Like many other people in the DC/Baltimore area, we live in a split foyer house with a tiny entryway and no obvious drop zone. With no space for everyone to stop and remove coats on the foyer, winters often turn our main living level into a mess of jackets, hats, gloves, and scarves strewn all over the place.
For many years we tried to keep the clutter at bay with a fabric storage tote, but it just wasn’t working. As items went in and out, the storage bag would lose shape and slump over, making even our storage solution look cluttered.
When reorganizing the linen closet and open shelving last fall, I decided enough was enough and went in search for a solution that was both pretty and functional. I was determined to find an attractive solution that would be easy for the whole family to access, would fill the opening, and would hide the mess.
The problem is, that the opening itself is a very awkward size at 16”H x 11.5”D x 20.5”W. And the cost of a basket that would only fit half the height of the opening can run close to $50! I nearly gave up on the whole project.
That is, until one day I realized that an economy size box of baby diapers is practically the perfect size for our space. All I had to do was find a way to turn an ugly baby box into something pretty. After raiding my fabric stash, lots of glue sticks, four containers of twine, and many hours I had a beautiful DIY twine-wrapped storage box for barely more than $25!
The best part is, this project can be modified for nearly any size box and any size opening. Adding a liner to the inside of the box makes it look high end, even though it was just made with scrap fabric and hot glue. And felt on the bottom of the box makes it slide easily in and out without scratching our floor or wearing down the box. You would never know that it used to be a diaper box!
Now everyone’s hats, gloves, scarves, and sunglasses are easy to find, and almost completely hidden from sight. I won’t pretend that the kids don’t need reminding to put their things away, but at least they know that everything belongs in the twine-wrapped storage box. Now I just need to figure out how to create a drop zone for the rest of our stuff!Never overpay for #storage boxes and baskets again! #DIY #home Click To Tweet
How to Make a Twine-Wrapped Storage Box
Materials & Supplies
- Corrugated cardboard box in your desired size
- Box cutter
- Hot glue (about 40 sticks for a large box)
- Spray paint
- Approximately 1/2 yard scrap fabric for lining
- Large piece of scrap felt for bottom of the box
- 1/4-inch Natural twisted sisal rope (4 packages for a large diaper box)
- Hot glue (about 40 sticks)
Preparing the box:
- Cut the flaps off of the box
- If the box has an opening at the bottom, glue one of the flaps over the inside of the bottom for stability.
- Spray paint the inside and outside of the box. For the inside of the box, choose a color that closely matches the fabric of the lining. For the outside of the box, choose a color you don’t mind showing between any possible gaps in the twine.
- Drape the lining fabric over the outside of each side and the bottom of the box. Cut pieces of fabric with at least 1/2 to 1 inch extra around each edge. This will give you plenty of room for a “seam”. You should end up with 5 pieces of fabric.
Gluing the Lining to the Box:
- Place one piece of lining fabric along the inside of one of the sides of the box. Fold your lining fabric under by 1/2 to 1 inch along one of the vertical sides and glue the folded portion as close to the corner of the box as possible.
- When the glue is dry, fold the lining fabric at the bottom of the box and carefully pull the lining fabric taught as you hot glue the fabric as close as possible to the bottom corner of the box. Stop gluing the lining when you get about an inch away from the next corner.
- Fold the final inside seam under (opposite the first glued corner), making sure the fabric is as tight as possible. Hot glue as close as possible to the corner of the box
- Repeat steps 1 through three with each of the sides of the box, finishing with the bottom piece of the box. When finished, the glued lining should look similar to sewn seams of a fabric liner.
- Fold the top edges of the fabric over the top of the box. Fold the corners of the fabric under like a present and glue each flap down onto the box.
- If your box has handles, carefully cut out the lining with scissors at the openings.
- If desired, hot glue a piece of felt to the bottom of the box before adding twine.
Wrapping the box with Twine:
- If your box has openings for handles, start by gluing a piece of twine just inside the opening, making sure to cover the edges of the liner with the twine. This should have the effect of gluing down both the lining and the twine at the same time.
- Starting at a top corner of the box, begin hot gluing the twine onto the box in sections of 6 to 8 inches at a time.
- As you wrap the box, the twine will try to unwind. After applying hot glue, quickly twist the twine back into place and hold it tightly against the previous row to hold in place. This will also help to reduce gaps. Finish wrapping at a corner of the box for the cleanest look possible.
- Wrapping twine around the handles: As you approach a handle, cut the twine at an angle and glue down tightly. Re-start the row at the opposite side of the handle and continue to glue around the box, cutting again as you approach each opening until you can wrap the twine underneath the opening in as straight a line as possible.
- Seaming together additional rolls of twine: Large boxes will require multiple rolls of twine. To create a nearly seamless look, make sure the end of the previous section of twine is glued securely. Then, snip off a small portion of the beginning of the section at an angle. Carefully add the second section directly against (almost overlapping) the previous piece of twine.
- As you approach the bottom of the box, you may find that your rows are not completely straight. Seaming in a row or two of twine along the sides of the box will help. (Note: Try to avoid gaps by making sure the twine is always as close as possible to the nearby rows.)
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