Craft project for a rainy day

As you may have noticed from reading my blog, I'm a penny-pincher, always trying to get things done within my limited budget. For a while now I've been looking for a good container to use to take my orders to the post office. Up till now I've been using a plastic basket with a handle, but it's not very pretty, and if too many things are piled in it they tend to slide off the top when the basket gets jostled in the car, and fall down between the door and the seat where I may not discover them for several days, which can lead to delayed shipping and irate customers. I've been wanting something with a lid to prevent all that (and also to keep out curious cats.) It also had to have a handle, because I always have to think up ways to make things more complicated.

Easier said than done. I've searched the plastic bin sections of every store that carries plastic bins without finding what I want; it's too big, it's too small, it doesn't have a handle, it doesn't have a lid, etc. And especially, it's too expensive!

So I decided to make my own. They were having a sale on photo storage boxes at JoAnn's, so I picked one up for just $2.50. Lucky me, woven belting was also on sale and cost me less than a buck, and a pair of pretty buttons for another buck. (So ok, I only saved about a dollar off the plastic bin WITH handle and lid that they also had on sale, but I thought that might be just a wee bit too small, and this would be prettier anyway, and then I could blog about it.)

I measured the amount of belting needed (and by "measured" I mean, held it up to the box and estimated an appropriate length) and used a lighter to melt the cut ends to prevent fraying. Luckily the belting was synthetic, or I would have been blogging about how I made a new wick for my oil lamp. I used hot glue to attach the handle to the box - be sure not to glue all the way to the top edge of the box, or the lid won't fit properly. I started at the bottom edge rather than wrapping it around the bottom, since the bottom of the box will probably be getting banged up and dirty. Also I didn't want it to be tippy, because my OCD tendencies say things have to sit nice and flat on flat surfaces, and it would forever after drive me nuts if it didn't do so.

The buttons are a decorative touch, but I also wanted them to reinforce the handle as this box will be taking some abuse and I didn't want the hot glue to start coming off at some point. For this reason I sewed the buttons on rather than just gluing them. Use a sharp tool or large needle to punch the holes through the handle and box. I used embroidery floss to sew the buttons on and tied the thread off on the inside.

Ta da! A cat-proof, wandering-package-proof errand basket! Cost: $4.40. Time: 6 months searching stores for a plastic bin, 20 minutes shopping for supplies, and 15 minutes to make. Now I better go get some orders done to fill it!


JDayMinis said...

What a great idea, I really like the colour too. It is so good being cat proof too. I have two cats that just love to sit on only important letters, I often wonder if they can read by sitting on things. You need a little label for the front.

Tallulah Belle said...

Brilliant idea and so pretty to boot.

De said...

It's perfect, Grace. Pretty and functional - the best combination!

Jo Raines said...

Quite ingenious! What a wonderful idea! I love it.


Merry Jingle said...

It look really nice :) And thank you, your books arrived yesterday, they are wonderful :)


Ascension said...

Brillante idea!!!!!!
Te ha quedado genial, ideal para tus necesidades y ademas barato.....que tal como esta la situacion, es muyyyyyy importante jejeje
Enhorabuena, es precioso
besitos ascension

MiniMaker said...

Very clever, Grace!

TreeFeathers said...

Thanks everyone, I'm pretty satisfied with it. Used it today and it did its job well! I'm going to make a label for it, Jean, just wanted to make a pretty one (I might head over to your site and see what pretty printies you have that I could adapt for it!)

Ira, thanks for commenting, and I'm so glad you like your mini books! :)

- Grace

Maia's Twinkle Miniatures said...

This is a great idea; practical and pretty!
Thank you for visiting my blog and for your comments, I like your idea of love letters and writing supplies, I might try one combining both. :)


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Griffins, traditionally, are Guardians. Often carved at temple doors in ancient times, they were said to guard the way to Wisdom. I, on the other hand, seem to be the Guardian primarily of odd bits of string, pinecones, scraps of paper, mismatched socks, old calendars, homeless imps and gnomes, pencils with no erasers, jokes nobody gets, forgotten gods, keys with no locks, and other people’s lighters. If any of these things might be of use to you, let me know.
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