Sunday, May 27, 2012

Fancy Up Your Sterlite Drawers

A while ago I saw the most ingenious idea on Pinterest: use scrapbook paper to fancy up clear Sterlite drawers. I have several sets of Sterlite drawers in my classroom and I got a head start on my summer bucket list by lining ALL of them. Like so many of you, my love of bright colors has merged with a polka dot romance and I just HAD to incorporate brightly-colored polka dots in my fancy Sterlite drawers.


I walked into the scrapbooking section of many crafting stores before I finally found the perfect paper for my classroom. Hobby Lobby carries a fabulous set of scrapbook paper featuring many designs in a bright color scheme, and it includes polka-dot paper! This particular set of paper features 3 sheets of each design shown in the borders of the pack and I truly cannot say enough good things. All of the colors (except brown) match my classroom design perfectly.


I did a little research and the online store for Hobby Lobby shows a product with the same SKU # (159319) as my scrapbook paper set, but the cover looks a bit different and it has one review online complaining about the color selection.  I truly hope that the cover is the only thing that has changed, because the papers in my packet are lovely.






Here's a close-up photo of the Sterlite drawer makeover. I featured polka dot paper in the drawer front with coordinating stripes (also from the paper set) lining the sides of the sides and upper front portion of each drawer.





Directions: (you'll need a lot of time and scotch tape)
I started with the polka-dot paper. A piece was placed in the front of the drawer and I used a pencil to trace along the edge. It took some trimming and re-sizing until I got it just right. Then, I had a template to trace and use for the remaining drawers. Once those pieces were taped into place (I taped mine down all the way around the paper on the inside of the drawer), I cut pieces for the sides and added those with plenty of scotch tape. (The sides are simple because they are flat). Finally, paper was added to the upper handle area of each drawer. These pieces were a hassle because the drawers have a curve in this area and it was very difficult to get the paper trimmed to the proper size so they could lie flat and happily against the curve. It took lots of tracing, trimming, and refitting before I got exactly the size I wanted. Similar to my first piece of correctly-sized polka dot paper, I used the first piece of striped paper for the handle that I was able to successfully create as a tracing template for the others before it was taped down.

 Yes, the project was a bit tedious, but my type-A personality secretly relished every moment of the process. And as you can see, the end-result is fabulous! I have three more sets of Sterlite drawers under my computer table and they look great as well. Check back in the fall to see the rest of my polka-dot storage drawers as well as updated classroom photos!

A follow-up to this original post has been published. The update answers many questions about how well Mod Podge would work for the project and also provides info for making templates easily. If you intend to Fancy Up some drawers of your own, you will want to check it out. 


Since this was one of my all-time favorite and most popular posts, it's a perfect opportunity to link up with Throwback Thursday at the First Grade Parade! Come join the fun as we revisit our blogging oldies but goodies!


74 comments:

  1. They turned out so stinkin cute!! I want to do this.. but my classroom is all packed up! I must remember this for the fall! I am also a bright color/polka dot junkie.

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  2. So cute! We're running with the polka dot theme next year. I actually have that paper pack already. Wanna come do my drawers? ;)

    Christi ツ
    Ms. Fultz’s Corner

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    1. Ohio's not that far from Michigan! Maybe we could have a sterlite decorating party!

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  3. I love it!! I am still working on my new color scheme for next year, but I will keep this in mind:))

    Aloha,
    Corinna
    Surfin' Through Second

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  4. These look awesome...gonna have to try this one!!
    Robynn
    BusyBees

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    1. Robynn, I just had to mention that you're the only person I've seen besides my sister who spells her name with 2 n's :)

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  5. LOVE this!! I was looking at these bins yesterday at Target - now I DEFINITELY need them! :)
    Nicole
    Rowdy in Room 300

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  6. I love the way they turned out! Just wondering, would it be better to make the first correctly cut piece (template) out of something other than the scrapbook paper? I imagine that I'll waste a lot of paper trying to get it right! Would hate to waste the good paper!

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  7. Oh.my.gosh! I am in LOVE with this!!! You did such a great job & we just got a Hobby Lobby right down the road from my house. Guess who's planning a trip there now? LOL. Another thing to add to my summer to-do list! Thanks for sharing!

    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

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  8. Oh, my slightly OCD-teacher-self loooovvesss this project!

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  9. I'm in! Only 9 more days and then I'll have all summer to get this project done. Thanks!

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  10. Love your drawers and {bonus!} I already have that paper! :) I'm a new follower as well. Yay for new kinder friends!!

    http://littlemissglamourgoestokindergarten.blogspot.com

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    1. Don't you just LOVE the cute paper?!?

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  11. Love this...........I actually did this on a smaller level last year, so now I want to do it big just like you did! I have three more units to tackle! Thanks!

    kellybrown28021@gmail.com

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  12. This is fabulous! Thank you for sharing! Now I know what my next project is going to be!!

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  13. OH! This is so beautiful!
    You are everywhere on pinterest! I will be doing this cute project during the Summer.

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  14. I was just looking at these type of drawers at Target yesterday. I wanted them....but, decided to hold out for something more decorative! Today, I found your CREATIVE design work and will now head back to Target to get these! Thanks for the AWESOME idea! Love this!

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  15. Love this idea! Could you use mod podge instead of tape?

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  16. That is FANTASTIC!!! My life this summer is going to be spent organizing like a crazy person so this will be a great way to spice things up. Thank you so much for sharing such detailed directions. I am your newest follower and am looking forward to getting more great ideas from you.
    Stacy

    simpsonsuperstars

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  17. Super cute! I am so making this during the summer!! I also love your pink chair in the pic--where did ya get that? I need a new one for next year. Thanks!

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    1. I love the pink chair too. I picked it up last summer at Big Lots. They didn't have any in stock during the school year but I hope they get something similar again this year during the the back-to-school/college dorm season! Best of luck in your search!

      Maria

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  18. I need that polka dot paper!!! I don't have a Hobby Lobby where I live {sad, sad day!} so I appreciate you finding it online! Thank you!!

    Hadar

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    1. You're welcome Hadar! I really hope that the online paper is just as wonderful as my paper set!

      Maria

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  19. Love this! Thank you so much for the directions! :)
    Cheryl
    Crayons and Curls

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  20. If you only used tape, won't the eventually paper rip over time as you are getting things in and out of the drawer? I believe the original pin I saw on this used modpodge or something to seal the paper and glue it to the inside of the drawers.

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    1. There is a risk involved with just using tape, but I used a LOT of tape, I don't dig around in any of the drawers very often, and I rarely put wear and tear on any of my things.

      Modpodge might work really great. I've just never modpodged a plastic surface before and wasn't sure how well it would seal, so I stuck with the devil I know. I would love to know how it would work with Modpodge, though!

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    2. It works great! I did this with a drawer set at school too, and the Modgepodge holds up very well!

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    3. Thanks Casey, so glad to hear the modpodge works!

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  21. Found your blog from Hadar!!! Love this and how bright and colorful it is!!! And I ADORE your hot pink chair!!! I was going to ask where you got it from, but then I saw someone else already beat me to it!! I will be keeping my eyes out for it this summer! I am following your blog now!

    Molly
    Lessons with Laughter

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  22. Just found and followed your blog! What a treat to find this post! Can't wait to fancy up my drawers!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Laura
    Peace, Love, and First Grade

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  23. So cute! Love your blog- just found it and I am your newest follower. I can't wait to try this later this summer! Thanks for the tips! Come and visit me sometime.
    Ann
    The Caffeinated Classroom

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  24. Would anyone be willing to post the templates online for us? I think this is an AWESOME idea, and I'd like to use it for my classroom as well. However, if someone has already made templates and they work, then we could save more trees by just using the templates instead of all of us trying to make our own.

    Thanks!
    Julie

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  25. I did this with laminated construction paper. Worked great!! The scrapbook paper is cuter though :)

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  26. OMG I love your blog! Just found it and it is wonderful!

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    1. Thank you and welcome to Kinder-Craze!

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  27. Gave your post a shout out!

    http://4you-withlove.blogspot.com/2012/06/color-color-everywhere.html

    Marilyn

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    1. Marilyn, thanks for the shout out! I just checked your post- so many fun colorful ideas!

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  28. That looks awesome!!! I have to agree with Julie. Templates would be a great help. I have a hard time cutting a straight line. lol

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  29. My word! I am in LOVE with those drawers. Adding it to my summer bucket list!

    Jessica
    The Littlest Scholars

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  30. What a great idea, thanks for sharing. I just bought 10 individual 12x12 boxes to store my paper. Instead of making labels for each color, I think I'll try this idea with each color representing the color of paper inside the box.

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  31. So Cute!!! I bet a Xyron would work great to hold the paper to the drawers. I had thought that it might rip easily with just tape too and modpodge seemed iffy to me also. Going to try this too!

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  32. I just found your blog on Pinterest. I love your idea! I want to try this too! Thanks for sharing. I'm also your newest follower. Come visit me at my "new" blog.

    ~ Lisa
    Teaching Kindergarten Kiddos

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    1. Aw, thanks Lisa. I'm heading over to your blog right now!

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  33. how did you get the parts that crease, by the handle part, cut without it looking all crinkly?

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  34. Clever! Thanks for sharing! I'm out the door and headed to Hobby Lobby.

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  35. When trying to fit the papers inside the drawers, try using an exacto knife for trimming.

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  36. I was taught years ago to use wax paper for your template. You run your fingernail around the edge and can make a perfect template. Also very inexpensive and readily available at the supermarket.

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  37. Does anyone know about using cloth and spray adhesive? That would be a lot easier?

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  38. I love this idea! (I also wish I had your colorful carpet in my classroom!)
    Happy Summer!

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  39. Hi Maria! I absolutely love this idea and am in the process of making my very own for my classroom where my students will turn in their assignemtns. Each drawer will signify a period and each drawer will have a different color. I was curious if you put paper on the bottom of the drawer or just the sides? Thanks again for the womderful idea!
    April

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  40. I have started doing this to ALL of my strilite drawers and since I dont have a teachers desk I have quite a few. I wanted to know if you've ever done any of the HUGE drawers the ones that are about 22 inches long? What's the best way to do these? Should I just tape 2 pieces of paper together on the inside or what? Thanks so much for all your wonderful ideas!!!

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    1. Beth, I have decorated all of my Sterlite bins as well (4 different sets of drawers!). One set is the long drawers. I used the same method, but (as you figured) I had to tape 2 pieces of paper together before I traced the template onto the joined sheet. This was also done in polka dots so I lined up the pages to get the dots just right before I taped, traced, and cut.

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    2. Thanks so much! I am a blogger newbie but have started just a little...mostly to just journal my excitement for the things my husband could care less about. If you'd like to see the drawers I've done they are posted on my blog at www.prekwonderland.blogspot.com Thanks for all your wonderful ideas!!!!Enjoy the last of your summer.

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  41. I love this.....I actually have been contemplating painting mine bright colors. I realized how expensive that could be. Love this idea better

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  42. Wow this is wonderful. I just showed it to my teens and they want to make it. Thanks for the tutorial!

    If you have time, please share it in our Crafty Showcase. We run it Sat-Thur and showcase our favorites on Friday.

    Thanks much

    Susie @Bowdabra
    http://bowdabrablog.com/2012/07/27/saturday-showcase-craft-projects-12/

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  43. Can you use decorative duct tape for the handles?

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    1. Duct tape should work! A follower of the blog used duct tape for her handles and it seemed to turn out great.

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  44. Thanks for sharing over at Craft Junkie Too Maria….this project is part of our featured favorites this week. :) Stop by and check it out and link up more goodness. Also, you can grab the featured me button for your blog if you'd like.
    Hugs,
    Tracy
    http://www.craftjunkietoo.com/2012/08/tgif-linky-party-61.html

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    1. Thank you Tracy - I'm so flattered to be one of the favorites!

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  45. Congrats Maria on being feature this week at Craft Junkie Too!
    Migdalia

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  46. Just found your sight through Pinterest.Those papers are just too cute! Thanks for sharing:)

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  47. I have just done it, mostly because I saw your post on Pinterest :) http://www.coffeeandvanilla.com/decorated-plastic-drawers-units/

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  48. I do makeup and hair and I have many drawers like this that are just blah.. I am so doing this tonight thank you..

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  49. Hi i have read your post and i think it's usefull.Thanks for the sharing this website. it is very useful professional knowledge.

    Plastic Ducting

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  50. I LOVE this idea!!! I just tried that with some of mine...yours are WAY cuter!!!! Thanks for linking up!

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  51. Great idea! Those drawers turned out adorable! =)

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  52. I found this post through cara's linky--by the way I think I've seen this pinned about a gazillion times on pinterest--so you know it's awesome! I have huge sterlite draws that I should probably do this to. Hmm, maybe I just found my summer project. Thanks.
    Jessica
    Tales of a First Grade Teacher

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  53. My summer to do list keeps growing! Thanks for the directions :)
    Elizabeth
    Kickin’ it in Kindergarten

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  54. What a cute idea. Looks like I'll be busy this summer :-)
    Thanks,
    Susan

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  55. Oh my goodness those are so cute, I am so going to try that. Thank you!

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  56. So cute. Perfect for my laundry room office remodel too.

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