DIY Storage Tote

We had beautiful weather the past couple of days, which allowed me to take care of some outdoor painting projects. My DIY Storage Tote was one of them.

DIY Farmhouse Storage Tote

This DIY Storage Tote would be a great storage solution for all kinds of things. I ended up using it as an indoor planter.

This project started with an ugly green plastic tote that had two broken handles. You could use an old flower pot or any container that has the shape you are looking for.

Upcycled Storage Tote


Before I painted the tote, I washed it with warm soap and water. After it was dry, I painted it with two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite. To seal the chalk paint, I used Rustoleum’s Crystal Clear Enamel with a gloss finish. I wanted to use a flat finish, but decided to use up the gloss that I already had. It did the job, but I’m not a fan of gloss. If I were going to buy a protective coat for this project, I would use Rustoleum Chalked Sealer Top Coat Spray Paint in a matte finish. You can also use a clear wax or polycrylic if you don’t want to spray it.


My drop cloth fabric was already washed and ready to use. However, I’ve written the instructions to bleach and wash it for you below.

I washed the drop cloth two times with bleach in my front load washing machine. Then I washed it one last time with detergent and peroxide to remove the bleach smell. This whitened the fabric and made it soft. It also took care of pre-shrinking it.

Being curious, I soaked another drop cloth in my bathtub overnight with 1/3 bottle of bleach and 20 gallons of water. The fabric came out just a little whiter and softer.

In my opinion, it’s not worth the hassle to bleach drop cloths. The potential to damage your clothing or rug with the bleach or damage a septic system is not worth it.

The drop cloths also still have small snag areas in random places which wastes a lot of fabric. When I am done using what I have, I will use a coupon and buy the fabric to avoid hassle.


How to sew a storage liner.
  • Measure the circumference of your container and add 1/2″ to it for your seam allowance. Transfer the measurement to your fabric.
  • Measure the height of your container. Then add 8 1/4″ for your fold over and bottom seam allowance. Transfer the measurements to your fabric and cut out your rectangle.
  • Measure and iron 1/4 ” on one of the long sides of your fabric. This is your bottom seam allowance.
  • Fold and iron the opposite side of the fabric at 4″. Then using a strait stitch, sew along the open end of the fold
How to sew a storage liner.
  • Next, iron a 1/4″ seam allowance on both of the short sides of your fabric.
  • Sew the two short sides together on the back side of your fabric.
  • Measure the inside circumference of the bottom of your container. I traced the outside of the container on to the fabric and cut on the outside of the line. This left a 1/4″ seam allowance on my bottom piece of fabric.
  • Working on the back side of the fabric, pin your bottom piece of fabric to your side piece and the sew them together. My container was smaller at the base then at the top, so I added a pleat by folding the fabric over in one section. The image above shows this step.
  • Finally, place the lining in your container and fold the top over the edge. Below is an image of the inside of the container.
Fabric Pot Liner

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Image Transfer

I purchased this heat transfer paper from Amazon. You want to print your image in reverse on your printer. I found my image from The Graphics Fairy website for free and it was already in reverse. Then I resized the image to 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches to fit the fabric and printed it on the Heat Transfer Paper. Make sure you place your paper in the right direction for you printer. It should print on the plain white side of the paper.

Vintage Heat Transfer Image

Cut the extra paper off as close to the image as possible, then the clear part of the paper will be less visible on your fabric. In the image below, the top label was cut closer while the bottom label had extra paper. It looks better if you cut the paper away.

Heat Transfer on Fabric

Be sure to iron your fabric and remove any lint with a lint roller. Next, place a hard board below your fabric. I used a scrap of MDF.

Heat Transfer Method

Make sure all of the water is emptied out of your iron. You should not have steam with this process. Place your image face down on your fabric and press it with your iron for 30 seconds. Your iron should be on the hottest setting. Lastly, peel the backing from the image.


My original plant was in a much smaller pot than the new one. So I had to work around the problem. First, I added a box in the bottom to raise the plant up to the right height.

Storage Tote Liner

Next, I placed the plant in the pot and stuffed the open area’s with newspaper to hold it in place.

How to re-pot a faux plant.

To complete the project I used cardboard, hot glue and moss from the dollar store.

How to re-pot a faux plant.

I cut the cardboard just smaller than the opening of the pot. Leaving one side open. (See image above.) Then I placed hot glue on the surface of the cardboard and pressed the moss into place. I slid the cardboard/moss ring around the plant and into the top of the container. Then I added a little extra moss in between the stems of the plant.

If you have dust on your faux plants you can use a silk plant cleaner like this one. I take my plants outside and spray them down with the cleaner when they get dusty.

Here are a couple more picutres.

DIY Farmhouse Planter
DIY Farmhouse Storage Tote

If you liked this post, please leave me a message in the comments. If you tried to make this DIY Storage Tote, let me know how it turned out. Thanks for stopping by!





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