We have these bookcases in our living room. They are from the Billy series at Ikea.
Well, there are some scrapbooks and photo albums at the bottom of them that I just can’t make look like they belong there. They are awkward shapes and sizes for our not-so-deep shelves, and it always looks cluttered down there. For the longest time we had planned on putting doors on the bottom half of these bookcases, so I didn’t let the mess bother me. But now I have decided that I no longer want to put doors there, and even if I did, they wouldn’t close because there are scrapbooks sticking out past the shelves.
So I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for some storage bins that we could use. But again, the sizes were not what I needed. Not to mention finding some in our style was not easy, and when I did run across some that i liked, they were expensive! Even the cute bins at Ikea are not exactly cheap. So I decided to make some.
With a little one in diapers, we always have a box in the nursery, and these were the perfect depth and width for what I wanted to hide in them. And I already had them, so that was an added bonus! Unfortunately, I already was using them to put old baby clothes and such. So I asked some neighbors, and got an assortment of boxes in different sizes. I may use a couple of them, but the size box I like the best is the kind I use, so I just had to wait until I finished up a case of diapers- which was earlier this week. Yes!
I actually want to make two or three of these, but I’ll just have to wait until I finish the next case I guess. I bought enough fabric to make two boxes, and maybe a third, smaller box. When I was writing down my measurements, though, I forgot to double the length of my ribbon, so I’ll have to head back out to get more when I do make the second box. Watch the store not carry that ribbon anymore. That would be just my luck!
Anyway. I was lazy this go around, and did not iron my fabric. I also used spray adhesive and scotch tape instead of being patient and precise with a glue gun. It worked, but didn’t produce the nice, clean look I wanted. I should have known better. Oh well. I’ll be sure to do a better job on the next box. Here’s how I did it, anyway, so you can see what I threw together this afternoon.
First of all, I cut the flaps off the top of my empty box. Now that I can see my finished project, I know that next time, I will try to be more precise with my cutting. The uneven edge makes the box look all wonky, and it’s pretty noticeable in the finished product. Next, I folded my fabric in half so I could cut two templates at the same time. See, not only do I cut boxes and fabric, I cut corners.
I sprayed the bottom of the box with adhesive spray, and then firmly pressed it on the center(ish) of the fabric. I then cut the “sides” of my cover by cutting away the four corners of the fabric, leaving a bit of extra fabric so that the panels would be slightly wider than the sides of the box.
Then I sprayed the side of the box and pulled the fabric up over it as tightly as I could, trying to smooth out any bubbles and ridges. (Which I did not do very well…) I repeated this for the opposite side, and then taped the edges of those flaps down onto the side panel. (I cut little slits in the bottom corner to make them fold smoothly.) Then I took the edges of the first side panel and folded them over so that they had a nice, neat edge, and I taped them down. Ironing them here would have made them very crisp. Next time…. I taped the little handle hole thingy shut, sprayed the side, and stretched the fabric panel over the box.
I repeated this on the last side of the box, and then sprayed around the upper inside of the box to keep the fabric flaps in place. I didn’t worry too much about the inside of the box since i had made the flaps deep enough that you won’t be able to see down into them once there are items in the box. I hope. I have extra fabric if I do decide later that I want to cover the insides as well.
Next, I decided where I was going to place my ribbon. At this point, I had decided that the adhesive spray was probably not the best tool for this project, and I plugged in my trusty glue gun. While it was heating, I made a rosette with a scrap of fabric to see how I liked the flower embellishments on the ribbon, but I decided against it. In this case, (and I’m sure my husband thanks me,) less is more. I glued the starting edge to the box, wrapped the ribbon around the box, and glued it “closed”.
Finally, I ran downstairs with my box, grabbed up all of the albums and scrapbooks I could fit into the box, and hid them away inside my new storage bin. Not too shabby, and much neater looking!
Now I just need Austin to go through another box so I can do it again, and take my time with it. The next one will not have wobbly edges or air bubbles if I can help it. And hopefully I’ll be able to find the same ribbon.