Collapsible Storage Bins Tutorial

When we arrived in Oregon for the summer I quickly realized that the few toys we brought were already everywhere and we had no where to put them away- hate that!
So I came up with these collapsible storage bins and I absolutely love them

 They slide right under the changing table and keep everything nice and tidy
and this girly has a lot of things that need a home

And they collapse down so they’ll be easy to move (and we move often) or store when not in use

We use them for toys but you could use them for just about anything! Fabric, accessories, seasonal items (hats, scarves, beach towels, etc.)…

Let’s get organized!

My bins are 18x12x8 and fit perfectly under the Ikea changing table. To make 2 of those you’ll need:
  • 1 1/8 yard outer fabric- I used marine vinyl but you don’t need something quite that stiff
  • 2 1/4 yards lining
  • Cardboard or sheets of plastic canvas to stiffen the sides
  • Hot Glue
1. First you need to cut out all of your pieces. For each bin I used:
In outer fabric:
  • 2 long sides: 19×9″ 
  • 2 short sides: 13×9″
  • 1 bottom: 19×13″
In lining fabric:
  • 2 long sides: 19×10″ (notice it’s 1″ taller- if you want longer to fold over the top adjust as needed)
  • 2 short sides: 13×10″ (again 1″ taller)
  • 3 bottom pieces: 19×13″
  • 2 handles: 10×4″
In cardboard:
  • 2 long sides: 18×8″
  • 4 short sides: 6×8″
  • 1 bottom: 18×12″ 

2. Let’s start with the handles. Fold in half and sew the long edges together. Turn right side out. Then I slid a piece of vinyl inside to stiffen them up but you could skip that. Turn the raw edges back inside the handle on each short edge
3. Sew the handles in place on the short edges of each bin. It’s a bit hard to see but I sewed down each end with a rectangular stitching pattern for extra reinforcement
4. Sew the sides of your bin pieces together forming one big loop- you should now have a bin in the liner and the outer fabric that’s just missing the bottom piece
5. With wrong sides together line up the bottom edge of the liner with the bottom edge of the outer bin. Sew together at each seam and down the middle of the short piece- you’ll have to stitch half way, go around the handle, and then stitch the other half. This makes the compartments for your cardboard reinforcement pieces.
6. With right sides together sew the bottom of the bin (in the outer fabric) to your upper bin.
7. Take one of your bottom lining pieces and press all of the edges in 1/2″ so it’s the same size as the bottom of your bin. Sew in place around all edges to cover the seam allowances in the bottom of your bin. It’s a bit tricky moving it through the sewing machine but go slowly and you’ll get it to work out just fine
8. Slide in all of your cardboard pieces- you may need to do a little trimming (sorry I forgot to take a picture)
9. Fold the top edge of the liner over twice towards the right side of the box so the raw edge is hidden. Secure in place with hot glue
10. With right sides together sew your remaining 2 bottom lining pieces together around 3 sides. Turn right side out.
11. Slide your cardboard bottom piece inside and then turn the raw edges of the fabric to the inside and hot glue in place. Pop it into the bottom of the box and you’re finished!
To fold the box down just take out the bottom piece and fold the short edges in towards the middle

Amy

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Amy is the founder and owner of Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop. She is a wife and mother to 3 children. Amy loves to sew, read and spend time outdoors.

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Comments

  1. 25

    says

    This is fantastic. Thanks so much for taking the time for writing it up. I have repined on my Pinterest page and I also copied it to my hard drive so I will always have it. (unless my computer crashes)

    I am thinking I may alter the measurements make these as covers for my sewing machine and serger. It would be nice to have the covers fold neatly away when the machines are in use.

  2. 26

    Sue says

    These are amazing!!!! I’ve been looking for these as shop bought ones aren’t always the right size. Will be making these very soon. Thank you so much for this tutorial.

  3. 27

    Sharon says

    These storage bins are fantastic & being collapsible is an added benefit. Do you think I could substitute plastic canvas for the cardboard? I just found your site today & I’m sure I will be a frequent visitor!
    Thank you,
    Sharon

    • 29

      Sam rObbins says

      Love these! I found these at Dollar Tree and thought that they would be easy to make to match my decor. You did the hard part for me, thank you for this tute-greatly appreciated!

  4. 34

    says

    Ah, Denim! That is a fabulous idea. I was wondering what to do with my kids old jeans. Made a quilt for my son with some denim the year before last and it turned out wonderful. These bins would look really cool made with old jeans.

    • 35

      says

      My wife made some collapsible storage bins for our sons’ toys, and when it was about time for them to give these away, all she did was to fold these up. The collapsible storage bins were perfect to create some space when we cleared and gave away some of the toys.

  5. 36

    says

    Ah, Denim! That is a fabulous idea. I was wondering what to do with my kids old jeans. Made a quilt for my son with some denim the year before last and it turned out wonderful. These bins would look really cool made with old jeans.

  6. 40

    says

    Thank you for the time and work you put into posting this tutorial. The explanations are simple, the directions are clear and the outcome was rewarding. I have looked at bins but find them a bit pricy (unless they are at the $ Store then they are just cheap. I promised myself to be more green this year, and it’s turning out to be a lot of fun! I have saved jeans from all my kids, and my GFs kids. Kept saying “Im going to make a quilt.” Arghh…20 years of jeans from 9 kids…it piles up! No quilt. Then I made my New Year resolution. I have made a pair of ‘No-Socks Slipper Mocs’ from another blog, I have begun a braided rug, and today I made my first of 6 storage bins, following your directions. All from denim! I LOVE it! Thank you so much.

  7. 43

    says

    These are awesome! And your tutorial is right on time for me, I’ve been searching for an odd size of storage boxes & can’t find them. This will be perfect to customize.

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