one or two boxes floating around. FANTASTIC!! :)

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  50. I can't believe they are cardboard. Awesome job!

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  51. This is a very good DIY storage project! Very inspiring. This post goes to show that with a great concept and appropriate materials, plain boxes can be transformed into something worth purchasing. Being in the storage Tulsa OK industry, we know the importance of having storage for an organized living space.

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  52. What a great idea! I'm an Avon rep and have a gazillion boxes delivered every other week... Now I can organize my kid's room without breaking the bank! Awesome!!

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  53. Your covered boxes are such a great idea! I love how you used the grommets for added sturdiness and the fabric you used is just adorable. Thanks for hosting the party.

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  54. I love these bins! Just wanted to let you know that I included your project in my weekend "link love" post for today!

    http://517creations.blogspot.com/2012/03/link-love-03102012.html

    Thanks for all of your inspiring projects!

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  55. IN. LOVE. I was wondering if you think this would work with scrap booking paper or even pretty wrapping paper. I have 8 boxes I want to cover and can't find fabric that I like that's in my budget. Any answers would be so appreciated! Thanks :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Hope!

      Maybe on a smaller scale, however, I am not sure of the durability factor. I guess it depends on how you will be using them. I say give it a try! <3

      xoxo!
      Jen

      Delete
    2. I've done something similar with wall paper I found brand new at a thrift store. It looks great, but I don't think I'd use it for a box that is pulled in and out all the time. I did hat boxes which I use to store mementos - they are visible in the bedroom but not moved very often. Works great.

      I also find it easier to use double sided tape, but I don't know if I might have bought the wrong kind of spray glue.

      Delete
  56. These boxes look so nice and they are a brilliant idea!

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  57. hi jen! i just saw this and i am so doing it!!!

    i was searching your blog under storage solutions because i was hoping i could find something i could diy without robbing our bank account - i have been doing a lot of organizing in my house and i am so glad i found this!!

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  59. This is truly impressive! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these boxes! I hope it's okay, I couldn't' help but feature them in a round-up I did today on my blog. You can see it here:

    http://frugal-home-design.blogspot.com/2012/06/decorating-with-fabrics.html

    Thank you so much for sharing this AWESOME tutorial!

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  60. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  61. That is so awesome! Very pretty. I am in the process of 'fall cleaning and am needing some 'bins' for storing all kinds of things, but want them to be pretty. I am so glad I found this site. Thanks for sharing this.

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  62. Hi Jen! These are so cute! I'm thinking about doing something similar with a shoebox but wanted to know how the spray adhesive is holding up to the test of your boys. Because my box will have a lid, I wasn't sure if I should use something stronger. Any insight you could give would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hello!

      The spray held up just fine, the fabric is still fully adhered to the boxes. I did have to use a little fray-check on some of the edges.

      xo,
      Jen

      Delete
    2. Hi Jen and all,
      As all the other comments - I love the boxes and fabric you chose and had a question about the spray glue. I did this project this afternoon and got an instantaneous headache from the toxicity of the glue. I was planning to use the boxes to store toys but am very worried now. Is there a low VOC spray glue on the market that would hold up to toddler play?
      Thanks!
      Sylvia

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    3. Hi Sylvia!
      You should definitely use it outside and let it off-gas for a period of time, however, they do also make low VOC spray adhesive: http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawebserver?6666660Zjcf6lVs6EVs66sMBiCOrrrrQ-

      xo!
      Jen

      Delete
  63. Thanks so much for this great tutorial! I followed your instructions and love the finished product. If you have time to check out the pics, visit my post: http://dilettantedesign.blogspot.ca/2012/10/diy-fabric-boxes.html

    Thanks for your inspriational site!

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  64. What a lovely combinations you used. Your guidelines along snapshots are really helpful for those how are new to this work, they can also use different wallpapers because they are easy to use in the place of fabric.

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  65. These are super cute. Don't mean to be nosy, but do you have an estimate of how much you spent on materials? Thanks :)

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  66. These are so cute! Love the fabrics you've chosen.

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  67. Love it! What a cute idea. Dumb question...where did you buy your rope?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Susan,

      I found the rope from Joann Fabric store.

      xo!
      Jen

      Delete
  68. I started with one box and haven't finished yet. I bought a can of adhesive spray and it smells awful!! The inside of my box smells terrible...I finished the inside of it last night and let it set over night and it still smells horrible this afternoon. Is the smell going to go away? Could it be the brand of spray I bought? I don't want smelly boxes in my house making the place smell bad. The can I bought even suggests using it on cardboard...so I'm just not sure.

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  69. Jen, I absolutely love your new bins! You turned something ugly into something gorgeous! I have made a bin out of a diaper box before, but didn't line the inside. I also love the handles! I am going to do this project soon! Maybe I'll get started right now! Thanks for posting!

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  70. Thank you so much for this idea! My friend and I made these over the weekend (though we used a glue gun rather than spray adhesive and vinyl drawer liner for the insides) and were so happy with the results!

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  71. Jen,

    I love this project so much that I decided to do it. I am just about done, but I am having problems with the grommets. I think my cardboard box may be to thick for the the grommets to grab hold of each other, what should I do to fix this problem? Are there "longer male parts" that could extend out more so the grommets could hold together? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Nicola

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm, I am unsure about that? You may have to google around or ask someone at a craft store.

      Sorry friend!

      xo,
      Jen

      Delete
  72. I absolutely love your fabric bins...I made a modified version as I need 18 bins. I didn't want to make a huge investment in fabric so I used contact paper. Found some white w/black and black/white and they were so easy...plus no mess with spray glue.

    Thanks for your website and sharing your creativity!

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  73. Love the fabric choices, everything you do is so bright and happy :) Your color choices are always perfect! Great blog

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  74. What a great turnout! I love making these for toy organizers and odd uses around the house. It is so much better than buying them from the store where they cost $10-$20 or more each just for a little canvas storage tote.

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  75. hi!!! can you tell the

    Grommets size please :D!

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  76. This is amazing! Amy at positively splendid has a tutorial for fabric boxes as well but it involves sewing (which I suck at) and it was kinda hard to follow, so I looked for others and they also were hard to follow so I gave up on the idea...then I saw a pic of yours on pinterest but didn't have high hopes that I could do it, but your instructions are sooo simple and easy to understand plus it doesn't involve sewing which is a huge plus! Thanks so so so so sooooooo much for sharing, You definitely have a new reader

    Blog Love, Christal♥

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  77. I have been watching you blog for quite a while now. You are such an inspiration for me... Every time I'm feeling lazy and don't want to clean or organize something, I pop on over and it sets me right back into the mood!
    I just have to ask though, When you use your spray adhesive, where do you use it? Whenever I have used it in the past, it always makes a sticky yucky mess from over-spray... admittedly I may not be using it right, but I have to take it outside as I don't have a garage, and that just causes its own mess of problems. Do you have any tips or tricks to using it, or just a gem of advice for a wanna-be organizer like me?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Theresa!

      Thank you so much for the super sweetness!

      We try and lay down a drop cloth in the garage, but you could do the same outside. I agree, it gets everywhere. :) A large piece of cardboard could work just as well.

      Good luck!

      xo,
      Jen

      Delete
  78. I have visited this page several times. lol. My concern is that the fabric would fray. Is the spray adhesive enough to stop this from happening? LOVE IT!

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  79. Hi Jill!

    The spray adhesive seems to have worked just find to prevent fraying, however, you can also purchase Fray-Check to prevent fraying as well.

    xo!
    Jen

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  80. I'm just curious if you have any suggestions if you don't have the grommet set up in your budget. I am doing something similar in my office, but I doubt my boss will be up for purchasing grommets to make my storage prettier. I'm using fabric from leftover event tshirts, and tried gluing handles on the front, but they pull the fabric off of the box when you try to use them. Obviously grommets are the best selection, but I know they aren't an option for me.

    Thanks!

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  81. Girl, I call this Cheap Chic! The box idea is great. I was sitting here thinking about getting up with a friend that works in the bank to see about getting paper boxes with lids. Oh yeah. Be texting her tomorrow. I found some plastic tablecloth in the fabric section at Walmart. I am using black and white in my sewing room. The have a damask print. MY intent is to spray paint the boxes and cover the lids in the tablecloth (plastic.) Yours is much cuter, though. Thanks for the idea. Debbie Perkins, Alabama

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  82. This is amazing! You just turned a simple carton box to a very useful and pretty organizer for kids' toys. :-)

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  83. WHAT!??!! You are a genius. These are so great. I need to do this A.S.A.P. Thank you for being so organized and crafty.

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  84. this is really awesome and great diy project with all the steps and nice photos. love the color and shape combination! can't wait trying it for myself. thanks a lot :)

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  85. Love this idea!! I have never subscribed to a blog before! You have inspired me! I am also a part time professional and full time mom (to older children 13 &16) but have the same love for decorating and organization when I am home! I love saving by DYI!

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  86. Hi Jen,
    I enjoy your blog very much. You have amazing skills. Can you tell me if these boxes are still holding up well and if you think the spray adhesive would be strong enough if I used a drop cloth in place of fabric?
    Thank you,
    Anne

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  87. The spray adhesive is still going strong on our boxes. Years later and they are still holding up great! And I think drop cloths would work wonderful!

    xoxo!

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  88. Such a creative and cost efficient use of the boxes! I love the idea of being able to customize the prints. Great idea.

    -Sayeh, The Office Stylist
    http://theofficestylist.com/

    ReplyDelete

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