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Monday, July 19, 2010

Felt Boxes - A tutorial using felt & a vintage sheet

I promised you a group project, so let's get started!

Materials needed:

- one sheet of craft felt
- piece of vintage sheet about 9" by 15", or other piece of woven fabric for lining
- lightweight fusible interfacing, also 9" by 15"
- thread for sewing lining
- embroidery thread for sewing felt
- scissors
- needles for sewing by hand
- disappearing ink pen
- ruler or measuring tape

Click below for step-by-step instructions:

Start with your piece of felt. These come pre-cut about 9"x 12". Measure and mark 1" across the wide side.

Cut this extra inch off along your marking. The felt should now be 8" by 12".

Fold the felt in half, short sides together.

Fold in half again, open corners together.

Mark off a 1.5" x 1.5" square with disappearing pen in the lower right corner.

Cut out the square you have marked off.

Unfold, and it should look like this. This is now your pattern to cut out the lining and interfacing.
I really love re-using vintage sheets. Keep an eye out at your local thrift store, you can usually find them for about a dollar or so. If you don't have one on hand, any woven fabric will do for the lining.

Lay the felt on top of your lining fabric. Mark an extra 1/4" inseam, plus an extra 1" at either end. Cut out the lining. Do the same for the interfacing.

Iron interfacing to the wrong side of lining. This is your lining piece.

Fold lining in half & pin.

Sew the sides together, 1/4" away from the edge. You can do this by hand or with a machine.

You will now have what looks like a tube with holes in it. To make the flat bottom, pinch the holes closed with your fingers, bringing the seam to the center of the bottom of the tube. Pin and sew. Repeat for other side.

Your lining should now be able to stand up on it's own. Hey, it looks sorta like a box!

Set the lining aside, we are now going to work on the felt part.

If you want to sew some embellishment on the felt like I did for my first box, this is the time to do it.

Time for the hand sewing. I used a wool crewel thread, but you can use any type of hand sewing thread. I would recommend a perl cotton embroidery thread, but regular embroidery thread will work just fine.

Just like you did for the lining, fold the felt so the sides match up and pin. Thread the needle and tie a simple knot in the end. To sew closed, use a whip stitch.

Tie off the thread when you get to the end, and repeat for the other side.

Repeat the pinching trick for the felt and hand sew it closed with a whip stitch. Since there is no seam allowance, smush down the center seam and sew right over it to get it flat.

All sewn up! Time to put them together

Fit the lining inside the felt box. The wrong side should be touching the felt, and if you look down in the box, you will see the pretty lining fabric. At this point it might be helpful to pin the lining to the felt on the bottom of the box so they stay in place during the finishing.

Now to finish, fold down the top of the lining and sew it in place. Begin by folding the lining down about a 1/3 of an inch.

Fold down again so the lining is completely covering the top of the felt. Be careful not to fold so far as to pull the lining up from the bottom of the felt box.

Continue to double-fold and pin around the top of the box.

Get out your handy needle and embroidery thread again. You can do any sort of decorative stitch you'd like around the top. Mine is just a simple whip stitch again.

This is what it looks like on the inside. Continue stitching around the top of the box, and tie off when you're done.

Whoohoo! You're finished - go put some stuff in it! And send me a picture of your pretty box in its new home!


  1. Nice tutorial, Katie!! Good job!

  2. really like this tute, I'm definitely going to try it out! thanks for the post!

  3. this is an incredible post! you are a great teacher!

  4. Awesome tutorial, saving it for when I have a sewing machine (and learn to use it : )

  5. This tutorial is SO thorough! I can't wait to make these!


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