Instructions for making an etui box

Written by cindylu brown
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Instructions for making an etui box
Organise your supplies with an etui. (opened tailor toolbox image by .shock from Fotolia.com)

An etui is a small, decorative box, often fitted to hold specific items. In Victorian times, the lady of the house would attach one to her chatelaine to carry scissors and other small items. Today, they are often used to hold needlework and craft supplies. Typically, the sides fold down and include pockets to hold small items. A smaller box nests within the large box to hold your thimble. A custom-made etui keeps your supplies organised and at hand.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Compass
  • Poster board
  • Ruler
  • Craft knife
  • Mat board
  • Fabric scissors
  • 1/2 yard cotton fabric
  • 1/4-inch-wide elastic, 9 inches long
  • Fabric glue or hot glue (optional)
  • 1 yard ribbon

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Instructions

    Drafting the Hexagon

  1. 1

    Set the compass to 3 1/2 inches. Draw a circle on the poster board. The circle will measure 7 inches in diameter.

  2. 2

    Place the point of the compass anywhere on the circle you just drew. Leave it set at 3 1/2 inches. Draw a small arc where the pencil crosses the circle.

  3. 3

    Place the point of the compass on the mark you just made. Again, make a small arc where the pencil crosses the circle. Continue in this manner around the circle until you have six small arcs.

  4. 4

    Draw a straight line between each set of arcs. You now have a 7-inch hexagon.

    Cutting the Poster Board and Mat Board

  1. 1

    Cut two 7-inch hexagons from the poster board.

  2. 2

    Cut one 1 1/4-inch square from the poster board. This piece will be the bottom of the small box.

  3. 3

    Cut two 7-inch hexagons from the mat board.

  4. 4

    Cut six 3 1/2-inch squares from the mat board. These will form the sides of the box.

  5. 5

    Cut four 1 1/4-inch squares from the mat board. These will form the sides of the small box.

  6. 6

    Cut six rectangles from the mat board that each measure 1 inch by 3 3/4 inches. These will form the sides of the lid.

    Cutting the Fabric

  1. 1

    Cut four 8-inch hexagons from the fabric for the top and bottom of the box.

  2. 2

    Cut six rectangles from the fabric that each measure 4 1/2 inches by 8 inches. These will be the side pieces of the box.

  3. 3

    Cut one rectangle from the fabric that measures 3 inches by 24 1/4 inches. This piece will cover the sides of the lid.

  4. 4

    Cut one rectangle from the fabric that measures 3 1/2 inches by 6 3/8 inches. This piece will cover the sides of the small box.

  5. 5

    Cut one square from the fabric that measures 2 1/4 inches by 2 1/4 inches for the bottom of the small box.

  6. 6

    Cut two rectangles from the fabric that each measure 3 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches for the pockets.

    Making the Pockets and Loops

  1. 1

    Hem one long edge of each of the fabric pocket pieces by folding 1/4 inch under twice.

  2. 2

    Lay each pocket on the bottom of one side piece, right sides facing up. Match the raw edges. Baste in place.

  3. 3

    Cut the elastic into two pieces. Lay each piece on one side piece of fabric, 2 1/2 inches from the bottom, matching the raw edges.

  4. 4

    Baste the raw edges together. Stitch the centre of the elastic to the fabric. Stitch again on each side of centre, making four elastic loops.

    Covering Side Sections

  1. 1

    Fold each side piece of fabric in half, right sides together. Stitch both sides with a 1/2-inch seam.

  2. 2

    Turn the side pieces right side out, making side piece pockets.

  3. 3

    Slide one side piece of mat board into each side piece pocket. Baste the bottom edges together.

    Attaching Sides and Bottom of Box

  1. 1

    Sew each side piece to the edge of one fabric hexagon with a 1/2-inch seam, right sides together, matching raw edges.

  2. 2

    Place one mat board hexagon onto the wrong side of the fabric hexagon and sides. Stitch or glue the raw edges of fabric seams over the mat board.

  3. 3

    Place one poster-board hexagon onto the wrong side of another fabric hexagon. Stitch or glue the raw edges of the fabric over the edges of the poster board.

  4. 4

    Place the covered poster board on top of the covered mat board, wrong sides together. Stitch or glue in place.

    Making Lid

  1. 1

    Fold the lid's side piece of fabric in half, and stitch both narrow ends with a 1/2-inch seam. Turn the piece right side out, making a lid pocket.

  2. 2

    Slide all six mat board lid side pieces into the lid pocket, end to end. Baste the raw edges together. Stitch between the mat board pieces.

  3. 3

    Fold the lid sides around the hexagon, and whip stitch the ends together.

  4. 4

    Stitch the raw edges of the lid pocket to the raw edges of the fabric hexagon with a 1/2-inch seam, placing the right sides together.

  5. 5

    Place one mat board hexagon onto the wrong side of the fabric hexagon and lid sides. Stitch or glue the raw edges of the fabric seams over the mat board.

  6. 6

    Place one poster board hexagon onto the wrong side of the new fabric hexagon. Stitch or glue the raw edges of fabric over the edges of the poster board.

  7. 7

    Place the covered poster board on top of the covered mat board, wrong sides together. Stitch or glue in place.

    Adding Small Box and Finishing

  1. 1

    Fold the small box side piece of fabric in half, wrong sides together, and stitch both ends with a 1/2-inch seam. Turn the piece right side out, making a small side pocket.

  2. 2

    Place all four small side pieces of mat board into the side pocket, end to end. Baste the raw edges together. Stitch between the mat board pieces.

  3. 3

    Fold the small box sides into a square, and whip stitch the ends together.

  4. 4

    Turn the raw edges in toward the centre of the small box. Stitch or glue the small box into the bottom centre of the main box.

  5. 5

    Place 1 1/4-inch square of poster board onto the wrong side of a 2 1/4-inch square of fabric. Stitch or glue the raw edges of the fabric over the edges of the poster board.

  6. 6

    Push the bottom of the small box into the small box, right side up. Glue in place if desired.

  7. 7

    Glue or stitch ribbon 1 inch down from the top of each side piece on the inside of the box, leaving 3 inches of ribbon loose between the side pieces. This allows your sides to unfold.

  8. 8

    Decorate the outside of the box as desired. Attach buttons or tassels for handles on the lid. You can also add ribbons, flowers, crystals or other ornaments.

Tips and warnings

  • Measure and cut very carefully or your box will be lopsided.

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