How to cover a box with fabric and create a perfect storage for any space
If you prefer a video tutorial, here is the link to my YouTube video.
Shops offer a wide selection of decorative boxes of various sizes, colors, and styles. However, the prices for fabric storage bins are not always budget- friendly. With a little effort and imagination, everyone can make a fabric storage box by themselves especially if you want to use it not only for storing various things but also for easy home decor.
Let’s see how we can turn a regular box from a dollar store into a cute fabric bin.
You will need:
- a square or rectangular box (I bought mine in a dollar store but any suitable cardboard box can be used)
- fabric for the outside of the box. I used cork fabric but you can choose the fabric that matches the color scheme of your interior. Don’t use too thick fabric because it will be badly draped at the corners or bristles on the folds. If the fabric is too thin, make sure that there are no translucent images or inscriptions on the boxes.
- fabric for the inside of the box ( I like to use quilting cotton for this)
- fabric glue
- adhesive spray (I use this one June Tailor Pattern Stick Temporary Adhesive Spray)
- an embroidery machine (optional)
I will use special fabric for this which is not very common, cork fabric. It is the first time I used this material and I wanted to make an easy project to see how it behaves.
What is “cork fabric”? A very thin layer of cork which is fused to a solid layer of fabric. The fusing agent is polyurethane. In my case, it’s painted gold which gives the fabric a very nice sparkly look since cork has natural cracks and small holes which allow the gold layer to show.
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In my case the original box is almost a cube, the height is slightly smaller than the width but the width/length are equal, so the bottom is a square. This makes the process slightly easier since we will have four equal panels for the sides.
Below you can see how you need to cut your fabric for the outside of the storage box.
In my case, the height of the box was 8 inches so I added ⅜ in seam allowances. The cork fabric doesn’t fray so ⅜ in seam allowances will be good.
I also cut one square piece for the bottom of the box. The bottom of the box from a dollar store was 9 x 9 inches so I had to add ⅜ in seam allowances to that because I will need to sew the bottom to the box, therefore I had to cut a square with the length of 9 ⅜ in.
My fabric cut in the store was not cut perfectly straight so I needed to draw a line perpendicular to the selvage.
I had to discard a couple of inches at the edge, the selvage is quite wide on this fabric.
The design I wanted to use is large so I needed a large hoop. I have carefully placed the fabric in the embroidery hoop making sure the panel that will have the embroidery is centered in the hoop.
I placed a layer of stabilizer in the hoop under the fabric and also put a sticky back stabilizer on the wrong side of the cork fabric. Since the cork fabric may be destroyed by hooping and my cut panel didn’t fit the hoop anyway I secured the material to the stabilizer using an invisible tape.
On top of the fabric, I put a layer of a water soluble clear stabilizer so the embroidery stitches will not sink into the cork. This is very similar to the steps for embroidering leather, in fact, the material resembles leather very much. This film will be removed after the embroidery is done.
Coming back to the square basting stitch: normally, it should have been removed. However, for this cork fabric if I removed this stitch I would have had a row of holes there, clearly visible. The same would have been true for leather. Therefore I decided to sew a few rows of regular stitches over the basting stitch, framing the embroidery and avoiding the problem.
But when I made such stitches I didn’t sew them to the very end – I left ⅜ in unstitched because later I will have to cut along this lines to be able to attach the bottom of the box.
I set the machine speed lower to allow better control of the fabric movement. But again finish sewing ⅜ in before the end.
I have noticed that the cork material and the polyurethane will make the needle a little dirty and I had to clean it from time to time.
I have started sewing on a straight line and after I sewed all 4 corners in one long stitch I came to the same point where I started. It should look like this in all 4 corners.
With attention and patience, this does not really prove to be a hard task.
I will add seam allowances ⅝ in to the lining width and 2 in to the lining height. For the bottom, I will add an extra 2 in on each side.
Then I press the lining creating the four inside corners ( one of them is the stitch ).
Next step is to place inside and arrange the lining making sure the binding at the top of the box has the same size.
After finishing with the top edge I glued the bottom making sure the lining has no creases and any excess is under the bottom.
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