Today’s project is one that I have been putting off for far too long. Up until recently, every time I would grab a sweater from my closet, it would snag and I would become frustrated. My initial sweater storage solution turned out to be a giant fail.
You see, I wear sweaters all year round (freeze baby), yet, I opted to give my sweaters hand-me-down style storage. Two random baskets have been corralling my sweaters for far too long now. Not at all sweater-friendly with their woven and wire finishes.
The other problem is that I could never see the sweaters on the bottom, meaning I was always digging and causing the mess you see above. Lastly, the existing baskets were just too small to hold my bulkier cardigans and number of cold-weather items.
Not able to find exactly the shape, size or style of sweater box that I needed, I set out to make my own.
- Fabric (I used Nate Berkus fabric from JoAnn)
- Fray Check
- Liquid Stitch
- Box Cutter
- Mod Podge
- Sponge Brush
- Fabric Sheers
- Cutting Mat
- Label Plates (optional)
I found two moving boxes from Home Depot; they were the small 16″ wide x 12″ deep x 12″ high size. I began by putting together the box, taping the bottom and slicing the flaps from the top with a utility blade.
I wanted the back to be taller than the front, allowing the sweaters to stack, yet also providing visibility from the front. Using a ruler and marker I drew my template on the exterior of the box.
I very slowly cut the lines with the utility blade, yet there were still a few imperfections that I was afraid would show through the fabric that would ultimately be covering the boxes. I used some painter’s tape to add a softer edge to the box.
The fabric I purchased didn’t quite wrap around the entire box because the box was a bit too big so I figured I would have to try and piece in a scrap in the back. Because the sweater boxes would eventually be filled with sweaters and living in my closet, I was completely OK having a visible seam.
To affix the fabric, I found that Mod Podge paired with a sponge brush was the best, easiest solution. I have used spray adhesive in the past, but didn’t want any risk of sticky business paired with my sweaters. The Mod Podge dries nice and clear without any stick.
I gave the box a thick coat of the Mod Podge and then wrapped the box and edges with the fabric, pulling tightly and smoothing things out as I went.
After I had my scrap piece on the back, I fully wrapped the remainder of the box exterior and temporarily stuffed the excess fabric inside.
On the back where the fabric began and ended, I used some Fray Check to prevent the fabric from fraying down the road.
As you can see above, there was a lot of extra fabric, which was great for completely finishing off the interior. I left the bottom of the box fabric-free.
I found that as I worked, the Mod Podge was great for affixing the fabric to the box, the Fabric Stitch was best for gluing the fabric to itself at points within the box and the Fray Check was perfect for preventing the fabric from fraying where there were fresh, exposed cuts.
Because I notched and sloped the sides, those cuts were a little trickier. Above you can see how I angle cut the fabric to make it easier to lay in the corners.
I worked my way all around the box and tried to wrap it just as I would wrap a gift. Once all was complete, the pattern was a little busy on the interior where everything met up, but I was extremely excited with the outcome of this little DIY.
I added a sticky label plate to the front of the box (the original ones pictured couldn’t be affixed without creating a potential sweater snag on the interior) and once all of the glues were dry I filled the boxes up with my freshly folded sweaters.
One box holds regular sweaters while the other box holds all of my bulkier cardigans.
So much better! I love the fresh pattern that welcomes me when I open my closet door. But most importantly, I appreciate that my sweaters have a little breathing room and will no longer risk being damaged by my initial storage choice.
I used about a yard and a half of fabric total for each box (price will vary based on fabric cost). The first box took me almost two hours to complete (wow!) while the second was easier and only took about an hour. So not the quickest project, but definitely worth the time and effort to preserve my clothing.