I have had a few requests to put my Small Fabric Box on line, so I thought I would add it along with the instructions on how to make it. It really is quite a simple thing to make, if a little fiddly at times. But if you like needlework you probably like fiddly! So give it a go, as it is super adorable and a nice little project.
Small Fabric Box
This small box measures – 9cm x 9cm x 5cm
All measurements are based on the mount board being 2mm thick, which includes cotton fabric covering the box.
The internal box and internal and external lid are padded with felt and covered with a different fabric to the external box and external lid. The internal box is constructed first and the external box built around the internal to allow for any small alteration in size. Each piece must be accurately measured and cut out otherwise they will not fit together snugly. A measurement of 2 mm has been allowed for the card and fabric; please check this measurement against your card and fabric. The choice of fabric is important as the fabric should not be too thick or too thin. A standard cotton quilting fabric works best. The pattern is also important. Try choosing a small pattern to start with, one without lines that need matching. A brighter more contrasting colour could also be used for the internal box, as this looks particularly nice when the box is opened.
- 2mm Mount-board
- Cotton Fabric (2 different colours or designs)
- Matching Guttermann thread
- Felt white or black (or similar colour to fabric)
- Curved needle
- Double sided tape (approx. 15mm wide)
- Set Square
- Metal ruler
- Cutting Mat
- Sharp cutting knife
- Fabric and Paper Scissors
- Front & Back = 8.6cm x 4.8cm
- Side x 2 = 8.2cm x 4.8cm
- Base = 8.2cm x 8.2cm
- Lid = 8.2cm x 8.2cm (measure and cut at the end to get a perfect fit)
- Front & Back = 9cm x 5.1cm
- Side x 2 = 8.6cm x 5.1cm
- Base = 8.6 x 8.6cm
- Lid – 9cm x 9cm
NB. The measurements for the base and interior lid should be taken at the point of attachment, as they are approximate. You need to establish exact measurements in order to get a perfect fit – remember to allow a couple of millimetres for the fabric wrapping.
- Start by cutting the interior and exterior card to size (front, back, sides and interior base).
Notes on Cutting Card
The card must be carefully measured out using a set square and sharp pencil. Label each piece of card in the centre so that the label can be seen once the card is wrapped with fabric. Include a directional arrow for top and bottom. Using a knife with a sharp blade cut each piece of card accurately. Check each piece is cut to the exact measurements once completed. The corners must be 90º otherwise they won’t match up.
- The interior sides and base of the box and later on the interior and exterior lid need to be padded with felt.
- Use one layer of felt. Lay the cut card on the felt and draw around it. Reduce the felt in size by 2mm from the edge in places as indicated in diagram below.
Padding Chart (not to size)
Top – Interior sides x 2 – with 2mm space without felt at the bottom
Middle – Interior front and back x 2 – with 2mm space without felt at the bottom and both sides
Bottom – Lid x 2 – external and a smaller internal lid both covered completely with felt
Covering the Card
- Press the fabric to remove any creases.
- If the fabric has an interesting design think how you might like this displayed on the box.
- Cut the fabric on the grain; allowing 2cm seam allowance on each side.
- Place the card, felt side down on the fabric with the grain square to the card.
- Stick two pieces of double sided tape (cutting the ends on a diagonal) along the top and bottom edge and wrap the fabric around the card pulling taut.
- Trim the corner of the fabric on the diagonal before sticking it too the card. Do not cut too tight to the corner as the fabric will fray or the card will be visible on the corners. However, too much fabric on the corner will cause excess bulk and the box will not fit together accurately.
- Once again, apply double sided tape to the short edges of the card and wrap the fabric around, trimming and folding in the corners before sticking down.
- Keep fabric taut at all times and the grain and design straight.
- Repeat the process on the internal box until all the card is covered with the fabric.
Construction of Internal Box
- Begin by taking the front and side pieces of fabric covered card and stitch the two pieces together at the edge using a curved needle and matching thread.
- The front and back pieces of card are the full width of the box, whereas the side pieces sit snugly inside these two pieces.
- To do this; hold the front card and a side card between your thumb and first finger so that the top and bottom edges sit flush and even. Make sure that the fabric is on the inside so that it will show internally when the lid is opened on the box.
- Stitch the two connecting edges together using small 5 mm stitches.
- Next, stitch the base in place, as this will provide stability to the box. The base piece of card sit up on the inside so that the base is flush.
- Continue to stitch the remaining pieces in place, being careful of placement and accuracy.
Construction of the External Box
- Follow the same process of covering the remaining card with fabric, as described in ‘Covering the Card – Internal Box’.
- Repeat the process of sewing the external box together, so that internal box sits snugly inside the external box. When the external box is nearly complete, slide it around the internal box and complete the process of stitching with small and neat stitches. Make sure that the fabric is on the outside of the box, so that the fabric makes the decorative outside edge of the box.
- When you have constructed the main box, the two boxes need to be slip stitched together with invisible stitches along the top edge.
Constructing the Lid
- It is at this point that it is important to carefully re-measure the box and the card lids. Any discrepancy in the measurement can be overcome by cutting a new piece of card for the lid.
- Both the internal and external lids need to be covered with felt.
- Place the card in the centre of the fabric and fold the corners in cut and mitre into place.
- Slip stitch the corners together, keeping them as crisp, neat and flat as possible. It is important to keep them flat and cut away excess fabric, as it will otherwise prevent the box lid from sitting flat.
- Next lace the back of the exterior lid. Take a long piece of thread and stitch from side to side pulling taut on the back of the lid.
- Lace the back of the card in both directions so that the fabric on the lid is secure and taut. Keep the thread under tension at all times.
- Do not stitch too near to the edge, as it will not be hidden by the interior lid.
- The interior lid does not need lacing. Take the lid and place it over the laced stitches of the exterior lid to hide the stitches.
- Slip stitch the interior lid to the exterior lid’s underside.
- Next slip stitch the finished lid to the body of the box, so that the stitches act as a hinge. Do not pull too tightly, as it will distort the hinge and movement of the lid and will not allow the lid to sit flush to the box.
The box is now finished. Enjoy!