Painted Canvas Bins

Sometimes a project comes along that makes me giddy. Today I get to share one of those projects with you.

It all started when I bought a shelf with four canvas bins at a yard sale. I thought it would be perfect for craft room storage:

It was a little dingy (okay, a lot dingy), but I thought I could just wash the bins.

I had already bought it (for a whopping $3) and brought it home before I realized that the supports inside the canvas are cardboard. Doh! So then I thought about taking them apart and sewing all new bins using the old cardboard as the supports. But that sounded like a lot of work and I was not happy about that.

Then one night, I woke up at around 1:00am with a brilliant idea. (I know… I’m crazy like that.) PAINT! I could paint those dirty bins and give them a whole new life.

What do you think?

First I penciled on the designs I wanted, then filled them in with regular old acrylic craft paint. It was easy! And I think it helped with the tedium that I was unreasonably giddy. I may or may not have been doing ballerina leaps each time I ran to the bathroom to wash out my paintbrushes. I told you I was giddy about this project.

I love how they turned out. They make me so happy! And now they can brighten up my craft room and inspire me to keep on crafting.

The paint I used is regular old acrylic craft paint. They have an entire aisle of it at craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby.


  1. I love the painted canvas bins! They look fantastic, as if you bought it at the store or even a cute boutique. Thanks for sharing this great idea, as I wouldn't have thought it would have come out nearly as great as they did!

  2. What a transformation! I love how bright and happy they are! You did a really great job at giving something destined for the trash heap new purpose. I LOVE it!!!

  3. Those really did turn out pretty! You said you used acrylic craft paint for the designs, what kind of paint did you use on the entire canvas drawer? Did it take long to dry? The bottom drawer in the "before" picture looks broken, did you have to repair that one?
    Really pretty!

    • I used craft paint for the entire project. Drying time wasn't too bad because while one was drying, I would work on a different bin. And you are right, the cardboard in the bottom bin was broken. I used an Exacto knife to make a slit on the inside of that drawer and replaced the cardboard with a piece of chipboard I had. Then I used hot glue to close up the slit again.

      • You did a fantastic job I’m so impressed. I have old canvas bins and was wondering if I could paint them. I’m so happy you posted your beautiful art on your canvas bins. I’m going to do it. 😊

  4. I love this!! and plan on trying it out. I may try it with fabric paint…How do you think these will wear over time with acrylic paint? Just wondering if they will crack and start flaking over time…

  5. Love these! So creative! I will definitely be painting the canvas drawers on the used changing table I got for cheap to cover up the yuckiness. Did you paint the inside of the bins too??

  6. I love these! I have the exact same piece that needs some love. I was going to trash it but decided to Google how to paint them first. So glad I did! I am not crafty so can you please tell me exactly what type of paint to buy? Also did you draw the designs free hand? Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Oh, I am so glad you found this post! To answer your questions:

      1. Since I am a visual person, here's a link to a picture of the type of paint I used:

      You can buy it at any craft store or even in the craft section at WalMart.

      2. I did draw the designs freehand. No worries though. If that sounds intimidating, find some clip art online, print it out, then trace it onto the canvas with a pencil. Then all you have to do is fill it in with the paint. If you do a chevron pattern, you can just draw lines with a ruler. For the polka dots, just trace circles. It really isn't hard.

      I'd love to see the finished product. You can totally do this! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. What a good idea! So cute and artsy-fartsy! I bought similar bins with cardboard supports a few weeks ago. Now I know how to pretty them up. Thanks for the quick and easy tutorial.

  8. Love your make-over of the frame and bins. I am considering painting the frame a color also….it is part of my craft room. I have used acrylic paints before & I agree on its versatility! All I need now is to find used frames & a few bins, rather than paying for the new cost! Tx

  9. Oh my gosh, I’m glad I found your blog. I have the exact same thing, which I got at a yard sale too. The bins are also dingy and I too thought I could just throw them in the wash until I saw the cardboard. I’ve been planning on cleaning them with a mild detergent and a brush. Hopefully the water won’t soak through to the cardboard. But really I wish I could just send them to you and ask you to paint them beautifully like you did with yours. Congratulations on doing an awesome job with those bins!

  10. These are so awesome! I started painting mine after reading your post. Did you have to do multiple coats of the base colors? (The blue and pink) I’m trying to paint yellow over a light green bin!

  11. So glad I found this! I’m moving into a new place and this is a great idea to make everything match up with my new decor and I think it’ll work on the other canvas organizers as well so they all can be as bright as sunshine!!

  12. This is a very old Post but still a great idea!!! You have just saved me from wasting money on new fabric bins! Why didn’t I think of painting I’ll meet know! In this crafty era you can paint Anything and a paint product to help get it done. So glad I found this while “squirreling” away on Pinterest! Are you still blogging?


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