Thursday, March 21, 2013

No-sew cover for the cardboard box near you

Today I want to talk to you about craft storage, whether it's yarn or fabric or paper and scissors.  I can't be the only one challenged in that area, right?  And for me, the hands-down best starter storage is a good ol' cardboard box.

Cardboard boxes are fantastic for storing things like moth-protected (hello, Ziploc) yarn- or fabric-in-waiting, but they don't look pretty.  In fact it's probable that whatever unsightly thing they are storing for you is more attractive than the box itself.  The appeal of the box is its function in wrangling all that stuff into one stackable space, so let's look at making the most of this purpose and the least of the negative.

You will need:

A box
Fabric to cover the box
Scissors to cut the fabric, if necessary
Tape - painter's, packing, or even carpet

First, find a space you can use to put the box in, decoratively.  I have these boxes on the tops of most of my storage hutches and wardrobes - those are mostly sewn together, as here:

but I recently reclaimed an open shelf in the kitchen from some canisters I was able to move to less valuable real estate. (this is my reward for not baking so much right now.)

Then, find a box that fits your space.

Grocery stores that discard boxes for customer use are terrific sources for a selection of sizes.

If you're like me, finding fabric that matches the decor of the space and the size of the box will not be a problem.  I chose a length of red-striped linen tea toweling, but if your fabric is very thin you will want a darker colour than white to keep any labeling from showing through.

Cut a piece of fabric that will cover all sides of the box, excluding the top.  Or, if you're feeling stingy and it won't show, all but the back side of the box.  I was stingy.  Also: lazy - you can see I didn't even bother trimming the frayed edge of the fabric piece.

Now wrap the fabric over the box as though it is a present, and start taping.

Tea toweling gives you a nicely sewn edge for the top, but you can achieve the same effect with a neat fold along one side. If you have time and/or the inclination, you can even iron it flat.

The taping job doesn't have to be pretty unless you're planning to take the box down and display its contents to your guests, for example when the Queen visits.

Fill the box and: done!

I'm keeping cookies in mine.  Are you surprised?

This project is very quick.  The most time consuming part for me was picking up the boxes and choosing which one worked best.  This makes the project a huge help when you're trying to focus on organizing a space without getting distracted by the fun of making it, though actually, taping up a box cover in three minutes and having more storage practically instantly is very, very fun.

Hope you find this helpful for some part of your home! and I'll see you tomorrow.

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