These DIY fabric storage bins are from the new book Stencil Craft by Margaret Peot. Get the tutorial and a review of this awesome craft book!
My two kids share a bedroom, and all of their clothing is kept inside fabric bins in a shelf of cubbies in their room. The bins are two different colors, and you’d think that it would be no big deal for the older kid to remember, “Hey, my bin color is white!” and the other kid to remember, “Hey, my bin color is black!”
Disregarding this, you’d also think it would be no big deal, if a kid did happen to reach into the wrong bin, for her to say, “Hey, this shirt doesn’t fit me at all, and also belongs to my sister! I must be in the wrong bin!” and then to instead find the correct bin.
The number of times that my older child has walked into the kitchen, squeezed into a pair of her younger sister’s shorts so tight that surely she can’t breathe and is clearly doing damage to her spleen, and then thrown a huge fit when I ask her to change, stoutly insisting at top volume, “Well, they were in MY bin!!!”…
My children have little common sense. I know you must realize this by now.
Using techniques in the book Stencil Craft (which I received for free in order to tempt me into stenciling things–this strategy worked, by the way), I monogrammed the fronts of the children’s fabric bins. I’m VERY pleased with how they look now, and they’re much more organized now that they’re labeled.
DIY Fabric Storage Bins from Stencil Craft
1. Size it. It can be a little tricky to size monograms so that they look uniform for my kids, since Will’s “W” is so much wider than Syd’s “S.” Generally, I let the width of Will’s “W” determine the height of both initials–her “W” cannot be so wide that it looks crammed into the allotted space, and yet both initials must be the same height, or they won’t look uniform.
Fortunately, this is super easy to do with my Cricut. I sized the letters in Cricut Craft Room, using the Blackletter cartridge, and then cut them into plain white cardstock.
2. Stick it. Stenciling can be a very eco-friendly craft, if you take care to re-use your stencils, or it can be a not so eco-friendly craft, if you dispose of your paint-covered stencils after every use. Previously, I have only ever stenciled with freezer paper or contact paper stencils–the benefits are sound when the stenciling will upcycle a piece that would otherwise go in the trash, but nevertheless, all those stencils were single-use only, and then headed to the waste stream.
One of the most valuable resources in Stencil Craft is its tips on how to make stencils almost infinitely re-usable. With this, there’s no problem expending a lot of energy carefully designing and cutting out elaborate stencils (which Stencil Craft also tells you how to do), because you’ll know that you can keep them and re-use them forever. Stencil Craft also shows you how to make stencils sticky, behaving exactly like freezer paper and contact paper, so that you can re-use stencils for a period of time even if you aren’t using one of the materials that will last forever.
This is how I felt comfortable cutting out a single stencil into cardstock, even though I needed to use each one four times. I sprayed a thin layer of spray mount onto the back of each stencil, and it adhered perfectly to the front of the fabric bin, tightly enough that there was no bleed when I painted, but easily peeled off with no residue.
3. Paint it. Stencil Craft also has a lot of tips for painting, so that your job looks neat and professional, with no bleeding. Bleeding had been my main worry about stenciling, because I am particularly fumble-fingered with paint, so I was pleased to have the advice, which I dutifully followed, and indeed, my monograms are now neat and professional and bleed-free.
You can use any type of fabric paint on white fabric, but black fabric is much trickier to paint on. These days, I only use Jacquard Neopaque or Jacquard Lumiere when painting onto dark colors; they’re spendier than some brands, but you only need one coat, even on this black fabric, so I think they’re worth it.
The kids’ favorite colors are navy, for Will, and pink, for Syd, which would be a combination far too alarming to, say, paint their entire bedroom in, but that look nice as accent colors, as in these monograms. They still need curtains for their bedroom, however, and I haven’t yet decided if navy+pink curtains are too much. I’ll let you know!
4. Peel and repeat. The cardstock stencils juuuuust lasted for the four times that I needed to use each one, and this pleased me mightily. These fabric bins aren’t washable (which is ridiculous, IKEA!), so I didn’t bother to heat-set the fabric paint, but, of course, if what you’re making IS washable, then follow your paint manufacturer’s instructions for curing and heat-setting its paint.
I REALLY like the results of this project. Our DIY fabric storage bins are organized and they look cute, and if, for some reason, we ever want to use the bins without their monograms, then we’d just need to face the monograms towards the back and boom! Unlabeled bins!
Now, in order to put on the wrong clothes in the morning, a child would actually have to forget the letter that her first name starts with. While I do not actually put this past them, it’s thankfully at least not happened yet!
I received a free copy of Stencil Craft (from whom, I don’t remember, as I either lost the email or it was sent to me unsolicited, which is creepy, yes, but I guess as long as I only received unsolicited books, not bombs, we’re okay), because I can’t review a book unless it’s convinced me to paint on furniture.
To be fair, however, convincing me to paint on furniture is surprisingly easy to do!