How to make decorative fabric boxes

Updated February 21, 2017

Creating decorative fabric boxes from your own selection of fabrics provides a creative way to add a touch of atmosphere to any room. Used as storage boxes or simply as part of the decor, boxes covered in fabric allow you to add a splash of colour or make a more subtle statement. As gift boxes, they are truly one of a kind. Fortunately, they are easy to make.

Select a plain box for the base of your fabric box. Heavy cardboard is not necessary if your box will be used for decorative purposes or will contain light objects such as letters or dried flowers. Those designed to serve as containers for heavier objects require a box made of sturdy cardboard. Although you can purchase plain cardboard boxes in a variety of sizes and styles at the craft store, any box in the appropriate size will do.

Measure the dimensions of each side of the box and cut a piece of quilting to fit those dimensions. For a lidded box, you will need to measure the cover, too. Decide whether you want the inside of the box to be padded or if you will simply cover with fabric. If you desire a box that is padded on the inside as well as the outside, you need to cut additional quilting to the dimensions of the sides and bottom of the box to cover the inside.

Glue the quilting to the sides of the box with fabric glue or a hot glue gun. Press in place and allow to dry thoroughly. If using padding for the inside, glue it in place now.

Cut a section of fabric large enough to cover the bottom of the box with 3/4 inch overlapping to the sides. Glue in place. Measure the distance around the sides of the box and add 1 inch. Measure the distance from the bottom of the box to the top and add 3/4 inch. Measure and cut a section of fabric to these dimensions.

Overlap the material by 1/2 inch on one corner so that the bottom is flush with the bottom of the box and the top overlaps the top rim of the box. Glue in place, smoothing to remove all wrinkles. Fold the end under to form a smooth seam when you reach the starting corner. Glue so the seam is flush with the corner. Overlap the fabric at the top rim of the box and fold toward the inside. Glue in place.

Cover the inside of the box following a similar procedure. Cut fabric to the height of the sides and add 1 inch. Glue in place, folding the top edge under and create a smooth seam so it rests slightly below the rim of the box. Glue the raw edge to the bottom of the box. Measure and cut fabric to the dimensions of the bottom plus 1 inch in all directions. Fold edges under 1/2 inch to create a smooth seam. Glue the section to the bottom of the box. Follow the same procedure for covering the top of the box.

Things You'll Need

  • Decorative fabric
  • Fabric glue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Quilting (quilter's batting)
  • Ruler
  • Cardboard box
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About the Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.