diy project: kate’s fabric boxes

okay, resolution number three: “be more organized”. this is a tough one! my worst offense i think is bobby pins, i don’t know why but i leave them everywhere! i found this fabric stiffener in the craft store and i couldn’t resist experimenting with it a little. the results are these structured catch all boxes, perfect for everything i leave around the house! happy crafting and good luck with all of your resolutions! – kate

CLICK HERE for the full project and instructions.

What You’ll Need:

1. fabrics (choose light to medium weight cotton fabrics)
2. fabric stiffener (i found this at the craft store)
3. paint brush
4. rubber gloves (optional, but highly recommended)
5. containers for molds (i used a tupperware box and a loaf pan)
6. scissors
7. saran wrap


1. Cut a square of fabric big enough to cover your container. make it bigger than you want the box to be in the end so you can cut the edges clean.

2. Wrap your container tightly with saran wrap and place it upside down on a working surface.

3. Put on your rubber gloves and pour some fabric stiffener onto the fabric swatch. Work it around in your hands so the fabric is completely coated with the stiffener on both sides. Squeeze off any extra stiffener, but make sure the swatch is completely saturated.

4. Lay your swatch down over the mold and smooth down. Add some extra stiffener with the brush on the outside and fold the fabric around the corners like you are wrapping a present.

5. Brush on another thin layer of stiffener and smooth out any wrinkles, and check to see that the folds are flattened and that they stay put.

6. Let dry overnight. when the fabric is completely dry, you will be able to easily pull it off the mold.
7. Cut the edges of the fabric so you have a clean, even edge.

8. If you feel the box is still a little wobbly, you can put it back on the mold and coat the entire box with another layer of stiffener and let it dry overnight again. The middle weight fabrics will feel sturdier than lighter weight fabrics.


Note: These trays are great for organizing loose objects and for carrying lightweight objects. They are not strong enough to carry heavier materials, and are not recommended for serving trays or for transporting around heavy things.

  1. This project is going on my to-do list!! I am the same way with bobby pins. They are e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e, driving me (and my husband) nuts! What a sweet and fun idea, and a great way to keep things organized and in check.

  2. Cara says:

    I’m soo going to do this. I’ve been wanting matching wicker baskets for my shelves- but this could really add more color and funk ;-)

  3. Erin says:

    I have lots of little do-dads around the house that need a landing place. This would be perfect.

  4. erica says:

    love the fabrics you used– great use of scraps!

  5. Wonderful idea! Thank you so much. I cannot wait to try it!

  6. Rachel says:

    Oh this is fantastic! My husband needs one of these on his night stand for his wallet, phone and keys. Thanks so much for this how-to, I’ll be linking.

  7. Anna @ D16 says:

    Hey, now I know what to do with all of my fabric scraps! Yay!

  8. NoirGirl says:

    Count me in for the bobby pin hunt! I have a huge jar of them and somehow can never seem to find any!
    Great idea, as usual. :)

  9. A gorgeous project AND a lovely place to store that nice big bottle of Burberry! (My fave perfume.. :)

    I was planning to cover some banker boxes with fabric to organize DD’s room.. I think I’m going to adapt this idea into a sort of fabric paper mache’. Thanks so much!

  10. md says:

    this is exactly, completely, precisely, totally what i need. i’ve been looking for the perfect little tray for my bedside and now i can make it. hooray!

  11. Really nice project! And about the bobby pins, I’m pretty sure that I have some kind of invisible animal in my house who feeds on them, possibly the same one who eats socks.

  12. Julia says:

    This looks like such a fun and creative project. I go crazy anytime I enter the fabric store with all the beautiful patterns and colors. What a great way to use them!

  13. Marilyn S. Wisniewski says:

    Hey! I’m gonna try it!!!!!Mar

  14. La Rêveuse says:

    This is really cool. Thanks for sharing!

    BTW, another great place to put bobby pins or safety pins is in one of those little paperclip holders with the magnet hole. When knocked off the dresser top, they don’t spill! Always a good thing.

  15. Michelle says:

    I love this idea – thanks so much for the instructions!

  16. Love this idea but what REALLY caught my eye was that metal plant/branch. Can you please tattle about that? Thanks Grace!

  17. Kendra Schwartz says:

    This reminds me of paper mache,
    this is a great gift idea

  18. Jolleen says:

    I just made a few of these boxes over the weekend! They turned out GREAT. Just make sure the saran wrap is really good saran wrap that clings well. The boxes look wonderful in my bathroom!

  19. Bec says:

    This is such a great idea! I love it! Only one question – what is saran wrap? Is it cling wrap? Also great to know that I’m not the only one with bobby pin problems! My partner hates finding them everywhere. The magnetic paperclip holder is a great idea, thanks La & Kate

  20. fantastic idea! Thanks for the great tutorial. Need some of these to help sort my craft room :)

  21. Katy says:

    love these! thank you for sharing!

  22. Ariel says:

    This isn’t as DIY, but maybe you could take my raw materials and find something fun to do with it: For Bobbie Pins I use one of those magnet pin holders that you can get in a sewing or fabric store. It works great and the magnet is strong enough that I can take it with me since I often need bobbie pins on the go. As a bonus they come in cute colors.

  23. design_SMITH says:

    I keep my bobbie pins in old mint tins – sometimes I just leave it plain, but I have painted them in the past and inserted flexible magnets (like those ones you get for free with some business name on it) in the bottom, with the magnet side up. The magnet depends on the bobbi pins, but works well for T-pins and sewing pins.

  24. Nini says:

    Just made a bunch of these little bundles of joy for my hair accessories drawer. They are so perfect for the little things.

  25. tootie says:

    I love fabric, especially cotton, but don’t sew and never knew what I do with it until now. I’m off to the fabric ship now. What a wonderful idea!


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