Hands down - my favorite element of our "new" playroom is our toy storage shelf. Well, not so much the shelf itself (it was a spur-of-the-moment, inexpensive ugly-but-solid-wood purchase made way back in Okinawa, but it's just too practical and useful to get rid of), but rather, the blue cube bins we use to store all of my son's toys. Today, as promised, I'm going to show you exactly how I pulled these image-labeled toy bins off!
Just a reminder, here is where we started. These Y-weave baskets (from Target) with the adorable luggage tag labels were working just OK. The looked good, but the baskets really weren't large enough to fit some of the larger wheeled-toys that have been seeping into my son's collection.
When I found these inexpensive, large, and bright-colored bins at IKEA, I scooped up 8 of them and knew exactly what I was going to use them for!
In full disclosure, these bins are not quite as durable as the plastic white ones, but with their 13x13x15" dimensions, they were a much better alliterative for bulkier toys. Once I had them "assembled," I spent about 20 minutes re-organizing, sorting and purging our toys.
These bins fill up the shelves beautifully - both depth and width. They couldn't be a more perfect fit. The only problem - all that blue really needed some breaking up!
I really liked having our toy baskets labeled. Not only does it help with efficient clean-up, but my son is learning which toys are in which bins, meaning the right bin (versus all 8) can come down to the floor when he wants something specific! However, these bins didn't have a single hole, grommet or tag to which I could insert or wrap a label. Hmmm....kind of a conundrum.
I remembered seeing these image labels a while back, and LOVED them. However, I wasn't quite sure what material I should use to label the baskets. The bins have a microsuede-ish feel to them, and I hemmed and hawed over what would stick and stay stuck!
Before spending too much time and thought on the labeling situation, I decided to try the picture labels with some inexpensive, easy-to-find contact paper (that I already had!). If I liked them, I could re-create the images with fabric (and iron them on) or nicer vinyl. The contact paper stuck to the fabric bins pretty well and cuts really easily, so I figured I had nothing to loose!
Using basic white contact paper and only the Cricut cartridges I had on hand, I picked out 8 images that worked for our toy categories!
Once the images were cut, I centered them right onto the bins. Wouldn't you know it - they stick perfectly to the fabric, and my son hasn't once tried to rip them off! What was my temporary quick-fix trial became my final solution!
I'm not gonna lie - I was a little worried about finding Cricut images that would make sense for all of our toy categories. As you Cricut owners out there know, you are mostly limited by what cartridges you own - I couldn't just download any image and cut it out. I don't have a ton of cartridges, but after a lot of hunting and pecking through my collection, here is how I ended up...
Not too bad, huh? The only image I had to trace and cut free-hand (as in, with a scissors) was the block image. I had no images that looked like blocks. Tracing the image (printed from the computer) and cutting it out of the contact paper was actually pretty simple, so if you don't have an e-cutter, you can still do this!
6 weeks in, and all of these contact-paper-images look as good as they did they day I cut them. The images are also nice and big...so my son is really starting to learn to remember what's in each basket. As I said on Monday, I am just so smitten with this toy storage solution. With this big-impact feature in the corner of this space, I really don't mind that our playroom is the first thing people see as they walk into our house!
Almost as soon as I finished making this toy bin swap, I was moving stuff around to put my Y-weave baskets and red luggage tag labels to work. You actually already saw the new location and purpose of the y-weave baskets a few weeks ago. The baskets now hold a bunch of craft supplies in our newly organized Craft Room/Office. You can read about how I labeled them HERE.
First thing next week, I'll show you the new home of the red luggage tags! Until then, have a great weekend!