Monday, April 21, 2014

Fabric Box Tutorial

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that on Easter Sunday I was taught by my friend Therese (aka Chooktopia on Instagram) how to make fabric boxes. We went around to Therese's house for an Easter Egg hunt (our daughters are BFFs) and she had made one these fabric boxes for all three kids to collect their eggs in. I immediately wanted to learn how to make them, so while the kids were playing, and the men folk were talking about woodwork or something, Therese gave me a tutorial on how to make fabric boxes.

I put pics of the boxes I made yesterday on Instagram and was asked by a few people for a tutorial. After gaining permission from Therese to do a tutorial, here is how she taught me to make them.

Step 1: Choose your fabric box size and cut out your pieces

You could really do any size, but Therese had measurements for a large (the hawaiian print one up the back) or a medium (the spotty versions and the cross-stitch one in front).

You need 4 pieces of fabric:

1 x patterned fabric rectangle (can be any type - I wouldn't use a silky, soft fabric though. I used Japanese cottons from my stash and a very similar fabric from Therese's stash. She used a quilting-type cotton for the little cross-stitch ones).

1 x plain fabric rectangle (Use something pretty stiff. Therese used an amazing canvas, I used denim and a very stiff linen).

2 x plain fabric squares (same as the plain fabric rectangle).

Here are the different sizes:

Medium Rectangles (cut 1 patterned and 1 plain) - 54cm x 18cm
Medium Squares (cut 2 plain) - 15cm squared

Large Rectangles (cut 1 patterned and 1 plain) - 69cm x 22cm
Medium Squares (cut 2 plain) - 20cm squared.

All seam allowances are 1cm.

I don't press or overlock the edges at all.

Step 2: Join long sides of rectangles together

With right sides together, sew one long side of the rectangle together. Don't sew the other side together.

Step 3: Join short sides together

With right sides together, fold the joined pieces in half width-wise and sew together to make a tube. You might want to put a pin at the long edge seams to align the seam lines.

Step 4: Insert the first bottom

The first part of this step is to round the edges of your fabric squares. You can use a glass as a guide or just eye-ball it.

Once you've rounded your edges, divide the patterned part of your tube into four sections. With right sides together, pin on one of the squares, aligning a pinned section with a rounded edge.

Stitch around the edge, with the patterned part of the fabric facing up. You will need to go slow and ease it around slowly so you don't get any gathers. If you wanted to be extra careful, you could use a long gathering stitch to ease the patterned fabric onto the plain square. 

This is what you should have at the moment:

Step 5: Inserting the other bottom

The next step is to insert the bottom onto the plain section of the tube. Turn the tube back in the wrong way, and repeat what we've done at Step 4, but leave about 5cm unstitched together. This will let you turn the box out the right way.

Step 6: Turn the box out the right way

Using the 5cm gap, push the fabric through the hole so the box is the right way out. 

Step 7: Hand-stitch opening closed

Using your preferred hand-stitch, stitch the small 5cm opening closed.

Step 8: Fill up and admire your box!

Voila! You have cute little fabric boxes to store your goodies in. I have the large one with hawaiian flowers storing some overlocker threads that don't fit on my thread board. The smaller ones are filled with my daughter's various tiny toys that don't have a home. Little animal figurines, doll house furniture, wind-up animals etc.

I can see more of these in my future - how about you? Are you going to make one?


  1. Brilliant use for those smaller pieces of fabrics left over that we all have lurking in our sewing spaces

  2. Gosh these are so cute! I need to make some - I'm looking at a big mess of embroidery threads without a home as I type!

  3. You're not supposed to covet other people's stuff, are you, but I love these! They're so squishy and organic! I'm going to have to make some :)