A fabric box is a gem to make and use. It is sturdy and holds its shape and makes you look good when you say you have made it yourself. This is one DIY with fabric that I like to practice every now and then. Just makes a small dent in my fabric stash but a large impact on my cluttered space.
How to make DIY Fabric Boxes – 4 easy methods
1. Cover an existing box with fabric
This is the easiest way you can make a fabric box. All of us have countless shoe boxes, cereal boxes, cream boxes waiting for this prettying up.
Trace the shape of the box on the fabric. If it is a box with square sides you can just measure and draw them on the fabric, otherwise keep the sides on the fabric and outline.
Add extra seam allowances (1/4 inches) to the edges on the shape as given in the picture.
Cut it out.
Turn the side extra edge of the sides to the inside and glue in place – be careful that you are very much exact and accurate always otherwise there will be gaps and it would not be neatly covered. Do this for all side flaps.
(One alternative idea is to just fold one of the sides to the inside. I prefer this way now because even if you mess up accurately folding the edges there would not be any showing of what is inside.)
Now bring up the sides and start gluing the side flaps on the box sides.
Neaten the edges – if you have accurately done edges you would not have any problem of gaps. Fold the top edge to the inside and glue it in place. Do for all sides.
Decorate the box with fabric flowers or ribbons or both. Here is a tutorial to make cute flowers with ribbon.
2. Make a Fabric box with cardboard
You can make a simple fabric box of any dimensions this way from scratch with cardboard. You need a sheet of cardboard – the kind you get with the things you buy from shops.
Decide on the dimensions you want. You need to mark square shapes corresponding to this dimension on the cardboard – like in the picture below.
Cut out the cardboard shape. Keep it on the fabric and trace the shape. You need to trace extra for the side flaps as in the picture above for turning in to the inside .
Use glue to affix the fabric on the cardboard cutout.
Use the cardboard shape to cut out another fabric piece to hide the ugly fabric edges – this should be smaller than the cardboard shape. Affix this on the inside with glue.
Bring up the sides and align to form your fabric box.
Glue in place. Use instant glue / strong glue. You can tie a string of thread around till the glue attaches the sides firmly.
3. Make a Fabric box with fabric
This is my favourite method of making fabric boxes . You need thick bag weight interfacing for the box to hold its rigid shape or use thick heavy weight fabrics.
Cut out fabric square pieces in the dimensions you need the box to be.
I have used 6 inch squares for my fabric box – it is a medium box for my purpose. It is all individual choice and purpose. Change dimensions as you please but make sure it is all square
Cut out the fabric pieces – 5 each for all outer, lining and interfacing pieces.
Affix the interfacing to the lining pieces ( and to the outer pieces as well if you want a super sturdy fabric box)
Now start making the outer box.
Keep two outer pieces rightsides together and join one side with a 1/8 inch seam allowance.
Join the other pieces to this till you have joined all four.
When you have joined all four, join the fourth and first together to make a tube . Turn the tube right side out.
Now take the fifth fabric square and keep it rightside down on the open edge of the tube. Keep it together and stitch the edges together.
You have to leave a 1/8 inch unstitched at the beginning and the end – this is very important
Now move this fabric piece so that its adjacent edge is facing the adjacent side of the tube.
Stitch them together – Now you will have to start stitching from where you stopped stitching on the other edge and then when you end, leave 1/8 inch unstitched – this way you can pivot the piece easily. The photo above shows how it is done
Do like this till the whole thing is joined as the bottom of the box.
Turn the cover rightside out . Please ignore the mess inside – the fabric is fraying and I cannot seem to do anything about it – but isn’t it beautiful with all the machine embroidery?
Do this same steps with the lining – but there is a difference – Leave a 3 inch opening unstitched along any one edge for turning the box right side out.
Slip the outer cover inside the lining so that right sides are together.- the outer cover is rightside out and lining cover is rightside in. Slip the outer cover inside the lining cover as in the picture below.
Sew all around the top edge. Trim the seam allowance to reduce bulk. Turn the whole thing right side out through the opening you have on the lining bag.
Finger press the top edge for a neat look. You can top stitch along the top edge for a strong edge there
Slip stitch the opening closed. Learn how to make slip stitches here. Make small tacking stitches at each of the four inside corners to hold the lining layer inside.
4 Easy Fabric box or tray
This fabric box is very easy to make – You can use it to keep fancy things on your vanity.
But in my case, this is the more likely scenario
The fabric storage box dimensions depend on what you need.
For making this fabric box cut out two fabric pieces ( and interfacing) – both 6 inch squares – for the middle part.
Cut out 4 pieces of fabric – 3 inch wide and 5.5 inch long – for the sides. If you need the lip of the box to be taller change the dimensions (3 inch) as you need. If you need it to upright choose a heavyweight fabric or use interfacing.
Fold the short edges of the 4 pieces to the inside. Press in place and stitch in place. I did not stitch but only pressed. But when I strung the ribbon through the casing on this I wished I had stitched.
Fold the fabric by the middle – press in place. Prepare all pieces.
Stitch a line 1/2 inch from the fold. Do this for all the pieces.
Keep one of the 6 inch square in front of you right side up. Keep the side piece along the edge as in the picture below – the raw edges are together. The folded side is facing to the middle.
Stitch in place. Do this with all the pieces
Keep the other 6-inch square piece on top of all this, sandwiching all this, right side down
Stitch all along the outer edge – you have to leave a 2 inch unstitched for turning the whole thing right side out
Turn the whole thing right side out. It will look like this
Now thread a ribbon or string through the channel you have made on the sides.
When you pull the ribbon, the sides will automatically stand upright.
Tie the ribbon together in a bow.
As Tom Cruise says to Cameron Diaz in my all time favourite movie Knight & Day – “with me, without me”. I choose “with you” – Box. I need you.