When I was looking at the pile of clutter in my front room the other day, it occurred to me that the two pieces of this crate and barrel box were perfectly sized to be little “drawers” in the secondhand dresser we use as a media console.
I stuck ‘em in there and I really liked it! The black piece is a little taller than the white one, but that’s okay. Of course, I wasn’t just going to leave them like that. I decided to jazz ‘em up with some fabric. It was super easy. I was on the phone with my BFF the whole time and they still turned out great.
First I chose my fabric. I looked through my stash and settled on this orange floral that I got at an estate sale (it was in a plastic bag stuffed full of white and cream linen fabric. Best $1 I ever spent). The fabric remnant is too narrow to do much with, so this was a great project for using it up. I measured the height of my box (7″) and the perimeter (70″) and added two inches for good measure, meaning I needed to cut my fabric 9″ wide by 72″ long.
The handy cardboard mat (snagged at the same estate sale as the fabric) really helps me cut straight lines.
I wrapped the fabric around my box to be sure I’d measured right and then, starting at one corner, started painting mod podge onto the cardboard and then pressing and smoothing the fabric all the way around.
When I got to the end, I folded under the raw edge and glued it down.
Then I used some regular ‘ol craft glue to tuck the edges into the inside.
I didn’t really have a plan for the corners. I just sort of folded them in and glued them down.
Same thing on the back. Fold and glue. I treated the corners like I was folding a gift. True story: I used this box as a sign for our garage sale. Write on the box, put something heavy (like rocks) in it to weigh it down, and put it on the corner. Since I left the date off and just put it out as soon as we opened up I was able to use it for both of our garage sales.
‘Stash is a fan. No such thing as a bad box in her book (unless she’s being carried to the vet in it).
Now onto box #2. I love the orange floral, but I felt like maybe two boxes covered in it might be a bit much (especially since they’re slightly different sizes. For this one, I chose a greigy (beige +gray) barkcloth my friend Cassie gifted to me. I basically followed the same steps as for the first box, except this time I 1) started in the center of a long side, instead of a corner, 2) used craft glue only at the beginning and end, instead of mod podge all the way around, and 3) just laid the end flat, instead of folding it under. Thanks to these changes, box #2 was much quicker to cover and the seam is almost invisible.
My intention was that the seam would be turned to the back on both boxes, but things looked so smooth that I realized hours after sticking them it the dresser that box #2 was turned around backwards.
You can see in this picture from our house tour page that this is a major improvement. Most of the drawer compartments have been empty until recently. Right before I made these boxes I had an epiphany that the Wii Fit balance board would be better off living under the couch. It’s easier to get in and out and invisible to pretty much anyone over 6″ tall.
I go back and forth about wanting to hide the cable box / Wii / DVD player. Would it really be worth the trouble?
Here’s a fun fact: this isn’t the first rodeo for either of these fabric choices. The orange floral was used for my zig-zag pillow, and the barkcloth was used for my Rorschach art (both of which can be spotted in the picture above if you look carefully).
So, in summary, to make your own fabric-covered boxes, grab yourself a cardboard box, some fabric, and some glue, then wrap it up and glue the edges under. Easy as pie. This project is especially good for using up fabric left over from other projects, since most boxes will require a long and narrow piece that would be awkward for anything else. And if you’re like me and can’t stand to throw away a good box (Crate & Barrel boxes are the best–so sturdy and nicely proportioned), then this is a good way to put them to use outside closet doors.