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Green Living · Repurposing Laundry Detergent Containers Into Useful Objects
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Repurposing Laundry Detergent Containers Into Useful Objects

Recently the folks at Seventh Generation gave me a challenge! They had seen my Recycling Cereal Boxes post and wanted to see what I could do with their laundry detergent boxes!  Oooo….I love a challenge…and THIS particular challenge was right up my alley! Since I make all my own laundry detergent I asked them to send me some of their product so I would have the boxes to work with. I have to say…even though I am obviously a proponent of DIY laundry detergent, I also realize that not EVERYONE who reads this blog is going to do it.

If you are not in the mind-set or in the position to make your own…I can highly recommend this stuff. The first thing I noticed was the delicious smell!  Their powdered laundry detergent is a delightful citrus and lavender scent! But despite the yummy smell…it did a really good job and since it’s free of optical brighteners and synthetic fragrances, I felt pretty good about using it.

It also comes in this 100% recycled paperboard box that I had been challenged to find a way to repurpose. hmmmm.

Since I already had holiday gift-giving on my mind…the first thing that came to my mind was fashioning it into some sort of gift bag/tote. At my Annual Family Christmas Party and Prime Rib Dinner I like to give my little grand nieces and nephews little gift bags to take home and I figured this was a great opportunity to kills two birds with one stone. 🙂 I’m all about efficiency! (And did I mention I love a challenge??)

Here is what I came up with. This detergent box tote bag is actually VERY sturdy and could be used for something much more substantial when just a few favors and presents…but for now this is what I’m going with.

Here is a step-by-step look at the very simple process I came up with for making a LAUNDRY DETERGENT BOX into a TOTE BAG:

1. Cut the top off of the box.

2. “Paint the bottom and one side of the box with Mod Podge and adhere a standard sized piece of scrapbook paper (12 in by 12 in).

3. Repeat on other side of the box.

4. Fold the ends in like you’re wrapping a Christmas package and apply more Mod Podge to hold in place.

5. Cut slits in the four corners of the excess paper at the top of the box and fold down inside, again using more Mod Podge to hold in place.

6. At this point, depending on how you plan on using these boxes, you can skip to step 7, but if you want a more finished INSIDE, simply cut more pieces of matching scrapbook paper and adhere to the inside with more Mod Podge.

7. The finishing touch to this box is adding the handles. I think it really MAKES the tote, and it’s very simple to do.  Just requires a little “muscle” when wielding the hammer.

8. Add grommets (following instructions on the package from the hardware store), two on each side of the box.

9. Thread nylon rope, one piece on each side, and tie a knot to hold in place.

A few notes:

I just kept adding Mod Podge as I went along, as needed. I dried completely clear and helps to really reinforce the box. Plus, if you have lots of bubbles in the paper, don’t worry about it. It’s a detergent box tote! It’s not a Coach satchel. 🙂  Most of the bubbles will go away as the Mod Podge dries and becomes taut.

For an animated look at the process of creating this project you can go to:   Seventh Generation Holiday .gif Guide

When Seventh Generation sent me the detergent boxes…they also included some of their Free & Clear: Natural Laundry Detergent Packs. They are nifty little packets that you simply drop in the washing machine. No measuring, no guesswork, no waste. I like that. I ALSO liked the possibilities for repurposing that these clear containers promised. ESPECIALLY when I saw how easily and cleanly the labels came off the containers! ALL OTHER CORPORATIONS TAKE NOTE: if you make your labels easier to take off…we all win!!!  (Stepping off soap box now.)

After I discovered how easy Seventh Generation had made it to take the labels off…I simple HAD to do something with these containers as well. After thinking about it for all of 30 seconds I knew EXACTLY what I could use these for!  For months I had been frustrated with our storage system for the insulin pump supplies we have to keep on hand for No. 2 son.

With a few simple printed “labels” I created, problem solved!  Everything is in its’ place and the clear boxes make it easy to see what’s inside each container!

THANK YOU Seventh Generation for helping me to solve a vexing problem AND get ready for my upcoming holiday party!  Not to mention providing me with a very fun and inspirational challenge opportunity!


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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