Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fabric Box Tutorial

 I hope you enjoy this little fabric box tutorial as much as I do. It is simple enough to complete in about an hour, which makes it perfect for a last minute hostess gift. Fill it with candy and you are ready to go! 

A friend gave me the pattern* a couple of years ago, but after I made the first sample, I lost the pattern! Luckily, I remembered what to do, and wrote up my own instructions. There was no indication of who had designed it, so if you know whose pattern this is, please do let me know. I haven't seen anything else like it online.

*The original was a one page, hand drawn pattern that looked like it had been photocopied a number of times. I interpreted the pattern in a completely different way from my friend.

Let's get started!

You will need:

 (2) squares of fabric, between 8" and 12". My sample was made with 10" squares. 

A piece of batting the same size as the fabric (or a little bigger).

(4) coordinating buttons, optional.

A walking foot, if you have one.

Step 1: Layer the fabric, right sides together, on top of the batting.

Step 2:  Stitch 1/4" seam around perimeter, leaving an opening of about 4" on one side.

Step 3: Trim away the batting from the seam allowances to reduce bulk. Trim as close to the stitching line as you can without clipping into it!

Step 4: Turn right side out and press.

Step 5: Top stitch close to the edge, closing the opening as you go.

Step 6: Quilt as desired. I just kept going around and stitched concentric squares...

... until my bobbin ran out!

Step 7: Fold the quilted square in half, right side in. Mark a 2" triangle in the corners.
(If you started with a different size square, you may want to alter this dimension.)

Stitch the 2 bottom corners, back-tacking at the beginning and end. Since I had used a Frixion pen for marking, I just needed to hit it with an iron to erase the line!

Step 8: Open it up and fold it in the other direction, marking and stitching the remaining 2 corners.

Step 9: Turn the box right side out.

 Step 10: I like mine with the points folded down...

 ... and the inside flaps tacked down.

If you would like to eliminate the inside flaps, try Connie's modification with French Seams!

Step 11: Stitch on some cute buttons, if desired.
(I bought these buttons at Walmart. I think I need to go back and get more in every color!)

Starting with 10" squares, the boxes finish at about 4" x 4" x 3" high.

My original sample was made with Meadowsweet leftovers. I still love that collection so much!

And this is the one I made last weekend for Barbara. This one started with a 12" square, so I made the sides a little higher (2.5" corners in step 7).

Have fun with the tutorial and let me know if you make one!

Edit 4/13/14: I am not affiliated in any way with the pattern being sold on Craftsy for $6.

Edit 5/22/14 for clarification: The pattern I was given did not include any authorship information, or I would have given credit from the start. There were just a few hand drawn diagrams and cryptic text open for interpretation. It was not a copy of the pattern being sold on Craftsy. I wish there was a name on the original drawing, but there was not. I struggled with offering it online, but I felt my finished product was more detailed and my instructions were much clearer. I added the quilting and the buttons that were not included in the original.

The pattern on Craftsy was not offered until after I had posted my free tutorial. I believe the designer used the ideas that I had fleshed out. If she used her own photos and text, there is no copyright infringement. I haven't purchased it, so I don't know that to be true. She claims there are design differences, but her sample in the Craftsy listing looks just like mine. It is even quilted the same way. I don't believe she is the designer of the pattern I was given many years ago.

Because the basis for this fabric box was not my original idea, I struggled with offering the tutorial at all. I did not feel it was right to profit from it by selling the pattern. Again, I wish the person who drew the original diagrams by hand had signed her work.

It is in the spirit of sharing that I offer this free tutorial. They look great filled with candy or a small potted plant. You may use it as a guild or sewing bee project. You may make them to sell for charity fundraisers. If you make them to sell for personal gain, please drop me an email.

Visit my Pinterst board to see how other sewists are interpreting this project.


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Chris Scrappin and Stampin in Texas said...

This is adorable. I want to make a few. Great idea!

Shelby's Mom said...

I just want to say you shouldn't feel guilty sharing something for free just because someone else is selling "their" pattern to make a buck. A lot of times I use these patterns to make something either for myself for fun or for relatives and friends, when as a single parent for so many years, I didn't have any extra money to "buy" patterns, so posts with patterns like yours are what helped me all along during those years. Thank you! What's funny is I did a craft swap and someone gave me one of these for my gift and I LOVE it! She didn't sign a name or anything so I couldn't find out who made it, but I'm SO happy I now have you to thank for the pattern. :-)

Lindy said...

thank you for sharing! I agree with with trachkitty, it is great to share old patterns with others. Each person has their own unique ideas and ways to add to a pattern but, it is important to let others know where you got the idea/pattern from. I love these quick, easy ideas and my teenage daughter loves being able to learn to quilt from these fun patterns. Again, thank you for sharing and I love your work!

Mary Cyrus said...

I love this box, its the cutest thing I have seen in a while. Thanks so much for posting this.

Betty Hicks said...

Thank you so much for this great tute!!! I plan on making LOTS
.. for me and probably everyone who steps into my house for.... well until I run out and have to make more !! THANK YOU

Thelma Thoman said...

That is so sweet of you to share this i will make these for baby showers and fill them with baby things
Thanks again

Marjie said...

Instead of turning the inside flaps to one side and tacking down, I pressed them "open" to make a small "pocket" in each corner.

Nancy*Glory Bee said...

Just found this on Pinterest today and can't wait to try it later. Thanks!!

Adele said...

I love your little box - do you remember how big the box was that was made using 12" squares? I would like to make a box that is about 6 x 6 - what size fabric should I start with?

Sewing Basket 3 said...

I have a pattern similar to this one. It was a free one given out at a quilt shop on the coast of Washington. It is fun to make. Thanks for your tutorial and helpful hints.

Anneliese said...

Thank you for the lovely tutorial - I am just following it. I got it through Dolores. And yes, as they said before, it is so well photographed - and I know that it is a lot of work.

Albert said...

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Vikki Padgett said...

Fab pattern , thank you, a Friend shared this one as we are all so in love with the finished item she made for a secret Santa for our sewing group. Now which fabrics should I use....

sue keida said...

I love the way you quilted it. Makes it that much cuter!

June Gregory said...

What a lovely idea. Thank you for sharing. I will add it to the list of things I have to make in 2016. It is lovely to see so many people interested in needle craft I will probably use decorative hand stitch on mine. I will send you a picture........ June Gregory.

Paula Kuethen said...

I love making these boxes. I need some help. I want to make a box 5X8X3. What would my fabric measurement be? I am stuck! Help!

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Ben Jackson said...

You have got some great posts in your blog. Keep up with the good work.

Lorraine said...

There is nothing new under the sun!!! Very nice job and thanks for sharing

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You have a great blog - I would think your readership is very high?
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Gram999 said...

I just made a small one to use as a thread catcher on the end table while hand sewing, My others take up too much room. I will be making many more. Thanks for the great tutorial and photos.


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City Krafters said...

Thank you for sharing , I was given this pattern I few years ago it was from a friend it was a free pattern I made it and I had forgotten about it so thank you I will make some as they are great for a small gift..

Jessy D.Huber said...

Really nice post, thank you! I would love to share it with my blog readers at The DIY Hacks said...

I love your fabric boxes how much my sister want me to make her a few and I said no charge but now she says you have to take my money or else so please help what price

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I see you wrote it some years back, but it is still relevant. I am going to gift some fabric boxes to my daughter's college roommates, as everybody loves mail & to let them know they are thought of. Great pictures and excellent tutorial. The only thing I am changing is to use fusible fleece in the middle. Thanks for sharing your lovely tutorial! Much appreciated.
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Lynn Coupland said...

Thanks for the great tutorial, Tina. Just made 19 for Christmas gifts.

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Jean said...

I am going to teach this to my quilting club here in Florida, Thank you very much. A very good tutorial

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Place Mat said...

This information is impressive. I really appreciate for your efforts you to put in this article, this is very informative and helpful for making a beautiful box.

Alcira Ramirez Cardona said...

Que hermoso y útil, ya no tendré más regada mis cosas sobre la mesa, abra orden gracias

Sheri Burke said...

the fabric box tutorial - I found it on YouTube - Sew Very Easy -

Kathleen O'Keefe said...

I'm so happy that I stumbled on your page! Just made my first little box, and it's adorable! Thank you for posting!! I just might make a bunch to sell at Christmas craft sales! :)

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sue keida said...

I realize this is an old thread but I just wanted to thank you so much! I have made many in different sizes and everyone loves them! Thanks again.

Kathleen O'Keefe said...

I discovered this site a month or so ago, and just love the fabric boxes! I've made several of different sizes, some quilted some not, some with french seams some not. They're terrific!

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Bag and Boob Babes Too said...

This is exactly the pattern and tutorial I've been looking for! I'm the NW Coordinator for Bag and Boob Babes, a Breast Cancer Awareness Project, that is a 501c3 non-profit charity. We make and donate comfort products to breast cancer patients. One of our products is the Knitted Knockers, knitted breast prosthetics. We like to give our knitters one of these fabric boxes to hold the "cake" of yarn they're using to knit with, but our source stopped making them. I'm excited that now I can make these cute little boxes for them. Thank you for posting such clear directions and pictures to follow. God Bless You, Tina!

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