Clear Box Upcycle

Disclaimer: This is not a ‘mummy’ blog post (as if that’s a dirty word), but this week my kidlets inspired a cool upcycle, that took about 5 minutes of my time but… and you could use them to store alcohol at a party. Which is where I first saw the idea. See, NOT a mummy blog post! haha!

I’ve said it before that I don’t really LOVE those ever-so-practical clear plastic boxes you use to store things, but I’m the first to admit, they’re handy.

When you have kids, you accumulate ALOT of stuff!

Most of this stuff needs to be stored for when the next baby comes around, whether it’s yours, or someone else’s.

I usually keep these plastic boxes tucked away and out of sight, but this week I discovered another practical use for them, which aesthetically doesn’t make me cringe.

I’ve started a new job this week, and going from working at home to most of the week in an office is a big change for la famiglia.

One of the biggest challenges of getting out of the door each day is locating all of the paraphernalia that goes with the kids – backpacks, changes of clothes, drink bottles, sneakers, nappies and wipes for the little prince, sheets, pillows and blankets for day care.

Usually this stuff starts of in a neat pile by the front door and then leads you on a trail through the house… a shoe here, a sock there and it’s kind of like a living Dr Suess book trying to locate it all, “one sock, two sock! red sock, blue sock!”

So I was going to go out and purchase yet another piece of furniture, some cube shelves from Ikea where the kids can store their pre-school stuff, but really where would I put it? and stuffing things in shelves isn’t that easy for kids.

I needed a system that was dump and go.

Clear boxes! perfect! Kids can dump their stuff inside in no particular order, and at a glance you can get a jist if the sneakers are in there or if you need to go on a bear hunt to find them.

So here’s my totally easy Clear Box Upcycle:

1. Draw a rough stencil of the letter you would like to use on your drop box. I used plain computer paper, but you could also use card or cardboard. I love the simplicity of a single letter, but you can do a whole name or initials if you like. You don’t have to draw it either, you can use your favourite font and print it off from your computer. My kids names start with ‘A’ and ‘X’ which are symmetrical letters and makes them easy to hand draw. Tip: when hand-drawing symmetrical letters, it doesn’t have to be perfect, give it a go and then choose your neatest side, then fold the paper in half down the middle of the letter. Cut out the neater side, then unfold the paper and you will have a symmetrical letter!

2. Work out where you are going to place your box and which side you’d like to stencil on. Sticky tape stencil onto side of clear box. I knew I wanted the short side to be facing out, as they would fit neatly under the window sill.

3. Choose your paint. You can either use spray paint or a tin of paint and a sponge. I used some left-over interior paint I bought from the remnant tray at Bunnings and then just lightly sponged the paint on. Use a little bit of paint and sponge lightly so the paint doesn’t seep under the stencil. Any large globs of paint will seep. Keep sponging until your letter is a solid block of colour without streaks.

4. Place in sun to dry. Peel off stencil once it’s dry. Peel carefully so you don’t peel the paint off with it. Hold onto the stencils for another project.

5. Arrange in room.

X Stencil. Photography by Eclectic Kate

A Stencil. Photography by Eclectic Kate

Stencils stuck onto boxes. Photography by Eclectic Kate

Sponging on the stencil. Photography by Eclectic Kate

Stencils left to dry. Photography by Eclectic Kate

Finished Clear Box Upcycle in Kids Room. Photography by Eclectic Kate

Finished clear box DIY. Photography by Eclectic Kate

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One thought on “Clear Box Upcycle

  1. Jessica says:

    What a brilliant idea! I think grown ups could use this system too half of the time. Always great, aesthetically sensitive, practical thinking from EK x

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