My New DIY Craft Storage Boxes

I have a lovely wall unit in my studio with lots of shelves, I also have loads of cottons, tools, papers, things I have made, the list goes on. So I decided I needed storage boxes to fit on the shelves of the wall unit. Stupid idea, I spent hours looking through Argos catalogues, internet and ebay for ones that would fit. I had measured all the shelves in inches, all the boxes advertised were in either cms, or mm or even litres!!!!  In the end I decided that it would be quicker to make my own.

So I am. The only trouble is it involves paper mache, and that is taking sooooo much time. I hope they finish up how I imagine they should.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAI made these boxes up in a day, using recycled cardboard and masking tape. I have spent the last couple of days covering them with kraft paper mache. It is taking 2 hours to cover the inside and outside of one box. Such a long winded job, but it makes the cardboard sturdy. Hopefully I will finish covering them soon, then I can start painting them.

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAThese are going to give me so much more storage space, and as I am going to label (craftily) each box, more organised too. And they haven’t cost me much except a roll of Kraft paper from ebay. I will post pictures of the paper mache stage when I have eventually finished it!


Things I have managed to complete

I am amazed how the months have just flown by, being self employed definitely beats working for someone else.  Even though I seem to be working 24/7.  If I am not doing, I am thinking of what to do next and how.  And loving every minute without feeling guilty.

Doing research again I fell in love with Shabby Chic crafts, but it didn’t matter how hard I tried I couldn’t manage to make my creations look as beautiful and dreamy as Shabby Chic is supposed to be.  So I forgot the idea of trying to emulate everyone elses and just did my own thing using some of my recycled stuff.  So I didn’t really have any choice on colours etc.


My interpretation of Shabby Chic

With a couple of pieces of cardboard and lots of bits my first was a wall hanging.  I covered the cardboard with a piece of patterned fabric and stitched lace to make little blocks then filled each block with a piece of old jewellery, a printed vintage pic, burnt fabric flowers, 3d leaves and butterfly applique and a few beads.  The hanger was made with fabric wrapped around a piece of garden wire with leaves and flowers, lace and ribbon hot glued onto it.  I think it came out quite pretty and it will definitely make a nice lesson to add to my teaching list.


A 100 year old embroidery pattern brought back to life in one of my wall hangings.

I have become addicted to Red Work, having finished quite a few pieces I am trying to decide what to do with them. Redwork is so simple, just using a small back stitch, in any colour you like.  Once you have drawn out your design and start stitching, the picture just grows and you have to finish it and start another one!! My first one went into another wall hanging.  This urn pattern was taken from a 100 year old embroidery book.  A fabric border was stitched around the embroidered block and then stitched over cardboard.  Then it was just a case of decorating it with lace, beads, ribbon, embroidered 3d flowers etc.  I do enjoy doing these wall hangings, and with them being only 8″ x 10″ they don’t take long at all.  A great way to use up all of the odd and bobs and little bits of fabric.


There is a collection of adorable little girls on swings on the net. Google ‘Red Work’.  This one might end up on the lid of one of my boxes.


Another unfinished project! A garden fairy, maybe the beginnings of another wall hanging.


Unfinished but getting there………….. Lots more beads, embroidery etc to add also a spider for the web in the corner.

On another internet research trip I discovered heavy weight web.  Another of my passions is 3d applique and stumpwork, this webbing works so well in the making of leaves and flowers and becomes quite stiff when ironed between two pieces of fabric, and if you are quick enough before it cools you can mold it into shape, like I have here. I am looking forward to making something to include these flowers and leaves that I made with it.  Google ‘Petal Play’ for some lovley things made with this webbing.


These will look lovely sewn onto ……….something.

To pass a couple of days I ripped (I hate to cut, takes too much time) a horrible looking quilt cover and made it into this rag quilted lap rug. Rag quilting is so quick and easy to do, one of the lessons I teach is making a Rag Quilted Tote bag, a very easy lesson to complete in a couple of hours. Your quilt is quilted and lined in one. This lap quilt will make a great picnic rug for the sunny days, that I hope will return next summer.


A pretty summery lap quilt or rug made from a recycled quilt cover.

There are so many videos on youtube for quilting, my favourite is The Missouri Quilt Company. I must start to write down all of the blogs, websites and vids that I look at.  When researching I go on so many journeys that I am just hopping from one idea to the next gathering info, tips and tricks.  I found this quilt block on one website and haven’t been able to find it again.  The block itself was made up of 3 different coloured fabrics, but I decided to do some more redwork and used a white piece of fabric for the centre with a hand stitched flower.  It came out quite well, but it has become another unfinished project, I can’t quite decide on whether to make it bigger and quilt it or embroider it more and make it into a big floor cushion.


A quick quilt block with added red work

I will finish it one day, in the meantime I must start to concentrate on my cardboard furniture!!!!