Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Decorator looks with custom sizes, fabrics and clever faux leather handles.

It’s the details that make a space uniquely yours. Because these DIY fabric boxes can be made in a variety of sizes, and using the fabrics of your choice, they are the perfect accessory for adding decorator style to your space. And look at those handles! The new collection of Dritz Home faux leather handles gives a pro finish to these boxes. You choose the handle size and material, and then get creative with how you install them on the boxes. See how!

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Dritz supplies needed:

Other supplies needed:

  • Outer fabric (use our worksheet to determine fabric needs)
  • Lining fabric
  • Foam interfacing for structure
  • Ruler – choose your favorite Omnigrid® ruler
  • Stiff plastic canvas for base – cut to finished or slightly smaller dimensions of basket
  • Sewing machine and matching thread
  • Iron and pressing surface

Notes: 

SA = ½”


Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

What’s great about these fabric boxes is that you can make them the perfect size for your space. Create stylish storage solutions by stashing them in cubbies or shelves, or by tucking them under beds or in other bespoke nooks in your home.

Use our worksheet to determine the cut size of your fabric pieces based on the finished size of the box you want to make.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Get started! Cut 2 each of outer fabric, foam interfacing, and lining following the worksheet cut sizes. Cut away a square at each bottom corner that is ½ of depth measurement. For example, if depth is 10” then cut a 5” square from each bottom corner.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Using a drapery hem gauge, press in hem on outer fabric pieces; fold down ½” and then 1”. (If you’ve never used a hem gauge, check out this tutorial for extra tips and techniques.)

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Mark stitching lines on right side of both outer fabric pieces. Follow diagram to draw lines. Stitching lines are ½” up and in from bottom cut away squares. Stitching over these lines will help the box fold at edges.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

On wrong side of outer fabric, line up foam pieces with side and lower edges. Foam will be 1½” shorter than outer fabric top edge.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Turn pieces over and pin foam to fabric along marked stitching lines.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

With a long straight stitch, stitch over marked lines. (A walking foot or dual feed foot will make this process much easier.) Remove lines as directed.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Baste at 3/8” around all edges but the top edge. Trim foam close to basting stitch.

Note: if fusible foam is used, no basting is necessary.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Stitch fabric/foam pieces, right sides together, along side seams. Press seams open. Repeat with lining pieces.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Because seams will fall in the middle of a box side, seam allowances can be top stitched to help keep the seam flat.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

With right sides together, stitch bottom seams. Press seam open. Repeat with lining pieces.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Align bottom and side edges, right sides together, and stitch. Repeat with lining.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

If desired, a plastic canvas bottom (cut ¼” smaller than width and depth) can be loosely stitched to bottom side seams.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Turn box right side out. Insert lining, wrong side out, into basket and line up with top edge of foam at folded hem edge.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Fold hem down over lining and foam; pin in place. Stitch along hem fold edge to secure.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Now it’s time to choose your faux leather handles. These handles really give DIY projects a top-notch finish. They are ideal for all kinds of boxes, baskets, and even furniture pieces that have doors or drawers.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

For this small box, we chose the 5-1/2″ brown faux leather handles. Determine the placement of the handles on your box and install following these instructions.  (Note: be sure to select the “instructions” tab.) Also check out these installation tips & techniques.

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

Now, have fun deciding where your cute fabric box will live. It can act as functional storage, but looks great as a decorative accent, too. 

Sewing Tutorial: How to Make a Custom Fabric Box with Handles

And remember – with our handy fabric calculation worksheet, you’ve got choices! Start with the finished box size, and go from there. A set of varying sizes makes a great display. And get creative with the handles – there are many ways to apply … place them vertically, horizontally, solo, in pairs or looped over the edge of your box.

Be sure to check out all of the new Dritz Home items for DIY home decorating – you’ll love what you see!

If social media is your thing, follow along with us on Facebook & Instagram – we have lots of fun there daily!

Happy DIY!

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