Thursday, March 3, 2011

Home-Made Vertical Paper Holders

Good afternoon Friends!

It is a gorgeous 76* here in Dallas right now and the sun is certainly shining.

I wanted to say thank you thank you to all of you for the wonderful comments that you made about my new studio.
I absolutely love it, and all of the love from ya'll just makes me enjoy it even more!

I've had a bunch of people ask about my home-made paper holders, so I wanted to show you how I made them.

I used medium size flat rate shipping boxes from the Post Office.  
(NOTE: You'll want to use recycled boxes, not new ones.  Although the PO Employee that handed me the ones I used knew exactly what I planned to do with them and said that she thought it was a great idea, I read online later that grabbing new ones from the PO for any purpose other than shipping is illegal.  I certainly don't want to encourage you to engage in any sort of criminal behavior. )

You will need: 
Medium size shipping box, metal edge ruler, pen, cutting mat (I used 2), box cutter, sharp scissors and a sturdy work surface

I started by marking both sides of the box.
I lined up the edge of my ruler with the fold in the box. On the left side I measured up 3 1/2", on the right side 9 12".  
I like the look of the flat indent on the top & bottom, rather than a straight diagonal, so I drew a straight line across the width of my ruler at those heights, then drew the diagonal from the inside edge of each line.

Then you want to continue your line straight across the spine of the box to the other side.

Make sure that, if your 3 1/2" mark is on the left on the front side, that it is on the right on the back side, so that they will line up.  I ruined 2 boxes by not paying attention to this.  Oops!

Then all you have to do is cut them.  

I put a small cutting mat inside to prevent me cutting through to the other side accidentally and then put another mat under the whole box to prevent my cutting off the edge of the box & nicking up my work surface.

Once I got both sides cut, I took the mat out of the box & opened the box out so that I could cut through any remaining spots.

Separate them & attach the self stick tabs on the top & bottom.

Use the scissors to trim off any frayed edges 

and **voila** you have 2 identical vertical paper holders.

(Repeat as many times as necessary to hold all your paper- in my case, 14 more times)

There are a lot of options for decorating them to match your space.

You could:
*attach patterned paper
*attach fabric
*let your 4 year old color them with crayons

In my case, I took the cheapest and most lazy-girl effective route:
Spray Paint
(Krylon in Celery Green, to be exact)

I used 3 cans of spray paint for 30 boxes 
(26 sit on top of my cubbies, the other 4 sit on the floor in the corner)

It took me 5-6 coats each to totally cover the red ink on the boxes, but this might be less if you were to use a darker color.  
I also got smart after painting the first 4.  

My boxes all sit in a row on 2 shelves.

There is no need to do 6 coats of paint on every single surface, because you don't see them!

I only painted the front edge and back edge on most of the boxes, saving my paint for the sides of the 2 boxes the ends of the row.

It was the work of most of 2 days to get them all cut & painted & dry, but in the end I got this

 and I think it was totally worth the work.

If there's something that I didn't explain clearly or if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Happy crafting!


  1. LOL! That's exactly what I use to store my paper----and I'm one of the ones that asked about these. Mine just never got painted since they fit right inside my JetMax cubes.

    Okieladybug showed me how to do this a couple of years ago. She recycled some boxes to make hers.

    After I made myself a few, I posted the directions on my blog too. I definitely put the disclaimer up about getting the boxes just to do this. As many people as there are on the MB, I could just imagine the run on the post office! LOL!

    Thanks for answering our question. Love your craft room!

  2. Excellent idea, and it feels so good to recycle too.

  3. Thank You!! Thank You!! Thank You!!

  4. I bet the ones you made are sturdier than mine, but I've made the same boxes using large cereal boxes. (And along the way learned that brand name cereals seem to come in sturdier boxes than the generic/store brand ones do. Who knew?) I use them more for magazine holders than paper scraps, but it's all the same idea. :)

  5. I love this idea! Thank you so much for sharing. Do the medium size boxes allow you to store 12x12 papers or do you find they come up a little short?


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