Jul 12, 2011

Hanging File Boxes Repurposed from Cardboard Crates

I have a ton  had a ton of these cardboard crates from my food storage in my basement (I threw a bunch away because I couldn't figure out what to do with them).  Then I was unloading a case of green beans and thought, "there has got to be something useful I can make with these."  These fabulous and very cute hanging file boxes were the finished product.  I LOVE THEM (and am so wishing I hadn't thrown away at least a dozen and a half of these a few months ago).
Here's what you need to make these:
2 cardboard crates per 1 hanging file box (make sure they are the same size or if you are going to make a matching set them make sure you are using all the same sizes of boxes.  These are not all created equal so pay close attention.)
Spray adhesive
Black spray paint (or whatever color you want.  Black is nice because it has good coverage)
Black masking tape (I found mine at Walmart but that was years ago-not sure where to still find it.  I have the standard 3/4" width of masking tape but actually a bit wider would be easier).
Decorative paper (2 12x12 sheets per hanging file)
To begin find your matching boxes.
You want one to be able to fit inside the other like this (it should be able to stick out at an angle).
The bottoms should fit together perfectly then pull the inside box out at an angle (how much really depends on you.  The part where the boxes no longer overlap but there is a space, is where you are going to cut the front (inside) box. 
My front box (the one that fits inside) I cut 6 1/2" from the end that fits inside the other box.
On the outer box the only pieces I am going to cut off are on the sides above my mark (which is where the boxes overlap) which I made at 6 5/8" and off the top (which will create a flat back piece).
Notice my mark, then I have the sides above that mark and the top of the box to cut off.
It should look like this.
So here are my two pieces now.
When I put them back together it should look like this:
Now I spray painted both pieces.  I didn't worry as much about the part that would be inside the angled piece or the back of the folder.  Let that dry.
Next I taped off both of the sides of the front box piece at an angle from the back edge to the front.  I did this because this is the part that will be exposed once these are put together and I don't want sticky spray adhesive on those parts.  Now spray the bottom and untaped sides of this piece with spray adhesive.
Reassemble the hanging file and hold the sides in place with an extra piece of tape and I used a clothes pin as well.  I left it like this overnight, though spray adhesive works quite quickly.  I did find the clothes pins to be very handy to hold the top of the sides while they dried.
Here is what it looks like when it was done drying.
Now I taped all the cut edges with black masking tape.  I think this gives it a finished look.  I also taped along the sides where the two pieces overlap.  I actually used two pieces on each side because it wasn't as wide as I wanted it to be.
You can't hardly tell that it is there.  I like how the masking tape blends in really well.

Finally I was able to decorate them.  I cut pieces of scrapbook paper to cover the front and the inside of the file.  I attached them with doublesided tape (because I use it for everything).  I cut the paper so that there would be an 1/8" of the black still showing around all of the sides.

Finally for the hanging ribbon.  Measure in from each side 3".
Punch a hole using a hole punch. (can you see the arrows pointing to the holes?)  I went down as far as my punch would reach.
Thread a piece of ribbon through from the front. 
Tie it together in a loose knot and you are set.

I decided after the fact to add a label to the front of each one.  I printed these on the computer. 

I think these are my favorite project I have made to date.  Watch out friends and family-everyone might be getting a set (gives me a good excuse to get my food storage more organized).
As seen on:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Nothing But Country
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  1. I absolutely love this idea! I'm sitting here thinking of all the things I could use the hanging files for. Thanks for sharing!!!

  2. These are the best! I just "pinned" this so I will not forget to do it. I need these in my classroom, my kitchen, my bedroom...

  3. Holy wow!! I love it and I two have had many of these w/food storage. You are the best!

  4. These are awesome! I love how you recycled old boxes for these. Totally adding this to my to do list :)


  5. You are freakin' genius! I've been wanting some paper file storage and this is definitely what I'm after, now I just need to find me some of these boxes, thanks for sharing such a good idea!

  6. Super Cute - Must make some for my office!
    Thanks for sharing

  7. Cute idea! I love the repurposing.

  8. These would work great in the classroom. Now if I just have time to put some together before it all starts! (Plus I have to find the boxes!)

  9. These are are adorable! You are so creative!!!!

  10. Great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I love this! I've been looking to buy something like this and now I can just make it myself! Thanks for sharing your genius! And I love the black and white toile. Soooo classy!

  12. So amazing! I love this idea!

  13. I love this idea! I don't often have that kind of box, but maybe if I tinker with some empty cereal boxes I could come up with something similar...Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. What a creative and pretty idea! I will soon be building an office, so I've pinned this to keep in mind.

  15. Awesome..I will need to try this one..


  16. Found you on Pinterest today when looking for tutorials on making storage items from cardboard. I do product reviews for my blog and get a TON of cardboard boxes each week. Thanks for providing detailed steps for this project!! I think I might use this to make a place to put incoming mail.

  17. Bellissima idea, davvero geniale, grazie per la condivisione, sei un tesoro.

  18. I think these are amazing. A thought I wanted to add is that there are lots of decorative rolls of duct tape available these days, so they might be helpful! I am a teacher and I totally plan on making myself some, probably adding a little bit of chalkboard paint to customize them year to year!

  19. this is just genius, thanks for sharing, found it on pinterest LOVE!!

  20. This is wonderful! I love recycling projects using boxes and this is fantastic! Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  21. Great idea! Thanks for sharing


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