DIY Decorative Duct Tape Covered Storage Boxes

Kids, Organization, Projects
Art supplies and toys stored in decorative duct tape 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.

Child playing with toys contained in duct tape storage box

Here are some more of our favorite storage ideas:

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

Supplies for decorative duct tape covered storage boxes

Supplies:

  • cardboard/shoe box
  • duct tape (1.88″ is standard width)
  • optional: 3/4″ duct tape
  • optional: felt or flannel

Tools:

  • scissors
  • 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

Apply vertical strips of duct tape around storage box

Work in vertical, rather than horizontal, strips around the box.

Smooth duct tape in one direction to avoid wrinkles

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 off 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

Smooth duct tape onto each side of box 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 top and bottom tape overhang from top to corner

Cut the overhang in a straight line from the top of the tape down to the box corner.

Fold sections of duct tape over top and bottom edges of each corner

Fold each section over the edge.

4. Work Around the Box

Cut strips of duct tape 2" longer than box side

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.

Line up design on patterned tape

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.

Continue placing strips of duct tape to cover entire box

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

Line inside edge with duct tape

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.

Finish inside edge with horizontal strip of duct tape

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.

Option to line inside of storage box with duct tape or fabric

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.

Finish inside edge of lined storage box with horizontal strip of duct tape

Then run the horizontal finish strip of duct tape to cover that seam.

How to Involve Kids in DIY Duct Tape Storage Boxes

Child applying duct tape to cardboard storage box

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.

Steps to make duct tape storage box

What will you store in your DIY duct tape storage boxes? Please share!

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