DIY Decorative Duct Tape Covered Storage Boxes
As a youngster, I made all sorts of nonsense out of traditional silver duct tape. Now, with endless colors and patterns, duct tape is even more fun and versatile. Using decorative duct tape to create custom storage boxes just feels right, combining my loves of duct tape, storage and repurposing. Not only is this an easy and inexpensive DIY project, giving another life to our old cardboard delivery boxes is immensely satisfying.
Duct tape covered boxes are one of our favorite storage solutions. They are perfect for storing toys, art supplies, masks, LEGO models, socks, and our assortment of balls. We also use duct tape covered boxes for under couch toy storage.
Here are some more of our favorite storage ideas:
- DIY Sport Equipment Storage
- DIY Under Couch Toy Storage
- How To Repurpose Plastic Food Containers
- Toy Storage Bench
- LEGO Organization Saga – Episode 1: Instruction Book Storage
- LEGO Organization Saga – Episode 2: LEGO Model Storage
Transforming cardboard boxes into duct tape covered storage boxes is simple and the process intuitive, but here are my steps and some tips…
DIY Duct Tape Storage Boxes – Materials
- cardboard/shoe box
- duct tape (1.88″ is standard width)
- optional: 3/4″ duct tape
- optional: felt or flannel
- glue if needed (hot glue, tacky glue, white glue)
How to DIY Duct Tape Storage Boxes
1. General Tips for Decorative Duct Tape Covered Storage Boxes
Work in vertical, rather than horizontal, strips around the box.
Avoid wrinkles by smoothing the tape in one direction. To remove a large wrinkle, gently peel up the duct tape and re-smooth. Flatten small wrinkles by running your fingernail or firm plastic (credit card or pen cap) over the wrinkle.
2. Prepare Box
Cut top flaps, if any, off of the box. If bottom flaps stick up, glue them down with hot glue, tacky glue or white glue. Lay something heavy on flaps to hold them down while glue dries.
3. Start on a Corner
Take your time, corners can be tricky. Center the first strip of tape on a corner. Smooth the tape onto each side, leaving 1″ top and bottom overhang free.
Cut the overhang in a straight line from the top of the tape down to the box corner.
Fold each section over the edge.
4. Work Around the Box
Cut the next strip around 2″ longer than box side so there is 1″ overhang on the bottom and top edges. Measurements don’t have to be precise (unless that is your style). I’m more of an estimator.
Place the strips so the edges touch and the cardboard doesn’t show between the strips. A small overlap is fine.
Press tape down, then wrap over the top and bottom. Aim for a straightish line on the inside of the box, but no need for perfection as it will be covered. Once the strip is in place, press firmly to ensure good attachment.
For patterned tape, line up the design. This may leave more than 1″ overhang on the top, so trim that down after pressing the tape to the side.
The next corner will probably not fall in the center of a tape strip. As long as there is 1/4″ on each side, the corner will look fine. If the tape ends right on the corner, overlap ensure there is tape on both sides of the corner. For patterned tape, this may require more of an overlap to line up the design. Continue until sides are completely covered with duct tape.
5. Finish the Inside Top
Starting at an inside corner, run a strip of tape horizontally at least 1/4″ from the top to cover the duct tape ends. Press the tape firmly into the corner.
The horizontal finish strip can be difficult with wide duct tape. Consider using narrow duct tape in the same or coordinating color/pattern.
6. Option: Cover Inner Sides and Bottom
The inner sides and bottom can be left uncovered or, if you prefer, covered with duct tape. Cover inner sides, then the bottom. Run a horizontal piece of duct tape around the inside top to cover any seams.
Another option is to cover inner sides and bottom with a fabric that will not fray, such as felt or flannel. Complete this before running the horizontal strip of duct tape around the inside top (step 5 above).
Measure and cut fabric, then affix with white or tacky glue. Glue well in corners and on fabric edges. For the sides, the fabric and duct tape should meet.
Then run the horizontal finish strip of duct tape to cover that seam.
How to Involve Kids in DIY Duct Tape Storage Boxes
Making a duct tape storage box is both a creative project and problem solving activity. Ask the child to identify what needs containment and what size container will do the trick. Kids enjoy selecting the duct tape color and pattern for their storage box. Older kids can complete the boxes entirely on their own, but consider whether they should be supervised with sharp utility scissors.
Younger kiddos’ safety scissors aren’t sharp enough to cut cardboard or duct tape. They can help wrap the box with duct tape, but be prepared to lend a hand to prevent the duct tape from wrapping onto itself (which nears the top of my list of the most frustrating experiences). As long as you’re ok with slightly offset tape and wrinkles, let the child lay and smooth the duct tape.
What will you store in your DIY duct tape storage boxes? Please share!
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