Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Blog With Friends-Earth Day Brigade

In the past I have up-cycled boxes and stuff into other uses. Usually, I just throw the stuff into the box without worrying too much about appearance. However, I am starting to notice a trend (I watch way too much HGTV), which is where people don't display their stuff, they put it all into decorative containers and boxes so that it's all hidden away. I have to admit that it makes a shelf, no matter how well organized, look clutter-free.

Those decorative containers can get very expensive. I know that those fabric cube containers run anywhere from $4-$10 each. As noted in the past, I'm cheap. Not to mention that the shelves in my living room were built a few years ago, by Bob, to our own specifications, not so that a certain container would fit on it. It's hard to find containers that will fit on those shelves, so I up-cycled some boxes that did fit.

  • Contact paper, wallpaper, fabric, wrapping paper...whatever gives you the design you wish the outside of the box to have. Except for contact paper, you will need tape to attach it to the box with.
  • A box, or boxes depending on how many you need. For my first set of shelves I made five.
  • Decorative ribbon (if desired).
  • Scissors and tape.
I had a few of these K-Cup boxes that I had been saving. They're the perfect size for this project. 

I started by cutting off the top flaps:

And because I planned to use contact paper on this box, which tends to be thin, I turned the box inside-out:
Then I covered it with contact paper:
I did another one using wallpaper and tape:
I added a ribbon trim to the outside of all the boxes, but forgot to take pics of the process.
I kept going until I had done all the boxes and then rearranged the shelves:

Another project I did was covering Milo's treat bucket so that it's decorative as well as functional. We use an old ice cream bucket (I use those things for everything!!) with the lid and keep it on the other shelf in the living room near our bedroom door. It was kind of an eyesore since it looked like an obvious ice cream bucket.
In the first few photos, you'll notice that the edge of the bucket says "Cookies N Cream", and since I didn't have any acetone in the house to remove the ink, I was able to find another lid that was plain around the edges.

I started by measuring the bucket around at the top, under the lid, and also top to bottom. When measuring around, I made sure to allow for a small overlap:
Then, using contact paper I cut it to the size that I needed and only removed the paper from approximately 1" from the top and 2" from the bottom.
Then I applied it, securing the top (under the lip and lid) first then flipped it upside down and cut from the end of the paper to the bottom of the bucket, each cut being about 2 inches apart:
After securing the contact paper to the bottom of the bucket (which I forgot to take a pic of), I added a piece of ribbon to the top with tape:
For the lid (after I found one without writing on the edge) I cut a piece of contact paper by tracing the upside down lid and cutting it out and centering it on the top. :
Then I used a sharp razor to trim it around so that it fit into the inner circle of the lid, effectively covering up any writing on top:
This is the finished bucket... my family thought it was cute and were laughing at me a little bit for even bothering to do it. They just don't get it, I think.

You can also find instructions on how to turn a box into under-shelf storage here: DIY Undershelf/Cupboard Storage

And now the links to the rest of the posts! We've got another round of interesting blog posts this month!

Karen at Baking in a Tornado made a Celebration Dessert Pizza: A giant cookie (pizza sized) decorated with fruits and nuts to look like the earth. 

Jenn at Sparkly Poetic Weirdo is showing us how to "Stretch Your Cluck".

Robin at Someone Else's Genius is Celebrating Nature: Beaded Bracelet which is a beautiful jewelry-making tutorial.

Melissa at Home on Deranged is showing us the 10 Best Uses for Technology on Earth DayHow to use and recycle technology to support the spirit of Earth Day

Lydia at Cluttered Genius is showing us how to make DIY No Sew Shopping Bags:turn your old t-shirts into reusable shopping bags!


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!!!!!! Love the colors!! I need to make some of these. I need some cute places to keep some of our cords and stuff.

  2. I've seen the boxes before but never knew how to do them, love it. But I've never seen anything like your transformation of Milo's treat bucket. Genius!

    1. I was happier with the bucket than the boxes, lol! Thank you!

  3. So clever! And you can never watch too much HGTV... unless you're switching over to the DIY Network! ;)

    1. I honestly haven't watched DIY in ages...I think I'd really be in trouble. Bob is already looking at me like I've grown two heads for wanting to "decorate" our home, lol!

  4. How creative! Also what a money saver-you're not kidding when you say they can be pricey in the store for decorative boxes.

    I can definitely see doing this and using them all the time for the little odds and ends that never seem to have a home but amazingly always multiply 😉

    1. Living in a mobile home, there is never enough storage, so everything ends up in bins and boxes. I've been known to cover boxes with whatever I can find so that I could make things look a little bit neater.

      This was the first for the living room, though.