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How to Make Easy Interchangeable Labels for Canvas Bins

For the past few weeks, I have been slowly reclaiming the living room.  What does that mean?  I am attempting to remove all of the toys that had overrun the room, making it appear to be a playroom rather than a living room.  If you take a look at the type of toy storage we were previously using, then you will likely agree that this Guidecraft Espresso Bookshelf paired with the Set of 5 Canvas Storage Bins is a huge improvement.

These shelves blend much better with the rest of our dark wood living room furniture and will allow our children to keep some toys close at hand in the living room.  The only problem is that our children would throw anything and everything into these bins unless each bin has a designated purpose.  I had to come up with a way to label canvas bins without permanently altering the bins, like using fabric markers would.  The reason why this is important is that the bins' labels would need to change as our needs change.

Canvas Bin Labels Craft . . .


1 Wooden Shape Per Bin (I chose oval, but you can choose almost any shape)
Thin Permanent Markers (Choose colors that will match your decor)
Mini Wooden Clothes Pins  (I bought a package in assorted colors at A.C. Moore)

NOTE:  These wooden shapes are unfinished, so the markers may bleed anywhere from a tiny bit to quite a lot.  You may want to test your markers out on the backside of one shape or on a scrap piece of unfinished wood before proceeding.  To avoid bleeding, you can finish or paint the wooden shapes.

Step 1.  Create a border for your shape.  The possibilities are endless.  I chose to draw lines around the edge alternating between two colors.  Then I added fine dots around the inside of the border to add a little whimsy.
(Click any photo to enlarge)

Step 2.    Add the lettering for each label.  I chose to print uneven letters in all caps to make the labels more interesting, but still easy to read at the same time.

Step 3.  Clip the wooden labels onto the canvas bins.  Using one or two mini clothespin, secure the wooden shapes onto the outward-facing side of each bin.  Our bins have cutout handles, but you can also clip the shape to the top edges of your canvas bins.

If you make a mistake or change your mind about a label, the wooden shapes are double-sided, so you can just flip it over and start again.  As a precaution, I did purchase a few extra shapes, but I did not end up needing them.  These labels were quick and easy to make, but you can spend more time on yours by using paint, stencils, stamps, sponges, or any of your favorite wooden craft supplies.  These labels would also work on vinyl or leather bins as long as the walls of the bins are not too thick for the clothespins, which do come in a variety of sizes.

Thank you to Guidecraft for providing a complimentary product sample for this project.