Make a Portable Marker Tote for On-the-Go Coloring
If any of your summer festivities involve buckets of warehouse club potato salad, I’ve got a great project for you! This gallery will show you how to make a marker tote bin by upcycling a large potato salad container. I also have included a link for you to download a printable marker chart for Bic MarkIts.
When I saw the huge tub of potato salad at our family’s Father’s Day gathering, I didn’t think, “yum!” Instead, I thought, “Markers!” I immediately started sizing it up for my Bic marker collection and later offered to take those leftovers off Mom’s hands. Operation marker bin was underway.
Sizing Up Your Potato Salad Tub
After a few days of potato salad lunches and Greek salads, the container was empty and I was able to wash it out for my marker bin project. For the record, this exact tub of potato salad was St. Clair Potato Salad (5 lb.) from Sam’s Club. Any similarly sized tub should do–you could even use one for macaroni salad or something else. Ha!
This tub just happened to be the perfect size to house two full sets of Bic Markits with enough space at the top to still put the lid on and make it portable. Plus the labels were not the icky paper kind that wrinkle and peel off. Since they were not easily removed, I decided to cover over them with a color chart, which I have provided at the end of this article.
First Divider Fail
Initially I created a quickie divider out of folded card stock, placed diagonally in the square tub as a test. That arrangement made the sections too big, however, and some markers were tipping over and falling down inside the tub. Since there was room to spare, I remedied this problem by making a new divider out of foam core board and aligning it perpendicular to the square sides of the tub. It’s still a little loose, so at some point I will probably secure it with hot glue.
Adding a Handle to the Marker Tote Bin
I asked my husband to drill a couple of holes behind the handles so I could thread a ribbon for toting. He was happy to do it. If you don’t have a handman handy, just cut some slits with an xacto knife. I threaded my ribbon from the inside so it could be tucked away when I put the lid on. If you prefer to use the handle while the bin is lidded, thread it from the outside. Either way, make sure to leave the handle long enough to drape over the sides and out of your way while the bin is in use.
Covering the Labels of the Upcycled Tub
I printed the marker color chart onto some “MacTac” sticker paper I had in my paper stash. You could use regular paper or card stock and apply it with glue or double sided tape. Time to color your chart!
Once colored, I cut the chart labels to size using the unscientific method known as “eyeballing,” and stuck them on. Not perfect, but hey, it’ll do! As you can see, the edges are already lifting and may need to be secured with tape.
I covered the top with some scrap paper and adhered it with double sided tape. I finished off the edges with black 1/8 inch graphic chart tape that was already in my stash.
Next, all that was left to do was load up my markers. Perfect fit!
DIY Marker Tote Bin Marker Storage
When not in use, I pop the lid on and store the entire tub upside down or horizontally to prevent the tips from drying out.
Now when I take a trip, all I need is my copy of MiniMENTALs On-the-Go Coloring Book, and my handy-dandy marker tote!