Saturday, September 17, 2011

Kitchen Storage: A Fabric Box Tutorial

Last Christmas, Santa brought the Monkey a kitchen, and lots of food to go in it. He loves his kitchen, and is actually rather particular how it's "organized" (Gee, I wonder where he gets *that* from...). So, I decided to make some boxes for him to put his food and kitchen stuff in.

I knew I wanted food-related fabric, so when I saw this fruit fabric at JoAnn's I couldn't resist. It was even on sale! The Monkey picked out the cherries, grapes, and bananas for his kitchen boxes. For the lining, I found an old canvas curtain I'd saved, figuring it would make its way into a craft project sooner or later. It was perfect for this project.

While there are many different fabric box tutorials out there, I figured I'd throw my own into the mix. So, here goes...

Outer Fabric
Lining Fabric
Stiff, heavyweight interfacing (I used fusible, but you don't have to)
Needles, thread, sewing machine and other sewing essentials

1) Determine the size of your box. Then, from the outer and inner fabrics and interfacing, cut panels the size of your box plus one inch. (For example, my boxes were 8"w x 10"d x 9"h. So my box had a base of 8" x 10", two sides of 8" x 9", and two sides of 10" x 9". So I cut a base of 9" x 11", two sides of 9" x 10", and two sides of 11" x 10".) It's not as confusing as it sounds.

(Base and sides cut from outer fabric, inner fabric, and interfacing)

2) Fuse (or baste) outer fabric to interfacing and set aside.

All fused together

3) Take your lining fabric. With right sides together, sew sides together, leaving 1/2" seam allowance. Stop sewing 1/2" from the bottom edge of the box. (This will become important later). Press seams open.

Fold in half and sew ends together, leaving 1/2" seam allowance, and again leaving 1/2" at the bottom.

Look, you have a bottomless box!

4) With right sides together, pin the base to the sides. This is where that 1/2" you left at the bottom comes in. Start sewing, with a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving 1/2" at the beginning and end of the seam.

Getting ready to sew, starting 1/2" in

Sew each side of the base to the sides in the same way. The 1/2" you left on each seam will make it much easier to maneuver the corners of the box.

Look, you have a box!

Repeat the process with the outer fabric/interfacing. Turn box right side out.

Look, now you have TWO boxes!

5) Here's where it gets fun. Place outer/interfacing box inside the (inside-out) lining box. Make sure side seams are aligned, and pin. You may have to do a bit of pulling and tugging to get seams and edges to line up.

6) Stitch around top edge with 1/2 seam allowance, leaving 5" - 6" open. Reach in through opening and turn box right side out.

Your Box is almost done!

7) Tug lining down a little and top stitch around the edges. This will keep the lining in place and close up the opening you used to turn the box. Top stitch again about a 1/2" away. You can match your thread to hide the top stitching, but I thought it would be neat to use a contrasting thread and use some decorative stitching to jazz it up a bit.

You're done! Enjoy your box!

This is how I intended the boxes to be used.

But this is how the Monkey likes to use them :-)

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