Tag Archives: Storage

Make your own beautiful Storage Boxes

12 Oct

Personal Note: “I am a huge fan of what I call “Design on a Budget”.  After giving you tips and tricks to reorganize your closet, today I will show you how to make your own beautiful storage containers from shoe boxes.  This is the first post in the new Craft series.

My next post will show you how to de-clutter your wardrobe (not always easy to let go…) before you sort everything back into your freshly organized closet.  So, stay tuned and have a wonderful and happy  day!”   Beate 

Make your own beautiful Boxes – Design on a  Budget!


You will need

Empty shoe boxes

Sheets of beautiful gift wrap or wallpaper

Glue stick or spray adhesive (wall paper paste)

Scissors, craft knife, ruler, pencil, needle

Old plastic card or make one from thick cardboard


Primer and/or Acrylic Paint (test pot), brushes

Handles, knobs, printed labels or stickers

Recycle old shoe boxes, wooden wine crates or other cardboard boxes, cover them with stylish gift wrap, colour coordinated decorative papers, patterned wall paper or newspaper prints, depending on the style, theme or colour scheme in your newly organized closet. If you buy gift wrap sheets (I like to use standard sheets, approx. 68x50cm, which fit one box, if the inside is not fully covered and it has no lid) look for great designs, same colours in different patterns, one colour in different hues, white or black in different textures or just the same paper for lots of boxes. Find papers that you really enjoy. Ask your local shoe shop for empty boxes, recycle your own or use other empty boxes in good sizes to fit your closet. If you have a dark box and light paper, it is a good idea to give the box a coat of primer or white Acrylic paint and let dry properly before you cover it with paper.If unsure, what size paper you need, wrap a piece of newspaper around your box, cut to size and measure. That gives you the minimum sheet size you need. If you go for expensive Designer papers, think of covering only the outer sides and paint the inside with acrylic paint first. Test pots of Acrylic Interior paints are perfect for the job, as they come in hundreds of colours, perfect for matching to your paper and they are not expensive). Or you can use a plain colour matching paper for the inside and the designer paper for the outside. If you only cover the outside, still fold the paper over the top edges of the box to the inside (min. 1- 2cm).


(1) Cut your paper to fit around the box on all sides. Cut a separate piece (you might need a second sheet of paper) for the inside bottom of the box 5mm smaller than the dimensions of the box outer bottom. If your box has a lid, first cut the paper to fit the top, the sides and the inside sides of the lid. Then cut an extra piece for the inside of the lid top 5mm smaller than the outer top.

(2) With a long ruler and a pencil, make two thin lines, corner to corner, on the wrong side of the large paper sheet to find the exact center. Or mark half of the length and half of the width and find the center point. Do the same on the bottom of your box and mark the middle with a tiny needle hole.

(3) With the needle in the hole of the bottom, try to find the middle of the paper and place the box on top. Gently outline the bottom of the box on the paper.

(4) Take the box off, cover the bottom of the box with glue (stick or spray adhesive) and place it on the marked paper rectangle.

(5) Turn over and rub down the paper carefully with an old plastic card to bond and prevent wrinkles. Run the card along the paper down the edges of the box (This helps prevent pockets from forming along this edge after the paper is folded over). Be careful not to damage your beautiful paper.

 (6) Apply the adhesive to one of the long sides of the box and fold up the paper. Again run the plastic card over it. With scissors cut straight down to the top of the box at both corners. Repeat on the other long side of the box.

(7) Fold the two ends of the paper for the short sides of the box into triangles to create nice edges of the paper.

(8) Cut the triangles off about 2 cm from the folding line, then glue the folded stripe to the inside of the paper. Apply adhesive to the short side of the box, fold up the paper and run the plastic card over it. Do the same on the opposite side of the box.

(9) Take the box, so that the first paper triangle lies flat on your table and apply glue to the paper triangle.

(10) Make a nice corner, by folding the paper up and rub it to the box with your plastic card. Do the same on all corners. By now you have covered the bottom and all four sides of your box.

(11) Cut the paper in all corners straight down to the top of the box.

(12) Lay each side of the overlapping paper flat on your work surface and with a ruler draw a line on the inside (take your shortest paper piece as the maximum with).

(13) Then cut all four sides nicely with scissors or a craft knife to the same length.

(14) Glue the long sides of the paper first, fold nicely over the edge and rub with the plastic card. Repeat on the other long side, then the short sides.

(15) If you have painted the inside of your box first or if you don’t care so much about the inside, you are finished. If you want to cover the rest of the inside, cut fitting stripes of paper for the walls and finish with the bottom paper (take the bottom of the box as template and cut the paper 5mm smaller than the marked rectangle. Glue it in and it’s finished. If you have a lid to cover, just repeat all steps of covering the box in the same way.

When I use the boxes in my closet, I use them without the lid to store belts, scarves, bras, socks and so on.

If your box has a lid, repeat the steps accordingly. 

You can buy a nice handle or knob to screw onto the box or with a hole punch and hammer add two holes on one side of the box and pull through a beautiful satin ribbon, braided leather, beaded wire or any other nice ribbon as the handle (be creative!). Fix it with knots or glue ends to the inside. You can print your own labels in fancy letters on nice paper with your computer.


  • If you use wallpaper on thick cardboard boxes, try wallpaper paste and apply with a small brush
  • If you use very expensive or Designer paper keep the off-cuts (triangles etc) for scrapbooking or card making.
  • Make it a fun project with your children and let them create their own special box.
  • These boxes also make beautiful gifts for family and friends. Choose paper of colours they like, insert a gift and let them keep the box for photos etc.


If you wish to read more about storage ideas and container, these are some interesting books:

  • Wonderful Wrapsrecycling or making boxes and wrappings by Marie Browning
  • Transform your Home in a weekend – instant, easy decorating ideas with impact by Stewart & Sally Walton
  • StorageStylish solutions for every room in your home by Joanna Copestick & Meryl Lloyd
  • Complete Home StorageGetting organized by Barbara J. Braasch & Lisa Stockwell Kessler
  • Simple Storage Solutions – effective storage, drawers & cupboards… by Elizabeth Hillliard

Does Clutter block your Energy?

6 Oct

Time to de-clutter and re-organise your space!

Every once in a while I come home and feel, I can’t breathe anymore, I feel tired and overwhelmed by the things around me. Unfortunately my creative nature and my interest in many different things, a soccer mad husband an old lazy cat and an eleven year old son, who collects everything he finds, don’t allow for a Minimalistic Style in my home.  But when the clutter starts to suppress my energy, I know it is time to spring-clean and reorganise my house. In Feng Shui it is believed, that blocked energy vibrations of the home have a negative effect on its residents’ well-being. That’s exactly what I feel! Energy should move freely from the entrance into the home and from one room to the next.

Changing your home from cluttered to clean does require some effort and time. Luckily, the payoff is worth it – a neat, orderly house that makes coming home the best part of the day. A new sense of peace and harmony can be found, stress diminishes and one finds a feeling of relief at being ‘back in control’.

It’s time to de-clutter your home!

De-cluttering your home is not about taking everything that has been hoarded for years and relegating it to the tip. It is more of a reorganising and decision making process. It can even be a joyous and fun activity and sometimes memories and forgotten items come to hand.

Personally, I start with writing a to-do list with all the tasks needed and then I work on it room by room or cupboard by cupboard. And then there is the wardrobe… (I will give you some tips on that in a separate post!)

How to do it in 14 easy steps:

1. Kitchen Cupboards – Go through all you kitchen cupboards, one at a time and you will be amazed at what you find that can be thrown out, because you never use it. Check all food packages, liquids, supplements and spices for their expiration dates.

2. Wardrobe – I am always surprised about the amount of clothes I get rid of (and how many I still have) when I clean out my closets! (Find details in an up-coming separate post!)

3. Bookcases – I really love books, but when they don’t fit in my bookshelf anymore, it is time to sort them out. I sell or donate the ones that I don’t want or need anymore. I also go through papers, magazines, or anything else filling up those bookcases. I like to organize my books by colours as this is the first thing I remember, when I look for a certain book. I cut out interesting articles or recipes from magazines and papers, and the rest goes in the paper bin. I like to keep glossy magazines for Kids Art classes, Craft workshops, Goal setting posters, card making or Collage art.     

4. Kids Room – This is something that needs to be done more than once a year in my house.  My son has to go through his clothes, toys, books, etc and out goes anything he is no longer interested in or what doesn’t fit anymore. Sometimes he tops-up his pocket money by selling his stuff in a Garage Sale or on Trade Me (similar to E-bay) or we just donate it for a good cause.  

5. Bathroom – We know how cluttered and overflowing those vanities and medicine chests can get. Go through all those goodies, check their expiration dates and get rid of what’s too old, hardened, softened or changed colour. Make a shopping list to replace important medicines or items.

6. Linen Closet – Towels, sheets, curtains, etc are also things that need to be sorted out from time to time. We use matching towel sets in a different colour for each family member. So, we always know which towel to use and I know straight away, who left his towel on the floor! I like to cut-up and re-use old towels, bed linen, sheets and t-shirts in my art studio and I keep a big box of them in the laundry for all sorts of cleaning projects (soccer shoes, bicycles, skateboards…)

7. Under your bed – Personally I don’t like to store anything under beds or behind doors. According to Feng Shui principles, that’s were negative energy gets stuck.

8. Organise – There are so many great storage products out there. Or get some inexpensive plastic boxes with lid and neatly store all your items that are not in display or used daily, old photos and letters, toys that you want to keep but don’t get used that often or even your summer or winter clothes. You can get small boxes in the Dollar Stores to organize CDs, use them in your pantry or cupboards to store small bits and bobs. If you are not a fan of plastic, you can recycle old shoe boxes (paint or cover them with beautiful gift wrap or wallpaper), use glass jars, packaging, bags etc to store things or get creative and make your own storage organizers!

9. Throw out the old – Do not just take everything out and rearrange. That is a temporary solution and is not sufficient. Instead throw away, recycle, sell or donate the things, you can live without.

10. Papers and Documents – Never touch a piece of paper more than once. This sounds extreme, but it works. File items immediately or throw in the paper bin before they pile up. I love beautiful, well organized files and folders in different colours, practical divider systems and proper labeling (easy to do on the computer with Word or Graphic software). That saves a lot of time searching for documents.  

11. Display items – Deal with display items. If your collections, craft fair buys or family heirlooms are turning into a nightmare, do a major purge. First, remove all non-functional items from every surface of your house. Next, lay everything out where you can really see it. Get rid of anything redundant and just display the most important and beautiful things. The rest can go in a storage box for a while!

12. Have a keepsake drawer or basket – When those special drawings come home from school, certificates, photos, invitations, vouchers…put it right into the basket. Periodically, make a fun family event out of unloading the box and let everybody decides what to keep.

13. Everything in its Place – Once you have everything de-cluttered and organised, get everyone to keep everything in its place and your home will remain beautiful forever! Yeah, right – nice dream!

14. De-clutter on a regular base – I do it minimum once a year and I have to admit, I enjoy it. . Choose a time, when you are not stressed out or your life is a bit more relaxed, like in the holidays. I love to do these tasks in spring, when I can open all windows and doors and the first warmth of the sun enters my rooms.

If you wish to read more about Feng Shui, De-cluttering and reorganizing your space, these are some interesting books:

  • 168 Feng Shui ways to Declutter your Home by Lillian Too
  • The Western Guide to Feng ShuiCreating Balance, Harmony and Prosperity in your Environment by Terah Kathryn Collins
  • StorageStylish solutions for every room in your home by Joanna Copestick & Meryl Lloyd
  • Complete Home StorageGetting organized by Barbara J. Braasch & Lisa Stockwell Kessler
Personal Note: “I hope you enjoy my Blog with a variety of topics close to my heart.  I added some NEW LINKS to other interesting websites.   
In my up-coming posts I will talk about de-cluttering and reorganizing your wardrobe and some related, easy to follow craft projects. So, stay tuned and have a happy and wonderful day!”   Beate