Rue How-To: Craft a Vanity Tray from a Spare Shoe Box

Perfume. Nail polish. Change. It’s all a mishmash of an eyesore on my dresser – until now. Choose any fabric, grab one of the half dozen shoe boxes taking up precious closet space, and create this practical and chic storage tray.

This one’s in my bedroom, but I’m seriously contemplating another for my work desk, stationery collection, or jewelry.


What you’ll need:

  • Shoe box
  • White duct tape
  • Fabric (1 yard is plenty)
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Ruler
  • X-ACTO knife (optional)


How to do it:

  1. Cover your shoe box top with white duct tape. Skip this step if the shoe box is already white or if the fabric you chose is completely opaque.
  2. Measure and cut a piece of fabric to cover your box top. Go big – extra is okay. If it’s too small, you’ll have to start over. I found my cotton fabric at a local fabric store for about $4 per yard.
  3. With the flat side of the box top centered on the fabric, pull fabric tight and hot glue it at the corners. To do the ends, fold them – as if you are wrapping a present – and glue down.
  4. Now for the inside. Measure the interior of the box and cut a separate piece of cardboard to the same size.
  5. Measure, cut, and glue a piece of your fabric to cover one side of this piece.
  6. Place it snugly into the bottom of the shoe box top – or, vanity tray.


By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

Questions? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala, then check out our Rue How-To column every Friday.

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