Saturday, July 5, 2008

Magazine Boxes

This project did not turn out quite how I hoped and I may re-do it eventually. For now I'm going to leave it alone though and I thought I would still share it with you.

I ordered some plain white cardboard magazine files from IKEA. They look like this:

Not too exciting, eh?

So, I found some wrapping paper that I thought would match my living room to cover the boxes. I picked one with a pattern just to make my life difficult in covering the boxes. So that the pattern would line up I traced out the end of each box onto the paper - for the two boxes that would be on the end of the row I also traced the visible side panel. I outlined the hole on the front of each box to help me line up the paper on the box correctly when it came time to glue.

Then, cut out each strip of paper and glue to the boxes (I used modge podge). If you're using a patterned paper - be very careful to line up the pattern. I messed up on the first one as you may be able to tell.

And, then you have a pretty little set of boxes on your shelf to hide away all those magazine you keep around for some reason.

Ok, so what I didn't like about my first attempt at this so that I know for next time (I still have some extra file boxes) or so that you don't repeat that mistake:

The paper was too thin (you see all the cardboard bumps) and not very bright and interesting on the shelf. If you're looking for something kind of understated - that would be good - but in my mind I wanted something that popped a little more. I was hoping the blue butterflies on the paper would've sparkled more.

I'm not very good at small details - so - I should've gone with coordinating papers rather than trying to match a pattern so the imperfections were not so noticeable. I also think I will cover all four sides of the boxes next time rather than just the visible ones so that I have more diversity in where I place them/how I group them.

Let me know if you try this and how your's turns out!


  1. This is a clever idea. I think the boxes turned out quite nice, although I do see what you mean about wanting something that 'pops' more. Still, it's better than what I would have been able to accomplish. Haha.

  2. i like it. it does need more 'pop' though. i think it's actually the dark furniture that's making it look so blended.

  3. I like, I think it's quite lovely. But popping ones would be fun too.

  4. I think that using shelf paper or contact paper or something like that would've been a bit thicker and may have worked better. It is harder to work with, though.

  5. Have you considered using scrapbooking paper? I think I'd like to do this with that kind of paper and use coordinating colors and patterns. I agree with the others that it needs to pop more. I do like some things that match, but with projects like that I'd need them to be more versatile.

    It's a great idea though. How sturdy are the cardboard files? I have some of the plastic ones, but I'd like to try these cardboard ones if they are study and inexpensive enough.

  6. I thought about both contact paper and scrapbooking paper. The stickyness and the frustration of the former made me avoid that - and I just happend to run across wrapping paper that I liked before I ran across scrapbook paper that I liked.

    The boxes are fairly sturdy - I wouldn't use them if you're going to be pulling them down a lot - but if it's more for storage and occassionaly accessing the magazines it should be fine.

    You can't order the boxes from IKEA (in-store only) - but ebay has a number of sets that run about $15 including shipping for 5 of them. They're much cheaper in store if you have a store near you.

  7. The closest IKEA to me is probably the store you shop at Nicole. LOL, I've never even been in an IKEA. But I window shop at their online store often.

  8. You might try wallpaper next time. You can probably find some on clearance and if not, one roll should not be that bad. You can use the prepasted, but I would not just use water to wet the wallpaper paste. I think you would have better results adhering to the boxes by using a thin layer of the modge podge to "wet" the prepasted back. Most wallpaper is think enough to cover the lines of the cardboard.

    Awesome idea though!

  9. You could use some acrylic paint and glitter and paint the outlines of the butterflies, add some sparkle, etc. Also makes it appear more dimensional that way.