Thursday, February 18, 2010

Coloring Book Holders

We've got a lot of coloring/activity books in this house. I've found that if left uncontained these little suckers will multiply and fall to pieces. It isn't pretty.

A little while back I found this solution at Beach Brights and have been wanting to do it but I never, ever make it anywhere to pick up mail boxes. Well as luck would have it I was cleaning out our front hall closet where I used to store materials for a little business I used to have... Years ago, I had a kids craft business. I would purchase kids crafts in bulk, and repackage them for parents in monthly kits with a project for each week.

And what did I find... 5 kits in the back of the closet, all packaged up in priority mail boxes. Perfect!!! I wasn't going to be sending them out, the business has been closed for 3 and a half years. Felt good to recycle something from that long ago. (And now I've got a BUNCH of crafts for Bug and Baby bear... bonus!)

So, here is how I did it...

  • Mail box (Recycled priority mail boxes or recycled FedEx boxes are perfect for this.)
  • Spray adhesive
  • Nail polish remover (to unstick your fingers after you over spray and touch too much adhesive.)
  • Box cutter 
  • Fabric, contact paper or scrapbook paper to cover the boxes (using contact paper will eliminate the need for the spray adhesive and nail polish remover.)
  • Straight edge
Step 1: Mark on the box where you want to cut, if you plan ahead, you can actually get 2 coloring book holders per single box, which is what I did. One ended up shorter than the other, but that was perfect for the smaller books we had.

(Look how old these boxes are??? They've completely changed the branding to flat rate boxes now... that is what happens when you don't clean out your closet for over 3 years.)

Step 2: Cut the boxes along the lines with a straight edge and a box cutter.

Step 3: Lay the box on top of your fabric/paper and cut around the box leaving about 2" around the edges. (You'll also note, that because my fabric was light, I had to spray paint the box with a bit of lighter paint to knock down the contrast, otherwise the blue would have shown through...)  If you have a patterned fabric like I did, you might want to plan a little when cutting in step 3 so that you get the portion of the pattern you want, on the face of the box.

Step 4: Fold the ends of the fabric in and secure with adhesive so that when you wrap the box, much like you would a present, a toile photo box or cream and black box'll have nice finished edges all the way around.


Step 5: Wrap the box like a present.

Step 6: Use a credit card or other smoothing tool to make sure you've got all the wrinkles out and make sure everything is secure. Especially important if your boxes, like mine, are going to be used by kids.

And there you have it... I was able to make 7 finished coloring book boxes out of 4 recycled priority mail boxes. All I had to pay for out of pocket was 2 yards each of 2 types of fabric. For me, black and cream toile ($8 and this is now my 3rd project with that same fabric) and black linen ($6 for 2 yards with coupon.



$14 for 7 coloring book holders - I'm thrilled. 


  1. these would fit magazines too wouldn't they? I'm redoing our home office and wanted to buy/make some pretty magazine holders - this looks like a great idea! I will have to play with the 20 or more priority mail boxes I also have in my closet that I was going to throw away/put in recycling bin! Thanks for the great idea! I have tons of fabric to choose from.

  2. Oh yes - they will work for Magazines too - that is actually the original purpose of them. It just so happens that ours hold coloring books.

    And the beauty of making them yourself, you can make them any size you want. If you want the a little taller, or like we did, a little shorter... it is totally up to you!

  3. Great idea. They look great on your bookshelves.

  4. very cool! they look great! I have to do that myself. :)

  5. This is now in my "Things I want to make" folder!

  6. If been meaning to do this. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Thanks for joining Get Your Craft on Thurs. at Life As Lori

    Please join me next week for another great party!

  7. Those are so pretty! What a great idea! I have a couple of priority boxes lurking in the back of my closet. I definitely will give this a go.

    Thanks so much for linking up to Make it Yours day!


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