It’s impressive how a little paint and decoupage can create a designer look for this storage box makeover. I’ve had these cardboard Ikea TJENA storage containers for a while now. They are an inexpensive solution for organizing my craft supplies.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure statement here.
I’m in the process of updating the decor and organization in my craft room/home office. If you’d like to see how I built this Ikea office, you can read all about it here.
When I bought these storage containers, they were teal. I probably should have gone for white, but I must have been feeling especially colorful the day I purchased these. 🙂
I’m saving my budget for some other DIY projects and wanted to sneak through this home office update without spending much money. I was able to update all six bins for about $4. Below is a picture of where I started.
- IKEA STORAGE BINS
- GRAY PAINT SAMPLE FOR BOX (I USED BEHR FRENCH GRAY)
- WHITE PAINT SAMPLE FOR LID (BEHR SNOWY PINE)
- DECORATIVE NAPKINS
- MINWAX POLYCRYLIC
- FOAM APPLICATOR
- PURDY PAINT BRUSH
- CARD STOCK OR AVERY FULL LABEL SHEETS
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE LABELS AND SVG CUT FILE
These craft labels are large in size, approximately 4.75 inches in diameter. You can either print them on Avery full sheet label paper and cut them out or print them on card-stock, cut them with your Silhouette, and use a tape runner to attach them. The labels are available as a free downloadable PDF file and as a free SVG file to print and cut with a cutting machine.
To download your file and receive instant access to my free library, just subscribe at the top sidebar or at the bottom of this post. You will be sent a welcome letter with the password to the library. Go to the library page and enter the password, then download any of the designs you would like.
PAINT THE STORAGE BINS
Start out by painting the sides of the bin using Behr French Gray and a Purdy paint brush. I found it easiest to paint two sides and move on to the next bin. Then, by the time I reached the last bin, I started over at the beginning and painted the other two sides. Finally, I flipped them over and painted the bottom of the bins. One coat would have been sufficient, but I decided to do two coats for better coverage.
Some important tips for painting…Because these bins are cardboard, the paint has a tendency to dry quickly. It’s important to put on a good amount of paint, cover a side and smooth it out quickly. If you keep going over it with a brush, you will roll the paint and leave brush marks. My bins dried pretty smooth with this method.
Alternatively, you could use a high density foam roller. You will need a paint pan or paper plate. Add the paint to the pan and roll it on. This will give you a really smooth finish. I just enjoy using a paint brush.
PAINT THE LIDS
I used the same paint method for the lids, only I painted them white (Behr Snowy Pine). I chose white because the napkin is very thin and the paint color will show through it.
Then, using an inexpensive foam applicator, I added two coats of Polycrylic to the lids. Allowing them to dry in between coats. The Polycrylic is the adhesive we will be using for the decoupage in the next step.
SEPARATE THE NAPKINS
Usually the napkins are three-ply. Meaning you need to separate the layers before you begin the decoupage process.
Unfold the napkin, starting at one corner, begin to separate the layers. Repeat this process for the number of lids you have.
Once they are separated, take the decorative layer and iron it. I covered it with parchment paper and pressed it with my easy press at 290 degrees. I moved it around until most of the creases were gone.
DECOUPAGE WITH HEAT
To support the lid, I placed a pine board under it covered in parchment paper.
Then I placed my napkin on top of the lid and covered it with parchment paper. Be sure your Cricut Easy Press or iron are preheated. Then press the napkin to the lid for 10 seconds and move to the next section. Take care not to hold it in one place for too long or you can scorch the napkin and make it yellow.
Once the face side of the lid was done, I moved on to the edges of the lid. I placed the lid on its edge. Supporting the weight of the Easy Press, I gently held it to the edge of the lid for 10 seconds and repeated until the entire perimeter was finished.
Cut off any excess napkin with a pair of scissors or kraft knife. And your lid should look like the image below.
COVER THE PRESSED NAPKIN WITH A PROTECTIVE TOP COAT
At this stage, you need to place another coat of Polycrylic over the napkin to seal and protect it. Using your foam applicator, place an even coat of Polycrylic over the surface of your napkin and let it dry.
Please note: The napkin will bubble and leave some texture when you apply the top coat. If you get any large air bubbles, insert a pin to release the air bubble and then press the spot down with your foam applicator. Also, do not apply too much pressure with the applicator or you can tear the napkin while it’s wet.
When the top coat is dry, press it one last time with you Easy Press or iron. This will flatten it out a little more.
I included this closeup picture of the lid to show you the texture. I love the texture. It has a handmade paper feel to me. But, I know some of you may be looking for an ultra smooth finish and I wanted you to see that is not how it turns out. Honestly, I’ve never been able to get the traditional method of decoupage smooth either. If you have a special tip for this, let us all know in the comments.
Print out and attach your storage labels and your done.
JOIN THE COMMUNITY
For instant access to my free library and regular updates on blog posts, subscribe at the top sidebar or at the bottom of this post. You’ll receive a welcome email with the password to enter the library along with regular updates on my most recent blog posts.
Do you like learning budget friendly ways to spruce up your home? Follow me on PINTEREST. Did you know that you can hover over the images below, click on the red Pinterest circle and save this idea for later? Give it a try below and save these ideas to your Home Decor Crafts or DIY Projects Board on Pinterest.
Hopefully this storage box makeover gave you some ideas to decorate and organize your craft room or office space. Thanks for stopping by!