The Lighter Side of Laundry

Scenario: My brother bought a new laundry bin for school.

Problem: The new bin is the same color as his roommate’s laundry bin.

Solution: Apply distinguishing feature to bin. This is where I come in.

My mother asked me if I would do the honors; she expected I would be able to do something creative with it. I was not as optimistic. You see, the bin he got is one of those pop-up mesh jobs; I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to design on mesh. Regardless, I agreed to try.

First I needed a good design. Something simple that would show up well. A number of cartoon characters popped into my mind. And then…I saw an opportunity for some humor.

If you’ve never watched classic Disney cartoons, you really must. You can watch tons of them on YouTube, but for now, just watch this 1956 gem. It is necessary for the joke to make sense.


This is one of my family’s favorite cartoons. We sing the song and do the little dance. I also do a mean impersonation of the park ranger. Anyway, it’s a fitting cartoon to reference on the laundry bag, since it’s about tidying up and it’s called “In the Bag.” I couldn’t get a good picture of the park ranger (Ranger J. Audubon Woodlore), so I just went with an image of Humphrey, the lovable bear.

HumphreyDidn’t that turn out so well? I couldn’t believe it. And it still looks good when the bin is full.

HumphreyAre you curious about how I did it? Here’s how:

1. Find your desired image. Remember that you are working on mesh, so it can’t be too detailed of a design.

2. Print it out in the size you want it to be on the bin.

3. Place and tape the paper on the inside of the bin with the image facing out. To be safe you should probably tape the edges from both the inside and outside. It is critical that the design stay put.

4. Trace the design in marker. I used waterproof markers to be safe; sometimes washable markers rub off or fade. (I used my brand new Faber Castell markers my brother got me for Christmas.) Don’t get carried away with coloring. Less is quite likely more. RESIST THE URGE TO PULL THE PAPER AWAY TO SEE HOW WELL YOU’RE DOING AS YOU GO. You run the risk of not putting it back exactly where it was before and making your design look all disproportionate. Just be patient.

5. Pull off the paper and reveal.

This project is perfect for the college dorm and the child’s bedroom!

Time: ~30 minutes

Difficulty: ♦ ♦  This project doesn’t require an excessive amount of dexterity, but it does require forethought and patience.

Cost: ♦  These mesh bins can be purchased for as little as $1 (The Dollar Tree) or bigger/higher quality ones can be found at higher prices (at places like Target).