Tuesday, May 12, 2015

31 DIY Sweater Boxes

Today's project is one that I have been putting off for far too long.  Up until recently, every time I would grab a sweater from my closet, it would snag and I would become frustrated.  My initial sweater storage solution turned out to be a giant fail.

You see, I wear sweaters all year round (freeze baby), yet, I opted to give my sweaters hand-me-down style storage.  Two random baskets have been corralling my sweaters for far too long now.  Not at all sweater-friendly with their woven and wire finishes. 

The other problem is that I could never see the sweaters on the bottom, meaning I was always digging and causing the mess you see above.  Lastly, the existing baskets were just too small to hold my bulkier cardigans and number of cold-weather items.

Not able to find exactly the shape, size or style of sweater box that I needed, I set out to make my own.

  • Fabric (I used Nate Berkus fabric from JoAnn)
  • Fray Check
  • Liquid Stitch
  • Box Cutter
  • Mod Podge
  • Marker
  • Sponge Brush
  • Fabric Sheers
  • Box
  • Cutting Mat
  • Label Plates (optional)

I found two moving boxes from Home Depot; they were the small 16" wide x 12" deep x 12" high size.  I began by putting together the box, taping the bottom and slicing the flaps from the top with a utility blade.

I wanted the back to be taller than the front, allowing the sweaters to stack, yet also providing visibility from the front.  Using a ruler and marker I drew my template on the exterior of the box.

I very slowly cut the lines with the utility blade, yet there were still a few imperfections that I was afraid would show through the fabric that would ultimately be covering the boxes.  I used some painter's tape to add a softer edge to the box.

The fabric I purchased didn't quite wrap around the entire box because the box was a bit too big so I figured I would have to try and piece in a scrap in the back.  Because the sweater boxes would eventually be filled with sweaters and living in my closet, I was completely OK having a visible seam.

To affix the fabric, I found that Mod Podge paired with a sponge brush was the best, easiest solution.  I have used spray adhesive in the past, but didn't want any risk of sticky business paired with my sweaters.  The Mod Podge dries nice and clear without any stick.

I gave the box a thick coat of the Mod Podge and then wrapped the box and edges with the fabric, pulling tightly and smoothing things out as I went.

After I had my scrap piece on the back, I fully wrapped the remainder of the box exterior and temporarily stuffed the excess fabric inside.

On the back where the fabric began and ended, I used some Fray Check to prevent the fabric from fraying down the road.

As you can see above, there was a lot of extra fabric, which was great for completely finishing off the interior.  I left the bottom of the box fabric-free.

I found that as I worked, the Mod Podge was great for affixing the fabric to the box, the Fabric Stitch was best for gluing the fabric to itself at points within the box and the Fray Check was perfect for preventing the fabric from fraying where there were fresh, exposed cuts.

Because I notched and sloped the sides, those cuts were a little trickier.  Above you can see how I angle cut the fabric to make it easier to lay in the corners.

I worked my way all around the box and tried to wrap it just as I would wrap a gift.  Once all was complete, the pattern was a little busy on the interior where everything met up, but I was extremely excited with the outcome of this little DIY.

I added a sticky label plate to the front of the box (the original ones pictured couldn't be affixed without creating a potential sweater snag on the interior) and once all of the glues were dry I filled the boxes up with my freshly folded sweaters.

One box holds regular sweaters while the other box holds all of my bulkier cardigans.

So much better!  I love the fresh pattern that welcomes me when I open my closet door.  But most importantly, I appreciate that my sweaters have a little breathing room and will no longer risk being damaged by my initial storage choice.

I used about a yard and a half of fabric total for each box (price will vary based on fabric cost).  The first box took me almost two hours to complete (wow!) while the second was easier and only took about an hour.  So not the quickest project, but definitely worth the time and effort to preserve my clothing.


  1. Great idea and especially love the fabric!

  2. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing, Jen!


  3. Great idea! I love the fabric too.

  4. Love these covered boxes Jen, such an inexpensive storage option! You could try folding the sweaters and lining and stacking them against each other in a row so you don't need to pull one from the bottom of a stack. Hope that makes sense?? I just find lining things up in a storage box is easier to manage than having them stacked on top of each other!! :)

  5. What a great idea! I absolutely love how these look!

    Her Heartland Soul

  6. Lovely! Love the fabric, love the customization, love that it's DIY! Genius idea for a cut-away! If I may I would suggest adding some felt to the bottom of your boxes, you can measure and buy it by the yard and affix it easily and it would protect your careful edges of fabric from wear and tear and possible peeling. Also would make sliding the boxes like drawers much smoother. Just a thought :)

  7. Oh my goodness!! This post was very timely and convenient, it's such a coincidence it's kind of creepy! I was always wondering how you stored your sweaters or if you had a more convenient way. This was great! Thanks!

    (PS-Do you know if there are these types of boxes already made?)

    1. Ha, isn't it funny when that happens? I just pulled sweaters out last weekend and enough was enough! :)

      Amazon has an option here: http://amzn.to/1RBABYf and The Container Store has drop-front sweater box options. Target is a great spot for standard canvas bins also.


  8. The box looks lovely! However have you thought of folding differently?I fold mine in half and stack horizontally, so I can see everything at a glance and remove one sweater without disturbing the others. If you google"konmari" you'll find a similar method.

    1. Oh yes! I use that method for my jeans, pajamas & t-shirts. I typically find they end up falling over when I take them out... but I agree it typically works great overall!

  9. I use open plastic boxes with sweaters stacked like file folders. Sometimes they fall over and need to be refolded. Haven't quite solved that issue. All my cashmere sweaters are in a lidded clear box to keep moths out. That one works great.

  10. I love this solution! Practical and stylish.

  11. Great idea!!! I have boxes for office supplies and scrapbooking supplies, but never thought of this. I need to do this for some shirts and sweaters too. I need the space too. Thanks for sharing!!!!!

  12. This is such a great idea and could be used for any storage purposes!

  13. Absolutely love this idea - and even more so how it was created for scratch! They look amazing and like something you would get out of a shop! Great job x

    emily x ❤ | emilyloula

  14. Oh my gosh, it looks fantastic! I've just had built in wardrobes fitted and this is exactly what they need x

  15. I love ittttttttttt. So beautiful . I have many initial storage choices around my home and I think it's time to change them. Congratulations for the new storage and the fresh pattern.

  16. Darling! You are so creative and attentive to every detail. And I loooove that fabric. (Go Nate!)

  17. This is absolutely *brilliant* !! Thank you for this!!!!


  18. I have had making storage boxes on my list for over a year now! You have given me the little nudge I needed to get started on this project.

    And even though I already have tons of fabric within arms reach, I love the fabrics you used and I never turn down the chance to buy more fabric, lol. I adore the black and white you have used. I'm a sucker for black and white. (and it's very obvious when you see my web site www.BLAVERRY.com, haha)

    Thank you for the tutorial and inspiration! 😉

  19. Interesting idea, but you still have the problem of only being able to see the top two sweaters.

    1. It may appear that way in some of the images, but in this image you can see that because the box is deeper, I can easily see all of the sweaters from the front (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-NC--LUt4z2E/VVJmaLzJREI/AAAAAAAA9PA/lUfkpIUQTwM/s1600/DIY_Sweater_Box_19.jpg)


  20. Brilliant idea. I'm always stuck for what to do with my knits. They don't do well on hangers and take up far too much space in the closet. I think I will be giving this a go.

  21. These boxes are so beautiful - I think they would fit perfectly in my laundry room!
    On a side note - where do you get your bookplates? I can't seem to find the Martha Stewart brand that you treasure so. I'm afraid they don't make them anymore.

    1. I still have a small stash of them from when Staples sold them, I stocked up on a few packages each trip just because I loved them so much. I have found non-adhesive bookplates at craft stores and on Amazon as well as home salvage shops. I think we need to start a petition to Martha's people to bring back the bookplates and discbound notebooks! <3

  22. I'm hooked on the Martha Stewart Book Plates too and bought the last bit once they discontinued the supplies. Regret not buying more! Would you have any other suggestions?

  23. Love this! Mine would never look as good as your though!


  24. Thanks for sharing! Do you recall what the approximate cost for this project was?

  25. This will be so helpful with my closet makeover, thank you so much!

  26. Oh my. It looks so organized and so perfect. And it's DIY to boot. Love it, just love it


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