Friday, February 27, 2009

What tampons? [TUTORIAL & PRIZE]

I think I might have some bathroom issues. Like issues with how the bathroom looks, not how things go down in there.

Don't be nasty.

Like, I used to be irked by the grodiness of the naked trash cans, so I made some nice upcycled Tshirt liners for them, and that helped me deal with that particular bathroom issue: grody trash cans.

But then there's still the issue of the HELLO! I'M A BOX OF TAMPONS RIGHT HERE!, which is almost as annoying. Not that it's grody to see a box of tampons in a bathroom, but it just seems, well, so OBVIOUS HELLO and plus, whose bathroom decor matches teal blue and yellow?

Yeah, not mine.

(And don't just go matching your bathroom to your tampons, that's bizarre.)

So, because I like to create things to make pretty other things in situations where prettying is probably not necessary, I set out to make a not-obvious tampon storage device to un-ugly the teal and yellow box lurking near the trash can in my bathroom.

Because I guess I just couldn't go on another day with that box hanging out there behind the trash can just being all teal and yellow and HELLO! TAMPONS! in my black, white and beige bathroom (aren't I the lively decorator) and just had to find a way to conceal it so I could take My Crazy to a different room in the house.

Again, scary look inside my head. Apologies.

But, if you share this particular nugget of Crazy and would like to soothe it with a quick project that you can probably source from thisnthats around your house, try it out. Really, this thing took no time and barely any fabric, math or patience.

Covert Bathroom Storage
(I get it. Not everyone is YAY! for tampons.)
Print this thing

1 8.25" x 23" piece of cotton fabric
1 wire hanger (I recycled a white dry cleaner hanger)
1 30" package white or coordinating 1" Velcro (you won't use the whole package)
Coordinating thread
Wire cutter
Fabric marker

To make

Make the box:
Fold your fabric in half, wrong sides together, matching short edges. Sew the long sides, creating a pocket. Place a small dot 2" up from the bottom on both long sides of the pocket.

Fold pocket in half vertically, so that seams run up the middle of the pocket and bottom corners point down into triangles. (You create the triangles by pushing up at the middle of the bottom of the pocket and folding the corners down.)

Pin through all layers to keep this in place.

Sew a straight line across the corner, lining up your stitching with the mark you made in the previous step.


Fold one corner flap up and sew the first line, then flip pocket over and, holding up the now-sewn corner, sew the other corner, lining up your stitching with the market you made in the previous step.

Turn your pocket right side out. Those folded corners now fold down inside the pocket to form a box.

Fold over about 1/2" at the top of the box and sew to create the top hem.

Make a small cut in the center of one of the long sides of your hemmed box top and zigzag stitch around the cut to keep it from fraying later.

Attach the Velcro
Separate your Velcro and line the short end of one of the Velcro sides up with the cut you made in the top hem.

Keeping the Velcro lined up with the top edge of the box, sew Velcro along the top edge of the box completely.

With the corresponding strip of Velcro, add about 1/4" space below bottom edge of top Velcro and sew this strip below the top strip of Velcro so that when the top of the box is folded over, the Velcro will match up.

Fit the hanger
Using your wire cutters, cut the bottom rung of the hanger off by making two cuts before the wire begins turning toward the bottom rung.

Straighten out the wire completely, leaving the hook intact.

Lay hanger on box and line hook neck up with the notch in the hem.

Begin bending the straight part of the hanger so that it will turn the corner at the edges of the box when the hook neck is centered over the notch.

Then, using the box as a guide, bend the arms again, forming a rectangle.

Place one hand over the rectangular portion of the hanger and, with your other hand, bend the hook upward, toward the rectangular portion of the hanger.

My hands look all manish here. I don't know why. They're very shrimpy in real life.

Holding the rectangular portion and neck still, twist the hook so that it points away from the rectangular part of the hanger.

Fit the bag
Hold the hanger with the neck at the notch in the bag and fold the top of the bag over to stick to the corresponding Velcro on the main portion of the bag.

Rework the bends in the hanger if necessary and add your accessories.

Then hang it on the trash can (underneath the liner, obviously) next to the toi and admire your great covertness.

You're like 007 of the bathroom!

And now we can pretend like it's not all HELLO! TAMPONS! back there. Or whatever you hide behind your trash can.

Oh, about that prize...See, I already made one of these deals a while ago, but my camera died half way through the tutorial making process, so I never posted it, and then had to make it again (this time) so that I could post a tutorial.

So, now I have two of these covert wonders and only one bathroom (sad). So - if there's anyone out there who'd like one of these things, but doesn't have the desire to craft one, you're welcome to it. Just leave a comment like, "I want your tampon box!" or whatever, and I'll pick one person with the random name generator thingee to receive it.

Sound good? And don't worry, the one you see in the photo is actually the one I made the first time, so the one featured in this tutorial has never actually seen any bathroom time. In fact, that's a new box of tampons in the picture, so those hadn't even gone into the bathroom at the time of the photo. What I'm saying is this storage box doesn't have any toi cooties or anything, so don't be afraid or start anti-bacterializing yourself. It's safe.

OK, that's enough about my bathroom for now.

And also please notice the "Print this thing" link at the beginning of this tutorial and on some of my other tutorials and also along the sidebar there. Yeah, right there.

This is so you don't have to, like, set laptop near your sewing machine or, lord help us all, print out my entire mind-numbing wordy blog post just so you can make a bag for your tampons.

I mean, really now. That's something a crazy person might do.


  1. OH MY GOD, I WANT THE TAMPON COVER. I use the same kind you do (but of course), and the box is just, um, sitting on the bottom shelf in the downstairs bathroom. Where guests go when they come to our house. Yeah.

    And God knows, I will never craft this thing. You're my only hope, Finny. I'm sure my guests would appreciate it, too.

    P.S. My verification is jograb. Read into that what you will.

  2. This? Is genius.

    Which means your crazy is the same as MY crazy!

    I'd love to own one of these things, toi cooties bedamned.


  3. I just had to say what a fantastic idea this is, but I don't actually need one. If you must know, which I'm sure none of do, I use the Diva Cup. It comes with it's own little fabric bag, and I keep in the cupboard when it's not in use. If someone wants to get all snoopy and take a peak in there, I refuse to be held responsible for their nightmares.

    And that's all I have to say about that.

  4. It's a great idea, I love it. Very clever. However, with my trashcan missing kids (meaning half of the trash ends up NEXT to the trashcan), who knows what would really end up being in that lovely little container. I truly would not care to know, therefore should probably not have one.

  5. Who would've thought of a tampon cozy, except you! Truly and ingenious idea. It would also come in handy for bathroom recyclables, such as: paper rolls, plastic bottles, etc. You rock in all your craftastic goodness, keep it up!

  6. I think I'm disqualified since I won the last prize (*glee*). But why didn't you knit a cozy for the box? That wouldn't have been weird or anything (*shifty eyes*).

  7. What a very clever and innovative idea. Thank you for sharing this creative bit of genius.

    Now, as to winning this amazing creation, you can leave my name out of your contest list. Unfortunately, or unfortunately, I am way past the need for such items. In other words, I'm too old. But thanks for offering this opportunity.

  8. Finny, you're an adorable freak and we love you. I don't need a tampon cover because for one week out of every month I am considered unclean and I remove myself from society (and, most especially, male company) to a special house with other unclean women. There we bathe, watch Oprah, and pray non-stop. (Except for the Oprah time.)

  9. Kris - That is a very sad story - what do your guests say? I feel for them, really I do. And your poor tampons...just out there exposed to the elements!

    Candygirl - YAY! Someone else has the same Crazy as me! I don't feel so alone in my Crazy now. Thank you.

    Wendy - You are brave with that thing. Of course, it could live happily in the Covert Bathroom Storage, but I will leave the storing of Diva to you ;)

    Michelle- And now I have another reason to fear children.

    SAHM - It really could be for ANYTHING, right? I mean, you could even take the tampons out of the box and put them in there with other things. :)

    Knittah - Well, I just don't know why I didn't knit it, actually. Prolly cuz this is faster. I'm very lazy, 'member?

    Junie - Well, like SAHM said, you could use this for ANYTHING - I personally like the idea of using it for extra TP rolls. But, I will let you be since I know you could craft this if you really saw the need - you're good like that.

    Decca - I can't believe you said, Oprah, on my blog. LOATHE. I feel unclean now, too.

  10. Hmmm. Very clever Ms. Finny, and some kinda crazy! I've been surgically enhanced so as not to need such items though, so, like Ms. Junie, I can be left out of the drawing!

  11. I WANT YOUR TAMPON BOX! Strangely, that's not the first time I've said that to someone. :) That's such a great use for spare space. I bet one could make some more of those and hang them off of a towel bar or something, for cotton ball storage, etc... for those with no counter space! (Like me.) Very cool idear.

  12. If, by commenting here, is this entering me in the drawing for your tampon box?

    Hm, after this entry, I may have to stop reading your blog... ;-)

  13. oh i love this i really could use this as my hubby hates looking at them in the bathroom...LOL


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