DIY Scrapbook Paper Storage Boxes

 Posted by on August 21, 2008  Add comments  Tagged with: ,
Aug 212008

I love to make scrapbooks, and I love scrapbook supplies.

I hate disorganization.

In the 5 years that I’ve been scrapbooking, I’ve accumulated a lot of supplies, mostly from garage sales, or as gifts. Papers, stickers, embellishments, pens, scissors – you name it, I probably have it. For a long time, I kept my supplies in a plastic, Rubbermaid tub, and I was always frustrated because I could never find anything.

Paper storage was a particular problem, because I had a lot of paper in a big stack, which made choosing papers for my layouts very difficult. One year for Christmas, I was given a Michael’s gift card, so I bought this plastic, 12 x 12 scrapbook paper storage file.

It cost 25 dollars.

Being the serious tightwad that I am, I was appalled by this. When I complained to my husband about the cost, he said that he could make something similar for free. Here are some paper storage boxes that my husband made from ordinary cardboard boxes and clear packing tape.

I keep them on this shelf, above my craft table in the basement. My husband made the shelf for free as well, with a combination of found and recycled materials.

He also made some smaller boxes for magazine storage. We keep these on the toy shelves in our basement playroom. One cardboard magazine storage file costs $2.00 at Staples, and holds only about half as much as these, which were free.

Have I mentioned that my husband is really smart? And also capable? And cute?

Anyway, this morning, my sweet, and very accommodating husband agreed to let me photograph him while he made some of these storage boxes, for the benefit of you, my faithful readers.

If you’re interested in attempting this project, here’s what you’ll need:

1) A cardboard box. We like these strut boxes, which can be obtained for free from auto mechanics and dealers. They’re the perfect length and width to make two magazine storage boxes. You can use whatever kind of box you want, as long as it’s wide enough to accommodate whatever you want to store. For example, to make a magazine storage box, you need a width of about 8 1/4″ inches. For 12 x 12 scrapbook paper, you need about a 12 1/2″ width. We used the box that my cast-iron Dutch oven came in. I don’t recommend using cereal boxes. They’re too thin and flimsy to handle the weight of paper or magazines.

2) Exacto knife

3) Clear packing tape

4) Ruler

5) Drinking glass

6) Pen

7) Pizza cutter

To start, tape the end flaps of the box very well. Then, lay the box on its side, and make a mark 5 inches from the bottom.

Make another mark 5 inches from the opposing corner,

and connect the two marks diagonally. Be sure to make this diagonal on the side of the box which is wide enough to accommodate what you want to store.

Turn the box a quarter turn. At the 5-inch mark, draw a horizontal line all the way across.

Now make another horizontal line about 6 1/4″ from the end of the box, like this:

Turn the box another quarter turn, and repeat these steps. The result will be two diagonal lines, one on each side of the box, parallel to each other, with horizontal lines connecting them. Each end of the box will be the bottom of one of your storage boxes.

Next, use your drinking glass to make a curved line 1 1/4″ from each end of the diagonal line, like this:

Next, make your cuts. First cut each diagonal line from corner to corner,

then cut your horizontal lines. The lines closest to the ends of the box are fold lines. Do not cut them. Only cut the lines that are closest to the center of the box (approximately 6 1/4″ from each end).

Then cut along each curved line.

When you complete your cuts, you will have two boxes that look like this:

Stand the boxes up, and tape down the flaps in the bottoms. Then, use your pizza cutter to indent the horizontal line on the front of each box.

Trim off the little corner pieces,

and fold the flap down on the line. Tape it securely to make a smooth, straight front edge.

Use a scissors or your Exacto knife to trim off any rough bits of cardboard on the box edges. The finished boxes look like this:

You can use the boxes as is, or you can paint them to make them prettier. We always have various colors of spray paint leftover from other projects, so my husband dusted ours with two coats of gloss black. You can see in the first photo that I covered one of the boxes with white contact paper, but this was so time-consuming and tedious that I decided spray paint would be much simpler. If you don’t already have spray paint lying around, check to see if your county has a “swap shop” at their solid waste management agency. We’ve picked up lots of free spray paint there.

My husband was able to make 8 of these storage boxes in about 40 minutes. It took another 40 minutes (not including wait time between coats) to paint them. We estimate that we saved $25 on the 12 x 12 box, and $4 on each of the 7 oversized, 8 1/2 x 11 storage boxes, for an hourly wage of $39.75.