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Creative Guest: Nike from Choose to THRIVE


Not only does this gal have a super cool name…she has a super cool blog! Maybe you’ve heard of Nike. I love to feature her ideas and I’m always excited to see what she’ll come up with next! This sums up what her blog is all about:

“I have a problem.  A big, big problem.

I’m an obsessive crafter and DIYer with a very short attention span. That means I have several large bins full of half-finished and non-even-started projects that keep piling up.

Toss two layoffs and a lousy economy into the mix

and I've decided that now is a great time to

stop spending money

on anything and everything crafty-DIY-projecty

until I use up what I already have on hand.

Thus, Choose To Thrive was born: 

My crafty, DIY, I-will-rock-what-I-got

blog of projects using only what I have on hand.

No shopping.  No money.  No problem.

So I will trade, barter, get creative, get crazy and Choose To Thrive.”


I’m thrilled she’s here today sharing a rockin’ idea using cardboard and fabric!

Here’s Nike…



Is it just me, or does guest posting on Ucreate seem a little like sitting down on the couch with Oprah?  I’m just a bit excited to be here people, and am trying my darndest to keep the couch jumping and fist pumps to a minimum.

Anyway, I’m Nike.  That’s Neekah …


… the lady behind Choose To Thrive and stay-at-home-mom of six kids age nine and younger. I wear flip flops rain or shine, put my makeup on in the car and survive on caffeine-free Diet Pepsi from the drive-thru at the corner gas station.

My crafting adventures have taken a hard left the last few years since the Layoff Fairy visited our house--twice.  Not fun. Yet despite all of the financial difficulties that come with an unwelcomed experience like this, I’ve come to believe that a Rock What Ya Got approach to crafting and DIYing without spending a dime can still yield great results.

Case in point:

Recognize these beauties from the Ballard Designs catalog?

I adore them. I need them. I cannot afford them.

So I made my own.

May I introduce my amazingly strong  Ballard Designs inspired wall pockets made using only materials I had on hand.

Cardboard + Fabric = Catalog awesomeness for $0!


And making a sleek, customized organizer for all those homework folders/workbooks/mail/bills/receipts without spending any money makes me feel like Superwoman, even if I’m a week behind on laundry.

Want to make your own?

For the base and pockets you’ll need:


For the covering, you’ll need either paint or fabric. I originally planned on going the paint route, but my cardboard had been manhandled by my kids enough that it ended up looking like a painted, hacked apart diaper box instead of a catalog knock off.

So I went with the fabric.

I didn’t have any plain black fabric in my stash, but I did have this left over $1/yd. Walmart clearance fabric from seven years ago.

No biggie. I just flipped the fabric over and used the back.

Making the Base

Open up two medium sized cardboard boxes and glue them together with a heavy coat of spray adhesive.  Make sure the folds are facing out and offset, otherwise the base will be more likely to bend and fold along those lines.  Trim to 15 3/4” x 49 1/2”.

Fill any gaps along the folds with scrap cardboard and tape in place.  Secure the corners and sides with a few pieces of packing or duct tape to make sure the whole piece is solid.

Cut slits on the base for the pockets to slide into using the dimensions from the pattern. (Download link at end of tutorial).

Mark 1” strips on a few box flaps … cut out …

… and glue along the back edge making a frame all around the base.

Making the Pockets

Trace four pockets pieces on good, thick cardboard …

… then cut out and fold into pockets.

Slide the pockets into the base to make sure the fit is nice and tight.

Once everything looks good, carefully remove the pockets and secure the bottom corners of each one with duct tape.  Set aside.

Covering With Fabric

Coat the front of the base generously with spray adhesive and cover with fabric, smoothing out bubbles and wrinkles until its all smooth.

Flip base over and glue fabric to the back frame using hot glue, making sure fabric is pulled nice and tight for a smooth edge.  Trim away the excess fabric.

Feel along the front of the base for the pocket tab slots and cut a single slit down the middle with an x-acto knife ( kind of like cutting a button hole.)

Your base should look like this on the front and back.

To cover the pockets, spray them liberally with spray adhesive--inside and out--and carefully smooth fabric into place, trimming away the excess material and hot gluing down seems as needed. 

Assembling & Decorating ~ The Fun Part!

Insert pockets through the precut slots …

… and glue the tabs towards the middle and top of the base with hot glue.

Touch up any gaps with marker, paint, whatever.

To personalize this design, I purposely left extra room above the top pocket so that I could add a monogram and family motto that were cut on my Silhouette.

The pockets were dressed up with simple cardstock labels cut from scraps using my Silhouette (label_1031).

To hang, I just rested the wall pockets on two existing screws that were left behind from an old FHE chart. Worked great, sort of like an impromptu french cleat.


No more piles of clutter on the TV/coffee table/counter/shelf/floor/desk. Love it.

Hope you’ll stop by Thrive and check out the rest of my Rock What Ya Got projects, including the challenge this year to see how much no-money remodeling I can do with repurposing, trading, bartering and some mad crafting skills.

Thanks again Kari for letting me spend the weekend chatting on the Ucreate couch with you and the amazing crafters who read and contribute to this site. You guys rock and inspire me daily!

(Download the pocket pattern with additional information HERE.)


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