Take your shelves from this:
With some home-sewn canvas boxes. You can make them in any size. And they are way easier than they look. Canvas boxes can cost a lot of money, but these literally cost me about $10 for the whole set!
The secret to these is the frame. It's made from plastic canvas! This inexpensive material can be found at any craft store. Mine was $.99 for a 10x13 inch sturdy sheet, and $.49 for a slightly more flimsy piece. I used the regular for the sides, and the sturdy for the bottom.
My tutorial will take you through the process for making one smaller bin, like those on the top shelf in the picture above. (The dimensions are 6"w x 9"h x 9 1/2"d.)
Step 1: Gather Supplies
*Plastic canvas - 1 sturdy sheet, 3 regular sheets (Buy extra if you tend to make measuring mistakes.)
*A roll of paper for making the pattern
*Transparent grid ruler
*Paper Weights or clean stones for holding down the pattern
*Needles and straight pins
*Yarn or string for lashing together the plastic frame
*Fabric: 3/4 yards each of canvas and lining. Coordinating fabric for binding (1 1/2" wide x about 36 inches long) I used an old canvas drop cloth for the outer fabric, and for the prints, thrifted sheets. Cheap!
Step 2: Prepare the plastic canvas
From the sturdy piece cut 1 - 6"x9 1/2" for the bottom.
For the sides, 2 - 9"x9 1/2" and 2 6"x9" pieces
Lash the sides to the base with yarn. Tie really good knots. Leave flat for the next part. (Should be in the shape of a wide cross.)
Lay out the flat frame on your pattern paper, and carefully trace around the entire perimeter. Be careful not to shift the plastic canvas while you are tracing.
Put the paper aside until the next step, and sew up the sides of your box frame. Tie really good knots.
Step 3: Make the pattern
With your ruler, add a 1/2" seam allowance to the inner corners of your pattern. Do not add seam allowance to the top edges of the box pattern.
Cut out your pattern.
Step 4: Cut fabric
Lay out your pattern on top of the fabric, and use weights to keep it from rolling or shifting. You can use anything as a weight. Here's my rag-tag assemblage:
Trace around the pattern in a pen or pencil--directly onto the fabric. This will give you the most accurate sizing, and you want your fabric to fit the box frame very closely.
Cut one from canvas and one from the lining fabric.
Cut out one rectangle for the handle from canvas--3"x6".
Step 5: Sew it together
Stitch up your pieces in this order. First, sew the box lining. Remember to use a 1/2" seam allowance! Start at the top edge (rim) of the lining, and sew toward the corner. Continue with each side until it forms a box shape.
Next, make your handles. Sew into a tube, lengthwise. Turn inside out and press flat. Turn the ends under.
Pin handles to your canvas before sewing up the edges. This makes for easier placement.
For added strength, sew a square with an "x" inside on each side of the handle.
After your handle is attached, sew up the sides of the canvas.
Attach the binding to the top edge of the canvas layer. Start by folding over the binding about 1" and sew all the way around using a 1/4" seam allowance. Overlap the binding a little at the end for a clean finish.
Step 6: Finish
Turn the canvas layer right-side-out and place your plastic frame inside. It should be snug. Carefully line up the seams with the corners of the frame.
Slip the lining inside, with the right side of the fabric showing. Line up the top edge of both fabrics with the top edge of the frame. Hold in place with binder clips.
With needle and thread, slip stitch binding in place.
And there you have it. You made a box!
Now make a few more, and clean your place up!
I hope you have fun using this tutorial to help organize your own space. I'd love to see how you make the project your own. I've always been a little prejudiced against plastic canvas as a craft supply, because everything I'd seen done with it seemed so dated. (You know what I mean...) But now I have seen the light, and I'm thinking up many more project ideas to use the stuff. It may just be a new favorite.\