Friday, 23 March 2012

DIY: Upcycled Organizers!


Hey y'all! Today I thought I'd share with you a cute organizer DIY... it may not seem like it but I am secretly obsessed with organizing... I like everything to have a home of it's own... and this simple tutorial using recycled household items creates perfect storage for the little things that tend to get in the way of a neat and tidy living space! 

what you will need...

  1. Cardboard containers... I used Chai tea latte, Bisto gravy and Lilets tampon containers! Raid your recycling...anything you have lying around that is similar will work! I wanted different shapes and sizes, to create a prettier display, hence using a variety of different types! 
  2. Pretty paper... my signature is book text, sheet music and maps... I use them for everything! Alternatively cute wrapping paper, wallpaper scraps or patterned paper would work and may fit better with the aesthetic of your room! Patterned paper is available from any craft store, (they usually sell it by the sheet for mere pennies, and in a beautiful array of designs to suit any style!)
  3. A ruler... (If you are planning on using a craft knife, a metal ruler or paper cutter is preferable!) 
  4. Scissors (not necessary if you are using a craft knife instead!)
  5. Glue stick
  6. Craft knife (unless you have a steady hand and want to use scissors!)
  7. A pencil.
what to do...


1. Measure the length of your container...

  • If your container has a lip like the one in the photo, (a plastic or mental ridge on the top or bottom of the container), allow an extra 1-2mm as you will be able to tuck your paper into the lip for a perfect edge. 
  • If your container does not have a lip at the top, account for an extra 1-2cm of paper to tuck over the top. If you do not intend on using the lid for your container, you may want to allow enough extra to cover the inside completely.
2. Measure the circumference of your container... The easiest way to do this is by rolling your paper around your container. I'd recommend allowing for a small over lap. If your paper is not wide enough to go around, cut separate sections making sure that the pattern with align once it is stuck down. 

3. Measure & cut your paper... I always measure from the top, bottom and middle of my page, making tiny dots at my measurements to ensure a level line. If you are using scissors, go along the line faintly with a pencil so you have a line to follow. I used a craft knife/ paper cutter so the dots were enough to guide me. 

4. Glue... using a glue stick, cover every inch of your paper in glue. (PVA and other craft glues can be a bit too wet for thin paper.. causing unsightly wrinkles and possibly even tears). Ensure every spot is covered to avoid bubbles. 

5. Cover your container... start at one end and stick around your container vertically, smoothing out any creases or bubbles as you go. When you get to the joining end, you may wish to apply more glue to ensure the end stays stuck! 

6. Tuck in the overhang... if you left a mm or so of paper to tuck into the rim, do this now using a blunt object (I used my thumb nail... but a dinner knife or something would also work... make sure it's not too sharp though or it may tear your paper).

Now you're left with a nice neat line! (Tucking in the paper also prevents it from pealing up at the edge).

If your container does not have a lip, begin folding over the paper you left to tuck inside the top (it will probably need re-glueing as glue stick dries quickly!)


Begin at one side and fold over and stick down as you go around, smoothing any wrinkles of course!


7. Varnish... If you so wish, you may varnish your container for an extra polished finished. This will also prevent mild wear and tear. (And provide some light water resistance if you intend on using your containers in the bathroom).


I used this acrylic paint gloss varnish from the craft store. It can be found with the little bottles of acrylic paint, usually for less than £2.00. I like this varnish because it isn't too shiny... dries very quickly, and it has the same applying techniques (not to mention durability and flexibility) as acrylic. 

Apply a thin coat using a soft brush to prevent brush marks. 

Leave to dry for approx 20 minutes. 

8. Lids... If you plan to use the lid to your container... you may wish to paint it to match your paper. I would definitely recommend using spray paint as most of these types of lids are made from shiny plastic that regular paint will not adhere to directly.... spray paint is much quicker than priming and applying multiple coats! Make sure you spray paint in a well ventilated area and protect all clothing and surfaces... and 
varnish your lid once painted to prevent chipping! 

NB: you could also stamp or write a sweet quote or a label to your paper before covering your container... 

Fill your new organizers and you're done!


I've used these ones as desktop organizers... but you could use them for make up... cotton buds... rings... just about anything that will fit really! 


Happy Crafting!


Love, love

PS If you try this tutorial, I'd love to see pictures of how yours came out! 




3 comments:

clotheshorsevix said...

Really cute idea! I used to make plant pots in a similar way using tin cans and sticky plastic :) xx

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Tabzz said...

I love this! such a cheap yet gorgeous idea! Might have to get my DIY on now! :)

lashesandlaces.blogspot.co.uk

xx