Saturday, 29 September 2012

Another use for box files

I am all for utilising what I already have before I go out and spend some money. My sewing boxes are two empty Bran Flake boxes, and one contact lens box. I finished wearing contact lenses fifteen years ago so you can tell how old that box is. I cut them around three sides to make a lid, simple.
The cardboard isn't very strong so they don't hold their shape very well when stuffed with loads of cotton reels. Yes I have quite a lot of cotton, my friend gave them to me when she was emptying her mother in laws house. It's good to have lots of colours, you never know when you might need them. Anyway, it's about time I thought of a better way to store them.
I have a couple of these foolscap box files, left over from my business. They are lying around doing nothing so I might as well put them to good use. They are well made and strong, perfect for the job. First I took out the plastic clip.
I did think about covering it in fabric, or not bothering to cover it at all, but I decided to paint it. I have lots of little sample pots of silk emulsion paint, bought from Woolworths the day before they closed, at four pence each. I have painted on cardboard before with these and they cover quite well.  
I chose a lilac colour, and gave the box two coats. I didn't paint the inside or the bottom, and used a small brush to make neat edges.
One finished box. I thought about adding some stencilling to the lid in a different colour, but couldn't think which design to use. I might do that later.
That is most of the cotton, I'll paint another box to accommodate the rest. See how everything fits nicely.
Two margarine tubs wouldn't fit in the space, so I cut one of them down, pushed one half inside the other, and sellotaped them together.

You could probably pick these box files up at a car boot sale. They can be used to store anything, and if you need some dividers for small pieces, find some plastic tubs to fit. You could store nails and screws, or beads, or any small objects up to the height of the sides. I am very pleased with my neat and tidy storage system. No need to buy a fancy sewing box. I've had my box files for twelve years, I'm glad I've found a use for them. Toodle pip

18 comments:

  1. Ilona what a wonderful idea !!
    Xx Maz

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  2. Ingenious idea, another Ilona one off.

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  3. Great idea to adapt your old box files, Ilona. Storage boxes cost a fortune. I love seeing what you make with things you have and your sewing projects. Cheers, Christy.

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  4. great idea Ilona! I can always rely on you to come up with a brain wave :-)

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  5. Super idea, I love how everything is neatly in place. I've had my sewing box 20 years, I used an old ice cream container and covered in with colourful contact paper. It's lasted me well but then again that's probably because I hardly ever sew:(

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  6. That looks so tidy! I've been trying various ways to make spools accessible but still keep them clean, and so far nothing has worked very well. My latest: egg cartons, with a spool in each space...okay if you only have 18 small spools of thread ;)



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  7. I had eight huge plastic boxes full of thread that had to be sorted and discarded. It filled a 35 gallon container when I emptied all the boxes. Now, it sits in two cardboard boxes, looking at me, waiting to sort. Some of it is 25-years-old, so it is surely too rotten to sew with. It always feels good to resort things, so maybe I will get the resorting done. My sewing box is one of those huge metal pattern holders in fabric stores that holds patterns, except it was too full to put the thread into it.

    I have never seen a box like yours, but it really looks sturdy. I go in office supply stores all the time, so this must be something available only in UK. I could use a bunch of those!

    The look of an assortment of colorful threads pleases me to no end. Pretty.

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  8. Ilona, love your storage solution for spools of thread. I use cereal boxes or laundry soap boxes to store magazines and brochures I want to keep. Cut off the top, then draw a line from the top corner, across the face of the box to 1/2 way down the opposite side, wrap the line around the skinny side to the back, then up to the opposite top corner. Cut off the top part. I cover mine with contact paper but your paint would work well.
    Joan in Michigan

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  9. Great idea! I always love the satisfaction of being able to repurpose something that I have without having to go and buy something new. Judy xx

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  10. Even though I can't sew, that really appeals to my sense of order and organisation.

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  11. Clever you, such a good idea.
    Briony
    x

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  12. As I looked at this and thought "great idea" it occurred to me that if you had any padding left from your cushions and a bit of fabric, it might be possible to put a padded square inside the lid of the box to hold needles?.........My sewing box is a left over biscuit tin from Xmas a few years ago, but then I don't have many reels of cotton :-(
    Always inspired by your ideas Ilona

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  13. A good idea Bets, thanks for suggesting it. Another good idea Joan, sticky contact paper would cover it, and look attractive.

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  14. I have two over-filled,sloppy sewing boxes (plastic). One was given to me by a friend who couldn't stand looking at my old one any longer and the other one I bought on a whim to hold extra stuff. I could really use a large box to put all of it in. You had a great idea with the box you used and also the cereal box idea is a good one. Never would have thought to do that! Your mind is always working overtime.

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  15. What a splendid idea....I've got three of these box files lying around somewhere....time to seek them out...thanks Ilona.

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  17. I am so going to make this tomorrow, I love to use what is on hand and this is such a good idea. Thanks for sharing!
    Kim

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