Pure Laziness or Genius: A tutorial of interesting proportions

Ever since I started the shop and received my shipment of chalk cloth, I have wanted to make storage bins with it. While you could definitely sew these and you could have a pretty liner (which I still plan to make), you can seriously make one of these in about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how long it takes you to find your stapler. Stapler, you ask? Yes, a stapler. That’s how I made this storage tote where you, or your children, can write on it for labeling and organizing or just because it’s fun to draw on things not typically reserved for creative expression:). Side note, please excuse the photos they were taken from my mobile device since this was a very impromptu project.


Because of how easy (and cheap) it is, I am torn between feeling really suspect or brilliant. Maybe it’s a mix of both. To see how you can make your own continue reading.
Chalk cloth or oilcloth will work but avoid laminated cotton unless you want to interface and line it to provide structure. You choose the size but here I used a leftover half yard which I then cut into an 18″ square.
-Scissors or rotary blade cutter
-Ruler or straight edge
-Pen, marker or tailor’s chalk
-Chalk, crayola style
– Stapler, loaded

Step one Cut your square.
Place the chalk cloth onto where you’ll cut with your cutting tool and cut it into an even square or rectangle. You can also sketch out your dimensions as I did here so you can make sure your math is right. Since I had an 18″ square and I wanted it to be at least four inches deep, I decided to go from there.

Step two Mark your corners
I used tailor’s chalk to measure 4″ inches in from each corner, both horizontally and vertically.
Step three Prime the chalk cloth
Using chalk cloth, you need to prime it before you use it for the first time. It’s super simple – just take a piece of chalk, on it’s side and cover the entire piece you’re using with it. Be careful not to press too hard as it can create scratch marks, but overall it creates a nice patina. Once it’s covered, erase with a chalkboard eraser or use a scrap piece of flannel or a towel like I do. Rub a little harder just to be sure you get the dust all the way off.


Now it’s ready to roll.

Step four Align corners and staple seams
Right sides together, line up each corner, the inward cut sides, by folding it on the diagonal.

Grab your stapler.

Starting on the end closest to the fold (which will be the bottom edge when it’s complete) line of the staple about 1/4″ from the cut edge. You can go deeper but this seemed to work just fine. Staple the staples as close as you want to each other, just be sure to get one as close to the top edge as possible for easier turning. I put about three on each seam.

Repeat Step four on all four seams.



Step five Turning to right side out
This is probably the hardest step since chalkcloth isn’t the most pliable of fabrics. Work at each side and then use your thumb or finger to push each bottom corner fully. Be careful not to pry the staples. I only had one I had to redo but it was a cinch (that’s why getting the top one as close to the edge will be helpful).


Ta-da! You now have a tote. It will have a floral like shape left empty but once you fill it, it will go back to its square shape.




A couple of notes – you could also use snaps, sew it and other fastening devices. Enjoy this method as a quick way to make some storage happen for as little as five dollars. You can change the sizes and shapes based on your needs.

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