Woven Beach Mat to Storage Box?

Off the top I’m just going to apologize for the quality of the pictures. These were taken a very long time ago and on an old phone.

I know what you’re thinking “Why turn a used beach mat into a storage box?”  Well let me ask you this, “Why not?”

I’m only joking. So this is how it went down. My sister, my mom and I decided to have a little fun and head to the big city for a girls day.

We grew up in a town of 5,000 people and the big city was an hour away, they have about 100,000 living there. Now you may be thinking wow that not very many people, but in northern British Columbia, Canada if you have 100,000 people or a Costco you are considered a city. I now live in a village of 600 and shop at a gas station for food if I haven’t stocked up and my home town of 5,000 sounds big.

Sorry I got a little bit off track, (I’m very prone to squirrel moments) so while we were in the “big city” and hitting up every garage sale and second hand store we could find, a little game or more like bet emerged. We each had to buy something for one other person and they then had to remake or repurpose that item. Well I bought for my mom, my mom bought for my sister and my sister bought for me. 

(left) my mom Joyce, (middle) my sister Cherie', (right) it's me Anna-Christin

As you can guess, my loving sister did the most sibling thing possible. How she found this thing I will never know, but no words were coming out because she was laughing so hard. Steady tears were streaming down her face as she handed a “lovely” woven beach mat with colourful tassels to me and doubled over in laughter. What the heck are you supposed to do with a dusty used beach mat? You just know that this thing came back from someone’s Mexico trip, probably full of all their spilled drinks, sunscreen and sweat. Yuck!

For some reason the beach mat sat all tucked away for sometime. Finally an idea pops into my head and the holidays were coming. Guess who was going to get a handmade gift for Christmas! 

I ended up making a wooden box, that would have a hinged lid and casters to make it easy to move around. The twist was that it was going to be covered in with the woven beach mat. Thankfully this beach mat was huge (never thought I’d say that) so I could actually make the box a useful size. 

After the box was made and the mat laid out I was able to measure and cut out all the sides. I used a lot of fabric glue brushed on the the inside of the mat and then folded the edges over to the inside of the box and stapled. Of course I had to add the little bit of colourful fringe to the inside, you know for a pop of colour and fun.

While the glue was drying on the box, I moved onto the lid and found some left over black fabric to cover it. There was two thin layers of quilt batting that were added to the wood top to give it a little puffiness and cushion if anyone wanted to sit on it. I laid out the fabric on the ground with the wrong side of the fabric facing up, put down my cut to size quilt batting then laid the wooden piece for our lid on top. This made it easy for everything to stay in place as I pulled the fabric edges over and stapled it into place on the inside of the lid.

After the glue on the box had dried the lid was attached with a piano hinge, added a chain to the lid so that it wouldn’t fall back on itself and added four casters to the bottom. All that was left was to use some black twill tape to cover the cut edges of the mat, giving it a bit of a sleeker look. The reason I used twill tape, well for one I had it on hand and the other it is nice and strong and the edges are finished so it won’t fray. I attached it to all four corners with fabric glue and presto it was complete! I do wish I hadn’t been in such a rush to finish though, the inside of the box is quite messy looking and that’s not how I like to leave projects.

My sister’s reaction when I gave it to her on Christmas morning was priceless. After the initial shock all you heard was very loud cackles of laughter coming from her and myself. The tears were running again and my mom was giggling uncontrollably in a chair. Everyone else just kinda looked at us like we were nuts, this is a very common occurrence. But once we told them the story everyone was laughing pretty hard too. Now this little piece that is full of our fun memories is used as an awesome storage container for games and a bonus seat for the living room.

We have not attempted this game since then, but I have a feeling we are all itching to try and stump each other again.

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