Friday, July 9, 2010

Tutorial: Lined box with compartment

Please add a comment and let me know how you came to be at this tutorial and if it was helpful for you.  Thanks!

I've recently been working on a kit from a favorite designer. I really liked the banding for the project, but the final finishing didn't make my heart sing. So, I poked around in the craft room and found what (with a bit of craftiness) will be a great alternative for finishing.

This little wooden crate is 3"h x 4.25"w X 3.5"d. Just a plain-jane little wooden crate. The banding was a near perfect fit, so it was time for some crafty goodness to dress it up a bit.

What you need:
wooden box
book board
rotary cutter/cutting mat/cutting guide or scissors
spray adhesive
quick dry tacky glue
Sharpie or paint to match/contrast with felt
small scrap of fabric for pin cushion
sand or weights for pin cushion (optional)
poly fiber-fill

First, measure the inside dimensions of the crate. I measured in millimeters since it would be more precise. Measure the height, width and depth of the interior of the box. You will need one (1) piece for the bottom (width x depth), two (2) pieces for the sides (width X height) and three (3) pieces for the ends and center divider (depth x height).

Transfer your measurements to a piece of book board or heavy cardboard.

I used a rotary cutter and cutting mat and cutting guide to cut the pieces. It takes several passes with the rotary cutter to cut through the book board, but it make a very nice clean cut and it's worth the effort.

Test fit the pieces in your box. Put the bottom piece in first and then the two long sides. Make sure they are level with the top of the wooden box.

You will need to adjust the width of the three end pieces because of the width of the book board itself. Place the pieces on top of the box with the bottom and side pieces in place. Mark where the edges need to be trimmed and do so.

Test fit all the pieces now. The two end pieces and the middle piece should all fit within the two side pieces. If they are a little loose, that's good since the felt will make the side pieces a little thicker.

Take your Sharpie or paint and color the exposed edges of your pieces. This is just a matter of aesthetics and purely your choice. Do whatever makes your heart happy.

Now it's time to use the spray adhesive. I love this stuff but it can be evil if it ends up somewhere it shouldn't be. I like to put the pieces to be sprayed into a box to keep the spray from going everywhere. You can do this or take it outside (on a day with no or very little wind) or cover an area with paper or a drop cloth. Spray the adhesive on one side of the following five pieces: the bottom, the two side pieces and one of the end pieces and one side of the center piece.

Position the piece sticky side down on the felt. Press it in place so you get a good bond.

Neatly cut out each piece using the book board as the cutting guide.

If you used a little crate, you may want to make filler slats to give the box more solid sides.

Use the quick tack glue between the wooden slats and position the filler slats on top of the glue. Be sure the edges are flush with the box.

Put a bead of quick tack glue along the side and bottom edges of the book board center piece. Where you position it will determine the size of the compartment and the pin cushion.

Be very sure that the felt side faces the compartment side and the blank side faces the pin cushion side. The glue may get a bit messy when you position the piece. It will dry clear but you may dab at it with a damp cloth to clean it up a bit, if necessary.

If you want to give your box a bit of weight and make it more stable now is the time to put something in the bottom of the pin cushion compartment. I used about 1/3 cup of fine sand wrapped up in aluminium foil to add weight to my box.

I folded the foil into a packet and scrunched the ends up until it fits the compartment.

Push the packet around until it fills the bottom of the compartment. This isn't rocket science and doesn't need to be perfect; close is good enough.

Cut a piece of fabric for the top of the pin cushion. Make it at least twice as big as the pin cushion compartment. You'll need about half an inch on each side for gluing down and a bit in the middle to allow for poofiness. Put a line of glue on the inside far edge of the pin cushion compartment.

Press the right side of the long edge of the fabric onto the glue.

Put a line of glue on the near edge (the uncovered side of the center divider).

Use your fingers (or a pencil or other tool) to press the right side of the fabric into the glue. Using your fingers will help you leave a bit of room for the pin cushion to poof out.

Put glue on one of the short ends.

Poke your finger in the pin cushion tube (or a pencil or other tool) to press the right side of the fabric into the glue. Make any necessary adjustments to make it look nice.

Stuff small tufts of poly fiberfill into the open end of the pin cushion. Small tufts will keep the cushion from becoming lumpy. Be sure to poke it down into the corners. Fill it nice and full.

Filled and ready to close.

Use your fingers to push the fabric and stuffing away from the unglued edge and apply a line of glue.

Push the fabric into the glue, easing the fabric into place to make it look nice.

You're done! Now you've got a great little piece to keep your pins and needles under control while also having a place for your tools and what-nots.

Cover the box in whatever manner makes you happy. When I've finished stitching the banding, it's going around this box and I know I'll be delighted.

Have fun with this. I'd love to hear (and see results) from anyone that gives this tutorial a try.


loves2experiment said...

I love the finished project! What a useful contraption (and definitely a one up on the usual pin cushion a la storage jar). As usual, your tutorial is well written and filled with detailed instructions and pictures.

Fidget said...

This seems to be very popular with folks lately. I wish someone would leave me a comment to tell me how they found this and if the tutorial was helpful for them.

Carol aka Fidget