Tuesday, 6 March 2012

My day's excitement

I am so excited to share this with you guys. It has been a work in progress for about a year now! One day last year I got sick of the pile of bags that would happen after school/kindy underneath our breakfast bar (which has never been used as a breakfast bar, more a storage area as we don't have much storage space in our house!)

I have always had a couple of plastic drawer units which have housed art and craft stuff for the kids, and some toys. Beside the drawers, the school bags would get dumped. One day I was inspired by Pinterest. I didn't get the idea directly from there, but just various different pins made me come up with the idea.

I had a few white shelving units lying around from The Warehouse. It's their old ones, the wider version of what they have now (which would work just as well if not better as they now sell canvas boxes that actually fit in them! But they are also narrower so it depends on the bags you want to store in them). Anyways, I took the top shelf out, and put them back together. The kids now store their bags in the big space created and I always intended to get baskets of some sort to put in the bottom, for them to store stuff they need for school and kindy (homework books and whatnot). Instead, the bottom stayed basketless and junk just got shoved in.

Until today!

You all know how cheap I am, which is what delayed the basket getting as I loathed to spend money. Well a while ago my husband brought home something in a wine box (unfortunately it wasn't wine!). I discovered it was the PERFECT fit, just a bit tall. Finally I remembered to remind him to bring home 3 more wine boxes for me (the first one was long gone of course, being a few months ago!). Then I had the issue of prettying them up. I did toss up the idea of just painting them black, but then I worried I wouldn't be able to get it looking tidy enough. Plus, how boring! But then I had the idea of covering them with fabric. And again, I'm cheap. I went to the local Hospice Shop (op shop) and scoured their shelves of material. I got really lucky and found a piece that not only looks perfect but was the perfect size (typical me didn't measure how much I would need before going there, I just happened to get the PERFECT size by sheer luck). $5! What a score.

Anyways, this is what I came up with:

And now I will guide you through how to cover boxes in material the best I can. My main advice is to look at some youtube tutorials and then muddle through it yourself that way, as I couldn't take very good photos while I was actually DOING the hard bits (like the corners) as simply I don't have 100 hands.

To cover a wine box, you will need material roughly 83cm x 113cm. Turns out the material I got was super easy to use because of the dots - they made perfect cutting guides and made lining things up super easy!

Firstly, plonk your box in the middle of the material and make sure all sides go up and over with a bit of excess material for just in case. Then cover the bottom of the box with glue - you can use a piece of cardboard off-cut to spread it out so you don't get ugly glue lines everywhere. Stick the box down in the middle of the material and smooth out to remove any wrinkles.

Now do the sides that won't be showing to the front (Ideally. I accidentally did it the opposite way around with my 3rd box, I was getting a bit cocky by then and not paying as much attention haha, and it still looks fine, but for your first try especially, do the sides first as your first is never as neat as your last).

Before gluing the sides, you will need to cut them. Cut them roughly 2cm from the actual side of the box, right down to the line that the bottom of the box makes. Does that make sense? You can sort of see in the photo where the cut stops. Try not to cut too far!

Now cover the side with glue, spread it out, then lift the material over it and smooth it over so there are no wrinkles. Repeat on the other side.

Now to do the front and the back. Firstly I cut the excess material, the same as doing the sides, roughly 2cm excess. Then I glued down the overlap bit from the sides onto the box. Next, cover the box side with glue and spread it. Add a line of glue down the edge of the loose bit of material on the overlap part (left and right hand sides). Then don't worry about that part for now. This is the tricky bit but once you have it worked out its really quite easy. Lift the material over the glue.

This bit is the hard to explain part. You want to fold the material underneath itself to create a straight side. The fold should already have glue on it from before, therefore will stick to itself. Pull it tight and smooth it over the box, repeating on the other side. Then turn the box over and do the front (or back, depending which ends up as the neatest side haha!)

You should now have a box that covered in material on the outside and an excess of loose material on the inside.

I chose to cut off the excess and just keep about 4cm to glue down as I don't care what the inside of the box looks like. You might like to cover the inside with material too, that's up to you to work out how to do haha!

And voila, a fabric covered box!


  1. Inspired by your blog post I went and covered some old cardboard boxes for these warehouse shelves too using stuff I had lying around.. I used plain old calico on the inside (put a large square over the top, pushed it down and in the corners with my hands then trimmed the excess off at the sides leaving about 2.5cm which I then hot glue gunned to the rim on the outside of the box). I covered the outside by spraying the box with spray adhesive, with a large rectangle of fabric I cut the same height as the box, I wrapped that around the outside of the box, making sure to cover at least 1.5cm of the calcio edging leaving 1cm remaining - I wrapped back, side, front, side and back again where I folded and hot glued the joining seams. Next I took some black satin ribbon ($2 shop stuff) and made the top 1cm edge where my funky fabric met with the calico, nice. wrapped it around while hot gluing. back,side,front,side,back, and folded seam. Lastly I put a square of felt on the bottom of the box with hot glue. wallah! couldn't have bought better if I do say so myself! It helps that the fabric I used matched the wall hanging I made which is why I had the fabric in the first place lol. now my lounge is matchy matchy
    love your blog! :)

    1. Thank you for sharing! It's so nice to hear that I have inspired others (and that people actually DO read my blog haha!). would love to see pics if you have any?