Upcycled Travel-Themed Storage Boxes

In an effort to help my study/spare room feel more loved peaceful and inviting, I was on the lookout for ways to better store and disguise some of the ‘stuff’ I had hanging around after a round of de-cluttering. Cheap, easy and preferably upcycled were key criteria.

DIY Design Fanatic Box
I fell for some jute/twine covered boxes but then discovered that they were very time consuming and by the time I bought all the twine and hot glue plus some fabric if I didn’t have anything suitable in my stash, more expensive than I was planning on.

Enter a trio of map covered shoe boxes and I knew I had my winner. I love travel, the colours would work with the vague scheme I’ve been trying to cultivate and I already had old atlas pages left over from my Love Garlands (they weren’t suitable as the orientation didn’t match on front and back).

So, this was the space I wanted to ‘tart up’ before –

shelf before
I also wanted to hide the air conditioner drainage pipe –

empty shelf

I had three identical cardboard boxes and had a play to work out which way they would fit best.

Raw boxes

As they were going to sit up so high, I didn’t worry about the insides. I just folded in the flaps, taped them down and trimmed off any rough bits to get a vaguely even top.

Box trimming

After neatening up the edges on my selected atlas pages, I chose three for the front face of each box.

Atlas pages

Mod Podge was used to paste on the bottom sheet first, then the sides, finishing with the front face. To keep it neat but simple, I cut into the corners and folded down the overhang.

Box base

Two coats of Mod Podge gave a nice finish to the boxes as well as some protection for the paper.

On with some Martha Stewart adhesive backed label holders from Officeworks and we’re almost done.


I may end up making some fancier labels but quick and easy ones from the Brother label printer will be fine for now.

Box label

The whole space looks a whole lot fresher.

Corner space

I took the opportunity to re-do the frames on this wall (although they’re hard to read in this shot) and printed up my Core Desire Feelings and my current theme word – Simplify. This wall isn’t visible from most of the room but it’s what I see when I look left from my desk. I can have these visual reminders on display for me without feeling like everyone has to see them, if you know what I mean… I also hung one of my Love Garlands as they just make me happy.

One little section of my space is looking and feeling good. And I don’t have to look at messy bubble wrap and spare photo frames! I’m starting to play with Websters Chalk Paint Powder and have my eye on those ugly black laminate shelves…

What’s your favourite way to store things that’s practical, yet pleasing to the eye?

How have you upcycled something ugly to make something pretty?



5 thoughts on “Upcycled Travel-Themed Storage Boxes

  1. What an amazingly timed and very ironic post, Caz! I live in a tiny house and I’m in desperate need of “real estate” for storage. Yes, I’m in the process of doing a lot of purging but what a BRILLIANT idea to make the boxes decorative and nice. And I LOVE maps (all of my life) so that is even better!! Loved this and thank you! We hope all is well with you 🙂

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