Wednesday, June 29, 2011

DIY Decoupaged Trash Can and Tissue Box Cover

When I was designing the girls' bathroom, I wanted to bring in some fun, colorful accessories.  I had seen images of cute, decoupaged tissue box holders and trash cans like these...

available here

available here
I figured this couldn't be too difficult of a DIY project and started to hunt for find the perfect containers and paper.  Finding the paper was pretty easy.  Having drooled over the gorgeous options at Paper Source before, I headed back there.  I ended up purchasing wrapping paper, which is less expensive than the art papers, and also lighter weight - which seemed like a good idea for decoupage.
available here

Locating inexpensive appropriate containers actually proved trickier than I expected. At first, I tried to use an old acrylic tissue box cover I had on hand, but it had curved edges, which were impossible to work with.  This is my sad first attempt.

Never mind the white electrical tape.  I was trying to see if I could do SOMETHING to hide the ugly!  No luck there.

So, armed with a stack of 20% off coupons, I headed to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and found just what I needed.

The curved edges on this trash can were ok, since it was otherewise square.  The paper wrapped the entire can  neatly without any fussing.

I have to report on one small problem, unfortunately.  I've noticed little rust spots on both of these pieces now that they're all done.  They're hardly noticeable - like little pin heads.  But, if you can find a plastic vessel for this project, I would recommend going that route.

The photos below show how I went about covering the 2 containers... I think the photos (along with my minor commentary) speak for themselves, but let me know if you have any questions.

I used just a thin layer of Mod Podge to affix the paper to the box.

On the top, I just glued down the edges, as I intended to cover the top with a square piece.

To fit the square piece on top, I traced the shape of the opening and drew cut lines.

Once it's glued down, I outlined the edges and cut off the excess paper.

I used a narrow strip of paper to cover the inside rim of the opening.

To seal it, I used the sponge paint brush to dab Mod Podge all over the outside (working one side at a time).

Then, I smoothed it out.

As you can see, there are some wrinkles and air bubbles.  I couldn't really avoid them, but tried to smooth them out wherever possible.  Now that it's all finished, it's hardly noticeable.  You'd have to pick up the item and inspect it to see them.  I think I did 2 or 3 thin coats of Mod Podge on the outside of the paper.  And, that was it for the tissue box cover! 

Making the trash can was virtually the same - other than a few variations in the shape of the container.  What I liked about this trash can is the metal lip at the top.  This allowed me to cover the sides with paper, and have a neat finished rim at the top.  If there is no such lip, I would probably go all the way to the top, but not fold over to the inside.  Then, you could consider painting the inside of the can.

Nothing's perfect... notice the little tear?  This, too, is hardly noticeable when all is said and done.

So, overall - it's pretty simple.  If you're a perfectionist, I think wrapping paper might not be your best choice, since the light weight of the paper is probably a contributor to the bubbles/wrinkles.  Wallpaper would probably work well - and fabric is another option.  But, if you're like me - and don't mind a few imperfections - this is an inexpensive and easy way to personalize your everyday tissue box cover and trash bin!

As a reminder, here they are in the girls' new bathroom.

I was thinking of adding a monogram in dark pink, and still have not gotten around to that.  Since this room is shared by both girls - it would probably be just a single lower case "g" for our last name.  What do you think?


  1. This is great! I was looking for some inspiration in this area and I found it! Thanks!

  2. Cute! Good instructions. I'm doing it tonight. Check out the results on my blog in a week or so.


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