Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DIY Pincushion Sewing Box

This project evolved from my need to put a gold chicken on something. Or technically I guess it would be a rooster. It makes a great gift for someone crafty or someone just learning to sew, and it uses up all kinds of little scraps you might have lying around.

Plastic animal figurine
Cardboard/ paper mache box with lid
Fabric or scrapbook paper scraps
Bits of ribbon or trim
Acrylic paint (optional)
Mod Podge
Tacky glue
E-6000 glue
Glue gun

You can use scrapbook paper or fabric to cover the box and lid. For the tutorial photos I will use fabric, but the instructions are basically the same for paper. I think it came out a lot nicer with fabric, though.

The fabric-covered boxes are for my mom. She loves civil-war-ish fabrics, and she recently split her entire fabric stash in half and shared it with me. I am in heaven! Always wanted to play in Mom's fabric :)

Before beginning the outside of the box and lid, paint the insides if you want to be fancy. Apply as many coats as necessary, then Mod Podge. If you have decided to paint your animal, start coating it early on because it's probably going to take quite a few thin coats plus a topcoat of Mod Podge to seal it.

Cut out a circle of fabric about a half inch larger all around than the top of the lid. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the top of the lid and press down the center of the circle of fabric.

Snip out small triangles of fabric from the overhanging edge about every half inch so that there will be no bulky folding when you glue it down. Working with just an inch at a time, apply Mod Podge to the outside edge of the lid and press the excess fabric down. Trim any excess fabric from the bottom edge of the lid.

If the trim or ribbon you are planning on using is wide enough to cover the lid edge, you could just glue that on and be done with it. Otherwise, make a bias strip out of fabric. Cut a strip of fabric twice the width of the lid edge and long enough to go around plus a half inch extra. Cut it crosswise (against the grain) on the fabric so that when you fold and curve the strip, there will be no gaping.

Fold one edge of the strip lengthwise to meet the center and press. Do the same with the other side. The folded strip should now be exactly as wide as the edge of the lid. Open the folds slightly and apply a thin layer of Mod Podge. Fold back together and smooth out. Apply with Mod Podge to the lid edge right away, before the inner layer has time to dry stiffly. When you reach the starting point, use the extra length to fold the raw edge to the inside and glue down.

Cut a rectangle of fabric wide enough for the box plus a tad extra for folding over the top edge and bottom edge and long enough to go all the way around with a tad extra for folding over the raw edge. Apply with Mod Podge, cutting small triangles at the top and bottom to fold to the inside the same way as for the lid. Apply a length of ribbon or trim to the top inside edge to hide the raw triangle edge of the fabric.

Add decorative trim or ribbon wherever you'd like. Use tacky glue for heavy trim. It's ok to Mod Podge right over the top of thinner ones, like the lace.

To make the pincushion, cut a circle of fabric about 5" across. Knot one end of thread and stitch close to the edge all around the circle. Pull the thread so that the fabric gathers up and inward. Before cinching completely closed, fill the fabric with bits of Fiberfill. Pull the thread to close up the circle, making a few crosswise stitches to secure the tension. Knot.

Use the glue gun to stick the pincushion to the back of the animal.

Follow the instructions on the E6000 tube to stick the animal's feet to the lid. This part was kind of tricky because my animals' feet were so small. I dabbed some glue onto the feet, stuck them onto the lid, and took them right back off. That way I had a base of glue started on the lid, it gives the feet a better base to stick to. Then I applied more glue to the dabs on the lid and the feet, and stuck them back together.

Let the lid and box dry for at least a day before you put them back together. Trust me, this is important. I stuck the chicken lid to the box right away and now it's kind of permanent :/ Oh well, it's still functional as a pincushion!

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