Step 1: Locate a cardboard box that will fit the needs of the child. For the youngest, a cereal box was just right, but the older children had to do a bit more searching. These were made from shipping boxes.
Step 2: Trim off the top of the box to fit your needs. These boxes are just short enough to allow the children to see which 11" book they need. If desired, you can also trim one side of the box a bit lower than the other sides to increase visibility when the kids are digging for their books. If they plan on moving it around a lot, this could make the books fall out easier, so assess how the box will be used during this step.
Step 3: Design and paint! What are the children interested in? What is the function of the box? What colors would be appropriate? The boxes showcased here were painted with spray paint and tempera paints.
Step 4: Decorate! (optional). There are countless ways to do this. The children who made these boxes drew simple cartoons (some of them traced), cut them out and glued them to the box. They cut out paper and created mosaics, using different textures of paper to create interest. The sky is the limit! I am thinking I should make a couple of toy boxes and decorate it with pictures cut out of magazines reflecting the kind of toys that we will place in them. It will be fantastic if I get around to it…
I found another idea for making school boxes, which is more geared towards organizing paper work, but using similar ideas.