Recycle Organization: Pretty Boxes

>> Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I have this great IKEA furniture piece in the dining/sewing/craft/homeschool classroom. It has ten large cubbies that are perfect for school needs as well as dining room needs. I'd been looking for the perfect baskets to put in the cubbies for each of my three kids' individual schooling books. I needed something just the perfect size, nothing plastic or cartoon character adorned; and it couldn't cost a lot since I needed three. I sincerely believe you can share your home space with your young children, make it personal and not sacrifice style. But finding these baskets was proving to test my beliefs. Until late one night when inspiration struck.

I don't have pictures from the steps but these boxes would be easy and cheap to make. I started with the free priority mail shipping boxes from the post office. I wrapped each box in left over wallpaper from my powder room. In Adobe Illustrator I created a design featuring each child's name and printed it on label stock. After attaching the name labels, I cut clear contact paper to cover the entire box and make it more durable with multiple handlings. On the bottom of each box I attached fabric chair slides so the boxes wouldn't gradually remove the finish from the wood being pulled out daily. Inside each box I taped an empty toilet paper roll to hold pencils. You don't have to homeschool to use these boxes. I think they would be a perfect way to corral all the essentials needed for  homework in the kitchen, dining room, family room or bedroom too.
I created the brown shape with their names on the computer and printed them on label stock.
An empty toilet paper roll taped in the corner is the perfect place to hold pencils, markers, scissors or rulers.
The best organization is functional and attractive. These boxes are perfect; from school to dinner in seconds.
My inspiration for these boxes is actually from myself. I'd made boxes like this last fall when we took a road trip to California. I knew the kids would need somewhere to keep their personal belongings in easy reach on the long trip cross country. I made the boxes the night before we left from the shipping boxes in the basement and wrapped each in birthday paper suiting each child's interests. Covered them with clear Contact Paper to protect from spills and rips. Taped a large solo cup in the corner to hold pens, pencils, crayons, small trinkets. Those boxes were a trip lifesaver. They could move from car to tent or motel room in a flash. And the heavy duty boxes coupled with clear Contact Paper made them durable. They survived two weeks on the road without a single rip, tear or stain.

The original version of these boxes I made for our road trip to California last year.


AreaUnderTheCurve September 24, 2010 at 2:31 PM  

I'm behind on reading your blog and had meant to look back at this one. GREAT!! You can also now buy contact paper with the basket print on it. Not sure where or how much... but I was thinking of the possibilities there, too.

How your brain works, I don't know. But, I'm glad to be your next door sponge...

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