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Project

Container Crafts

Introduction

Even ordinary items, such as rubber bands and spools, look great when they're turned into patterned labels for desktop containers. Here's how to make them.

Materials

  • Empty container with a lid
  • Photo scanner
  • White or colored paper, or peel-and-stick paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Spools
  • Utility knife
  • Matchboxes

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Decide which items you need to store.

  2. Step 2

    Choose an empty container with a lid. Oatmeal or cigar boxes, clean cans, or plain tins from an art-supply store all work well. Check the size of your items to make sure they'll fit: Tall canisters are best for pencils; small boxes are good for buttons or beads.

  3. Step 3

    Select items for the label, and place on the scanner. Try a few arrangements: You might lay the objects down randomly or line them up to make a border. Then scan the image into the computer. A parent can use photo-editing software to adjust the brightness or contrast of the image or to erase shadows.

  4. Step 4

    Print the image onto white or colored paper, or onto peel-and-stick paper (it comes in many colors, as well as clear, and is available at office-supply stores).

  5. Step 5

    Trim the printout to fit the size of the container. If using regular paper, apply a glue stick to the back of the label. Stick the label on the container, starting at one end and smoothing it out with your hand.

  6. Step 6

    Kids can also create special containers to give as gifts. Make a bank for a friend by scanning coins onto a label for a powdered-drink canister, and have a parent cut a slit in the lid with a utility knife.

  7. Step 7

    Use spools to decorate a biscuit tin for mom's sewing supplies. Or make an attractive box to hold a gift you're giving. For example, package art supplies in a cigar box decorated with images of paints, brushes, colored pencils, and scissors.Container CollectionsMatchboxes are just right for keeping collections of small objects because they come in a couple of sizes and are easily stacked and stored. Scan your favorite pieces for the label, and you'll have no trouble finding the box you want when you're ready to play with your collection or add to it.

  8. Step 8

    Matchboxes are just right for keeping collections of small objects because they come in a couple of sizes and are easily stacked and stored. Scan your favorite pieces for the label, and you'll have no trouble finding the box you want when you're ready to play with your collection or add to it.

Source
Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 9 2003

Reviews (10)

  • MsKelly 2 Mar, 2009

    Try turning off the lights in the room and or covering scanner with opaque (no light shines threw) cloth like a blanket. A sheet may not be thick enough unless doubled up.

  • sunshinejeep 25 Feb, 2009

    When I scan the objects onto my computer - the scan has a dark background because the top of the scanner doesn't shut all the way. How do you get rid of the dark background? I tried "erasing" it with my photo software but it didn't look too good!

  • cobibridge 4 Oct, 2008

    THANKYOU, THANKYOU, AND THANKYOU AGAIN, THIS IS JUST SO GREAT, AND VERY HELPFUL, MY GRANDCHILDREN AND i ARE GOING TO HAVE A GREAT TIME THIS WEEKEND LABELING THINGS!!!

  • Harrr 29 Sep, 2008

    You can get really elaborate decorating empty containers for gift boxes (think scrapbooking!). You can use Scrapbooking paper, gift wrap paper, print-outs to cover the box or round oatmeal cans and finish by hot-gluing ribbon to cover the edges or paper punches or other embellishments. For empty yoghurt containers, I cut one to use as a template to cut paper for covering another and they turn out great and food safe for gifting!

  • NancyMcManus 28 Sep, 2008

    What a cute, great, and ever so simple idea! Non-readers can see right where things belong...but even my teenagers would probably notice which box is the right one with a color picture staring right at them.

  • Shivi 27 Sep, 2008

    wow! this is such a good idea- love it!

  • ViAnBa 27 Sep, 2008

    What about placing the items on coloured paper and then photographing from directly above? For those without scanners!

  • mohamed 21 Jul, 2008

    this is some hard

  • anfitriones 22 May, 2008

    This made me thin again of my store! As I sell little things like candles, candle holders and everything for parties, this is a great idea for storage and find the products easily.

  • Jokin 21 Jan, 2008

    I collect everything: oatmeal boxes, shoeboxes, tea boxes, candy boxes...Now I know what to do with them!