A good friend was recently cleaning out her closets and came across an old cheese box. She offered it to me and I of course I accepted! I used to have an end table that had been made out of an old cheese box so I knew these boxes could be turned into very interesting home decor items. Without any alterations, it could be used for a multitude of storage needs–hats, belts, gloves in a closet, to display oils and vinegars on the kitchen counter, or to hold sewing or knitting supplies. Just imagine it stocked with glasses of iced tea or lemonade served up at a summer garden party! But since the box was in excellent condition and had that rustic quality I love, I wanted to find a way to display it so that I could enjoy it on a daily basis.
For inspiration, I did a quick internet search for “cheese box DIY.” Lots of great ideas came up but the idea that appealed to me most (for now anyway) was to create a hanging shelf with it.
To make this hanging shelf you’ll need a cheese box, two leather belts roughly the same width so that they can be buckled together, and a piece of wood for the shelf. In addition you’ll need a saw and sandpaper. I have an electric mitre saw which made my job very easy, but you could use a hand saw and a mitre box if you don’t have an electric one.
I decided to place my shelf about 2/3 of the way down on the inside of the box. This would allow a bit more height in the space available for objects. I had saved some pieces of wood from a moving crate and found they were a fairly close match to the natural finish of the box. After measuring to get the right length, I cut the board at a slight diagonal in order for the shelf to better fit the curve of the box.
I sanded the edges of the cut until smooth and simply placed the shelf inside the box. I did not see the need for glue or nails to hold it in place as it fit snugly and I knew additional weight would be placed upon it to hold it down. I also like that the shelf is removable so that I can easily change up the use of the box in the future.
Next I took my two belts and buckled them together so that I had a continuous loop or circle. I used two brown leather belts that were roughly the same width and color but you could use any thickness, color or style. I think woven cloth belts would look fabulous as well. If you don’t have any good options in your closet (or your mate’s), you can always find lots of great options at thrift stores.
The next step is to take the belts, loop them around the box and loop one edge of the belt over a sturdy nail. I wanted my buckles to show so I positioned them prominently.
I decided to hang it in my kitchen and displayed some of my grandmother’s antique butter molds. I added some ivy in a jam jar to add color and life. I think a collection of old spice tins or antique bottles would also be lovely. Or imagine this piece hanging in the bathroom displaying rolled up towels or bath salts and soaps. What collections do you have that could be displayed to perfection in this box?