Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fabric Box {Toot}

In good conscience, I can't really call this a tutorial, since so many details are missing.  That's why I titled this, "Fabric Box {Toot}".  Get it?  It's almost a "tutorial"!  Details are missing, not because I want them to be a secret, but because I didn't create this project with the intent of also providing instructions. 
However, I am honored that enough of you have asked about the project for me to respond by at least giving you a general idea of how to proceed with a box of your own.

It begins with a sheet of acid-free, heavy weight book board, available at arts and crafts stores in the matboard section.  Each of my projects is custom sized, but the basic dimensions of this box are 5"x7"x1".  There's the top, bottom, and four sides that have to be cut.  I use an Exacto knife for the cuts. (I love Exacto knives.  Not sure why, but I have a pretty sweet collection.)

The fabric is a tightly woven cotton, medium weight.  Since the fabric will be glued to the box, it's important to prepare the fabric by adhering rice paper to the back before you begin the construction of the box.  That will give the fabric/paper time to dry.  The paper backed fabric is now officially "bookcloth".  And the paper backing is to prevent glue from seeping through the fabric when glued to the box.

I used a hot glue gun to attach the bookboard sides to the bottom.  The rest of the construction is done with a clear-drying glue like the  LineCo product pictured below.  I put the glue on the bookboard and spread it with my fingers.  It's cooler to use a paste brush, but my fingers wash up rather well :-)

In addition to cutting the bookboard with a craft knife, I also use one to cut the fabric.  The knife and a metal ruler gives you very accurate cuts - essential for a project like this. Another very important tool in the construction of a box like this is a bone folder.  I use it to ensure the fabric is thoroughly attached to the bookboard, as well as using the point to create precise corners.

After the box was covered with fabric, it is time to line the bottom.  You can use either fabric or paper.  In this case, I used a lovely handmade scrapbook paper, attached using the same glue and the bonefolder to ensure any bubbles were pressed out.

Ta-Da!!  Finished box:

And final presentation:

I like presenting photographs I've worked on in a unique, handcrafted kind of way.  Whether it's a restoration project or photography, I want the presentation to both reflect my personality as well as be keepsake-worthy. 

(For additional information about this or other projects, don't hesitate to  email me at

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