Collapsable Boxes: Fit to be tied

A lovely gal, who wants to remain anonymous, had an organizational dilemma… unconventionally sized cubbies that were unattractively cluttered. She searched high and low for bins in which to stash her goodies, but nothing fit! She asked for an artist to help, and I answered the call, but she lived so far away that shipping six full sized bins was cost prohibitive… we all understand about budgets. The simple solution… collapsable boxes! It really challenged my fledgling pattern making abilities, but I am super proud of the results! Here’s what I did:

Using her measurements, I mocked up a trial box out of whatever material I had on hand, just to make sure I could pull it off. I tweaked the pattern based on what I learned in my mock up, and got to cutting and sewing. The outside fabric I selected was a natural lightweight canvas with waterproof backing for function, the inside fabric I used was lighter weight cotton of matching color with silver pin striping for added pizzaz.

The basic pattern pieces consist of a plus sign, eight main ties, eight mid point ties made of tiny ribbon, two handles per box, and a neato little window pocket made of upcycled clear plastic that my sheets came in. The whole thing is made stiff and durable with foam core inserts sewn into the panels.

First the outside fabric piece, already cut to fit, gets the handles and pocket sewn into place, then the bottom piece of foam core is sandwiched between the outer and inner fabric layers, with seam allowances folded in and ties pinned into place. Then the whole thing gets run through the sewing machine over and over along the whole lengths and widths of the box, leaving the tops of each side panel open. Then side panels of foam core slide into the pockets, seam allowances folded in, and the top edge double stitched closed for durability.

The result is impressive, if I do say so myself. I’m especially tickled by the clear pockets for changeable organizational labels.  My anonymous gal was nice enough to send before and after pictures, which is great to see. So if you recognize her house, keep it on the down low! You can do this too! Any strange size space can easily become an organized haven!

So go ahead and think inside the box! ♡ Lael

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