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How to Make Fabric Storage Boxes

Updated February 21, 2017

Clutter is not good for you. Randy Frost of Smith College, found that there could be a link between clutter and depression or emotional impoverishment suffered in childhood. Feng Shui, an ancient art that dates back at least 6,000 years, states that "chi (energy) gets stuck in clutter." Get rid of the clutter in your home by becoming more organised. One way to achieve this is by making fabric storage boxes, which allows you to organise your belongings more effectively. Not only will the energy level increase in your home, but you will save money by making the fabric storage boxes rather than buying them.

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  1. Buy fabric for the storage box. This can be plain or patterned, though a medium to heavier weight material would be more durable.

  2. Lay the fabric on the work table right side down.

  3. Draw two boxes that are 13 inches square using a yard stick and tailor's chalk; these pieces will be for the storage box's back and front. Add a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  4. Draw another box that is 17 inches high and 37 inches wide. Add a 1/2-inch seam allowance. This piece will form the bottom and sides of the fabric storage box.

  5. Cut out the boxes with scissors and set aside.

  6. Pick out the fabric for the lining of the fabric storage box. The lining can be the same as the fabric for the exterior of the box, or it can be a contrasting, but complementary, colour.

  7. Draw two boxes that are 13 inches by 9 1/2 inches using a yard stick and tailor's chalk. Add a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  8. Draw two boxes that are 17 inches by 9 1/2 inches for the fabric storage box's sides. Add a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  9. Draw a box that is 15 inches by 19 inches. This is for the bottom of the fabric storage box. Add a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  10. Cut out all the boxes for the lining of the fabric storage box and set them aside.

  11. Draw a box on the interfacing that is 17 inches by 37 inches. This will be for the sides as well as the bottom of the fabric storage box. Add a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  12. Draw two boxes that are 13 inches square. Add a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

  13. Cut out the pieces of interfacing and set them aside.

  14. Pick fabric for your luggage tag.

  15. Lay it face down on the table and draw a rectangle that is 4 inches tall and 6 inches wide.

  16. Measure in 1 inch and draw a smaller rectangle inside the larger rectangle. Add 1/4-inch seam allowance to both the inside of the smaller rectangle and to the outside of the larger one.

  17. Cut the luggage tags out and make small, diagonal cuts that run from the outside corner of the seam allowance to the rectangle that is inside the larger one.

  18. Apply fusible around the sides of the rectangle, fold them over 1/4 inch and press with an iron. Stitch along the inner and outer edges of the luggage tag.

  19. Position your luggage tag where you would like on one of the exterior side pieces. Tape it in place with cellophane tape. Take into account the 2 inches that will be folded over during the construction of the fabric storage box and readjust if necessary. Secure the luggage tag in place by sewing along the sides and bottom but not the top.

  20. Pin one of the side pieces to the bottom piece, and sew them together. Do the same with the other side piece. Press the seams open with an iron.

  21. Secure the interfacing to the wrong side of the exterior fabric pieces with pins. Baste the pieces together.

  22. Fold the bottom piece in half width-wise to find the centre and mark it with pins. Fold the back and front pieces in half to find the centre and mark them as well. Lay the back piece on the bottom piece right sides together, lining up the centre marks. Pin it in place. Do the same with the front piece. Sew the front and back pieces to the bottom piece. Leave 1/2 inch on each side unsewn on both the front and back pieces.

  23. Fold up the bottom piece and sew the edges of the bottom to the edges of the front and back pieces, forming the box. Trim any excess.

  24. Cut the webbing into 11-inch lengths.

  25. Pin the webbing to the inside top of the front and back sides of the fabric storage box. Make sure they're evenly spaced with each other and centred within the box's sides.

  26. Sew the handles in place.

  27. Pin the side piece to the front piece, right sides together.

  28. Sew the two pieces together.

  29. Repeat this step for both the side pieces and the front piece. You will have an open rectangle without a bottom.

  30. Turn the lining right side out and pin it in place, making sure all the corners match, then sew the lining to the exterior fabric all the way around the fabric storage box's top.

  31. Turn the fabric storage box right side out so the exterior fabric is on the outside. Smooth down the lining inside the box.

  32. Lay the lining piece for the bottom face down on your work table. Lay the foam piece on the lining and centre it. Apply a bead of fabric glue all the way around the edges of the foam piece. Fold the fabric of the lining down over it. Let it dry.

  33. Apply fabric glue to the foam, then fit the foam and the lining, foam down, into the bottom of the fabric storage box. Weigh down the bottom of the basket, setting the glue, and let it dry.

  34. Make cards to slip into the luggage tags. Label the box and slip the card inside the luggage tag.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 yard fabric (exterior)
  • 1/2 yard fabric (lining)
  • Yard stick
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Scissors
  • Fabric scrap
  • Fusible tape
  • Iron
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine
  • Cellophane tape
  • Straight pins
  • 22-inch webbing
  • 12-inch by 16-inch foam (closed cell)
  • Fabric glue
  • Cardboard

About the Author

Marjorie Gilbert is a freelance writer and published author. An avid researcher, Gilbert has created an Empire gown (circa 1795 to 1805) from scratch, including drafting the gown's patterns by hand.

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