How-To: (re)cover a canvas bin

I was in search of some bins to coordinate with the decor in my daughters room, but everything I was finding were the wrong shades. I saw several patterns to make your own floating around pinterest & various DIY blogs, but I wanted something guaranteed to be sturdy for a 1 year old – to hold toys like blocks.

I was cleaning out closets when I found a couple of canvas bins I had purchased 8 years ago from The Container Store. I was trying to make up my mind about keeping them or not when I realized they were just a canvas cover attached onto the wire frame with VELCRO! And I had an “ah-ha! moment!” – why not replace the covers on these old bins with different fabric?

I tried it. It worked! and it was pretty easy too! I had 2 of them. it took me under an hour each (photos included).

  • Bin frames
  • Fabric
  • Clear Vinyl
  • Cardboard or thin wood for bottom
  • Disappearing ink fabric marker or pencil
  • Bias Tape
  • Piping
  • Ruler
  • Scrap cardboard or paper to trace the frame onto.

Here is how I did it:

  • #1. Remove the canvas cover off the wire frame.
  • #2. Trace the shape of the frame onto scrap cardboard…. I happened to use a pizza box from dinner the night before. True recycling!!! :)
  • #3. Trace the front/back & 2 sides onto the fabric of your choice – allowing a 1/2 inch seam allowance. For the top edge, I recommend a 2″ excess – it needs to fold over the sides for the velcro!

Label Holders:

  • #4. To make the label holders, I cut clear vinyl into 2.5″x3.5″ pieces.
  • #5. Next, I sewed bias tape around the sides.
  • #6. Then I positioned one onto the front piece & one on the side piece of the bin & sewed them into place on 3 sides. (one side stays open to slide a label into).
Assembling the Sides:
  •  #7. Next I took one of the sides, and set the piping in place. I used Wrights Maxi Piping – found with the bias tapes!
  • #8. Then I pinned the back on top (right sides together) and sewed along the edge of the piping.
  • #9. To keep the inside seams “clean” I sewed Wrights Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape to cover the seam.
  • I repeated these steps to assemble all 4 sides of the bin!
The Bottom:
I wanted a study bottom. I chose to use an organic cotton material (Woodland Party from Circa 52 by Birch Fabrics) for the sides – since I had used it elsewhere in my daughters room – but since the bin I was “recycling” actually had a great thick canvas bottom, I decided to just re-use that rather then spending money to buy something similar.

If you are making a bottom from scratch, you need 2 pieces of fabric cut for the bottom and cardboard to go in between the layers to have a sturdy bin!
  • #10. So I used a seam ripper and removed the bottom from the canvas bin I was remaking. It also had a thick cardboard bottom in between the layers so I re-used that was well!
  • #11. Next I pinned the sides to the bottom, then sewed it into place. You can cover this seam with bias tape as well as suggested in step #9.

The Velcro:

  • #12. At this point, I then put the wire frame inside of the bin to find the height the velcro needed to be placed at. I marked the height with pins, then ironed the velcro casing towards the inside.
  • #13. Next I ironed the edge for the inside velcro under 1/4″ and again 1/4″ and stitched a finished edge.
    #14. Then I cut 4 pieces of velcro to fit around the inside of the bin between the corner seams, and pinned/sewed the soft side into place. This stitching is seen on the outside of the bin.
  • #15. Then I used the ‘scratchier’ side and put it in place along the inside edge.
  • #16. Finally, I attached the new canvas bin to the wire frame with the velcro!
    ALL DONE!!!
    Easy, huh? :)