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Saturday, 22 February 2014

The "Cutting Corners" Collapsible Travel Tray: Modifications

The Cutting Corners Collapsible Travel Tray by eSheep Designs
Cutting Corners Collapsible Travel Tray... simple version
I am quite satisfied with the basic version of my Cutting Corners Collapsible Travel Tray, but I realize that others may want a more finished product, say for gift-giving or selling purposes.

Therefore, today I will discuss some of the things that you can do to spruce it up, so to speak. The overall project will still be very easy, so no need to run away screaming; I promise you.

First of all, if you haven't yet made one of these, the photos below should give you a better idea of the finished size of this item.

The Cutting Corners Collapsible Travel Tray by eSheep Designs 
The Cutting Corners Collapsible Travel Tray by eSheep Designs

Modification #1: Make Different Sizes

Given that you now know the approximate size of the tray as detailed in the original tutorial, you may want to make a bigger version. For example, you could make a set of stacking trays of progressively larger sizes.

Use the following procedure to make additional equilateral triangle pattern pieces (be sure to use a ruler):
  1. Tape together two or more sheets of paper as required for the size of triangle that you want to create. (Remember that I started out with a "nearly" 10 inch equilateral triangle; an actual 10 inch equilateral triangle requires two sheets of paper.)
  2. Along the bottom edge of your sheet(s), mark the beginning and end of the length that you want your triangle to be. (Recall that you originally made marks a half inch in from both edges of an 11 inch sheet of paper; i.e., you were bracketing off a 10 inch length.)
  3. Find the midpoint between the marks along the bottom edge and draw a line straight up the page from there — let's call this the apex line (the apex of your triangle will be formed along this line).
  4. Measure a line (of whatever your desired length is) from one of the marks along the bottom of the page to meet the apex line. Do the same with the other mark. 
The Cutting Corners Collapsible Travel Tray by eSheep Designs
The Cutting Corners Collapsible Travel Tray by eSheep Designs
If you follow this procedure, you will end up with an equilateral triangle. (FYI, the height of an equilateral triangle will always be less than the measurement of one of its sides, so this should help you in determining the number of sheets of paper that you might need.)

Modification #2: Change the Corner "Closures"

Like I mentioned in my original posting, trays of this type are usually closed by 1) small snap fasteners, 2) a combination of loop and "something" (e.g., button, small decoration), or 3) ribbon ties.

My personal preference — if I were to affix a permanent fastener — would be the loop and "pearl button" solution. (There's just something about snap fasteners that's too pedestrian and not "glam" enough, if you know what I mean!) And I would likely just use hair elastics for the loop part, as shown here.

Of course, you know, for any option that requires that something be added into the seam, you will need to accommodate this before you sew the two sides of the triangle together. And you would need the loop itself to be inside the triangle "pocket" so that when you turn it right side out, the loops are accessible from the outside.

Finally, you can also just hand-sew the corners together permanently. The tray can still be collapsed if you do this, just not in its original flat state. (And you may not care about that if you just want to use these around the house to store keys or spare change, or around your sewing area to store clips, buttons and other notions.

Modification #3: Sew around the Base

After you fuse the Peltex piece in place, add a professional, finished look by topstitching around the triangle (as shown by the dashed line in the photo below). This also creates a natural folding line for the base of the tray.

The Cutting Corners Collapsible Travel Tray by eSheep Designs
If you do this, I would suggest drawing the sewing line with a fading marker rather than just eye-balling it.

Modification #4: Use Two Different Fabrics

Rather than cutting on the fold, cut two separate triangles out of coordinating fabric. You may in fact prefer this option if you are going to be creating the "loop and something" corner closures, because you can then position the loop in the same place on all three sides.

So there you go — some ideas to give the Cutting Corners Collapsible Travel Tray a different look! Let me know what you did with yours.

Terms of Use

If you are "sew" inclined, feel free to make and sell as many Cutting Corners Collapsible Travel Trays as you care to; I only ask that you credit me and this blog by attaching the following card to the item.

eSheep Designs swing tag


P.S. AllFreeSewing.com is once again helping to direct some traffic to my blog by featuring this project on their site, but for some reason, they did not reference it by its "given name" (which in all honesty, I thought was quite clever). However, I was sufficiently flattered by the "insanely clever pattern" description...

Cutting Corners Collapsible Travel Tray by eSheep Designs

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