Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Recycled Vegetable Bins

My family gets weekly boxes of produce from a local CSA. I love the program, but I don't love that every week after I put away my produce, I'm left with an empty box to recycle. When I noticed how beautiful the boxes were, however, I came up with a way to reuse a few boxes by turning them into vegetable bins for organizing my pantry.

  • 1 large rectangular box
  • box-cutter or craft knife
  • duct tape and/or clear packing tape
  • ruler
  • pencil
First I used clear packing tape to secure the top and bottom flaps to the box half-way across each flap. This helps the box stay together while cutting it.

Next, I used a straight edge to draw a rough line on the sides of the box using the top and box flap lines as a guide.

I used a utility knife to cut the entire box in half lengthwise.

I looked at the box halves and determined which side of the box was nicer looking -- this nicer side would be the new front of the vegetable bin.

After turning the half boxes cut-side up, I made marks along the new front edge about 2 inches from each side.

Then, following the design on the new front of the box (mine had a line about 2 1/4" from the top so if you don't have this line, you might need to make one), I made another mark about 3 1/2" from each side...

...and connected the marks with a straight line.

Next, I used the utility knife to cut along the lines on the front to form low openings for the new bin fronts.

Small pieces of clear packing tape were useful for taping the front flaps to the inner flaps for more stability.

This was what they look like after the openings are cut out.

I took the bins a step further by using black duct tape to finish the back edge, securing the back flaps together. I started by using a piece of duct tape slightly longer than the center gap and attached the tape to the top edge with half of the tape above the edge.

I smoothed the center tape over the edge.

Then I repeated the process on either side of the center gap.

I tried to line up the tape on either side with the center tape...

... and then they were finished.

So with very little effort and materials, and one nearly thrown out box, I made two vegetable bins. I'm very happy knowing I managed to repurpose a few boxes while creating something that actually brings more order to my pantry. Yeah, recycling!

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