Craft Room, Part 1 (covered cardboard storage boxes)



I have a lot of stuff.

Well, craft room stuff.
And it keeps growing and growing.
So the time came to organize.
And of course have a little fun with it.
So…….I made these storage boxes completely out of old cardboard boxes covered with a little fabric on the front.
**And ended up being surprisingly thick and sturdy.**
And each box pulls out separately with it’s own little handle opening…
(And once again, I’m using fabric by Laura Gunn……and loving it!)
They are perfect for stashing all sorts of supplies, tools, and odds and ends.
And they sit nicely above my work space.
Interested in those cubbies?
There was a retail store that had gone out of business at the mall and all of those little cubbies were slots for shirts or something in the store.  I snagged one of them up for almost nothing and they were giving away those pieces of sturdy laminate that we glued to the top of the cubbies with epoxy glue.  Worked like a charm and gives me 48 x 32 inches of sturdy cutting and crafting space.  So be sure to check out the shops going out of business.  They might just have the perfect table or desk for your craft room.
A tip?
Those shelves holding the storage boxes are scrap pieces of wood that I found in the bargain bin at Home Depot.  Remember when I first discovered that tip about the hardware store?  Each of those pieces of wood are about 45 x 11 x 1.5 inches, and cost me $2 each.  Perfect for some shelving.
Another tip?
That roll of paper hanging below the shelves is a roll of kid’s art paper (for the art easel) from Ikea.  Only a few dollars I think.  But I am always sketching an idea or tracing clothing to duplicate it and use as a pattern…..and now it’s right at my fingertips.  Love that stuff.
**I have seen others use cardboard to create their own boxes and such… I had to try my hand at some.  And am glad that I did.
Would you like to create some storage boxes yourself?
First, gather some old cardboard boxes. 
(Try to collect some sturdier boxes so that you don’t have to glue many layers together to make your storage boxes sturdier.)
Decide how many boxes you want and cut enough for all of the sides of your boxes.  I am giving directions for boxes that are 10 inches tall by 10 inches wide and 11 inches deep.  These are perfect for my shelves…..but adjust for your own shelves.
Here are the pieces for one box.
The bottom piece is 10 x 9 inches, the two side pieces are 11 x 10 inches, and the front and back pieces are 10 x 9 inches…..with a 1.5 x 3 inch opening on the front piece.  Each piece is 1/2 inch thick and are two pieces of cardboard thick……for added strength.
To assemble, I glued (with the hottest setting on my glue gun) the bottom piece to the inside bottoms of the front and back piece.
See from the bottom how the bottom piece is glued to the inside of the front and back piece?
Then glue that section to the inside of the side pieces…….so the side pieces cover everything and all of the raw edges.  You will be surprised at how study this new little box is.
Next, I spray painted the sides and upper edges white.  You can leave your boxes brown or alter them with spray paint if you’d like.  You can also spray paint the inside/back/bottom but I didn’t bother…..because they aren’t really seen.
Then I applied a moderate layer or Mod Podge to the front section of the box…
And then placed a slightly bigger piece of fabric over top…and smoothed it all out.
Then I made slits in the fabric, where the opening is on the front of the box.
Then I folded those pieces over while applying more Mod Podge.
After the Mod Podge underneath was dry, I trimmed off the edges…..
…….and then applied another layer (pretty thick) of Mod Podge over the top…..making sure to Mod Podge all of the raw edges of fabric and pressing them firmly against the box.


Allow to dry completely……
And that’s it.
Your boxes are ready to be filled…..
…and the clutter organized.


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Filed under Home Decor, No Sew, Sewing


198 Responses to “Craft Room, Part 1 (covered cardboard storage boxes)”
  1. 1
    Callie Callender says:

    Ashley, I love all of this! I'm totally going to make some of those boxes! Right now my "photo" boxes just don't hold enough, and I love how you can make these boxes "you"!! fun! Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. 2
    Delia says:

    Seriously genius! I like how thrifty you are.

  3. 3
    Mallory says:

    I did the same thing a little while ago. But I used old diaper boxes that were small and it worked out perfectly!

  4. 4
    CourtneyKeb says:

    Thanks for a great idea! So cute, thrifty, and organized!!

  5. 5
    Meet Virginia says:

    ummm wow! I love this, the colors are amazing!!

    Check out my new


    Meet Virginia!
    Meet Virginia!
    Meet Virginia!

  6. 6
    Tamara ViAnn says:

    LOVE this idea. Though I hate cutting up cardboard. I wonder if Ikea has some wood or plastic boxes in a similar style and then just cover them with fabric. I'll have to check next time I'm there. Love this idea!

  7. 7
    amber says:

    way cute iam going to have to try that

  8. 8
    Sarah says:

    Love that! I keep thinking that my diaper boxes would be prefect for storage. I've kept them, just having done anything with them…yet

  9. 9
    Emily says:

    I need to quit visiting your page because every time I look I want to do a new project…you are sooo talented!

  10. 10
    the thrifty ba says:

    im coming over to craft! that room is beautiful!

  11. 11
    Nicole says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this!!! I have these really odd size cubby holes in my entertainment center and with this I can make them to the exact size I want! And then put some cute paper or fabric on the front! Love thrifty crafts!! Thanks!

  12. 12
    Iraildes says:

    Isso e' coisa de cinema!!!

  13. 13
    The Cottage Mama says:

    Oh, I am totally loving this. We are getting ready to re-do my sewing room soon, so I love getting inspiration.

    I covered some magazine files with scrapbook paper on my blog recently and they turned out super-cute, but I'm loving the fabric.

    Awesome job!!


  14. 14
    Megan says:

    I LOVE the boxes! I'm moving soon and I am definitely going to make some of those for my soon-to-be craft area.

  15. 15
    Jen says:

    I have been looking for a good tutorial for something like this. I was originally thinking cloth with cardboard inside, but this is a lot easier and just as cute! Thanks for sharing.

  16. 16
    BECKY says:


  17. 17
    Doug and Amanda says:

    I am a teacher, and I am soooo going to use this idea for my classroom! Yay! I love your blog!

  18. 18
    Melanie says:

    How is it that wherever you go, you have a house with good natural light??? I am so jealous.
    Plus, that is AWESOME use of someone else's business misfortune! What a great idea.

  19. 19
    Shawn says:

    Can you be my new best friend?! I love your blog!! It's so cute, and I get so many fun craft ideas off here! I was just thinking to myself, "man, my craft room needs some serious re-organizing" and then WHAM! You post this blog and here I go, off to Hobby Lobby again!! Thanks!!

  20. 20
    The Hardy Things in Life says:

    Ashley, I love how you used boxes! I have a ton of those from all the diapers I get to buy! I am totally going to make some for all my craft stuff! Thanks for the great idea! I am just loving it!

  21. 21
    Sarah says:

    I love everything you do!! Seriously, so inspiring! I'm ready to do everything in my house!

    Is there a kitchen series coming? :)

  22. 22
    Margo says:

    I love these boxes! What a great idea! I also tried this with a diaper wipes box, so that involved no cutting, but I know not everyone has toddlers running around, so thanks for the info on using any cardboard!

  23. 23
    Heather says:

    That just plain ROCKS my socks off!

  24. 24
    Two Beautiful Girls Mommy says:

    Well my goodness you are simply amazing. My craft area is sadly enough in the back of my living room and it just looks awful. I needed something nice to hide all the odds and ends in and these boxes are perfect. I can make a dozen of them for super cheap and they will all match.
    *sigh* I am totally in love with these boxes. I really think you should be my new best friend! ;)

  25. 25
    kim says:

    this is SO cute, I love them!

  26. 26
    CraftyMummy says:

    Great tutorial! (Or should I say "another great tutorial"!) Will have to have a go at these…

  27. 27
    Cassie says:

    Wow, these are great tips. If you would have bought baskets or something it would have cost a lot. SO I love this idea. Thank you for your great ideas and inspirational blog.

  28. 28
    Selina says:

    What fantastic tips! Thanks so much!

  29. 29
    Cindy says:

    I have to agree with everybody else. What a wonderful way to recycle boxes. I have a ton of diaper boxes that I've been using for storage already but I haven't beautified them. Now I know exactly how. Off to buy some Mod Podge !!!

  30. 30
    [email protected] says:

    Wow! I love this idea…and it's cheap!!

  31. 31
    leelea says:

    Love this!!!!!!!

  32. 32
    Sarah says:

    That is such a fabulous way to recycle AND save money. They turned out super cute. LOVE IT!!!
    God's blessings,
    Sarah :D

  33. 33
    Twigs @ Twiggles and Trunks says:

    hi five AGAIN!!! these are AWESOME. bookmarked. how study would scrapbook paper be, or do you think the fabric would be better?

  34. 34
    Sharon says:

    Finally! I can tell my husband why I've been saving boxes! You are so creative. Now, here's hoping I can find a store going out of business with perfect shelves . . . .

  35. 35
    O'Quilts says:


  36. 36
    Emily says:

    Very cool. Wanna come decorate my house next?!

  37. 37
    sarah says:

    So…i discovered your site this week…and OH MY I love you! Your photos are lovely, the instructions are clear, and I can make cute stuff in no time on the cheap. Perfect for our family. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  38. 38
    Donna says:

    I am always saving boxes because I know I might need them for something. Looks like I found a something to use them for! Thanks for sharing!

  39. 39
    Hil says:

    SO. cute. I wish I had a craft room… But I seriously love that fabric that you used.

  40. 40
    Scrappy Gifts says:

    Fabulous – so much cheaper than buying those store boxes. Great tips too!

  41. 41
    HomeSpun Threads says:


  42. 42

    it is very beatiful…

  43. 43
    xilpayatl says:

    Can't wait to get everything I need to do this!
    Thanks, great idea! ;)

  44. 44
    Christy says:

    First of all, I have to say that I love your site! It's beautiful and inspiring.

    Secondly, I'm lusting after your craft space…if I promise to help you unpack, can I come borrow it??? ;o)

    Lastly, since I'm now one of the many who wants to make something like this right now, I thought I'd mention that Office Depot has a deal on banker's boxes this week – I think they're $8.99 for a pack of 10, and if you're a rewards member (it's free to sign up) you'll actually get that $8.99 back on a rewards card at the end of this quarter…so essentially 'free.'

    Though they're less customizable than your boxes, bankers boxes are very sturdy, have the handle built in, and would work for those of us who just want the boxes, not necessarily the exact fit.

    Thanks for the great idea!!!

  45. 45
    Christy says:

    Also, REALLY sorry about the book-length comment


  46. 46
    Lisa says:

    I third, fifth, whatever number it is at this point DIAPER BOXES are perfect. I just lined up 4 Target brand diaper/wipe boxes on my girls closet shelf and they are perfect. I was just trying to figure out what to do to make them look better. THIS IS IT! I'll be off to JoAnn's this weekend.

    THANK YOU for a great custom idea.

  47. 47
    Shorty says:

    Just found your blog thru UCreate and love your ideas! I'm going to have to spread the word thru my blog today…

  48. 48
    Vicky says:

    I'm 'new' to your blog but will be considered 'old' after today! Great idea!

  49. 49
    Reagan Law says:

    SO cute!!! I'm coveting your craft room!!! :P love it!

  50. 50
    Sonya says:

    these are amazing!!

  51. 51
    carlyle3 says:

    that is such a great idea!!! Now I can make boxes any size I want and as many as I want. I hate spending money on new items like this – great way to reuse cardboard. thanks!!

  52. 52
    Jessica says:

    such great ideas! finding a good way to organize a space is hard to do sometimes. i'm on a mission to organize and decorate around my home, so this its some great info. now to find the time……. :)

  53. 53
    handmadehappiness says:

    you are some lady i love your blog inspiring to say the least!!!

  54. 54
    Mod Podge Amy says:

    These are great! I'm posting a link on my Facebook group! xo

  55. 55
    darah. says:

    You are SO creative and I LOVE all your projects and ideas:-) Thanks for giving me the motivation to want to create more things and buy less:-)

  56. 56
    Kimberly says:

    Great idea, thanks! I would love to see more pictures of your craft room.

  57. 57
    Tiffany says:

    I am working on a craft room too. Keep the ideas a coming.

  58. 58
    Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife says:

    I love it! I absolutely cannot wait to see the entire room.

    What a fabulous idea!

    I'm your newest follower!

  59. 59
    brlracincwgrl says:

    Those are super cute and look super easy to make!

  60. 60
    Kristi Flanagan says:

    I can't believe you made the boxes yourself! I thought the were file storage boxes! I want this in my craft hole – I mean room!

    Come plant your creative seed at my blog party on Friday: Plant a Punkin Seed at Punkin Seed Productions.

    Punkin Seed Productions

  61. 61
    Sisters of Grace says:

    I love those! They are soooo cute I think i,ll have to try that sometime soon:)


  62. 62
    Smith Family says:

    I am going to do this for my messy sewing room!

  63. 63
    Dlsarmywife says:

    What a fantastic idea! I am in the middle of a craft area re-org right now so cheap but attractive storage ideas are fabulous! Must go buy another jar of Mod Podge! =D

  64. 64
    crochetflowerlover says:

    Absolutely love this idea! Now I've finally got a solution to the yarn overflow in my stash. Will also definitely be trying to get to Office Depot this week – the lids would be better for me.

    Another box source – the local liquor store. Most of them allow folks to have the empty boxes for free. It's usually first-come, first-served, but you can often pick up several identical boxes in one trip. And, the liquor boxes are some of the strongest boxes made!

  65. 65
    Robin says:

    These boxes are absolutely brilliant. I just spend way too much money on storage boxes and never thought to make some of my own. Genius! I am going to do this.

  66. 66
    The Family of Three says:

    This is so stinkin brilliant! You are my new best friend. I just moved my sewing 'area' to an upstairs room so I can close the door on my mess. I needed some pretty square baskets to fill with fabric for my shelves. However, I don't want to spend a ton of $. Can you come potty train my daughter now? :)))))

  67. 67
    beth says:

    Love this! I have covered diaper boxes with wrapping paper. Why didn't I think to use fabric? So cute! Formula containers are great to cover, too. I cover in cute paper and store pens, scissors, etc in. Thanks for inspiring me to make more boxes!!

  68. 68
    Leslie says:

    What a clever idea! I just wanted to let you know that I just awarded you the Sunshine Award over at my blog! I adore your blog!

  69. 69
    Leanne says:

    Those turned out amazing. I'm having my first Linky Party tomorrow. It's all about Organizing. I would love it if you could link this project. As an added incentive, there's a giveaway too.

  70. 70
    MsBabyPlan says:

    This is great.

  71. 71
    kristen says:

    super duper! another project I am gonna halfta tackle!!!

  72. 72
    Mardi says:

    One of the best ideas I have seen in a while. Easy, straight forward and something that can be done with little mess. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.

  73. 73
    * Nancy * says:

    Love the bright fabric, love your ideas!

  74. 74
    Melissa Coates says:

    YES! I am going to use this for the kids' room! Great idea!

  75. 75
    Rob-O says:

    cardboard file boxes are pretty cheap. Usually they come in a four pack for $10…. maybe that isn't really cheap. possible find cheaper at walmart…

  76. 76
    Luisa says:

    Another awesome idea! I may be moving soon so there could be a lot of cardboard in my future great way to help organize and coordinate any home or room.

  77. 77
    Stephani says:

    OK. That has to be the best idea ever!! Can't wait to have my own custom storage containers!! Thanks for the great idea.

  78. 78
    jennifer says:

    Ok, LOVE it. I need these. What did you use to cut the boxes with?

    Also, do you need 'special' mod podge for paper instead of fabric?


  79. 79
    Jeanette says:

    I made some….kindof…mine are for paper storage (kids artwork). THANK YOU for the awesome idea!!

  80. 80
    Cheeky Maiden says:

    So just yesterday I was thinking I was going to make my own fabric covered boxes to solve a problem we are having with kid book storage in the living room. But I wasn't sure about sturdiness. Now I know what I'm going to be doing tomorrow!!! Thanks soooo much for sharing!

  81. 81
    Nisha says:

    You are a genius. I'm completely in love with this idea and can't wait to make some for every room and closet in my house!

  82. 82
    April says:

    I'm so excited to see your post. I moved a couple of months ago and I kept the boxes for a project and this is going to be perfect to organize my craft room. You are great. Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!

  83. 83
    PolymerClayTutor says:

    Wonderful idea! I have some of those Bankers Boxes for files, but they look very boring on the shelf. Thanks for the fabric idea. That would be the perfect thing to spruce them up!

  84. 84
    Amber says:

    I can't believe those are cardboard!! Such a great idea. I'm a new follower. Found you from Women Who Do It All's post.

    ~Amber @ The Mom Road

  85. 85
    Justine says:

    I love how you made your own and they're not store bought!

  86. 86
    Conduit Press says:

    Love these boxes- and definitely more economically sound than buying the fabric ones from Target! Great great idea! Thanks for sharing how you did it!

  87. 87
    * Nancy * says:

    what did you use to cut out your boxes? I tried using an exacto knife and it wasn't working. The blade kept coming out. I am not going to give up…hope I can figure this out. I'm new to the crafting world. :)

  88. 88
    Ashley says:

    Hey Nancy, I used a utility knife that you find in the tools and hardware section. It's just like an exacto knife but bigger and sturdier. Costs about $3-$4. Worked great!

  89. 89
    ClassiclyAmber says:

    This is a really neat idea! I have actually considered doing something like this for my office/crafty space but thought about using paper instead of fabric. This is a great option! Thanks for the tut on it, too!

  90. 90
    Lisa and Daniel says:

    I am making the boxes right now. I am having to hold the sides together for awhile after I've glued them bec. the glue is taking forever to dry and if I don't hold them together then they just come apart…. Did you better luck or am I just not patient enough!!?

  91. 91
    Ashley says:

    Hmmm Lisa, I used hot glue which dried pretty quickly. I would only do one side at a time though, so that I could hold it exactly how I wanted it. Other than that, I'm not sure why it's giving you troubles drying…..


  92. 92
    יעקב says:

    Gorgeous. Great idea. It's easier here to get pretty napkins so I think I'll try that way. I wanted to ask- how is the hot glue holding up with time? I've had experiences gluing cardboard where it comes apart eventually. Wouldn't regular white glue hold up better with time (and in the heat)? Just takes longer to dry and has to be held together with masking tape first….

  93. 93
    Ashley says:

    I have actually had really great luck with the hot glue. I used the hottest setting on the glue gun and used a lot of it….and it has stayed together perfectly. And I pull and push on those boxes every day as they sit up on those shelves. Hope that helps! :)

  94. 94
    Therapy Girl says:

    love it. love it. love it. this makes me want to dig for cardboard like now. i'm going to take the one gals advice and use our old diaper boxes! i knew'd i'd been saving them for a reason :) Thank you for the inspiration!

  95. 95
    crashta says:

    wow, what a great evening… I discovered your blog via my favorite fabric supplier = Hawthorne Threads!

    I called my husband into my craft/computer room at least three times to see your great projects and almost pee'd my pants at how much I have in common with so many of the blogger that leave comments!

    My craft supplies qualify me as a potential "hoarder" but as I read on a plaque once, "organized people are just to lazy to look for things!" Cheers!

  96. 96
    embeshop says:

    Thanks so much for the tutorial and inspiration! I just made a few yesterday and LOVE them. Now I can store even more craft supplies. :)

  97. 97
    Tanya says:

    You have inspired me to do this for my little girl's room – what a colorful (and cheap) way to get rid up some clutter! I'm going to use the left over fabric from her curtains and ask my sister if she has any remnants from the quilt she made for the room so that the boxes match the room decor (and tie it all together). You're awesome!

  98. 98
    Sarah says:

    This is so helpful! I'm in the midst of making a craft room out of a shed (progress is being blogged) and theses tips will be great!

  99. 99
    Zhanna says:

    i already had the idea to make my own storage boxes like this but havent gotten around to making them yet… urs are very cute but here's a tip for those of u who have kiddos and buy diapers by the boxfull! i saved up all my son's size 6 pampers poxes and i have quite a few to make a uniform look after i paint or wrap in fabric! this way u dont have to put together the box- u can just use the diaper boxes!

  100. 100
    Chicycled says:

    LOVE! I just moved to boston so I have a bunch of boxes that are sitting because I didn't want to throw them away…this is a great idea