Friday, July 13, 2012

Decorate Clear Plastic Storage Drawers

A few years back my girls were down stairs opening gifts on Christmas morning when suddenly, they heard jingle bells! They ran upstairs to find Santa had left them a pink kitchen in their room!  They were so excited.  It was so realistic my youngest immediately tried to wash her hands in the sink and was shocked when no water came out. So cute.  Soon our little kitchen was overrun with piles of pretend fruits that spilled out onto the floor. Veggies, bowls, plates, and lovely little desserts that numbered so many that not even the mini shopping cart could hold them all. There was not any "counter space" to speak of where you could put the toaster and hand mixer and whip up imaginary culinary delights either, as the set just came with a pink fridge and a stove/sink unit.  I decided we needed some storage drawers to hold all the food and accessories in, and at the same time would also add the much needed counter space.  I went and bought some simple Sterilite storage drawers, and they looked so plain and drab next to the bright pink kitchen I knew I wanted to gussy them up.  I bought a 12x12 scrap book bundle in some coordinating colors to their room, and this is what I did:

Cute pink kitchen.  I always wanted one of these when I was a kid!
As you can see, it really turned this corner into a full kitchen area with plenty of "counter space".  We have a little white Ikea table with two chairs (not pictured) to the left to complete the dining area.  The drawers are completely chalked full of food, but the scrap book paper covers most of it up and makes it look nice and neat. If you want to see a side view of what the sets of drawers looks like, here's a different angle:

It really gives it a finished look!  The only thing I needed was to cut the scrap book paper to fit the drawers.  This was a little tricky at first.  Once I had a template made out to the right sizes, I used that to trace the other matching drawer sizes.  The gingham pattern really helped in this aspect, as I could match of numbers of lines.  The extra wide drawer set I used two pages together to make it extra long.  I lined up the pattern so it would look almost seamless.  After that I used strong double stick tape (long pieces that covered entire edges to try and hide the "taped" look) to attach the paper to the inside of the plastic drawers.  When you are looking at it you do not see big strips of tape.  I was very happy how it turned out.  By the way, the front of the drawers were a bit trickier than the sides.  The sides are flat and very easy to piece together.  The handle posed a curved/indented problem, so I only ran the paper up to where the handle started.

As far as durability, I wasn't sure how paper and tape would hold up with three busy girls and a lot of play cooking going on.  But I am pleased to say I did this project over 4 years ago and they have held up beautifully.  I think it helps to really seal the edges as close to the plastic as possible so there is nothing sticking out to catch on and rip.  Also I LOVE the versatility of this.  You can use this technique for cute storage in school classrooms, home offices, kid rooms, teen rooms, play kitchens, any where you have plain storage bins.  We'll make the world a cuter place one drawer at a time!

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