Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Nesting Chinese Pagoda Boxes

These handy fabric boxes will be one of the quick projects offered at the Dundee TOGA in September.  Traditionally they are made to fold flat and secured as boxes with a loop and Chinese knot.  Missionaries to China have blessed me a few that are handy for small clutter in my office and sewing area.   Click here for a PDF version.

Chinese Pagoda Boxes

(so named for the appearance they have when evenly filled with clutter and stacked on my desk)

Photo enhanced instructions or variations for securing the corners (the first is was the inspiration for the TOGA class):

or directly to the pdf: 


Snaps or the traditional Chinese loop and knot are also ways to secure the corner, allowing for flat storage and transport.  Fusible vinyl can be used to make the inside water resistant.  These boxes can be made square or rectangular.  The key to the corner and depth is the square corner that determines the stitching line and fold line.  Coordinating fat quarters and layer cake squares are ideal for the project but the box measurements may vary from those suggested below.

"         For square nesting boxes, cut 2 squares of fabric and one stiff fusible interfacing (Pellon D├ęcor Bond): 

o        Fabric:  2 @ 7.5“ (4 inch box, 1.5 inches deep)  Interfacing:  1 @ 7”

o        Fabric:  2 @ 10 “ (6 inch box, 1.75 inches deep)  Interfacing:  1 @ 9.5”

o        Fabric:  2 @ 12.5” (8 inch box, 2 inches deep)  Interfacing:  1 @ 12”

"         Center and fuse interfacing to the fabric that will be the inside of the box.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions for method and recommendations.  Pre-washed fabric pressed with no starch fuses best.

"         Right sides together sew squares together with a ¼ inch seam allowance (follow edge of interfacing).  Leave an opening on one side to turn.

"         Trim corners, turn and press.

"         Topstitch 1/8 inch around all edges of square.

"         Mark the same size square in all corners as suggested in cutting instructions for depth). 

"         Fold on the diagonal of the square to match edges of box at each corner and sew to secure the corner on the marked line(s).

"         Congratulations!  You are done!