Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pinterest Challenge: secret boxes.

It's that time of year again...

Pinterest Challenge time!

The challenge, spearheaded by Katie and Sherry, is to stop pinning (for at least a minute) and start doing. The projects tend to be as vast as Pinterest itself, sparking even more inspiration. Hosting this challenge with them is Sarah and Carmel.

As this challenge came during busy season, I thought I'd tackle something quick: restyling my wireless internet router and cable modem box by hiding them.

Images via Pinterest and from this same source site.
I've been searching for a while for two boxes to fit the bill. Over the past few months, I'd had no luck at HomeGoods, Marshall's, Target, Amazon, or any store I tried, for that matter. It didn't dawn on me to try to make them myself until I dragged Zach down the aisles of Target and he whined, "Couldn't you just make these?" Light bulb. I could. I probably could make these.

So here's the before situation. I like to call this my "electric corner."

You can cozy up to the gas fireplace, snuggle in, a.. in the ambiance of a router modem and wires.  It's realll nice.

And safe. That's heavily coated in sarcasm. This has to be a fire hazard. After hearing my coworker's story of how her apartment burnt down her senior year of college, I'm sensitive. More on that later.

Onward with this saga. I'm a packing supplies pack rat. I have boxes, bubble wrap, packing paper and packing tape of all sizes. I blame it on the perpetual moving since leaving for college. Luckily for me, I had two boxes of comparable size with no planned use.

I put them on the end table and they seemed just right. Not too hot, not too cold too big, not too small, juuuust riiight, Goldilocks.

So I skipped down my hall to start my project.

I started by cutting a flap in the back of each box. I used a kitchen knife, which admittedly wasn't the safest. It's what happened though. I cut a flap to take out most of the back.

Then I taped the tops of the boxes to seal them. I used brown packing paper to wrap the boxes like a present. The only difference from a usual present is that I pulled the sides down to be taped on the bottom. I didn't want any tape to be visible. That was partially due to wanting a clean look, but I also planned to spray paint these boxes a color other than packing-box-brown, and didn't think the spray paint would look the same or cover as well over tape.

See? All tape on the bottom.
Then very carefully, I cut a slit in the brown paper on the back with the flap. I cut the length of the flap very slowly. Even more carefully, I peeled the flap out of the slit.

I then tucked the paper into the box and secured it at the base of the flap so it wouldn't peel further. The goal was to preserve the top and three sides for presentation purposes.

Presents! Except with nothing inside. And if anyone attempted to open them, I'd be mad.

And the reverse view. Don't mistake this for a Mrs. Fields' ad. True to my packing-supply pack-rat tendencies, I swiped the box that our company delivered cookies in to our audit team. Busy season has some perks, and this was a double purpose present.

As I said earlier, packing-paper brown wasn't my decor choice. I had a can of Brilliant Gold, the same gold i used on my starburst mirror, so I took these babies outside for a couple coats.

Three coats later, they were ready for business. I popped the router in one, the modem in the other, tangled myself in the wires a bit, and called it a party.

The balance was off a bit to me with the boxes below the table, so I moved them back to the top. I probably just wanted people to come in and notice.

"Oh! Did you use to have a router and modem here?"
"I did."
"Where'd they go?"
"They're in the boxes!"
"Wow, I thought those were just pretty boxes from West Elm!"

These are the fake conversations that compliment my boxes in my head. Yuuup.

Party in the front, and business in the back. In true mullet fashion.
I cut a chunk out of the back flat for the wires could get out without being pinched between the cardboard. I like to think that'll help some airflow get in there. So far though, there hasn't been an overheating problem. I've become obsessive with checking their temperature. That, and our internet hasn't kicked out, so that seems like a good sign.

But let's do a comparison. This is now "electric corner." It could be officially renamed to "cozy corner."

There's still an cable cord that won't tuck in nicely and it a little long, but I didn't have a shorter alternative. I'll hold that for the future.

So that wraps up my pinterest project. Totally free (thanks to having everything on hand), but even it I had to buy the few supplies, this project was much quicker than the $30 not-in-love-with-it alternatives I was finding.

I can't wait to see everyone's projects! I'm hoping Hurricane Sandy will allow for that. Stay safe, everyone on the east coast!


  1. Nicely done! I also love the fake conversation in your head. :)

    1. Thank you :) these required the immediate compliment, so I had to go for it, ahah.

  2. Very clever, love that you decided to totally DIY it up! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Replies
    1. Just did! Thanks for the invite :)

  4. i think you should put pretty fabrics on them instead

    1. I thought of that, but the fabric I had on hand was leftover curtain fabric, and with the curtains less than two steps away, I thought it would be too matchy-matchy. I'm open to that option when I decide to change it up someday again though...

  5. Great idea! I'm always looking for ways to camouflage all the ugly electronic stuff around my house :)


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