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How to Make Waterproof Vertical Storage - Cheap Chic Upcycled Demo - Easy Breezy Fashionable Function

Updated on October 7, 2014

Let's create some décor that comes with added storage space.

Who doesn't need more storage space? I know I do. I've gone from three desks arranged together to one tiny desk. I feel like I'm in a dorm and determined to keep the stuff I need without being surrounded by clutter. That was the inspiration for this storage bulletin board hybrid combination.

For this project, we are going to accomplish a few goals at once on a shoestring budget, or in my case, a free budget since I used supplies I already had on hand.

Chances are pretty good you have most if not all of this stuff laying around too.

I have a really awkward little window that I wanted to cover in a way that really blocked out most of the glaring light shining right in my face.

Image credits; Poetvix

Blocks the glare, gives me storage, looks cool and costs me nadda .  :)
Blocks the glare, gives me storage, looks cool and costs me nadda . :) | Source

Stylish storage for cents that's so easily personalized.

I also needed some minor type storage for typical desktop items like pens, the stapler and so forth.

Lastly, I needed a bulletin board. I'm highly visual and like to have my goals posted in front of me as I usually work on several things at once.

I find without it, things tend to get forgotten.

While I wanted all of these things, I didn't really want to go buy something new.

I had an old bulletin board that was in such bad shape from age and being stored for a while that I would be embarrassed to hang it. So, I decided to give it a do over and make some space at the same time.

Follow along to see how really easy it was to make this up-cycled bulletin board that comes complete with waterproof vertical storage. I'm loving it. I get my tiny desktop space all to my laptop but the pens, stapler and stuffs stay within reach without cluttering my space.

All the stuff I thought I might use when I started this project.
All the stuff I thought I might use when I started this project. | Source

What do we need to make this?

Not much at all and not everything in the picture.

To make this project, I used one very old, beat up, large cork board with a frame as the base of the project.

To cover it up and make it go from gunky to funky fun, contact paper, a bandanna, some Duck tape, a few studs, shiny glue on gems, Mod Podge and spray on acrylic were utilized.

Simple craft paint was used to redo the frame. Alternatively, one could use ribbon, glue on shells, beads, glitter, you name it.

For a really cool more three dimensional look, one could use spikes, bottle caps, thimbles, cogs, keys, wood blocks or even dolls.

The container is plastic.  Some Mod Podge and sray on acrylic make the covering waterproof too.
The container is plastic. Some Mod Podge and sray on acrylic make the covering waterproof too. | Source

The storage part is what I like the best.

Since mine hangs in the kitchen over my desk, I wanted it to be waterproof.

It was made from two Carnation Instant Breakfast containers that were on a one way road to the dumpster.

My dear hubby loves that stuff like I love coffee, so it's not like they are hard to come by around here

To attach them, I used a zip tie on each making an incredibly strong binding.

To pretty them up, it was just note cards, glue and a bandanna.

Follow along to see step by step picture instructions for how you can whip one of these up in no time. In fact, it took longer for it to dry than for me to make it.

This would be great to use as I am for a work station for writing but it would work well for teens, tweens and college kids stuck in small spaces as well. Check it out.

Do you need a bulletin or cork board base for this project? - Maybe, just a board to get organized or show off things you love?

I love how bulletin boards allow one to change things up. The same old same old gets boring. For adults posting tasks, to do lists, shopping, deadlines, what have you, to kids posting pictures, artwork, stickers, magazine clippings, anything they wish, these boards allow for growth, change, personalizing and adaptability.

Distressed Wood Cork Board & Chalk Bulletin Board 18"x24" (Distressed Ivory)
Distressed Wood Cork Board & Chalk Bulletin Board 18"x24" (Distressed Ivory)

I love this! It's got the shabby chic look but is still highly functional.This gives the impression of a window. It would look awesome hanging.


Step 1.) Let's get started. Protect your work surface and gather up the gear.


When I started out, I thought to make more than two storage units but changed my mind. I used two but as you can see from the pictures there is plenty of room to add a few more.

I never used the peace sign shape as I originally planned nor a few other things. I did however pull in some silver shiny Duck tape and a drill which are not in the picture here.

Step 2.) Dust off, clean up and paint.

Step 2 - dust it off and paint the frame.
Step 2 - dust it off and paint the frame. | Source

Since my board had been stored outside, it was suffering from some water damage, dust, grime and a few spider webs. After dusting it off, I could tell the entire cork part would have to be covered. It was in really bad shape.

The frame though really wasn't. There were surprisingly few imperfections but I didn't like the plain wood color. Cheap black craft paint was applied with a normal paintbrush and allowed to dry.

I thought to paint over the cork part of the board to make a simple white background. After doing it, I recommend you don't waste your time trying. The cork absorbs it and it just did not work well at all. Moving on.

Erroneous time wasting step - painting the board itself. This just didn't work for me.

As you can see, bomb big time.
As you can see, bomb big time. | Source

It was a bad idea but here's what it looked like.

Step 3.) Drill the holes.


To attach our containers to the board, we need to drill two small holes in each container. Then, we line them up on the board where we want them. Use a tack or nail to mark the holes in the container into the cork board. Use those as your guides to drill the two holes in the cork board for mounting each container.

Do not mount them yet. We need to pretty them up first mostly because it's easier to work with them before they are attached.

Step 4.) Cover the board with shelf paper, contact paper, fabric, many things would work. Use what you have on hand.

Roll out and cut to size whatever you decide to cover the board with.
Roll out and cut to size whatever you decide to cover the board with. | Source

I had some leftover shelf paper. It's a grid, but not solid and had no sticky paper or backing sheet to deal with. Roll it out. Cut it to size.

I used dots of hot glue on the edges and here and there in the middle to be sure it stuck well.


Step 5.) Pretty up and personalize the backing, if you want.

It's optional.

I had these two rose pattern bandannas for a while.

I got them on sale some time back to use in a craft project but wasn't really sure at the time what it would be. I just knew I liked the pattern.

They worked great here. For the board covering, it was just laid out flat.

A few gem studs were inserted here and there to give it some sparkle and shine. Add a few gem stones via the hot glue gun and voila.

Slim, silver Duck tape was used to frame out the inside. Ribbon would work well for this too.


Step 6.) Cover the containers.

Check first to see if the label will show through.

The bandannas I used for this storage bulletin board were very thin. The bright yellow and blue label showed right through the fabric even when folded over.

No problem. I just glued note cards face down over it to get a plain white surface that was easy to cover.

The bandanna was cut in half vertically. One half was used for each container.

After folding and figuring out just where you want things positioned, grab the glue gun. Glue it down starting in the center of the container being sure to keep it pulled tight as you go.

Step 7.) Fold over and glue down top and bottom.


Fold over the fabric on the top and glue it to the inside of the container.

Fold over again at the bottom and glue down. For each, start in the center and work toward each side pulling tightly as you go to reduce any nasty, unwanted wrinkles in the final product.


Step 8.) Attach the containers turned storage compartments to the board.

Zip ties make this so simple and really strong.

Zip ties are the coolest things. I got these two from my husband. He uses them for all kinds of stuff.

If you don't have zip ties, this could be glued with a hot glue gun but be sure to use bunches so it won't fall. Also, twisty ties or big velcro could be used.

To do this step, stand up the board. You might need to prop it up against something or have someone hold it. Mr. Vix was kind enough to hold mine while I did this.

From the back of the board, stick the zip tie through. Line up a container with the hole and pull the tie through the container. Poke the tie through the hole on the other side of the same container and push through the board.

Finally, insert the end of the tie into the closing device on the other end of the zip tie and pull it tight. Cut off excess tie. Repeat this process for any remaining containers you wish to mount.

Step 9.) Mod Podge the whole thing within an inch of its life.


Grab a paint brush and get to slinging the Mod Podge. It looks bad at first, all white and murky looking but it dries clear.

I would do a few coats here.

When it dries really good, take it outside and shoot it with a few coats of spray on acrylic.

Step 10.) Hang up your new, waterproof, vertical storage.

One finished, mounted upcycled bulletin board with built in waterproof storage
One finished, mounted upcycled bulletin board with built in waterproof storage | Source

What's your favorite kind of crafting?

See results

At the top here are two strands of red Mardi Gras beads. They aren't attached, just hung over the top. Such could be changed out quickly allowing one to vary things up a bit in a flash.

The great thing about upcycling an old board for me was not having to attach hangers. They were already there. It saved me money all the way around and came out pretty cool.

If you need some storage, a way to get a personalized visual statement in the process and don't want to really want spend much doing it, give this project a go.

Would you like some more ideas for easy, breezy, affordable DIY bulletin boards?

Scope on the videos below for all kinds of ways to do up a board fast.

Alternative supplies for this project:


Old blue jeans

Wrapping paper


Place mats

© 2014 Rhonda Lytle

I love the idea of vertical storage. Do you have any vertical storage ideas? How about ideas for other things to use?

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    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @ecogranny: Thank you for dropping by. I love to hear of others reusing stuff that typically gets tossed. Just thinking about what's happening to our world from stuff leeching into the water and soil from landfills gives me the serious willies. God bless you!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      4 years ago from San Francisco

      I'm especially enamored of making beautiful things of any bits lying about the house. Reuse and repurpose! Making them beautiful? All the better. Thanks for sharing your very cool project.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @esmonaco: Awe, that's so sweet of you to say. I'm not talented either, I just got two really cool looking bandanas :) I wish I was talented like my grandmothers. They could take tiny scraps and thread and end up with something amazing. I sometimes think we are all more creative than we know. When we want something in modern times, we go buy it. Back in the day, you had to make it. I think it's been a trade off that maybe didn't work to our collective advantage. God bless you!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Lynn Klobuchar: Thank you. I thought I was the only one that looked at boxes that way. I went shopping with my mom a while back and caught myself paying just as much attention to packaging as to what was in it because all I could think of was the craft options :) Many blessings and I hope it works out well for you. I can so relate to the traveling school office. It's hard carting stuff back and forth every day.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Heidi Vincent: Thank you very much :). I hope I can find more in that pattern but who knows as I got them at least a year ago, maybe more. Thanks bunches for the comment and kind words. God bless my friend and happy crafting!

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      4 years ago from Lakewood New York

      What a wonderful talent you have for decorating, very nice job!! I'm not that talented!!! Thanks!

    • profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 

      4 years ago

      Every time I take something out of a box I ponder what I can put back in it. You've given me some inspiration. For home and in my traveling office at school. Thanks.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 

      4 years ago from GRENADA

      Congratulations on your well-deserved Purple Star for this crafty and practical solution, poetvix! I liked the choice of cloth - bandana with roses :)

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Merrci: Thank you. Now I find I want some matching stuff :). I'm on a quest to find more of this pattern bandanna. God bless!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @PAINTDRIPS: Thanks. I hope you have a good time. Happy crafting and God bless.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile imageAUTHOR

      Rhonda Lytle 

      4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @DrBillSmithWriter: Thank you. It's nice to see another familiar face here from there. :) God bless.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Cute and clever!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      Great idea. I can't wait to try it.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Great ideas... just recognized you from HubPages... small world!! ;-)


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