My first aid things are way too difficult to get to. The Problem:
Yup, most of it’s stored in Birchboxes and a Milano cookie box. What a pain in the butt.
To be honest though, the majority of my storing problem comes from the fact that I use those Ikea (admittedly, Ikea knockoff) storage cubbies. They’re great, but a little too deep and tall for most of what I want to store. I could use baskets, but then I have to dig through other stuff to get to the bottom. I could just add shelves into them, but then they’re too narrow and deep. So how could I use that storage space most efficiently?
When its closed its a clean, flat surface. Then the top of the front opens for quick access, then the bottom comes out for quick access for larger things, then in the back I can store things I only need sometimes! I’ve been using this for a while now and I love it!!
How it works is actually pretty simple. There are four sides (top, back, bottom, and front) and the top is taped onto the top of the cubby so that when it’s pulled out, where it’s taped on top acts like a hinge and when it’s pushed back in, the ridgity of the sides push each other back into place!
Step one: Cut out the pieces
When it says “minus material thickness x2”, it means to measure how thick whatever material you’re using is (in my case I’m using foam core which is generally 3/16 inch) multiply it by two (3/16 x 2 = 6/16 or 3/8) then subtract that number from your height/depth. For example when I calculated my back piece, I did 11-(3/16 x 2) or 11-(3/8) which is 10 5/8.
Step two: Tape the pieces together. You’ll tape them in the same order that they’re laid out in above!
The reason why you needed to subtract material thickness from the pieces is because they need room to move around, stack, and manipulate in the cubby. Here’s where you’re going to put that thickness back in! You want to add that space (material thickness x2) in as open space between your pieces. The easiest way I found to do that was to use scotch tape to tape one side down exactly parallel on a mat, then tape the piece you’re taping it to however far away it needs to be (material thickness x2). Once the pieces are where they need to be, you can tape over the whole thing with packing tape (the scotch tape should be under the packing tape and therefore not show in the end. After that, you can lift both pieces off the mat and continue the packing tape all the way around for a solid seam.
Here all the pieces are taped together. If the pieces had been taped together without any space between them, they wouldn’t be able to end like that.
For my own piece of mind, promise me that you’ll test the fit after this step. Please? Too many times I’ve thought, “oh this is totally gonna work I’m gonna finish it before I test it out because it’s gonna be so cool to do a big reveal of it all done” … then it doesn’t work.
Step three: Decorate the front. I opted to do this now because the box is still flat which makes it easier. I used felt and glued it down.
Look at this awesome textured brown felt! On sale at Michaels #SuperFind
Lay your box on top of the felt to measure the width that you need your felt. It tends to be more efficient and accurate than using a ruler believe it or not! I learned the magic of a Rotery Cutter way too late in life. I can 100% vouch for how much easier having a rotary cutter will make your life and that Olfa is an excellent brand if you’re looking to add to your collection!
Make sure to hot glue on either side of your seam in front so that it still bends nicely.
There’s a method to my madness here: my felt wasn’t big enough to cover the whole front. To fix that, I cut my brown piece into two pieces and laid a pink label band between them (slightly overlapping). Then not only do I have a place to put my label, but it looks like the whole front is covered in the brown felt, shh… Also pictured is my wonderful Chalk Wheel which I used to draft my letters!
Step four: Make an open box for the bottom of the box… for lack of a better term.
Put some sides onto the bottom piece. Note that you have to subtract material thickness for this too. The whole thing has to fit inside of the original box sides or they won’t fold up! My sides are roughly 3.5″. Why, you ask? That’s what I left over from the foam core I cut the pieces out of. I’m cheap lazy frugal.
Step five: Make a box for the back of the box… I really gotta figure out more descriptive terms.
To make the second box, you have to fold up the backside and mark here your first box goes up to so that they don’t overlap. Once you have that, you can make the box just like you did the one on the bottom.
Since the box on the backside will flip up, it needs to close. The lid I created used the semi-sturdy plastic from the packaging of a mug I recently bought. I then framed it in foam core.
To make the lid flip up and down, use packaging tape to tape the bottom of the door then go ahead and put the lid on. Youll notice the tape is going the wrong way, so tape over that tape sticky to sticky) and stick it to the box. In the above picture, you can see the top of the lid out from under which protrudes some tape with another layer of tape over it ready to be taped onto the backside box.
I cut a tab out of the mug packaging I had and used that to create a box latch, but any piece of plastic with a crease in it will do. I simply glued the tab to the underside of the top then glue some velcro onto it and the box. Some advice: the velcro does not need to be terribly strong. If it’s too strong like mine was) it will simply pull up the hot glue rather than come apart!
Measuring dividers is as simple as finding a piece of foam core and cutting it to fit. My suggestion, since the backside box tips up, is to use dividers the same height as the sides so that nothing slips from one side to the other as things get jostled around.
Tip of the day! Fabric measuring tapes can help you measure in tight spaces! Maybe this is an obvious one but I struggled with a straight ruler for way too long before realizing this…
When your second box is done, tilt it up and see where it protrudes out to. I drew a line in my bottom box to remind me where I can put things that are taller than the sides and where they have to be shorter.
Step six: Make some small stuff storage.
I found this egg carton in the recycling bin and got an idea… First, I had to make the top flat by cutting all the extra stuff off.
Next, I laid my now flat egg carton on top of some extra foam core and cut around it.
I wanted each egg compartment to have its own little door so I measured out 12 doors on the foam core. I used the side of a piece of foam core to measure the 3/16 inch distance around the door, because who has the time to use a ruler?
After cutting three sides of the doors (so the fourth is a hinge) I cut a 45-degree angle on the closing side of the door to make it easier to open and close.
ProTip: if you’re gonna cut yourself, do it while making a first aid kit. Talk about easy band-aid access!
Once the doors are all cut out, glue the top onto the egg carton and glue the egg carton onto the top half of the door. I used little cut out pieces of foam board to little handles, but there might be something easier to grasp onto. As you can see, I’m already putting my things into it to see how it’s all going to fit!
Test test test! This is just about everything I need to store and the box closes up nicely so everything fits! Woohoo!!
Step seven: Attach the storage into the cubby.
Insert the box into the cubby and since the top is about 2 inches shorter than the cubby, you can simply use packaging tape to tape the top in like a hinge. Once thats done, take a small piece of foam core and hot glue it to the top of the cubby and hot glue some velcro onto it. Put glue on the other side of the velcro and close the box door, holding it shut on the velcro until the glue dries. Attaching velcro this way helps to make sure everything lines up!
You learn something new when you do something new, right? I got lucky on this one! See how the piece of foam board in the back (technically the top piece) is bent? It definitely didn’t occur to me when I was building that the second box would collide with the top piece when it all got pulled out… Thankfully it simply creased the top piece and it all worked out great! Phew!
Please make, make changes, update, and let me know how it goes! Collaborative projects make for the best projects!!