If there’s one thing I enjoy almost as much as crafting and thrifting, it’s customizing my personal belongings and especially my personal space. Recently we’ve started repurposing one of our bedrooms into a workroom for my husband Juan and me. He’s got a desk and a computer and a more quiet place to write. Although if you ask him he likes to say I’ve only left him a very small crevice in the corner of the room to call his own. It’s more than a crevice. He has a chair on that side too…just in case you’re wondering. The rest of the room, well, we’ve decided to make it into a crafting area for me. Before that I was taking up most of the den in the back of the house. 

Anyhow, with this new space to put together, I quickly realized I needed better ways to organize my supplies. Because I’m a very frugal shopper, I am unwilling to pay the high price of desk organizers at retail stores. They cost way too much and most often are only available in very limited design options. So using recycled materials and leftover crafting items, I decided to make my own. The technique I’m using is one I’ve learned only recently. 

Read Related: How to Organize a Playroom 

From Cardboard Box to Custom Storage Container-SuppliesMaterials

  • Regular school glue
  • Water
  • Sponge brush (a regular paintbrush is also fine)
  • Cardboard (I’m using my son’s old display board from a science project)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Exacto knife or box cutter
  • I’m using a thicker version of tissue paper but you can use any paper. Keep in mind using thinner, almost-see-through tissue paper may require multiple layers. Giftwrap will also work.


Step 1. Take an existing box or create your own. If you’re creating your own you may want to start out with a small box first to familiarize yourself with the technique. To create a small, four sided box start by cutting out your four cardboard sides. Use a hot glue gun to adhere the cardboard sides together.

Step 2. In a small container pour regular white glue and dilute it with water. Use a half water and half glue mixture.

From Cardboard Box to Custom Storage Container-Supplies

Step 3. Use a brush to spread the water and glue mixture evenly over all of the cardboard surfaces. Adhere the tissue or wrapping paper to the cardboard surfaces with glue on them. Repeat on all sides until your box is completely covered. You can add additional layers to increase the thickness of your box.

Step 4. Let it dry and enjoy your new customized container!

If you have questions about this or any other of my crafting projects, feel free to reach out to me online on Facebook or Twitter.