Yesterday, I talked about how I decided to try displaying some of my supplies while keeping most of them hidden away. With a limited budget, I didn’t have much money to spend on boxes to store things. I did spend $6 on clear, plastic storage boxes with lids (more about that later) and I bought new baskets for the toy shelf. This box was, however, free. Inspired by this tutorial on how to make a fabric-covered box, I decided to cover a shipping box with Contact paper.
BEFORE: Shipping boxes (brought Boo-Boo a gift from Nana!)
Following her advice, I used a box cutter to remove the top flaps from one of the boxes we recently received from Nana. I laid each side down on the back side of the paper and traced a line where I would need to cut. I left about a half inch extra. I peeled off the backing and stuck the sheet on. The great thing about working with Contact paper if you’ve never used it before is that it can be re-stuck if you don’t get it quite right on the first try as I often do. I cut a diagonal slit at the corners and folded the sides around the edges. I ended up leaving the inside plain cardboard brown. It could easily be covered or lined with fabric like the original tutorial shows. I did this one and a couple others.
AFTER: Decorative box
Not much makes me happier than saving something from the trash and giving it a new purpose.
These baby gate boxes were ready to go to the recycling bin:
BEFORE: Destined for the recycling.
For the smaller one, I decided to make a baby-safe mirror.
Boo-Boo loves to see his little reflection but I’m afraid to let him play with regular mirrors without close supervision. I found some mylar tissue paper for a few cents in the after-Christmas clearance at Target. I think I might have also seen it at the dollar store. Using the paper and my trusty clear packing tape, I affixed the mylar to all sides of the box. Because the tape pulled the paper a little, it sort of ended up like a wonky fun house mirror. He still likes it. The paper also makes a squeaky noise when he rubs his fingers on it, which brings him unexpected joy.
I think using glue instead of tape would have given a smoother finish, but this was quicker! I also wonder if just wrapping a regular mirror with packing tape would make it safe. Any thoughts on baby-safe mirrors? I know they can be purchased, but they are very expensive.
AFTER: Baby-safe mirror
For the larger box, I decided to cover the edges with the shiny mylar paper and the middle with a poster board. We are using it as a place to affix the “Letters of the Day” that Bean is learning. We talk about a different letter and decorate the paper letter with an initial-letter word that’s interesting to her. I got the inspiration for this activity from DLTK’s Alphabuddies (http://www.dltk-teach.com/alphabuddies/index.html) and used their alphabet template.
AFTER: ABC board
Now Boo-Boo and Bean have new but virtually free learning tools.