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Saturday, 17 November 2018

Quasi-Tutorial: How to Make a Fabric Match Box

Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
My fabric match box...
The inspiration for today's project comes from various sources. It's a "match box" with a sliding cover that you can make out of fabric.

The most recent was a similar item from Stitched Sewing Organizers, a book I borrowed from the library and did a quickie review of earlier this year. (However, the only similarity between it and mine is the the fact that it's a box made out of fabric with a slide on cover. Nothing else about it is the same.)

An earlier inspiration that led to my chosen construction method was a set of fabric cube boxes with lids on Bernina's blog, WeAllSew (full link at end of this post).

Finally, the essential elements of this project also go back to my dimensional paper pieced ornament and subsequent Voilà Vase. To make this, you'll need some single-sided fusible Peltex (or equivalent) and a sewing machine with a zigzag setting.

Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
A look at both components of the match box...

The box that you see here was made out of two fat quarters, one for the inside box and one for the cover. (The selections are from Tim Holtz's Eclectic Elements collection, called Measurements.) Finished dimensions are 2.25" high x 5.75" wide x 10.75" long. Since all of the pieces are rectangles, it's very easy to make this match box any size that you want.

By the way, when I say "piece" in this context, I mean a piece of Peltex fused to fabric on one side and glued to fabric on the other side. So for every "piece" used in the construction of this box, two same sized cuts of fabric are required.

Planning


I started with a drawing and some preliminary dimensions. That then led to some scribbling and second thoughts as I wanted to ensure that everything would fit onto two fat quarters. I wanted something 2" deep and roughly twice as long as wide. To accommodate the 22" x 18" confines of a typical fat quarter, the biggest I could go was 11".

Make a Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
Planning and recording...

I settled on a 10.5" long by 5.5" wide inner box, 2" deep. This required a base piece measuring 10.5" x 5.5", two long side pieces measuring 2" x 10.5" and two short side pieces measuring 2" x 5.5".

If you want a different size, the first step is to decide how big you want the inner box to be. Once you have those measurements, you basically add 1/4" to the four main pieces to get the size of the pieces required for the sliding cover. (In my case, the cover was made up of two pieces that were 2.25" x 10.75" and two pieces that were 5.75" x 10.75".)

Make a Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
More planning and recording...

For the sliding cover, I had to use one of the fat quarters on the crosswise grain. As this isn't clothing, it will not cause any issues; just be aware that whatever print is on your fabric, it will run around the width of the box cover instead of lengthwise.

Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
View of closed box...

Or, you could do what I did and choose a fabric that pretty much looks the same no matter how you orient it.


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To make this, you'll need some fabric, single-sided fusible Peltex for half the fabric, and some glue or double-sided tape. (Could double-sided Peltex be used? Technically yes, but it's trickier to handle.)

Construction is so simple, you can probably do this in under two hours. All that is required is to adhere the fabric to both sides of the Peltex, zigzag stitch around the raw edges, and then join the pieces together with some more zigzag stitching. A bit of hand sewing is required.

Note that the fabric that's fused to the Peltex should be the exterior; the fabric that's glued is the interior.

A note about the zigzag stitching; use a short stitch length and a generous stitch width. (On my machine, the width setting was "3".) The result should almost look like satin stitching.

Make a Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
What to aim for with the zigzag stitching...

Oh, and of course, you'll need thread, clips, rotary cutter and cutting mat, iron, etc.

Make the Inner Box


#1... Cut out the five pieces of Peltex required for the inner box and fuse them onto the appropriate fat quarter, with sides almost touching.

Make a Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
These Peltex pieces are for the inner box...

When the pieces are fused this way, it's relatively easy to run your rotary cutter between the pieces to separate them. Also, if your fabric has a print, the continuity of that print is preserved from the base piece to the two long sides. (Automatic fussy cutting!)

#2... Use the pieces as templates to cut out another set of identically sized fabric.

Make a Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
Peltex interfaced pieces on the left, plain fabric pieces on the right...

#3... Use glue or double-sided tape to secure the fabric pieces to the other side of the matching Peltex pieces. You don't need to overdo this process; you just want to ensure that the fabric doesn't move when you sew around it.

#4... Arrange the pieces in front of you in the desired order. Take each of the four side pieces and zigzag stitch along the outside edge to finish it off. Do the same with the two short (corner) edges. Do not sew along the edge that will ultimately be joined to the base piece.

#5... Take one of the side pieces and butt it up against the appropriate edge of the base piece; zigzag stitch to join them. Repeat until all four side pieces are joined to the base piece.

Make a Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
Join each of the side pieces to the main base piece using a tight zigzag stitch...
#6... Stitch the corner edges together by hand to finish.

Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
Bottom view of inner box...

Make the Sliding Cover


#1... As with the inner box, the first step is to cut out the required Peltex pieces and fuse them onto the appropriate fat quarter, side by side.

#2... Use the pieces as templates to cut out a second set of fabric pieces.

Make a Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
Four panels for the sliding cover...

#3... Use glue or double-sided tape to secure the fabric to the other side of the matching Peltex pieces.

#4... Line up the pieces in the right order in front of you. Zigzag stitch along the top and bottom edges of all pieces.

#5... In the order that you see them, take the first two pieces, butt them up against each other and use a zigzag stitch to join them. Repeat until all pieces are joined together.

Make a Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
Join the pieces together by zigzag stitching...

#6... To make the last join, you can hand sew the two edges to finish, but what I do is simply stack the two edges, clip them firmly together and then zigzag stitch by machine. It produces a bit of a different look, but saves on a bunch of hand-sewing.

Make a Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
With right side out, stack the two unfinished edges together and zigzag stitch down...

And that's all there is to it! (You might want to take a pair of small finishing scissors to snip off any loose threads that protrude from the zigzagged edges.)

Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
Side view open...

As you might guess, there are a lot of uses for something like this.


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This can be a desktop organizer for stationery. (You know, old fashioned stuff like envelopes and stamps?)

Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
Use this box to organize mail...

Or you can put it to use in your sewing/crafting room for all kinds of supplies.

Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
... or sewing notions

Here's an idea for just the inner box: before you sew the pieces together, cut an opening in the middle of the bottom, zigzag stitch around the raw edge of this opening (or, you could install a large curtain style grommet), and when you flip it over, it's a tissue box cover! You'll have to adjust the pieces for proper sizing, of course.


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Finally, it's two gifts in one if you use it as a container for a gift.

Fabric Match Box by eSheep Designs
Side view closed...

Speaking of gifts, if you're interested in checking out the "boxes with lids" idea from Bernina, here is the link to their WeAllSew blog. It was originally presented as a holiday project for gift-giving.

You may remember seeing my exploding box project several weeks ago... it was inspired by that same tutorial.


3 comments:

  1. Wonderful design, and I think the fabric is a perfect choice. Thanks for the tutorial. I might just have to give it a try. 😁

    ReplyDelete
  2. The perfect fabric for your fabric matchbox.!

    ReplyDelete
  3. LOVE this! Thank You SEW much for sharing the tute!! This will make an EXCELLENT way to gift small goodies for Dr's, trash collectors, Mail Delivery, etc!! Rochelle, You ROCK!!!

    ReplyDelete

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