June 16, 2021  

Painted Plastic Bin Makeover With Cricut Vinyl – Thrift Store Craft


Get organized with these painted plastic bins! Learn how to use spray paint and vinyl to transform plastic bins from the thrift store or dollar store into cute diy storage for your home.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine. This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details.

Can you believe I made these adorable DIY storage bins for about $5 each?! I’m so shocked with how cute (and affordable) this thrifty project turned out! I took cheap, bright blue plastic bins from the dollar store and gave them a complete makeover using spray paint and vinyl decals. They’re going to be so cute in our baby boy’s nursery!

Not only is this plastic bin makeover super affordable, but it’s also a fairly quick Cricut project thanks to my Cricut Joy. The fact that you can set up the machine and start cutting in mere minutes is a lifesaver for this busy mom, and the long Smart Vinyl rolls (no mat required) meant I could cut a long sheet of decals all at once.

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text above photo of three black plastic bins with white vinyl decals filled with nursery items

This project started with these cheap plastic $1 bins from the dollar store (and you can pretty much always find them at the thrift store, too).

four blue plastic bins stacked on a workbench.

With a can of spray paint and a roll of Cricut vinyl, I turned those cheap plastic bins into modern storage bins for the nursery. I used a hammered paint that makes them look like metal (read: much more expensive). And the white vinyl decals are so fun and playful, don’t you think?

three black bins with white vinyl decals and the Cricut Joy machine.

How to paint plastic bins and add vinyl decals

This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details.

Supply List:

Quick Tip: If you plan to do a lot of labeling projects with your Cricut Joy, check out the Smart Label Essentials Bundle.

1. Paint Your Plastic Bins

Spray paint your plastic containers in a well-ventilated area with a drop cloth or cardboard to protect the ground/workspace. I used this hammered black spray paint that gave my bins a cool hammered metal look.

Follow the instructions on your spray paint can. My bins took two coats to get full coverage. Remember that when you’re spray painting, it’s much better to do numerous light coats than to try to spray it on really thick in a single coat. After my first coat, you could still see bits of the bright blue showing through because I sprayed lightly. I didn’t get full coverage until a second coat.

four plastic bins in the process of being spray painted from blue to black.

2. DESIGN YOUR vinyl decals in design space

Create your decals in Cricut Design Space. Cricut has tons of cute designs you could use for this, and I found an adorable set of transportation icons to use. If you search the images in Design Space for “transportation silhouettes”, you’ll find the ones I used.

Please note that these were a little intricate for this project and required the use of transfer tape which lifted up a small amount of the spray paint with the tape in a couple of spots. It was pretty minor, but I’d recommend sticking with simpler shapes that you can transfer like a sticker using your fingers.

Select the icons or letters/number you want to use, size them appropriately for your container, and duplicate them a couple of times.

Quick Tip: If you are using complex shapes, use the Contour tool to unselect some of the extras. You’ll see in the police car below, the smaller gray shapes are cutlines I selected using the Contour tool which means they won’t cut. This speeds up the weeding process and makes them easier to transfer!

3. CLICK “MAKE IT” AND ADJUST THE SETTINGS

Set your material type to Smart Vinyl – Permanent, and select “without mat” as your material load style.

4. LOAD YOUR vinyl & cut the design

Load your Smart Vinyl into your Cricut Joy machine when prompted.

Cricut Joy and supplies needed to complete the project.

5. UNLOAD YOUR vinyl

Once your decals are finished, select “unload” in the app and your Cricut Joy will release your material.

6. WEED YOUR VINYL DESIGN

Next, weed the excess vinyl away from your design. I mostly use my fingers to weed, but the weeding tool comes in handy for the tiny pieces.

8. TRANSFER YOUR Decals onto your bins

I transferred each decal individually. For the letters and numbers, I was able to just use my fingers to transfer and stick onto the bin like you would a regular sticker (no transfer tape needed).

I definitely recommend using shapes that are easily transferred with your hands, because I used transfer tape for the transportation icons and there were a couple of little spots where the transfer tape pulled up a bit of the spray paint. It was pretty minor, but something to keep in mind! If you use transfer tape, take care to slowly lift the tape and make sure the vinyl is stuck down well (I think my spray paint pulled up when the white vinyl lifted up because it wasn’t stuck down well enough. I do not think the transfer tape itself caused any damage to the spray paint.)

Hand holding the letter "V" before applying to the storage bin.
close up of thumb pressing a white vinyl sticker onto a black plastic storage bin.

Isn’t this project so cute?! What a super easy and inexpensive way to give cheap plastic bins a whole new life. You know I love a cute organizing project, and these are going to look adorable in our baby boy’s nursery!

three black plastic bins with white vinyl stickers on each bin.

Here’s a close-up look at each of the bins I designed:

black plastic bin with white numbers filled with stuffed animals.
black plastic bin with white transportation stickers (airplanes, cars, trains, etc.) filled with receiving blankets.
black plastic bin with white letter stickers on it filled with kids books.

If you want to create pretty labels and vinyl projects like this one, the Cricut Joy is the perfect machine for you! You can shop Cricut Joy here.

Looking for more Cricut Joy inspiration? Take a look at these blog posts:

Have a fantastic day!

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About the author

Emily Counts is the founder of Small Stuff Counts, a home and organization blog she created in 2013. Her goal is to help moms make home life easier so they can create beautiful, organized, and thriving homes. She shares life at home as a mom juggling two young kids and being a working mom with a corporate job. The Iowa-based blogger lives in the suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, two children, and rescue dog. Emily has collaborated with brands including The Container Store, Cricut, Command Brand, Bissell, Sam's Club and Rubbermaid.

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