Home » Spray Paint » DIY Picnic Caddy: Thrifty Repurposed Cardboard Drink Carrier

DIY Picnic Caddy: Thrifty Repurposed Cardboard Drink Carrier

Today is craft day…..and I made the cutest DIY Picnic Caddy using a thrifty, repurposed cardboard drink carrier. You would be surprised at the things you can recycle if you give it a little thought. 

I’m patting myself on the back over this project. It turned out great. Ya’ll know how I love bright colors! The caddy is stenciled and I don’t want you to be afraid of stenciling. You just need to know the secret and I have you covered. 

recycle project using spray paint petticoat junktion

This is how the “caddy” started out. A couple of weeks ago when the granddaughters were at the house for the day…we made a fast food run. Those girls keep us hopping, and there’s never time to cook. Anyway, I thought at the time that I would do something fun with the drink tote. It seems a waste to throw it away, and I’m all about recycling.

cardboard box recycle with spray paint petticoat junktion

I first spray painted the repurposed cardboard drink caddy white. I thought the tote would break down into a flat box, but no, not this one. I spray painted it as is. It took a couple of coats to cover the box. Let the spray paint dry in between coats of paint.

how to stencil a cardboard box petticoat junktion

Then came the fun part….adding color. I grabbed a couple of stencils, brushes, and pretty acrylic paints. I went with a floral design but anything graphic would work too. Read my stencil-like-a-pro post here….Special Stencil Technique Layering Paint Colors

recycle a cardboard box using spray paint and stencils petticoat junktion

Stenciling is so easy, and I never worry about it being perfect. I put color over color on some of the flowers and just went with it!

upcycle a cardboard tote into a picnic caddy (2)

Selecting the bold colors and playing around with the colors on the various flower designs was fun.

Cardboard Drink Carrier DIY Picnic Caddy
Cardboard Drink Carrier DIY Picnic Caddy

I gathered some things from the kitchen to fill the caddy. I used plastic drink glasses and mason jars to hold the flatware, straws, and flowers…the napkins were on their own! The flowers are faux, but you could totally use real flowers.

diy picnic caddy petticoat junktion

I planned to buy some colorful solo cups and paper plates and do a full-on display on my patio table, but the weather wouldn’t cooperate. I was doing a practice run when I took these photos, not expecting to use them. But I never got another chance to take photos with the sun shining.

recycle a cardboard drink tote into a picnic caddy easy diy petticoat junktion

The caddy/tote would also be perfect for holding crayons, pencils, and such. Muli-Purpose.


I stenciled a metal picnic tote you can see here……Painted Metal Caddy Is Handy For Just About Anything

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
 | Website

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. What a clever idea & so cheery! Love it! Looking forward to more & more picnic weather.

  2. That is so adorably cute, Kathy! You have such great paint ideas for just about everything, don’t you? Thank you so much for joining us on our tour!

  3. Kathy! This is so cute. What a bright, cheery addition to your outdoor table.


  4. Kathy – that is absolutely precious and I would have NEVER thought about that. I think I may use this idea for my grandsons to organize their crayons and coloring pencils, etc. Brilliant! That would also mean I would have to make myself go to Sonic. Poor me. 😀
    Thanks so much for joining us and being a co-host for the Swing Into Spring Link Party. xxoo, Barb

  5. Kathy,

    I was just going through “stuff” in my craft room and found three of those drinks caddies that I had saved for a future idea to strike me…Well, I have been struck! Thanks for such a cute and creative idea. Bring on the paint.

  6. Kathy, your picnic caddy is adorable. Just sorry you haven’t been having any picnic weather. (Same here!)

    I love your repurposing of the Sonic drink caddy. I may need to make a happy hour run soon to see what kind of craft I can think up using a drink caddy because I’m inspired.

    Hope the weather gets better! And thanks for hosting.

  7. Your caddy is so cute and you were clever to think to upcycle it into something handy to use all spring and summer. Thanks so much for hosting!

  8. Thanks for hosting, Kathy! I love your picnic caddy- great idea to repurpose a drink carrier!! Happy spring to you 🙂

  9. i can just see the big smile on your face when you were done with this…it is such a good idea and i love when you stencil because you just let the colors rip xx

  10. Ok that is just so clever!! I love it Kathy! I was thinking how fun it would be to have my kids make some and use them in their rooms to hold art supplies, etc. Thanks for the idea and for co-hosting today with me!

  11. What a fun and clever idea, I love your blooming caddy! I just recycled one last week, you’ve inspired me to try this 🙂