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Storage Solutions: Pretty Storage Bin Tutorial

Don’t you love my new, DIY fabric toy storage bins for the living room?

How to make a DIY storage bin from a diaper box

Would you believe that they started out like this?

fabric covered diaper box

How about this one?

DIY storage box

Which started out like this:

DIY storage bin cover with fabric

Here are some guidelines for making your own…each box is different, and I’m not sure I’ve figured out the best way to do it, yet, so expect that it will take a little experimentation.

How to Make DIY Storage Bins from Diaper Boxes

1.  Find a box.  Cut the corners off of two of the flaps.  It makes things a little easier later on.   (I’m not sure which two would be best…I tried the short flaps and the long flaps and either seems to work.) 


I used this handy dandy thingy (a zip & snip ) that hubby bought me for Christmas.  It cuts through cardboard like (insert simile here.)  It’s also AWESOME on all that plastic packaging that toys, tools, and other Christmas presents come in.

zip and snip used to cut cardboard
(I also had to cut part of the flaps off on that box.)

2.  Measure.  Measure all the way around your box and add a couple inches.  Measure from the bottom of your box to the top of your flaps, and again, add at least 3 inches (you will want your fabric to wrap around the top and bottom.) 

how to make a diaper box storage binhow to make a diaper box storage bin

3.  Cut your fabric.  For the diaper boxes, I used two fabrics and sewed them together and pressed the seams.  This made the whole project a lot more complicated because I was obsessed with making sure that the seam was level and the same on both boxes.  It’s not.  I may come back later and glue some ribbon at the seam to even it out a bit more.  If you are a perfectionist like me, just use one fabric, or for Pete’s sake, don’t use a plaid fabric because it’s too darn easy to tell if you screwed up by looking at the top of the box.

*Note:  My boxes were almost 60 inches around (all 3 of them.)  So, if you are buying fabric for this project, I would buy 2 yards so that you have enough length, or plan on sewing (or gluing or stitch witchering) two shorter strips together.

4.  Glue.  Apparently I was too busy burning the flesh off my fingertips to take pictures of this part.  I started on one of the sides that was least likely to be seen (the short ends on the diaper boxes, for example) and used a hot glue gun to attach the fabric along the bottom of the box.  Pull it tight as you go. After wrapping it all around, I folded under the edge and glued that down.

5.  Next is the tricky part.  The fabric isn’t attached yet on the flaps.  Fold the flaps down, and try to get your glue gun underneath them.  If you value your fingertips, you may want to use a piece of cardboard or a plastic knife or something to shove the fabric under the flap. Keep working with it, alternately swearing, tucking fabric, and picking glue off your fingers, until you have glued all four flaps down.  I’m sure there’s a better way to do this…I just don’t know what it is.


6.  Enjoy your new storage boxes!  The one under the end table holds games and puzzles.  Adam loves it.

Last week, I said, “Look, Adam!  I made you a new box!”  Later that night, at my Grandma’s house for her birthday, he was asking me for it there.  Crazy kid, loves organization as much as I do.


One of these will hold dinosaurs, and the other will hold diapers and wipes.  I’ve had this fabric for almost 3 years, so I consider this to be a FREE, but beautiful project.


Do you have any cheap, pretty storage solutions?  I’d love to hear about them because I’m always trying to hide stuff!

More children's storage projects from On the Banks of Squaw Creek:

IMG_6552-3157(rev 1)_thumbCrib Spring Bulletin Board img_0634_thumb6

Stuffed Animal Zoo
bookshelf dresserBookshelf Dresser
img_1104_thumb[2]Wooden Puzzle Storage img_5571_thumb[1]Pretty Diaper Boxes

Would you like to comment?

  1. wonderful, katie! everything looks soothing and warm and love the neutral scheme! great job!

  2. That is oh so nice. Great job!

  3. I never thought of wrapping them in fabric! I've done the paint thing with them before, but this is so much better. If I've had something for long enough I consider it free too, but hubby always calls me out on it ;)

  4. I love the fabric you used for your boxes. I have a box put aside to make one for my granddaughter, but I'm still on a mission to find the fabric to match her room...chocolate brown with pink dots! Pretty popular fabric I hear!

    Great organization! and you did a great job!

  5. What a brilliant idea!!! Way to go! These are so cute and thrifty!

  6. Katie, your craftiness amazes and inspires me!!!

  7. Look at you go! I'm so impressed. I need the darned shelving to put the pretty boxes in/on/under! That might be an idea for all the &(*&%^#@$ farm magazines Tall Guy has around here!

    Great Job!

  8. I did this last night...I was inspired by the burlap covered box from a long time ago... I made mine with a flat rate box from the post office with pretty orange fabric to hold the boy friends Nintendo controllers and games - why they are at my house I don't quite know. Any way... I used packing tape to hold mine together, no burnt fingers for me! (How long it stays together will be the next question!)

  9. Too cute!
    I could use the storage, but I don't have any furniture to put cute containers in/on/under.
    Great job!

  10. Very nice!! What a great way to make cute storage bins and save $$.

  11. To answer your question, yes. I love love it!

  12. I just love this project! These bins turned out really great :D I'm going to make some for my laundry room.

  13. Cute! I've done this, I have a box with two compartments under my side table holding diapers and wipes. I got it all the way to the fabric covering stage and then left it, it's been waiting for a while. I'll have to get to work.

  14. These look great. What a great way to recycle!

  15. Very clever and it looks so neat and organized!
    A very inexpensive way to store the kiddos
    toys and games or whatever!

  16. You have got me all in gear to tackle this project. So Cute! So many possible uses for this. I am going to going through my material boxes today.Thanks for this great idea!

  17. Wow, great idea. Creative and Cheap - two of my favorites! Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. Liz

  18. Unbelievable! This is outstanding!! Thanks for linking up!

  19. I love it! I'm not sure I understand why you have to keep the flaps on? Couldn't you just cut them off? I want to do this project! Glad I found you through Whisperwood Cottage's linky party!

  20. Katie, those look great and what a nice way to hide things. Thanks so much for joining the party.

  21. Love this idea!! I want to have pretty matching storage containers but they are so expensive. This would work because I know I can find some pretty and cheap material!! Thanks for the proof that it can work!

  22. what a great storage idea. they look amazing. You would never know they're boxes.


  23. Katie, that is awesome! I love the looks of those covered boxes. I'm going to have to keep my eye out for boxes that are just the right size for my storage needs. As always, thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind suggestions. I am really leaning toward apple green stools. As far as my goals for 2011....I "sort of" have a plan. LOL

  24. Wow, Katie, I love them! They look like million bucks. Fantastic idea.

    Thanks so much for your comment on our blog. We really like our new bedroom as well.


  25. This is fabulous!! I have tons of diaper boxes. I love the idea of making them cute and useful!

  26. I've covered my diaper boxes in old wrapping paper to hold fabric and gift bags and such in my laundry room/sewing room/office, but never thought about covering them in fabric for kids's toys (much longer lasting than paper!).
    I have my weekend project (i can put the others off, right?)!

  27. Fantastic! No one would ever know that they started out as diaper boxes.

  28. So awesome! And I LOVE love your directions :-) You're a girl after my own heart.

  29. I'm loving looking through all of your posts! We are hoping to buy a house in the near future and I love looking at stuff like this ;)

  30. These are so pretty. (And I love that they were free. That makes them 10x better!) I must not value my fingertips very much, because I always end up getting them in the hot glue. :) I'm going to forward this post to one of my friends, who was looking for a cheap storage system for baby items!

  31. Just wanted to let you know that I was inspired to make my own storage boxes as well! I hope you don't mind that I linked over to this post in my blog about them!