Three Dollar Chalkboard Storage Bins

A few weeks ago I came back from my much-anticipated trip to Ikea with this Expedit storage shelf for the playroom area. I loved the generously sized shelves for toy and craft storage, but realized pretty quickly that maybe I should have picked up some of those baskets Ikea sells that fit it perfectly. Nothing I had was nearly big enough to take advantage of all that space. But even if Ikea was only a hop, skip, and a jump down the road, it still would have cost me at least fifty bucks to outfit just the bottom row. That’s almost as much as I spent on the whole shelf! Too rich for my blood.

So I waited for inspiration to strike, and my crafty sense did not disappoint. After my little decoupage adventure the other day it came to me-cardboard boxes! They’re cheap, sturdy, and easy to change the appearance of. These 12x12x12 ones are $2.69 at Office Depot. I always keep a few on hand since the Priority Mail boxes I usually use for my shop are way too expensive for international shipping.

Office Depot

I usually tape them for shipping, but since I didn’t want tape to show around the edges I just folded the flaps down like so and then secured each corner with a dab of hot glue.

Then I pushed the top flaps down into the box. After some consideration I later came back and secured them with hot glue as well, just so they wouldn’t always be catching stuff on its way out of the box.

I know those of you who read a lot of blogs are probably so over the chalkboard paint thing, but I feel like my relationship with this magical substance has only just begun. So far I’ve painted a message board, six silver trays (four of which are still waiting patiently to be listed in my shop), and now four cardboard boxes. And I still have half a can left! For this project I just did two quick coats with no primer. I didn’t paint the insides or the bottoms, and I certainly didn’t worry about straight lines. I was in a hurry, trying to squeeze this in between dirty diapers and hungry babies. After they were dry, I left them outside to air out all day and then gave the paint a few days to cure before “seasoning” it by lightly rubbing a piece of chalk over the entire surface.

And voila! My new chalkboard storage bins.

I still have some work to do on the top shelves, including getting some more tall baskets/boxes and prying the barely-functional Xbox from Nick’s cold, lifeless hands. He’s had it since his single days and it’s definitely on its deathbed. I’ll let him keep it around until it dies a natural death and we can give it a proper burial. In the trash. I’d also like to upgrade that TV someday, but since it pretty much is only ever used to play the Xbox I’m not in too big of a hurry (except for the fact that I’m terrified Jack will pull it down onto himself somehow once he gets more mobile). And, of course, since Jack is only just now figuring out how to even hold a toy he doesn’t have (or need) nearly enough to fill all four of those bins. Guess that means I get to use them for my stuff for now! Maybe this means I can finally clear out that corner full of clutter on the other side of the room.


2 Responses to “Three Dollar Chalkboard Storage Bins”

  1. Kris October 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    I remember when Nick permanently borrowed that XBox from Joe back when we all lived at Highland Plantation… in 2005.

    • Charlotte@Living Well on the Cheap October 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

      Lol I am not at all surprised!

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