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How to Make a Cardboard Bin, Trash Can or Trash Bin

Updated February 21, 2017

Making a custom designed cardboard bin or trash bin is a fun and easy project. After creating a simple cylinder to serve as a frame, you can cover the cardboard or poster board with paper or fabric of your choice for any colour scheme or look you prefer. Creating your own cardboard bins for trash or storage is a project simple enough for children to undertake with minimal adult supervision.

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  1. Turn the poster board/cardboard rectangle horizontally, touching the 16-inch ends together to form a cylinder. Tape the ends together with invisible tape.

  2. Cut a 16-inch piece of duct tape. Place it vertically, half on one side of the joined ends, half on the other side of the joined ends. Cut another 16-inch piece of duct tape. Place it inside the cylinder, vertically, covering the two ends.

  3. Place the cardboard cylinder on top of the 13 ½-inch cardboard/poster board circle. Use invisible tape to secure the cylinder to the circle. Turn the bin with the bottom facing you.

  4. Cut a 27-inch piece of duct tape. Place it around the bottom of the cylinder, connecting it to the circle. Cut a 13-inch piece of duct tape. Place it over the inside bottom edges of the bin where the cylinder meets the circle. Use your finger to crease the duct tape forming it around the inside bottom edges. You have a circular bin.

  5. Cover the wrong side of the 27 by 16-inch wrapping paper/fabric rectangle with rubber cement. Press onto the outside of the bin, aligning the edges. Rub the paper/fabric. Repeat for the inside of the bin using the 26 ½ by 15 ½-inch fabric/paper rectangle.

  6. Turn the bin with the bottom facing you. Cover the 13 ½-inch fabric/paper circle with rubber cement. Press into place on the bottom of the bin. Repeat for the inside using the 13-inch diameter fabric/paper circle.

  7. Cut a 27-inch piece of colour-coordinated electrician's tape. Center it over the top edge of the trash bin. Fold the tape over the inside and the outside edge, smoothing it down firmly around the top edge of the bin. The tape seals the edges.

  8. Turn the cardboard bin with the bottom facing you. Cut a 13 ½-inch piece of electrician's tape. Center it over the bottom edges. Press firmly, folding the tape over the outside and bottom edges of the bin.

  9. Tip

    Use a bag to protect the inside of the bin if using for trash. To make a shorter bin, cut the cardboard in half horizontally. Gimp braid can be glued around the edges with a glue gun in lieu of the electrician's tape.

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Things You'll Need

  • Thin cardboard or poster board, 27 by 16 inches
  • Thin cardboard or poster board circle, 13 ½-inch diameter
  • Invisible tape
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Rubber cement
  • Wrapping paper or fabric rectangle, 27 by 16 inches
  • Paper/fabric rectangle, 26 ½ by 15 ½ inches
  • Paper/fabric circle, 13 ½-inch diameter
  • Paper/fabric circle, 13-inch diameter
  • ¾-inch electrician's tape
  • Tape measure

About the Author

Louise Harding holds a B.A. in English language arts and is a licensed teacher. Harding is a professional fiction writer. She is mother to four children, two adopted internationally, and has had small businesses involving sewing and crafting for children and the home. Harding's frugal domestic skills help readers save money around the home.

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