I love my IKEA Expedit shelf. I use it as a wall to divide my formal living room from my dining room, which serves as my office/sewing room. For awhile now, I’ve been searching for storage bins to help me organize the shelf and store items that I need to keep out of my little girl’s reach. Since this shelf is out in the open for all to see, the bins need to be pretty, too.
I looked at the IKEA options for bins first. Some of them just aren’t attractive at all. They do have some nice ones in natural materials, but I was afraid that the neutral colors of those baskets would just be too visually boring for a room with light brown walls and a birch colored Expedit. And $14-$16 per bin isn’t cheap for bins that aren’t even perfect.
There are a lot of generic fabric storage bins out there, but most of them just aren’t quite the right size for the Expedit. They tend to be just a few inches too small, which wastes valuable space and would not look quite as nice on the shelf as a bin made to fit. Target’s Itso bins are just the right size, but I wasn’t wild about the few color options available when I began my search.
I decided that the only way to get bins that were both the right size and pretty enough was to make them myself. I’m not the only one to come to this conclusion. There are lots of tutorials for making your own IKEA storage bins. I followed the tutorial for DIY Expedit Bins at Stitches and Seams. This is a great, easy to follow tutorial. I made a few small changes with my bins: instead of making a matching fabric handle, I used a length of cotton webbing for the handles. Instead of making a plastic pocket to hold a tag, I sewed on little metal frames I picked up from the scrapbooking aisle.
With a baby to work around, I spent several weeks from start to finish on five of these bins. Without a baby to distract you, I’m sure the project would go much faster, but it still isn’t a super quick project. I think the finished bins are worth the work. I love how they turned out. They are going to help me organize and baby proof my space so much.