Thirty One and cardboard equals genius!

20140930_221220If you’re like me, you have at least one Thirty-One bag. If you’re unfamiliar with Thirty-One, now is the time to check it out here. You’ll thank me later. Anyway, what is the most popular thing in Thirty-One’s lineup of products? Utility totes! I have the large utility tote, I have the deluxe utility tote, I have the zip top organizing utility tote. You get the picture. Now, Thirty-One is a smart company and they don’t just make the totes. Oh no. They make tops for the totes, attachable pouches for the totes, etc. etc. but there’s still an issue. A majority of the totes have soft bottoms. This is fine if you’re tote is maxed out full, but not so great if isn’t. So behold, I give you the life hack to end life hacks–a hard bottom for your Thirty One utility totes.

20140713_191357It’s fairly simple. You need cardboard, scissors and some waterproof tape. I used packing tape, but you could probably use duct tape, especially the super cute stuff with the bright colors or fancy patterns. I didn’t have that on-hand, so clear tape it was.

For my cardboard, I used the flaps off an Amazon box. I’m an Amazon junkie so it’s no surprise I had one of these laying around. Any cardboard will do, but this enabled me to re-purpose something I already had on hand.

Using your scissors, cut the flaps off the box. Then, take the flaps and push them into the bottom of your utility tote. This is to get a measurement for how long and wide the bottom will need to be. Make a mark on the flaps where they need to be trimmed. Taking them out of the bag, trim them in the necessary spot to ensure you get the proper length to cover the bottom of the bag.

For width, I found that I had to tape two flaps together, overlapping one slightly with the other, to get them to cover the bottom of my bag. This may not be necessary depending on how wide your cardboard is.

20140713_191341Once everything is cut and the two are overlapped (if necessary) tape everything together. Be sure to cover every inch of the cardboard, front and back, with tape to prevent them from getting wet in the bottom of the bag and bending.

When you’re finished, pop your new cardboard bottom into the bottom of your bag and voila, you now have a hard bottom utility tote.

20140713_191419Now you may be thinking, this is just cardboard and tape. It’s not going to hold up. I assure that’s not the case. I fashioned these bottoms for two of my totes right before I took them on a week-long beach trip. These bags were carried out to the beach everyday, occasionally became a home for wet towels and picked up a little sand along the way and they stayed perfect. I’ve since used the same bags, with the same cardboard bottoms, for a weekend beach trip, pool trips, moving, hauling Christmas presents and more. I have yet to have to remake a bottom or had any issues. Fabulous!20141225_122108

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