How to Make Custom Sized Storage Boxes

How to Make Custom Sized Storage Boxes

First of all, let me just say that I had absolutely no intention of making boxes for our front closet.

After James had made these cubby holes/shelves for it, I had planned on buying some bins or boxes to store the mess that you see on them in the photo below.

red door

Well that didn’t happen.

See, for almost a year (because that photo is from last summer) I searched everywhere I could and still could not find boxes and bins that fit the measurements of those cubby holes.

You know how when you go to a blog and they do some kick ass IKEA hack and turn bookcases into built in’s or a bench under a window because that piece of furniture was the exact measurement that fit in that exact space in their home? Well our home is like the opposite of that.

Doesn’t matter where, there is always some room or area that is 3/4″ too long or 1.5″ too short, for any pre-store bought item to fit into it.  It’s one of the top reasons we do so many custom DIY projects. We just can’t find the items in the stores. Trust me, I would like to find some of them in the stores.

The cubby holes were no exception just due to the distance between the inside wall to the door frame.

So for almost a year I searched and we lived with that epic mess of mittens falling down, hats toppling over each other and grocery bags squished in. Finally I admitted defeat and said I needed to sort out a way to make some because I could not stand looking at the mess anymore.

Now, I didn’t want anything heavy that could fall on my kids feet, so wood was out of the question. I didn’t want all fabric ones as they can get floppy and lose their shape over time. I needed a lightweight material that could still maintain a box shape and look a little cleaner.

Enter these.

Elmer’s Craft Foam boards. They’re in every single Dollarama and Dollar Tree around and will run you $1.25 a board.

Elmer's foam craft sheets -

These foam boards measure 20″ W x 30″ H.

I was making boxes that were an irritating 10″ W x 11.5″ D x 10.5″ H. Or something like that.

First, I measured out my template pieces and then using an X-acto knife and a ruler, I cut out the foam pieces over a cutting board.

By the way, this tutorial should also be a huge lesson in how not to take photos for a tutorial. First don’t pick a day where it’s raining and insanely dark outside. Second don’t try to take photos of white boards on cream carpet, then add cream coloured drop cloth to that mix and except a good result.

I apologize. I was in one of those I need to get these made moods. There is so much beige and cream in this post I can’t even handle it.

Step 1 - measure and cut out your foam boards -

Step 2 - your cut out foam board pieces -

Once my pieces were all cut out, I then used white duct tape, and taped the pieces together.

I made 5 boxes and kept one as a template to have.

Step 3 - use duct tape, tape your foam pieces together -

Step 4 - making custom sized storage boxes using craft foam boards-

Step 5 - your custom sized storage boxes made from foam boards that are now ready to be decorated -

Voila! Your very own custom sized storage boxes. These cost me $5 in foam boards and $1.25 in white duct tape.

Now how you decorate yours, is up to you. Washi tape, yarn, fabric, twine, cord, stickers, felt, glitter, wood veneer, pom poms, flowers, paper…whatever floats your boat.

I went with drop cloth. I used my template pieces to cut out a swiss cross pattern from the drop cloth for each box.

Step 6 - measuring out fabric to go over my storage boxes -

Then used spray adhesive to glue the fabric to the boxes. I used Aleene’s Tacky Spray.

Gluing the fabric to the storage boxes -

Step 7 - use spray glue to to glue fabric to the storage boxes -

For the handles I re-used handles from an old worn down tote bag that were faux leather and went to get some more binding screws to attach the straps to the boxes.

And now I had myself some nice storage boxes.

Custom Sized Storage Bins - Boxes -

For the record, as I’ve read some questions about what the hell binding posts are. This is what they are called in Home Depot – Chicago Screws.

Chicago Screws at Home Depot -

And this is what they’re called at Lowe’s  – Binding Posts.

Binding Posts at Lowe's -

I just used them in my leather lantern project. Why they’re called two different names, I have no idea. But they’re the same thing. And you can get them in whatever depth that you need for your project. And you can also buy then online in bulk.

For these I used binding posts that were  3/8″.

And now our tiny closet in our tiny entryway that  I complain about all the time, is starting to look a little nicer. They’ve very sturdy and yet lightweight so I am very happy with how they turned out.

Custom Sized Storage Boxes made from foam boards and drop cloth -

But I’ll be honest, if I was to do it all again, I probably would have made them with a darker fabric. Because I am pretty sure as nice and clean as they look now, in a years time and another Canadian winter, I am going to be hunting down grey felt.

Good thing I made an extra template.

DIY Custom Sized Storage Boxes from foam boards - northstory