Upcycled diaper storage

Our bedroom used to be a sanctuary. A cool green, sheer-curtains, blissfully serene, no-kids-toys-allowed kind of sanctuary.

Well, then Kid #2 happened and we needed somewhere to put… everything. She’s sleeping in the guest room right now, but the changing table, diaper pail, pack n’ play and all her clothes are stored HERE.

See this mess?

And that’s right after I tidied. (Like my child-proof cabinet lock? Heh.)

Compound that problem with the fact that we are now doing cloth diapers (daytime) AND disposables (daddy time and night time) so we need two sets of everything.

And don’t forget that Alea is a Tidiness Destroyer. Every morning I lock her in this room with me while I shower, where there is nothing that can harm her. I lavishly pile toys around her and escape furtively to scrub myself as fast as I can. And when I emerge, there’s been a hurricane. All her toys eschewed in favor of pulling every. single. carefully folded item of clothing out of that dresser and flinging them as far across the room as she can. And every morning I sigh, remind myself I should be grateful that I at least got a shower, and I begin refolding and re-putting-away. Usually Alea is “helping” at the same time. It’s a mess, I tell you.

So, visual clutter and a continual headache for Mommy. Solution: baskets! Except… we have all these boxes sitting around from Christmas packages. And I have tons of fabric. Surely I could just repurpose them? And I’d been seeing all these pins on Pinterest lately that did just that… I decided to try it.

So yet again, I talked myself out of my first visit to the Container Store. (What is wrong with me?) Hear that, Josh? It’s the chinking sound of the hundreds of dollars I didn’t spend in obsessive organizing glee.  I have only myself to blame.

I followed this tutorial at DIY on the Cheap, with some changes.

This box was exactly the right width, but I cut down the height to fit in that little niche under the table.  I cut my template out of a rough muslin I love:

And then I decided to fancy it up with a homemade iron-on transfer I’d seen over at The Graphics Fairy.

Well, it looks easy over there, but let me tell you this was the most frustrating craft I’ve done in FOREVER!!!

First, printers do.not.like. freezer paper. I tried eight separate times, cutting new freezer template sheets each time – I kid you not – and when I finally got it to go through without tearing up and crunching the paper, I realized I had forgotten to flip the image!!

Cue through another eight or ten times before I realized I should just tape the freezer paper to a piece of regular paper. Bam! Magic. Wish I’d thought of that to begin with! I was gritting my teeth by this time and cussing under my breath – luckily the girls were in bed. Perfect printing.

Except… I’d forgotten to change the layout, so it printed off the ends of the strip of freezer paper I’d taped. I took a deep breath and redid everything one more time (can I tell you how sick I am of cutting up curly, slippery freezer paper?) and then in the middle of printing, rested my hand on the printer and accidentally turned it off… Gah! Well, thirtieth time’s the charm, right?

I took it back and ironed it and then burnished it as per the instructions.

And… NOTHING. Not one shadow of an image was transferred.

I did not give up though. I decided to try ONE MORE TIME. And I’m glad I did.

This time, I hurried from the printer to the iron so the ink wouldn’t dry in between. (Turns out, this wasn’t necessary).

Then, I let the iron sit on the paper for the fully recommended 60 seconds or more. The paper did not even turn brown, though it did smell like melted crayons.

Then, instead of removing the cloth to burnish it elsewhere, I pushed a very hard, thick slab of cardboard underneath it and used the hot side of the iron to burnish it right there. This seemed to be the ticket – keep it hot-hot-hot and melty while pushing down hard to transfer the melted wax and ink combo.


(Wet-looking spots here are from the coat of clear acrylic spray I gave it afterwards. I don’t trust the durability of printer ink.)

Except… in my hurry to get paper to cloth, I was not able to line it up right. It’s off-center by a glaringly obvious 3 inches or so! At this rate I will have no hair left to tear. Crafting is not good for my stress levels.

At least covering up the box went great. Instead of using hot glue (lumpy) or a glue stick (too temporary), I used spray adhesive, with marvelous, smooth results.

Filled the box and…

Well. Maybe it was all worth it. :) I bet it’ll look even better when the clear coat dries.

Took 2-3 hours, but it would have taken only 1 if I had known to 1) tape the freezer paper down before printing, and 2) use the hot iron as a burnisher. So with that in mind: will I be doing it again? You bet!

Wanna see that again?

Want the label for yourself? I made it shareable so you can download it. Click here and it’s all yours – enjoy!

4 Responses to “Upcycled diaper storage”

  1. Erin Says:

    Try letting her play in the bottom of the shower, while your in there? Lots of toys, plug the tub so there is a little extra water on the bottom for her to play in. It worked with #1 who love bath time, but not #2 who has never been a good bather:(

  2. Diana Guillermo Says:

    Good idea Erin, I suppose I could shower in the hallway bathroom… our master bath where I get ready in the mornings has only a little cubicle shower.

  3. heidi Says:


    this may help–is your printer an ink jet, not laser printer? freezer paper works in an ink jet but not in a laser printer.

    why not use the hall bathroom in the early a.m.? The toys are already there!

  4. heidi Says:

    oh, dear, did I set up my ID backwards again? Tell me how to do it so you don’t have to “moderate”.

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