DIY Storage Boxes

Yesterday you got to see our big closet reveal and today starts a slew of tutorials on how we created the space.  I’m starting with the storage boxes because  I feel like you could make these boxes and use them in a million different places for so many different things.  Buying a storage box or two may not be a huge budget buster, but when you need 14 of them {at about $9 a piece}, it can add up quickly.  Browsing the aisles at our local home improvement stores, we found that we would be able to build some for much much less than buying fabric boxes that may stain, tear, or lose their shape.  We built these boxes with a few hours of our time for about $3 per box {for wood and fabric}!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • sheets of particle board
  • fabric
  • nails {we used our nail gun}
  • paint and roller
  • rope {leftover from our DIY pendant light}
  • wood glue
  • chalkboard paint
  • staple gun
  • hot glue
  • drill

We bought three sheets of 1/2″ particle board {$11 per sheet} and have about 1/2 of a sheet leftover.  We started by laying them out in the garage to paint.  The fabric was already purchased for the window wall, so we took that into Menards with us and bought paint to match our fabric.  It’s Flipper by Dutch Boy for anyone who interested.

It didn’t take much time to roll some paint on them.  Side note-does anyone else paint in their favorite robe and sweats? No? Just me?  I have trouble getting out of this outfit and got paint on it once so it is now my painting uniform.  Just wanted to get that out there.

From there, we ripped the boards into 12″ strips using the table saw {sorry about the bad lighting-we did a lot of this work in our garage at night}.

Yes, we used random drawers and wood we had in the garage to help catch the boards as they came through-I’m not very strong:)

Here are all the boards once we ripped them:

We used the same wood-particle board-for all the shelving in the closet {just thicker pieces} so some of these pictures were taken of that wood also.  Not trying to confuse you:)

Next, we cut the boards into the sizes we needed for the sides, front, back, and bottom of the boxes.  All the boxes on our shelving wall measure 11×16 and are about 12″ tall, once assembled.  They are so much deeper than the old fabric bins I had and are definitely spacious enough to store a lot of clothes.

Then it was time to assemble the boxes.  We laid out all 5 pieces first.

Then we used wood glue to attach the sides and the nail gun to secure them in place.

Once they were all assembled, we carried them into the living room and set them up to paint.  It’s much more fun to paint the edges of 9 big boxes in front of a Real Housewives marathon.

Once all the edges were painted, I lined the inside of each box with some gray fabric.  Since this won’t be seen by others, it doesn’t really matter how “pretty” it is in there {your clothes will cover the majority of the fabric}.  I cut pieces to the size of the sides and stapled the fabric in place.

I rolled the top of the fabric under, sort of like a hem, and hot glued  so staples weren’t visible around the top for a more finished edge.

After we lined them all, Mike brought in his drill and made holes in the front to pull the rope through.

Then we pulled the rope through and tied knots on either end.

The final step was adding the chalkboard design.  We actually used a cheese cutting board that sits on our kitchen counter to create the design {Mike’s genius idea}.

I traced it onto some freezer paper to use as a stencil, then taped it to the box and painted the design in the center on each box.

And that’s it!  We spread this out over a few days, painting the boards one day, cutting one day, assembling another, and adding the rope and chalkboard another.  We spent an hour or so on each part.  We think they are worth the effort invested since we saved so much money {and we like doing this kind of stuff:)}.

We used the same method for some large bins that we are using as laundry baskets.  I love how they match the rest of the wall and are not much heavier than our old, tall space-stealing baskets.

I love the possibilities that come with this project.  We wanted to keep ours pretty basic so they wouldn’t compete with the houndstooth fabric wall, but you could paint any design you want, line them with fun fabric and fold over the edge {like we did on a couple} and customize it to fit your style.  It’s also nice that you can make them any size you want.  What do you think?  Would you make your own storage boxes to save some cash and add some custom style?

I link up here:

DIY Showoff: DIY Project Parade

I Heart Naptime: Sundae Scoop

Skip to My Lou: Made By You Mondays

Today’s Creative Blog: Get Your Craft On

Tip Junkie: Tip Me Tuesday

Home Stories A to Z: Tutorials and Tips Tuesdays

Not Just a Housewife: Shoe Me What Ya Got

Blue Cricket Design: Show and Tell

Hooking Up with Hepworths

Shabby Chic Cottage: Transformation Thursday

Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday

CSI Project: Challenge

Remodelaholic: Blog Link Up

Serenity Now

Tatertots and Jello: Weekend Wrap-Up

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  1. These are awesome! I love the look of the rope handles, and the chalkboard paint front is such a great idea.

  2. You guys sure put a ton of work into this closet and it shows. Love the DIY baskets that you both made. Being able to match the box color to the room is what really attracted me to it. Our master bedroom is open to the closest so I think these will work great. Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  3. Wow, that’s great! I seriously love this idea!

  4. Love this!! Storage boxes and bins can definitely start to add up – this is brilliant!

  5. love these boxes…would be great for my sewing room. I can think of some many uses. Had no idea that you made these. I am all excited want to go out right now and get the materials to make a few. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, Karen! You could customize them to any size and color you want. Good luck! I’d love to see a picture if you do make them!

  6. Julie Locy of Sew Passionate says:

    Great tutorial. I think this is a great idea and practical too. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  7. Great job! I just came from checking out your closet reveal; I am SO impressed! :) Thanks for sharing!

  8. I’ve got to save this – what a FANTASTIC tutorial! Love the look of these!

  9. Love the closet and double love the storage boxes! I’m working on a pantry re-do and I’m going to attempt making these for that, thanks for the instructions!

  10. Girdie Fae says:

    I’m doing these for my own closet re-do! Love the chalkboard paint and the rope handles. Perfect solution.

  11. Love it – want it I’m new here but love your page. Going to try to do my closet. Thanks for taking the time to show all us.


  1. […] Tutorials have been posted!  See how we made the DIY storage boxes, DIY pendant light, and easy hat rack!  Check back for more […]

  2. […] For all of the wood in the closet, we bought inexpensive {but heavy-duty} particleboard.  This is not sleek wood like pine or walnut or some fancy wood, but it is very sturdy, and once painted, looks great.  I’ll detail how we covered any wood imperfections as we go along, but we chose this wood because we wanted to build a custom closet without spending a fortune.  This was our personal preference so you can obviously buy whatever wood you want:)  We bought 4 sheets of the 4′x8′ particleboard from Menards {sorry, it’s kind of blurry-iphone pic}.  You can read how we ripped it into 12″ wide shelf pieces here. […]

  3. […] Then came a slew of tutorials to explain how we did it all.  It started with our DIY $3 storage boxes. […]

  4. […] makeover a few weeks ago, we realized we needed a small step stool to reach our highest row of storage boxes. We wanted something that wouldn’t take up much room, would be functional, and, of course, […]

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