Tea Storage Box

The Problem: I have a lot of tea.

Lots of tea
Okay, so is having a lot of tea really a problem? Definitely not! Is having nowhere to put it because I can’t seem to drink it fast enough a problem? Yeah probably. Side note: yes, that flower box is full of tea.

Welcome to part two in my series of “How on Earth do I Organize my (not) Ikea Storage Cubbies?” Honestly, I use the things I need to store as inspiration for how to use the cubbies. For this storage box, the inspiration was my tea!

If you have not yet seen Part 1: Storing my First Aid Supplies, you can check it out here. You don’t need to do that project in order to do this one, though.

Without further ado…

The Solution:


Cubby Storage 2
I’ve been drinking tea like a crazy person since I made this – it’s just so easy to get to now!

Step one: Measure out and tape together your pieces.

When it says “minus material thickness”, 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) then subtract it from your height/depth. For example when I calculated my bottom piece, I did 11-(3/16) which is 10 13/16.

When you tape the pieces together, you’re going to want to run packing tape all the way around the seam, front and back. That’s going to make a sturdy hinge. The most important part, though, is to leave room between your pieces so that it bends well. Ideally, you should leave your material thickness times two between your pieces (for example since my material thickness is 3/16, I’d leave 6/16th or 3/8th between my pieces. If you’d like you can see how I did that so that my pieces would be parallel here.

Step two: Decorate the front! Below is the box in the cubby with everything in it, then I realized, of yeah, I should probably make it prettier than just a white piece of foam core… It’s definitely not ideal to decorate it when it’s all done because then you can’t work on a nice flat surface. What a pain in the butt. So here’s where I’m gonna show you how I decorated mine in hopes that you won’t make my same mistake – finishing the box then having to decorate on a vertical surface.

I used this wicked awesome textured felt I found on sale at Michaels, but it’s not big enough to cover the whole front and if I used two pieces, there’s no way I could get the textures to line up. The way I solved this problem was to cut the felt to width, then cut a slice off the top, glue the bigger piece to the bottom of the front and the smaller piece to the top of the front and use the empty space as a label! I covered the empty space with some black paper (because I wanted it black) and wrote “Tea” on it. I then used an antique looking button, glued a smaller button on the bottom of it to give it some height, and glued the whole thing on to act as a door pull.

Step three: Create a shelf on the door. Before I did that, I wanted to see if my tins would fit on the door widthwise. My little cutting mat tip is that you can use it to measure spaces. I lined my tins up on it and could see that they would fit in a 10.75×2-inch space, with a little breathing room. I use this measuring method all the time.

Measuring how many tins I can fit_Width
My other little tip: that Get Happy tea is phenomenal. I’m obsessed.
Building a shelf
Heres the bottom and sides of the shelf. Remember when you’re making the bottom, you can make it the width of your cubby ONLY if the sides sit on top of it! I chose to run the sides of my shelf down so I had to account for that material thickness when measuring my shelf bottom.
How far the shelf needs to be from the top
Here I’ve already added a bar to hold my tins in. Next, I want to measure how far up my tins reach from the top of the bar. That way when I glue the shelf on, I can put it low enough.
Gluing on the shelf
Not only did I have to account for the height of the tin when I glued the shelf on, but I also had to account for the swing of the door. If I’d glued the shelf so that the tins reached the top, the door wouldn’t swing open. I added about 2 inches of extra space at the top, but I probably could have gotten away with leaving closer to an inch.

Step four: Add a storage slot to use up the space under the shelf.

Adding a storage slot
Now that the shelf is where it needs to be, there’s some space under it I could add a little slot for small stuff. I cut some sides that are the same height as the shelf, but the length of them doesn’t take up the entire space from the shelf to the end of the foam core piece because I need to put a bottom piece on the slot. My side pieces are the length minus my material thickness. The bottom piece (laying down to the right) is the entire width of the box.
Making sure it bends closed
There we go! One shelf pointing up, one slot on the side, no material hanging over the edges (making it so it doesn’t fit into our cubby) and the bottom of the slot doesn’t stick out making the pieces unable to bend at 90 degrees!

Step five: Add a shelf onto the bottom.

Testing the depth
Holy bananas. I could not have made that box fit better if Id planned it… which I totally did… Side note: I can never craft without something in the background. I think I’m watching that new show Lore by Aaron Mahnke, based on his podcast of the same name. I love the podcast and the show is wicked good too! Definitely creepy though, not for kids I don’t think.
Adding the shelf top
Creating the bottom shelf was pretty simple – I just had to add a couple sides up against the edges of the bottom (that were the height of my box) then lay a piece of foam core the width of the box on top. Key things to remember: the bottom shelf couldn’t take up the same space as the front shelf when the front shelf was angeled all the way up, and the bar on the front shelf (to hold the tins in) sticks out so if the shelf is as high as that bar, it needs to be even smaller depthwise.
Testing fit
Check it out! It all fits! Guys, I honestly didn’t think I would be able to get it all to fit. That giant container of rock sugar?? All of it’s in there! See the bit of space between the bottom shelf and the front shelf with the bar squished in between? That’s what I was talking about earlier, accounting for that bar.
It all fits in!
Voila! It all fits in! This cubby box doesn’t even need to be taped in or anything – it just slides in and the weight of what you put in it holds it in the cubby!

I’m having so much fun with these cubby boxes; they’re just so inexpensive and fun to make! Plus little by little my room’s getting less and less messy! That’s definitely a fringe benefit.

Please make, make changes, update, and let me know how it goes! Collaborative projects make for the best projects!!