22 February 2011

Upcycling Political Signs, Project Two: Custom Storage Containers



For project #2 in this week's What to Do with Annoying Political Signs series, I thought I would appeal to everyone's more practical side: Storage.

I'm the messy type. I see storage as a means to an end, but I know there are plenty of you out there who just can't get enough of it. You know who you are: you're the ones who flip through pages of the home magazines, drooling over ridiculously under-sized spice jars that stick to the fridge in organized, neat little rows.

Well....
If you have ever dreamed of alphabetizing your medicine cabinet, you will love this project. 

If you are a math geek who loves measuring and precision slicing, you will love this project.

If you have an aspiring architect in the family who enjoys building miniature models, you will love this project.


Actually, speaking of architects, I should note, I stole picked up this idea from an architectural firm when I was peeping around their office holiday party. They made large trays in this fashion underneath some of their older building models. The trays allowed them to slide the models off the shelves whenever they needed. I have seen people use cookie sheets in their cuboards in similar ways, but with corrugated plastic, you could create trays any size/depth. Neato, huh?

Note: Plain white corrugated plastic works best for demonstration purposes here, but I would encourage you to salvage your supplies elsewhere if possible. There are a whole lot of poorly designed signs just waiting to be resurrected!

Note:Everyone is different, but I find it much easier to slice corrugated plastic using two or three swipes. Don't try to make every incision with one pass or you could end up with messy edges. Take your time and get a feel for it. This stuff will cut like butter once you get the hang of it.


Making a Basic Tray
I'm not posting a template here because I'm lazy I'm encouraging you to customize the tray to your specific shelf and/or storage items. So measure your goods first! However, to save confusion, I'll share this simple diagram from my sketchbook. Yes I said simple. No one ever said I was a technical illustrator!

Once you have sliced and scored, just clip up the sides with basic binding clips from any office supply shop. You would be surprised how sturdy those little clips can be!



Compartments
After you have your tray in place,cut additional strips of corrugated plastic, equal in width to your tray's depth. For example, my tray has 3" sides, so I cut 3" strips, then scored as I saw fit. This tray will be used inside a specific drawer, sorting out markers, pens and extra long paintbrushes, but you could add as many compartments as your heart desires. Sky is the limit!

Alternatives
  • No binder clips? make small incisions and use zip ties instead. They will hold just about anything.
  • Don't like the look of clips? Use gorilla glue to hold your tabs in place. I suggest using clothes pins for 24hours while the glue dries.
  • No corrugated plastic? This works great with cardboard too. Heck, you don't even need to make a tray, just use a a plain old shoebox.
Well folks, that's it. Today I am appealing to your practical side, tomorrow comes the foofy stuff. Stay tuned!


14 comments:

  1. I love this! Great upcycling and bonus points for being a storage project. I tumbld it here: http://storagegeek.tumblr.com/

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  2. Love it! Here's another idea: Guinea pig cage! You just score the sides so they fold up and add wire cube squares around the edges (the ones that make wire cubes for storage) and tie them together. Voila! home for your guineas!

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  3. I love corrugated plastic but I never thought about political signs! Great tip!! And I only have about 59275 uses for those little storage trays. Awesome!

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  4. Thanks for the inspiration - I actually used this post to turn three huge sheets of matboard into under-bed storage bins for my clothes. They turned out so well. They're perfectly shallow and much greener/cheaper than plastic Rubbermaid bins.

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  5. I really do like the practicality and upcycling in this project! Way to turn trash into opportunity!!

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  6. Can't wait for the next election in NY !

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  7. "drooling over ridiculously under-sized spice jars that stick to the fridge in organized, neat little rows"

    I always look at those spice tins and wonder who has so few spices. We're the types who have a whole cabinet overflowing with spices...seriously.

    Great tutorial...and now I wish I had seen this series before spending $50 on styrofoam for my next party! Oh well...you live, you learn. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. CRIVENS!!! This is the first and hopefully only time I wish that british politicians gave a bit more of a cr@p. That is SO cool! Ours just sort of put up random cardboard signs and the odd occasional flyer in your mailbox that serves nicely as protective layer under your next glue project. Bummer!
    But, in fact... one could recycle large boxes into smaller ones, right? *slowly gets brain into gear*...

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  9. Wow, what a BEAUTIFUL project - love the translucent whiteness. Will never look at this stuff the same way again! I am fascinated by how it cuts and bends, too - so elegant.

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  10. Oh my goodness. What a great idea. And in all honesty it's just such an obvious thing to do but it's never before EVER occurred to me. For shame! Every month I haul a load of corrugated cardboard to the recycling center. And I could be using it to make little organizing compartments for my craft desk or those out of control kitchen drawers! Thanks so much for the inspiration! Love it. -Diane

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  11. how did you score the pieces?

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  12. Dis is Sexy Super cute!!! And absolutely Amazing. & looks so easy to do!! And I have boxes all over my house that I am now going to turn into bins! I LOVE THIS!! I think this is now my favorite project of yours EVER!! (Too many exclamation points? I don't care!) :o Custom Storage Containers

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  13. I LOVE Pyrex containers…nice glass and you can microwave it safely and most importantly- SEE what’s in there! I have lots of round ones but want small rectangle ones now. I have more plastic containers than I care to admit, but I feel like I want to get rid of them- harder to clean, can’t microwave, stain easily, etc.

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-AP

 
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