Monday, January 30, 2012

Upcycling Baby Formula Cans

We go through formula cans pretty quickly and I hate throwing away such a big item that could be put to use. However, they aren’t that attractive just by themselves- they needed something more.

Using my lovely decoupage I figured something out! I always could use more storage for my crafting supplies- scrapbooking, sewing, or for bathroom supplies, maybe kitchen utensils? I’m sure I’ll get to use some for anything I come up with as we will definitely keep using formula cans!

What you’ll need:
Any can (the bigger the better!)
Decoupage (you can make it yourself here)
Sponge brush
Scrapbook paper of your choosing
Paper cutter
Measuring tape

 Here's how:
First and foremost- clean out that can!

You will also want to take off the label from the outside, because once you put the new paper and decoupage on the first layer of paper bubbles up and makes your beautiful creation look, well, not so beautiful. Trust me.

Once the can is clean and naked, measure it by height and circumference. Cut your paper accordingly. For big cans, you will most likely need two pieces of paper.

Now “paint” the can with the decoupage. You can do this part in sections if you’d like. Apply the paper after a layer of decoupage has been applied, then add another layer of decoupage on top of the paper. Doing this just once should be fine, but make sure the seam has a good thick layer.

Take your brush and get rid of any excess decoupage and let it dry.

Decorate with stickers, vinyl letters, anything you want. You could probably even throw a photo on there and decoupage that too. 

Fabric liner

I have finally gotten a tutorial on the fabric liner together! I am posting almost a billion pictures (because I’d rather use a tutorial that “shows” me how to do it, rather than just read it all). Hope you don’t mind!

If you haven’t sewn much before, may I suggest trying this out with a small basket first? If things go wrong, you will have used MUCH less fabric. Not to mention, trying with less fabric will be a lot easier. 

What you’ll need:

Fabric of your choosing (my diaper box only required ½ yard)

Measuring tape
Scissors (or rotary cutter and mat – I used these)
Sewing machine
Box or basket of your choosing

Here’s how:
In this tutorial I will refer to the “right side” and “wrong side” of the fabric.

Measure your box:
Start from the outside at the point in which you want your liner to go to. I wanted 3 inches of my liner to show on the outside of the box, so I started with 3 inches, then I took my measuring tape down the inside, across the bottom, back up the other side, and down 3 inches on the outside again. 


Do this for the length and width of your box. Cut your fabric in those measurements. Your fabric will be a big rectangle at this point.

This next part is my least favorite, because I hate trying to think through measurements. My husband helped me with this part, since he’s so smart!  I hope I can explain it so you understand! If not, just comment with your questions and I’ll get my answers posted for you!

Lay fabric out with the right side up and find the center point of the long side. So, if your fabric is 30”, your center point is going to be at 15”. Mark it with a pin. Now, measure the long side of the box. Add 1/2” to that measurement for seam allowance. Go ahead and divide that number by 2.

Example: Box = 10 long, add ½, making it 10 ½ total. 10 ½ divided by 2 = 5 ¼ 

Remember where that pin is? Now, measure your divided number (in the example it was 5 ¼) from that pin to the left and make a slit at the end of the fabric. Also do this from the pin to the right. You should end up with the box length plus a half inch in between your slits.

Repeat this same procedure on the other long side.

For the short sides, you will do the same procedure with your SHORT side of the box measurements (plus the ½” for seam allowance).

The next step will be cutting out squares in the four corners of your fabric, making a cross. Start with one corner, cut each slit on either side of the corner until the lines intersect, giving you a leftover square. 

I used a ruler to ensure a straight line and to know how far to cut that first slit. Repeat this on all four corners and VOILA, you have a cross.

If you want to ensure your measurements are right, measure each section and it should equal the box length plus ½”.

Now for the fun part! Sewing!

With your fabric laying right side up, fold side 1 onto side 2, lining up the sides evenly. Pin and sew.

Don't forget, we only left room for a 1/4" seam. 

When it is laid back down it will look like this:

Now you will sew side A to side B, just like you did with 1 and 2.

 Here’s how I folded it up to sew (I told you there would be a million pictures!).

A & B are sewn and here's the fabric laid out.

I’m sure you’ve got it figured out, but I took the pictures so I’ll add them anyways. You do the same to sides C and D, then one more time to E and F.

Almost done! Hemming it up: I folded my fabric like this so that I could fold all the sides over so that they were equal, since my cutting wasn't perfect. 

Then I ironed the folded tops.

Then go ahead and hem it all the way around.

Congrats! You’ve done it! You now have a fabulous liner made with the fabric you love! 

Questions? Here's your answers! 

Is it possible to do this without sewing? I don't think the liner would stay together without sewing it, but if you wanted to continue the canvas from the diaper box into the inside, spray adhesive would work for that.
Edit! "No-Sew Hem Tape" might work. 

I bought the fabric at Hobby Lobby! I love that store!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lined Canvas Diaper Box

You can find almost anything on Pinterest…it’s true. Upon wasting my time searching the other day, I found a fantastic tutorial on upcycling diaper boxes. Hmmm…what could I do with this? Oh, yes – toys scattered all about our living room floor: check, a desire to get said toys put away when not in use: check, cute fabric laying there staring at me: check! I decided to take on this project!

I changed some things from this tutorial I found, but you could use either hers or mine. They are basically the same.
 My pictures are definitely not as good as hers :) And the boxes in the pictures are sometimes different as I have done a few of these.

What you’ll need
Diaper Box
Canvas fabric (1 yard covered two diaper boxes)
Measuring tape
Spray adhesive
Craft glue
Scissors (or rotary cutter and mat)

Here’s how
          Cut the flaps off of your box. Might I suggest using an x-acto knife? Scissors were a big pain to work with! Tape the handles down on the sides of the box, making a little more support and backing for the canvas.


     Measure the outside width and length of the box. I found that ironing my canvas prior to adhesion worked best. Cut canvas to those measurements.

 Cut your fabric
Mine was 25 x 31

              Center your box on the canvas. (Pull up the sides to make sure it’s right in the middle…try both the short and the long sides. You DON’T want to get half glued on only to find out it wasn’t in the center!) 

      Measure out from corner of the box (to the corner of your fabric) 2 inches and mark it with a pin. [The optional tutorial used a disappearing ink marker, but with black fabric…eh, a pin worked just fine.] Then cut a straight line from your pin to both the outsides of your fabric. (You will end up cutting out a fabric square- you won’t need it.) Do this with all the corners and it will be a cross when finished. 

Don’t forget to cut the 2 inches from the pin toward the box.

             Spray your adhesive on the long sides of box and pull up the canvas sides. Smooth out the fabric. Do this on both side of the box. (Unfortunately no picture for this.) Go ahead and spray a small strip of adhesive on the short ends of your box and fold over the extra fabric.


 On your short side “flap” apply a line of craft glue as if continuing a line from the box. 

Fold over the extra fabric so it's even with the box and smooth it out. 

        Do this on both sides so that the folded fabric is aligned with your box. Now spray the short side of the box with adhesive and lift fabric onto it and smooth it out. Repeat on the other side.

   If the canvas goes above your box simply cut it off (or leave it!) and if it is a bit too short, don’t worry about it. The liner should cover it!

Semi-finished product

The tutorial for the fabric liner can be found here! Enjoy!

Thank you for all your kind posts!
Questions? Go ahead and ask away. I will try to keep the answers updated on this same post. 

Using wallpaper instead of canvas: I imagine wallpaper would work great since I used a spray adhesive rather than hot glue or regular glue. In fact, any fabric will most likely work. I used canvas as I thought that it would stand up to wear and tear better than others. 

Using canvas on the inside: You could totally continue the canvas on the inside instead of sewing a liner! Just make your "cross" sections longer!

Do you think I could get away with doing the whole thing with liquid glue instead of spray adhesive? Using regular glue or even hot glue would most likely work; however, you may get bubbles and bumps after it dries. The box might also warp a little bit. If you try it, go ahead and let me know! I'd love to hear if it works! 

DIY Decoupage

Have you ever found yourself thinking, “Mod Podge is so expensive”? Me too! After looking online for anything that could take the place of it, I found something just great! A do it yourself decoupage “recipe”. And the real kicker – it only cost me 74 cents! Compare that to $3.99…DEAL!

What you’ll need:
Glue (I used Elmer’s)
A jar of some sort

Here’s how:
Make sure your jar is nice and clean. I used an old baby food jar as it was short enough that I could just dip my brush right in it.

Pour the glue in almost half way up.

Add the same amount of water as you did glue, making it a 50/50 solution.

Shake, shake, shake!

I shake it before every use, even though it doesn’t necessarily look like it needs it. I also clean my lid up a bit before putting it back on so I don’t have to deal with it getting too glued on.

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