When you need an instant storage solution, what is the first thing you do? Probably head to your local department store and go straight to the section with plastic storage bins and drawers. Plastic organizing containers are cheap, rugged, versatile, and easily repurposed. They are great for bedrooms, dorm rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, garages, craft rooms, and pretty much every other area of the house.
But one thing they are not great for is beautifying your home. There is nothing attractive about a utilitarian plastic bin. In fact, a set of plastic bins or drawers can be an eyesore in the middle of an otherwise gorgeous room.
But did you know there are a lot of ways you can modify plastic bins? In fact, plastic totes are amazingly customizable. With the right materials and a DIY mindset, you can transform them so that they blend in perfectly with the décor and ambiance of your home.
This is actually a great way to decorate your house for less—all while getting more organized. Let’s check out 60 beautiful plastic bin and drawer decorating ideas which are sure to inspire you!
30. Make unbelievably gorgeous designs with sharpie markers.
31. Turn plastic bins into furniture.
I have no idea how sturdy these benches would be, but the idea of transforming plastic bins into usable furniture like this is quite cool. They look awesome, and if you needed to, you could use them for long-term storage of stuff you don’t need to get at all that often.
32. Sometimes how you display your bins makes all the difference in the world.
I can’t tell from this image whether these are metal bins or plastic bins which have been coated with metallic spray paint, but the way they are displayed is what makes this entire space look incredible. Sometimes that is all you have to do to improve the appearance of your bins!
33. Cover your plastic bins in fabric.
Here is another project for covering a plastic bin in fabric. There are a whole bunch of step-by-step photos and instructions as well as extra tips in the post for making it work, so check it out.
34. Turn plastic bin drawers into industrial farmhouse drawers.
Be impressed with these … they look absolutely gorgeous! Even though I can clearly see the plastic, the wood and metallic elements are enough to make these drawers look sturdy and classy. There is a full tutorial at the link.
35. Clear signage has a cute and fun effect.
You certainly could never forget where anything is in this set of plastic makeup drawers!
36. Try the same idea with chalkboard paint.
These drawers are similar to the ones above, except that chalkboard paint has been applied. This makes the drawers easy to label, plus it ensures that they are opaque. You might want that in some situations, as for example when it comes to storing your undies.
37. Attach decorative embellishments onto your drawers.
These plastic drawers have been enhanced with the addition of cute decorative flowers. This would be a fast and easy plastic bin transformation, but the effect it has is amazing.
38. Here is a quick and easy makeover project for your boring set of plastic bins.
For this project, you can transform your plastic bins using some shelf liner. According to the blogger who posted this beautiful set of plastic bin drawers, the entire project took only about half an hour. The shelf liner itself cost less than a dollar, so this approach is as thrifty as it is easy!
39. Make use of bold contrasts and simple colors schemes to grab the eye.
These bins look totally awesome! The dark grays really make the bright pink embellishments stand out. Notice how these same colors and patterns have been used for the small containers holding the makeup brushes. The designs used on the bins are also similar to the designs on the chair and even the ornate frame of the mirror.
40. Bright rainbow colors add some whimsy to any set of plastic drawers.
Here we see a beautiful set of upgraded plastic drawers from a creative kindergarten teacher. You can see how these would fit in well in any classroom. But they would look great at home too, perhaps in a child’s bedroom.
41. These plastic bin drawers with scrapbook paper have a softer look.
If you want something colorful, but prefer a subtler, softer look for your drawers, you can draw some wonderful inspiration from these plastic drawers which have been decorated with scrapbook paper featuring images of flowers and butterflies.
42. Use plastic animals as drawer pulls.
This isn’t a set of plastic drawers, but you could use the exact same idea with plastic drawers. The animals are actually plastic too, even though they look like fancy metallic figurines. They’ve simply been spray painted to look that way. The finished effect is surprisingly polished.
43. These plastic bin drawers are part of an adorable play kitchen.
At a glance, it is obvious this is not a real kitchen—it is a play kitchen for a child’s room, thus the small stature of the oven and sink. What I love about these plastic drawers is the way that they have been decorated with the same soft pastel hues that you see in the kitchen set and the walls. Everything is perfectly and seamlessly integrated. It is so cute!
44. Decorate the sides with ceiling tins.
This is not a set of plastic bin drawers, but the idea that was used to decorate these drawers could be translated to plastic bins just as easily. The elegant molding you see along the side of this set of drawers was actually a ceiling tin. The finished effect looks incredible, but it was quite easy to achieve!
45. Decorate plastic bins with colorful dots for a bold effect.
These plastic trash bins have been decorated with brightly colored dots. There is no information on what these dots are—whether they are decals or pieces of colored paper or what. Regardless, they’re awesome!
46. Colorful bins make for colorful seats.
These colorful bins have been turned into seats for children in a classroom. I am guessing these would not be sufficient to support the weight of adults, but you could use this idea to decorate a child’s bedroom or play area. The bins could double as toy storage.
47. These drawers give the clever impression of a screen.
Doesn’t it look like these drawers have some kind of mesh installed in the front? They actually don’t—that is just the pattern of small dots on paper. But it does create a mesh-like effect, which makes for a cool texture from a distance.
48. Make a plastic bin look like a woven basket.
Here is a clever idea for transforming a plastic bin with slots in it. Cut some strips of colorful fabric, and then simply weave them around the sides of the bin through the slots so that you get the look of a basket. You end up with the pattern visible inside the bins as well. Check out the link for more info.
49. Make your bins sparkle—literally!
I have already shared some bins with shiny metallic paint on them, but here is another look which is just a little bit different. These bins have a metallic finish on them as well, but it is a sparkly one instead.
50. Try using wallpaper and a paint pen.
These plastic bin drawers are quite impressive—I had to stare at them a while to be certain they really were plastic! While the description isn’t all that clear, I believe that the person who decorated these used the gold paint pen on the drawer pulls.
51. A simple stencil and cute lettering go a long way.
This is a set of wooden drawers, but the creative soul who decorated them advised using the same idea on plastic drawers and other types of storage containers. The stencils and the lettering are very simple, but together, they create a beautiful look!
52. Apply fabric to a plastic container.
This is a plastic waste paper bin, but it looks amazing, doesn’t it? You could use this same idea to decorate any plastic bin or set of plastic drawers.
53. Cover a storage container in wallpaper.
Here we have a simple idea for covering a storage container in wallpaper. I think this may be a cardboard box, but the same idea used on plastic would work just as well and end up looking just as beautiful.
54. Sometimes you just need to go all-out colorful.
Here is a set of plastic drawers which have been spruced up using washi tape. The bright colors complement the fluorescent pink color of the drawers. It doesn’t get more fun than that!
55. Simple geometric patterns look awesome.
These plastic drawers have been decorated using contact paper. While the idea itself is the same simple one that I have shared already, the patterns on the contact paper used are particularly pleasing in their minimalism.
56. Make a set of bin drawers fun for kids.
I believe these are filing cabinets, but this is again an idea that could work great with plastic containers in a classroom or a child’s room. The bins can be decorated to resemble cute monsters.
57. Here is a surprising idea for using plastic bins as décor.
How many people would see a bunch of plastic bins in different colors with patterns cut in the sides, and think to flip them upside down and use them to hold light fixtures? But this modern décor idea would look amazing in any contemporary home!
58. Here is another cool look with duct tape.
Nothing fancy here, but sometimes simple is good! This awesome look was achieved with duct tape and creativity.
59. Here is yet another way you can decorate a plastic container by weaving fabric or ribbon.
Earlier I shared an idea for creating a woven “basket” look using fabric in a slotted plastic bin. Here is an idea which is similar, yet different. There are small holes in this plastic container, and ribbons have been routed through them to create a different look. The finishing touch is the row of cute ribbons along the corner! Don’t have a bin with holes? You can always cut holes into an existing container.
60. Learn the pros and cons of mod podge vs. tape.
Finally, as a bonus, here is a great video which talks about whether it makes more sense to use tape or mod podge when embellishing plastic containers. You’ll discover there are some advantages and drawbacks to each, and what you should go with ultimately depends on your level of skill and the durability you are aiming for with your upgraded plastic containers.
Conclusion: There Are So Many Ways to Transform Your Plastic Drawers and Bins!
If you have been avoiding plastic drawers and bins because of their utilitarian appearance, hopefully now you are looking at them in a whole new way. Plastic bins may not be exciting to look at when you buy them, and they may clash with your décor—but they don’t have to! After you jazz them up using some of the ideas and techniques shared in this list, your plastic bins will fit your style and express your personality.