|Just a box, right?|
So when I saw an "exploding box" on Pinterest — I'm not on that platform personally, but occasionally follow links that lead me in that direction — I immediately knew that I had to make one out of fabric.
I also knew which fabric: the fat quarters of linen that I found at Dollarama earlier this year. My initial plan for it was to make a box very much like the one that you see here in the above photo.
However, it was not meant to "explode" into this much fun!
|Not just a box!|
Is this or is this not aptly named??
You can probably think of many different applications for this kind of box, but my first thought was to use it to organize my sewing machine needles. (The plastic pill bottle in the middle holds needles ready to be discarded.)
Up to now, my sewing needles have been stored in various places, to the point where I sometimes forget where they are. With this box nearby, that will not be a problem ever again.
It may not look that way, but this is a very quick project. I turned this around within a day of getting the inspiration... and I had to start by working out the dimensions to make the most of my fabric. (In the end, I went over my one fat quarter limit by a 2" x 10.5" strip.)
|A peek from the top...|
The box is constructed out of fabric and Peltex, which was both fused and glued together.
|Fabric is fused to one side of Peltex and glued to the other...|
All raw edges were zigzagged with a short stitch length (not quite a satin stitch).
|The interior box...|
The interior box is made out of four rectangular pieces on a small square base.
Each collapsing side panel can be embellished in different ways to arrive at desired functionality. (Just make sure that if what you want involves sewing, do it before you glue the fabric to the Peltex.)
|A mesh pocket bound with ribbon... sewn onto the fabric before gluing...|
For the main box, I played with some leftover ribbon and mesh to come up with a pocket for two of the sides. (It shows a gift card here, but in the other photos those pockets are being used to store packets of needles from Mom's sewing kit.)
For the remaining two sides, I used hot glue to attach velcro dots.
|My original set of Kenmore needles...|
These velcro dots are the adhesive "peel and stick" variety, so I just stuck half of one set onto the back of the needle pack.
For the interior box, I hot glued magnets onto a couple of the sides. (The other two sides have velcro dots also.)
|Magnets are great for keeping needles in place...|
Like the linen fabric, both the magnets and the adhesive velcro dots were dollar store purchases.
|View of box on its side...|
With the fabric coming in at $1.50 per fat quarter — and I still have most of the second fat quarter intact — the supplies for this project come in at less than $5 (not including thread, the ribbon and mesh scraps, and the glue).
Here is a summary of the basic dimensions and steps if you want to make your own exploding box.
Cut 15 pieces of Peltex: five 4.25" x 4.25" (main box sides and base); one 4.5" x 4.5" (main box lid), four 4.5" x 1" (lid edges), four 2" x 3.5" (interior box sides), and one 2" x 2" (interior box base).
Cut 30 pieces of fabric: ten 4.25" x 4.25" (main box sides and base); two 4.5" x 4.5" (main box lid), eight 4.5" x 1" (lid edges), eight 2" x 3.5" (interior box sides), and two 2" x 2" (interior box base).
Fuse half of the fabric pieces onto the Peltex pieces.
Sew any desired embellishments onto the remaining fabric pieces and then glue them onto the reverse side of the appropriate Peltex-backed pieces.
Arrange the five pieces for the main box in the way that you want them to appear. (This same process — involving the placement of a piece in the middle and four pieces on each side — will be repeated for the lid and the interior box.)
|Use clips to help you keep track of how the pieces go together and where you need to sew...|
Attach a clip to the inside edge of each of the four surrounding pieces; i.e., the edge that will ultimately be attached to the middle piece. Zigzag stitch around the other three edges of each surrounding piece.
Do the same for the five pieces for the lid and the five pieces for the interior box.
|These are the five pieces for the lid...|
Complete each of the main box, the lid, and the interior box by taking each outside piece and zigzag stitching it together with the middle piece.
|Sides attached to the main lid piece...|
A tiny bit of hand sewing is required to secure the four corners of the lid.
|The only bit of hand sewing that you'll have to do is for the four little corners...|
To finish, hot glue the inner box to the base of the main box. And of course, add whatever embellishments are desired to the various side panels.
|Side panel with a magnet hot glued onto it...|
I made another similar box project that will be posted as a quasi-tutorial in the coming weeks.
|A worthwhile addition to my sewing table...|
In the meantime, if you enjoyed this project, maybe you'll also like my hanging fabric pieced ornament. With the holidays coming up, you can make it with seasonal fabrics to decorate your space.