I am always on the lookout for attractive storage ideas, especially when they are going to be visible – on an open shelf, perhaps, under a table or beneath my desk.
My obsession with storage began when my children were small and I was determined to find different ways of keeping their toys and books tidy without having to resort to plastic boxes.
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While these are all very well out of sight in the shed or garage, an old wine box or apple crate, a blanket box or vintage deeds tin would always be my choice of storage in the house.
As my daughters have grown up, the mismatched boxes I created for them that once stored dollies and board games now contain everything from CD collections to shoes and work files.
Unlike plastic crates they haven't turned yellow or become cracked and brittle with age, but have mellowed and adapted to whatever has been packed into them. I’m proud to say that a few of the boxes on castors, similar to the one shown here, accompanied my eldest when she started university last month.
You will need
- A wooden box (try independent wine shops, online auction sites, car boot sales – or you may already have one in the loft or shed)
- Lining paper or fabric
- Staple gun or wallpaper paste
- Wood glue
- 4 plate-fitting castors with screws
- 4 squares of wood, 2-3cm thick, the same size as the castor plate
- Drill, or bradawl or punch, hammer and screwdriver
How to make
Start by lining the box. I used an excellent sturdy tartan wrapping paper. Cut the paper to fit the inside of the box, then use a staple gun to attach it – or use wallpaper paste.
You need four squares of wood to ensure the castors are securely fixed at each corner of your box without the screws breaking through into the bottom of the box. Using wood glue, stick one block to each corner of the base of the box. I used Gorilla wood glue, which dries harder than the wood itself so the castors can withstand lots of wear.
When the glue is completely dry – after 24 hours – attach the castors. Place the castor plate onto the attached wooden block in one corner and mark the centre of each screw hole with a pencil, ready for drilling. Repeat on the other three corners.
Part drill into the wood at each pencil point about 7mm, using a drill bit slightly smaller than the screws. Screw the castor to the base. I have an electric screwdriver that makes this process very quick and easy.
You can line the box with fabric if you prefer, folding over any raw edges to keep it neat and tidy, before stapling it in place. Or you may choose to paint the interior instead: if your box has a design on the outside, try using a contrast colour for the interior.