Making a sewing box

Written by kim hoyum
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Making a sewing box
Organise your materials with a sewing box. (Getty Creative)

Whether you do just occasional mending or are making sewing projects every week, a well-organised sewing box is a must-have to keep your projects on track and you sewing happily. Reuse an old box, redecorate a sewing basket or tin, or even make your own fabric-covered box you can customise yourself with little jars, tins and boxes inside.

Repurposing

There are lots of boxes out there that have the necessary number of small pockets, dividers and trays you need for a great sewing box. Old tackle boxes, make-up boxes, jewellery boxes, and train cases all can be the start to a useful and pretty sewing box. To personalise it and make it your own, get out the decoupage or hot glue. Decoupage postcards, old sewing pattern envelopes, fashion magazine pages, or even family photos onto your sewing box to add your own style. Add braided or lace trim with hot glue around the handle, lid or decorative elements to give it more texture. You can decoupage the inside, too, if the trays or dividers lift out to give you access; or, if you have the patience, you can also decoupage the dividers or trays.

Redecorating

Find an old biscuit tin, woven or wooden basket, or toolbox and line it with a pretty fabric to make a sewing box. Cut a fabric liner slightly larger than the dimensions of the inside of the container, and run a line of hot glue around the inside edge of the container. Press the fabric liner's edge to the hot glue and let dry. Add another layer of flat ribbon around the top of the liner to hide the raw edge. To make a quilted top of the container that can serve as a pincushion, cut a piece of cotton stuffing or batting the size of its lid, glue it down, and wrap the lid in a piece of fabric covering. Glue down the edges underneath the lid; if desired, cut a piece of cardstock or scrapbooking paper the size of the bottom of the lid, and glue it down to cover the inside fabric edges.

Fabric covering

You can sew your own sewing box, with a pretty lightweight fabric and a cardboard hatbox, or other lidded box of a size you like. For a regular-sized hatbox, you will need about a yard and a half of fabric. Just take the box and lid apart carefully, along the corners where they are glued. Lay it out flat on the fabric, and cut the fabric about a half-inch wider than the box, all the way around, and do the same for the lid. Now, cover the outside of the box with craft glue or spray adhesive, and fold the fabric tightly around each face of the box, smoothing out any wrinkles. To secure the edges of the fabric on the inside, cut a small triangle out of each corner so that there is not excess fabric at the corners, then add a thin line of craft glue on the underside of the fabric edge, and press it down all the way around. Repeat the process with the box lid. If you want to attach a handle to the top of the lid, poke cord or string-sized holes with a craft punch or ice pick through the lid, and knot a handle on the inside of the lid through the holes. Add a little more glue around the holes to keep the fabric from fraying. Now reassemble the box and lid by gluing them back together at the corners. Add ribbon trim, beaded fringe, lace, braid, pom-poms or tassels, whatever you wish, around the lid's edge.

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