Sunday, 4 August 2013

Stylish Storage Boxes on a Budget

I am in the process of a big organisation project in my dining room.  I have two inexpensive Ikea bookshelves that are crammed with a jumbled assortment of books, games, craft, knickknacks, and junk.  I struggle to find enough space to hold my craft and sewing supplies, and they currently reside all over the house (under beds, in the loft, etc) in various boxes and tubs.

I decided to allocate one of the two bookshelves to sewing and craft supplies, and the other to the essential items I want to keep downstairs.  This second bookshelf still holds a slightly random assortment of items.  On one shelf I need to store my iron and it's accessories, my daughter's maths games, and a small assortment of camera gear.  Like I said, slightly random!!  I wanted to use boxes or baskets to keep items tidy and not so visible, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money.  Fortunately I found a free option.

Our local wine merchant often leaves empty wooden wine crates outside their door, for anyone to help themselves to.  Over a few weeks I collected several boxes and chose three that would fit best on the shelf.  Unfortunately, they looked too plain once I put them on the shelf.

I decided they needed some brightening up with labels.  Unfortunately I don't own anything as fancy as a Silhouette machine, so I decided I would make my own images using stencils.  I went online and searched for simple silhouettes of an iron and a camera.  I also created a quick maths sum outline.  I printed all three images in the right size to fit on the end of the box, then I used a craft knife to cut out the image from the copy paper.  I taped the images to the box using masking tape and sprayed them with one coat of coloured spray paint.  As I already had the spray paint, there was no cost involved in this project.  Here are the finished boxes.

Much more interesting.  Just so you can really appreciate them, here are a few more pictures taken in better light.

As you can see from the camera image above, some of the spray paint did bleed under the stencil.  In hindsight, I should have cut the images out of clear self-adhesive film, to create neater edges on the stencil.  Despite the minor imperfections, I think they look great - and you can't argue with the price.

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