The Best DIY Fabric Boxes

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There are so many things I love about these fabric boxes, it is hard to know where to start. These boxes can turn any disorganized shelf into a stylish, neat, and organized area. They are much faster to make than the majority of “no-sew” fabric boxes out there (please trust me, not sewing is NOT an advantage when you are making fabric boxes, unless of course you want to spend three times as long making them and get glue all over the place). The fabric on these is removable, thus washable. An incredible advantage if you have children, or, are simply prone to spilling your coffee on a daily basis like me. Let’s just take a minute and think about what would happen if you glued the fabric onto your box and it gets dirty, lets just say your two year old smears peanut butter on it. I rest my case. They are lined on the entire outside, as well as inside for an extremely neat and finished appearance. To top that all off, you can make these for next to nothing. All you need are cardboard boxes and fabric. I will be using old sheets I picked up at the thrift shop.

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Ahh… the perfect fabric covered box.

If you don’t have a sewing machine, I’m sure you know at least one person who does, so borrow one! You can also pick up sewing machines at thrift shops for as little as $10 or new for under $100. These are so simple to make, you really don’t need any sewing experience to figure this out.

Since your box is probably not the same size as mine, I have made a printable worksheet for measuring and calculating how big to cut your fabric. Download it here so you can work along with me.

Here is what you will need to get started:

  • A cardboard box with top flaps
  • scissors
  • measuring tape
  • Boxing tape
  • fabric -enough to line inside and outside of box
  • Sewing machine, thread, and needles

 

Step 1

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1-2. Cut off the top flaps of the cardboard box. 3. Lay the first two flaps down together. 4. Lay the next two down in a perpendicular orientation, so that the cardboard seams run opposite. 5. Tape them together on both sides, forming a solid square (or rectangle, depending on the shape of your box). 6. This should fit down inside your box.

Step 2

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Download and print my worksheet before you start on these steps. 1. Using a soft measuring tape, measure the outside perimeter. You want a nice, snug fit around. 2. Measure the height, length, and width of the box. Measure at least to the closes 1/4″. 3. Fill out the worksheet to see how big your pieces of fabric need to be. You will need 4 pieces. 4. Next we will start sewing. Lay out pieces A and B. 5. Fold piece A down over piece B and line them up at the bottom, right sides together. 6. Here is what it looks like stitched together and folded up.

Step 3

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1. Fold piece A/B in half and stitch together as indicated by orange line. 2. Lay out with the seem in the middle. 3. This part is probably the trickiest, so I hope I can explain it well! Next we need to pin piece C (the bottom of the box) in place.Ā  Pinching at the seam, pull piece A to the right until it looks like this, just like origami! 4. Set Piece C over, right side down. 5. Pin the first two corners in place, once again, right sides together. 6. Pin remaining corners together and stick together as shown. 7. Turn right side out. 8. Put the box inside, keeping the seem on one of the corners. If you measured correctly for a nice snug fit, it will take a bit of working to get it all the way on.

Step 4

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1. Here’s the box all the way inside the fabric. 3. Oops! I switched 2 and 3! Fold the lining down inside, leaving about 2 inches or so up above the box. 2. Fold down around the outside of the box, forming the rim, and push the extra fabric down inside the box.

Step 5

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Almost done! 1. Now for the inside bottom with piece D. 2. Fold in half and stitch along the sides. 3. Turn right side out. It looks like the cardboard won’t fit, but if you measured right, it will! 4. Put the cardboard piece inside piece D. 5. Fold down and tape (if desired) the end down 6. Turn over and put inside your box. 7. Here it is! 8. Fill up with some beautiful handmade wooden toys :).

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Thanks for reading! What are you going to put in your fabric covered box. Please let me know why you think of my method and if you have tried any other methods of making fabric covered boxes.

 

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18 Responses

  1. Thanks for the great, fast, easy, and good looking project. The instructions were easy and quick. I had thought about gluing fabric to the box but this was easier and I like the fact that I can take it off and wash it. Your calculations page saved me a ton of time trying to figure out how to cut the fabric. I put a picture on my craft blog and will include the link below. Thanks again!

  2. Sev says:

    Hi, thanks for this tutorial ! I was plannning to make boxes for my bathroom this weekend, using your tutorial, but I can’t download the worksheet. Could you possibly send it to me, please? Or let me know if whatever-is-wrong-with-it is fixed?

    Thanks again!

  3. Marlo says:

    Hi Abby, I have been looking for a DIY Fabric Box tutorial for a long time and yours is great! I just do not understand how to lay out the bottom piece as my box is not a complete square and your instructions do not say which way to lay out the bottom piece (Piece C). Also, when you say ‘1. Fold piece A/B in half and stitch together as indicated by orange line’ do you put right sides or wrong sides together? When I first sewed Piece A and B together, I did not understand that I had to sew the pieces together first – I just sewed the sides together. After taking out my stitches and started again…I think I am almost done. Thanks again for your tutorial.

  4. Larisa says:

    Thank you for an excellent project! I’ve just finished my first box! It looks so beautiful! I’m going to make more. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  5. Joanna says:

    i figured it out!!!! turned out soooooo cute!!!!

  6. jay says:

    Hi Abby, could you tell me what’s the name of that fabric? thanks

  7. shabana says:

    wonderful diy thanks for giving such fine details. I will surely try to make one

  8. Anne-Marie says:

    They are lovely. I have just acquired two more sets of shelves for my workroom. A few of these will be brilliant. Just need boxes the same size. Or maybe I’ll just make the boxes as well!

  9. Hasna Sudish says:

    Great easy idea. Definitely gonna try
    Thanks for sharing this

  10. Deborah says:

    Just made one this evening. The calculations page is very handy which meant it was easy to adapt to my rectangular box. Thank you very much.

  11. Alicia says:

    I love this! I’m a beginner to intermediate sewer (if there is such a thing), so this looks a little confusing at first glance, but I’m sure when I get going with it, it’ll turn out great. Thank you so much for posting this!!

    • Alicia says:

      I can’t get the tutorial to print right. The measurement sheet printed fine. How did everyone else print it out? I don’t see a link, so I tried printing out the main page, trying to eliminate all of the comments so I didn’t print out 47 pages. I tried to print pages 1 through 20.

      • Abby Beckman says:

        Sorry, there isn’t an easy way to print the whole tutorial right now, just the measurement sheet

        • Alicia says:

          Actually, I copied the pages I wanted and pasted them in Word and then printed it out. It worked! I think I fiddled around with it for an hour. I was determined to get it printed out. Don’t have the room for my laptop in my sewing area, not to mention it wants to go to sleep all the time. Ugh. Thanks again, Abby. Can’t wait to try it out! šŸ™‚ Perfect for gift-giving!

  12. Ivonne says:

    This DIY tutorial is Genius! Thanks for sharing. šŸ˜Ž

  13. Wendy says:

    I just completed my first box! I used a stretchy material (all I had in my stash that was the right length) and it was a bit tricky to sew….but I love it! My box was rectangular, but your tutorial and measurement chart made everything easy. Thank you for precise instructions.

  14. Debbie Perkins says:

    Well, I find your tutorial AFTER I do the glue thing. šŸ™‚ I have scads of boxes, due to the fact that my husband does PD home dialysis. Hey, have to stay crafty. I used a wider pc. of double walled cardboard to make lids, since I used these in my sewing room for hidey places instead of clear plastic boxes. I love the fact that these that you made are washable. Gonna print these out for next time. Thanks for the great tutorial.

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