Perpetual calendar

I had planned a different post for today, but since my internet connection is making the tortoises here look fast, I’m just going to settle with this post that I had saved from a little while ago.

This is a project that I’ve been thinking about making for a long, long time. I have lots of those. So I was glad to have a reason to finally get it whipped up.

calendar 1

It’s a perpetual calendar. The little numbers are magnetic and can be moved around to form any 28, 29, 30, or 31 day configuration.
pieces 2

close up

I’m not going to lie. It was a lot of work; more than I was expecting, but now I have a calendar that I can use for years (and years) to come. So hurray for that. 

I was thinking, originally, of making a tutorial for this, but after I got through the 50th step or so, I decided that I would probably be the only one crazy enough to make such a labor intensive little thing. Also, there are still some kinks I want to work out on it. So no tutorial, sorry. But if you’d like some templates for the numbers or the lettering for the months, just leave  comment and I’ll get those to you (keep in mind I only get on the internet for a couple hours every week, so it may take a few days for me to respond. Sorry for the inconvenience.)


Have a great day.

Dolls for Christmas

dolls sittingThis is my very first finished project of 2013. Never mind that I started it way back last year. I really wanted to make some dolls for my girls for Christmas. Last Christmas they got a some dolls from their abuela that they loved to pieces, literally. Like, the legs fell off of one, and the head fell off of the other. I wish I was kidding. And after watching my poor baby walking around cuddling, cooing, and shooshing a headless doll for a couple months, I decided I needed to take some action. So I made these (hopefully) sturdier dolls.

girls smiling

Now, this could have been a simple project. There are tons and tons and tons of thorough tutorials, books, and patterns for beautiful dolls out there. I even took advantage of the the wonderful public library system to check out some books on doll making techniques. But when it came down to it, I decided that I wanted to make my own pattern for my doll. And I wanted to stuff it with wool. And I wanted to do some of that cool, Waldorf-doll style hair. Like I said, this could have been a simple project. isa playing with hair

doll  2

But as my husband often reminds me, if it isn’t difficult, I won’t do it. Sometimes I think he’s right. So, I used some of the very, very helpful information on one of my favorite blogs, While She Naps, to draft a basic doll pattern. And then another one. And then a third one. After three prototypes (thankfully done in muslin) I decided I’d had enough and would have to go with it. If I ever make more dolls, I’ll definitely want to refine it a bit. It was a great learning experience, though.

And, of course, I decided to purchase a raw wool fleece from ebay to stuff the dolls with. Hmm, I think I’ll just breeze through this whole phase of the doll preparation phase, but lets just say there was so much washing, and culling plant and fecal matter from the fleece, and then drying, and then more sorting, and then combing/fluffing. Bottom line, buying prepared wool is probably worth the extra cost.

After assembling the doll bodies, I had to decide on the faces. Several sketches were thrown out before I decided to kind of wing it as I stitched. I fairly well like how the faces came out. I did the pink lip face first, then the smile face. I had intended to go back and redo the pink lips as a smile, but my four-year-old saw the pink lip doll and wouldn’t let me change it.

all together

When it came to the clothes, I did a very simple dress, but I got a little fancy with the decorative stitching on the hem. First time, and it felt good.
close up dress

more close ups

For the hair, I used some lovely organic cotton yarn which is super soft, but a little fragile, so I had to tell my girls not to try combing the dolls hair. They were a little disappointed with that, but they like having me do braids and other hairstyles on their dolls (since they won’t let me do it on them).


dolls by trees


Oh, and I stitched on a pair of underwear for both dolls, so there wouldn’t be any doll indecency should they choose to climb a tree or swing on the swings.

doll love

twoSo far the working names are Tully and Sally, but we’ll see if that changes.

If you have any questions about the process, I’d love to share my beginner’s perspective with you. Does anyone else have any first-time doll-making experiences to share? I’d love to hear.

Have a great day!

Fabric Chess Board

Here’s another little project that I’ve been doing a piece at a time since last April. It’s the kind of project that I’ve been thinking about for a long time, mulling over in my head. It really started way back, like last year (summer of 2011) with this project. Yes, another fabric chessboard. I loved  (and still love) that project, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with how it functioned. It was a little off. The pieces were too soft, they didn’t feel like game pieces. So I got to thinking about how I could make it better. The answer that came to me was cover buttons.

So here it is, finally (almost finished):

I quite like it. It’s not completely done, but this was as far as I could get with the supplies I had on hand.

Here’s a look at the pieces. You’ll noticed I simplified the design from the other chess board, mainly to make it a bit quicker to stitch up, and so that it would still read well in a smaller size.

I was able to do enough to create a full tutorial on it, and I decided to publish it (publish is in air quotes here, since it’s just little old me creating a PDF e-book) and sell the tutorial in my Etsy shop.

It’s only $6, and it comes with the pattern for embroidering the pieces and 13 full-color pages of step by step instructions and pictures.

If you make one, be sure to let me know, I’d love to see. This is a project that allows for a lot of creativity, so go for it!

Have a great day!


New Embroidery Pattern: Classic Cars

It has been a long time since I released an embroidery pattern in my languishing Etsy shop. It’s not for lack of ideas or desire; it’s just that those two things haven’t met up with time and means for a while. That is, until now.

I gave a teaser to this pattern last week. A classic Volkswagen Beetle. Why not a yellow slug bug (those were worth more points, right?). The embroidery pattern includes a set of 8 classic cars and a truck. I had hopes of doing more, because there are tons of beautifully designed cars out there, but I decided to limit myself to just these for now.

Let’s see, there’s a Ferrari, Rolls Royce, BMW convertible, Ford truck, Jaguar, a mini, and a Shelby Cobra in addition to the beetle.

They were really fun to stitch up, too. I kind of have the horse before the cart in that I am designing embroidery patterns even though I’m not the most awesome embroider. There are definitely little problems here and there, but for the most part I think they turned out nicely. As I mentioned before, I tried a new stitch as my outlining stitch, the split stitch. For most of my stitching prior to this, I’ve used the good ol’ reliable running back stitch, but my sister, who is currently training herself as an expert embroiderer, introduced me to the split stitch, and I’m hooked.

I have to stipulate that I’m using split stitch with pearl cotton, so it looks rather different than it would with floss. That’s why I like it so much.

I also used a new method of transferring my design. For whatever reason, tracing with pencil, pen, or whatever onto fabric always yields terribly, wonky results. Especially when I’m using linen. I’ve been searching and searching for a better way, and finally, I came across this. Sewing through tracing paper with a thin thread.

You can just barely see it here. I’ll admit, it’s time consuming. But it is so much easier for me than trying to muddle through and fudge things with a barely visible traced pattern. Anyways, if you are desperate like me for a better way, give it a try. If you’re a pro at tracing, stick with that.

Anyways, you can purchase the pattern here, if you’re interested. So glad to have this done. It’s really gotten my creative juices flowing, and I’ve got a bunch of new things in the works, including a free embroidery pattern I’m working on just for you.

Have a wonderful day!

This and That

After all the pictures I’ve been posting lately, you may be thinking, “okay, enough already with the Galapagos glamour shots.” Well, I do have some other things in the works, I promise. Here’s a little glimpse at some of the little things I’ve been up to.

Some new embroidery patterns that I’m pretty excited about. I hope to have more on that soon. And I’ve fallen in love with a new pattern-transfer method and a new outlining stitch (split stitch), too.

And this was a little bit of whimsical doodling on a larger scale (15″ by 22″). I was having major creative block because my creative outlets have been kind of closed for a while, so one day when I had some time and space (finally!) I just got out a big piece of paper and started drawing. Nothing special, but definitely and nice release, with no pressure and no worries. Hmm, I’ve really missed drawing. There will definitely be more to come.

Tutorial: Sewing Fabric “Block” Animals

***Just a reminder, the giveaway for the 3-piece nativity set is still going on, and there are a few full copies of the nativity template left and you can now purchase the full template in my brand new Etsy shop. Be sure to leave a comment on that post to get a chance to win and to get your free template.***

So, you’ve got your Nativity template, and you’ve been happily stitching away, and now you want to make those little guys into fabric block animals (like wood block animals cut out with a jig saw). Well, it’s a pretty simple process, so for all you seasoned sewers out there, just scroll down to admire the finished product. But if you’re like me, still feeling my way around the sewing thing, then you might want a quick tutorial to get you on track.

First things first, I got a question a little while ago about what kind of fabric I used, and my answer is a medium weight 100% natural colored linen from Joann’s. Nothing special (but if I had unlimited resources, I would have liked a nice, expensive, made specifically for embroidery linen). I also think a good cotton (Kona is my preferred choice) would work perfectly well, too.

  1. Once you have your image embroidered, you are going to want to remove any marks you may have used to create the pattern, then iron your piece flat (I use a scrap of muslin when I iron my embroidery to protect it).
  2. Then lightly trace an outline about 3/4th’s of an inch around your piece. I like to keep my border fairly well-rounded, because tight curves are much harder to sew (maybe that’s just me, though).
  3. Cut around this traced line. You can use a good, sharp pair of scissors, or lay your fabric down on a self-healing mat and then carefully cut around it with a small rotary cutter.
  4. Lay your cut-out piece on top of your back embroidered piece, or just on another piece of fabric if you don’t want your block to be double sided, right sides together. Make sure to line up the two designs as closely as possible ( I feel for the “ridges” made by the embroidery).
  5. Trace the outline on your back piece of fabric and cut it out. If you are using a rotary cutter, you can skip the tracing step, and just follow the outline of your top piece as you cut out the back.

  6. Cut a long strip of fabric, making it the width you want your finished block to be, plus a 1/4 inch seam allowance on both sides. The length will vary depending on which figure you are sewing, but you’ll probably need at least 18 inches, to be safe.
  7. Sew the long strip all along the right-side edge of one side of your piece.
    You can pin it if you wish, but I found it easier to just manipulate the fabric around as I went.
    Leave at least a 1-inch tail at the beginning and end of the strip, and leave a slight gap between the beginning and end of your stitching so you’ll have enough room to turn it out later.
    (I didn’t leave extra room, so my fabric tore a little when I turned it out. p.s. I didn’t mean this to be a close-up of my pomegranate-stained finger. Sorry about that!)
  8. Pin you other side to the edge of your strip, with the right side facing in. You’ll want to make sure you’re laying over the other side in mirror position so the sides will be straight look right (sorry if that’s a little confusing. I couldn’t figure out a better way to word it, so just look at the picture.)
  9. Sew all along the edge, with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Your stitching will be parallel to your previous stitching along the side strip.
  10. Turn your piece out. If you are using hemostats or any pinging implement, try not to grab your embroidery, go for a blank piece of fabric.
  11. Stuff your piece with little pieces of poly fill, wool, or cotton. I like to stuff mine pretty firmly.
  12. Leave a little room in the bottom to pack in your weighting implement. This can be a few fishing weights, some beans, rice, or anything heavy, small, and nonperishable. If you want, you can sew a narrow weight “pouch” out of a scrap piece of the side strip and fill it with your weighting device, then stuff the pouch into the bottom your piece; this method helps keep all the weights at the bottom. Something to keep in mind: the bigger your piece, the more weight you’ll want right at the bottom to keep it upright. I didn’t get quite enough weight in my donkey to keep it really stable, so it’s a little wobbly, but it works.
  13. Once you have your weight inside, sew up the opening with a ladder stitch (see my tangram tutorial for an example of that—I think I called it slip stitch there,  or just google it).

You may have to smoosh it around a bit to get it to sit right.

You’re done! (Only 23 to go. . . .) If you don’t have a nativity template, go get one here, or use whatever design you want for your fabric blocks. Enjoy!
ps. I’m linking this up at the weekend wrap-up party and at skip to my lou.

100th Post: A Giveaway and a Psuedo-Stitch-Along

Welcome November and the holiday season! I love this time of year. In risk of being redundant, I will tell you that this is my 100th post here at Beauty All Around, and in honor of that I’m giving away a little something to you, my esteemed, devoted readers. I just wanted to say thanks for joining in my efforts to create a beautiful life all around me. I love hearing from you and knowing that you’re there. Thank you!

So, what is the giveaway? Well, I have been working on a project off an on for a year (yes, one of those) and I’ve been dying to share it with you. So when I started getting close to my 100th post and thinking that I wanted to give a little back to my readers, I decided I would really share this project with you.

So here it is, a project that we can all do together. A 24-piece nativity set. Hooray! I hope you’re all as excited about this as I am. I’ve drawn and redrawn these little guys at least a dozen times now, and I finally think they’re ready to share. I had originally intended this to be simply an embroidery pattern, but as I was making it, I thought of several other applications.

My favorite non-embroidery idea was to print these out on cardstock, color them (get your kids involved with this!), cut them out and then glue them onto popsicle sticks for a set of nativity puppets to use when you share the Christmas story with your family. They would also be great as Christmas ornaments, printed on paper or embroidered. One other idea I had was doing CitraSolv transfers (like the great tutorial here) of the template  to wooden blocks for a blocky nativity set. I bet you can think of other ways to use these, too.

I chose to make a 24-piece set so that this could also serve as an Advent calendar, with one piece being added for each day leading up to Christmas. In order to make it up to 24 pieces, I had to include a couple extra characters beyond the standard family,  wise men and shepherds. The set includes

  • Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus;
  • 3 angels;
  • 3 shepherds;
  • 3 wise men;
  • Anna (read about her in Luke 2: 36–38; I decided if the wise men are included in the nativity, even though many believe they didn’t get there until Jesus was a toddler, see Matthew 2:11, I would include her, too; since she was a witness of the baby Jesus when he was just 8 days old.)
  • Simon (read about him in Luke 2:25–35; included for the same reason as Anna)
  • 1 sheep and lamb;
  • 1 goat and kid;
  • 1 cow
  • 1 donkey;
  • 2 camels;
  • a star; and
  • a manger.

Here’s a little preview of the template:

My original idea for the nativity came from several areas. I knew since I’ve been married that I wanted the nativity to a be a focal point of our Christmas decor, since the nacimientos were a big part of Christmas for my husband growing up. I knew I wanted to make one, but I wasn’t sure what form it would take until I got an idea looking at a wood-block nativity that my aunt had made. I like the overall idea of a sturdy nativity that kids could actually play  with, and I also liked the simplified figures, but I didn’t want to do it in wood (I confess, it’s mostly because I don’t know how to use, or have access to, wood cutting implements). Also, I didn’t want any decorations to become dangerous projectiles, since I wanted the nativity to be something my kids could safely play with. So I decided to make fabric blocks, with just enough weight in the bottom to make them stand upright.

To make it a decently ambitious project (and hence why I only have 3 pieces semi-completed), I decided to make each piece double-sided so that there was a front view and a back view. Though it’s more labor for me, I really think this adds a nice dimension to the finished pieces.

What do you think?

Would you like a copy of your own 24-piece nativity set template to color, embroider, or transfer? I am giving away a copy of the 18-page black and white nativity template to the first 20 readers who leave a comment with their e-mail address. You can now purchase the full template in my brand new Etsy shop. I will also be giving away a 3-piece template of Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus to the next 50 readers to leave a comment with their e-mail address. After that, I’m hoping to make the full template available for sale in my soon-to-be-opened Etsy shop . Should I throw one more thing in? Sure, why not? I’m also giving away this (completed) prototype of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus to one reader, who will be selected at random from all the comments (US residents only, sorry, if someone international wins, I’ll definitely give them the full template, and choose a different reader for the prototype set).  I will leave comments open from now until Monday, November 14th at midnight, and I will announce the winner Tuesday.

So here’s where the psuedo-stich-along comes in. I would love to see you guys using these templates to stitch up a great set of nativities. I know, realistically it’s very unlikely that any of us (me especially) will have the full 24-piece set ready for Advent, but I think it would be great to see how far we can get in the next (almost) two months before Christmas. If you would like to join in the stitch-along, I would love for you to share your photos of your work in progress in the Nativity Stich-Along group.

ps. I’m linking this up on skip to my lou and at the weekend wrap-up party..

Tutorial: Lacing Softies

My little girl always asks to “sew” when she sees me doing my embroidery. If she finds my hoop, she will often make a few giant stitches of her own. She’s a little too young to handle a real hoop and needle, so I wanted to make something she could work on, too.

I’ve seen those sewing cards, but since I don’t have access to power tools, little wooden things are not an option. My solution: make it out of fabric.

Would you like to make your own lacing softies for your little ones? It’s pretty simple and straight-forward, but it does require some specific tools and some time. The results are totally worth it, though.


  • Hammer
  • Eyelets/grommets (if you check the definitions, the distinction is rather fuzzy, but in the store the box I got said “eyelets”). I used 5/32″ eyelets.
  • Fabric and whatever you need to put your design on it, (thread, ink, stamps, etc.)
  • Batting
  • Cardboard
  • Hole punch (the kind you hold with one hand and hammer with the other hand)
  • Sewing implement (yarn, blunt needle, shoelace, ribbon, etc.)
  1. Design your softie. You can use whatever means you want to get an image for your softie—a freezer-paper stencil, stamps, silk screening, large printed fabrics, etc; for this one I embroidered the image I wanted (a fox** in this case).
    You can do a front and back image, like I did, or just a front image if you like. If you do a front and back image, you’ll need to make them mirror images so that they’re not backwards.
  2. Turn your image over. If you can’t see it on the back (i.e., the back of the stitches), then place your fabric over a light table, window, and trace the outline with a fabric marker or pencil.
  3. Set some 1/4 in grommets around the outside of of your image where you intend to have them, about 3/4 in apart.
  4. Trace an outline around the grommets with a fabric marker or pencil  (I used a pen so you could see the line). This outline is the line you will sew on, so you do not need to include seam allowances. 
  5. Layer the two pieces of fabric with your design on them together, right sides facing. Use a light table or window to see that your front and back design match up. Pin these two layers together, with a layer of batting behind them.
  6. Sew all the way along the line (I used a free motion foot, but a regular foot might work fine, depending on the design), leaving an opening for turning out.
    (I wasn’t going to show you this, because my free-motion stitching is bad, but it worked okay, so don’t worry about it too much.)
  7. Cut your piece out, leaving 1/4 in seam allowance.
  8. Clip and curves/trim corners if your design has them, and then turn your piece right-side out.
  9. Tuck in the opening and slip stitch it closed. If you need help with slip-stitching, I’ve got some instructions on it in my fabric puzzle tutorial.
  10. Add the eyelets. (If you’ve used eyelets/grommets before, you can skip these instructions, but this was pretty much my first time, and I learned some things that might be good to know before you try it.)
  11. Use a punch to cut a small hole for each eyelet. You will want a cutting board, scrap piece of wood, or piece of thick cardboard underneath you fabric to make sure you don’t make holes in your work surface. (ahem.) I’m using a punch that was about half the diameter of my eyelet hole. Not ideal, but when I tried the punch that was the same size as the eyelet hole, I found that the fabric did not always get caught by the eyelet’s edge when it was pounded down, so it’s better to have to push and wiggle to get the eyelet to fit through a snug hole than to have too much room. I also tried punching a hole and then doing half another hole, overlapping the first one, to make the diameter a little bigger, and that seemed to work pretty well.
  12. I quickly learned that a tap tap tap tap approach worked much better than thud thud thud. I ended up with a few misshapen eyelets before I learned this lesson.
    Also, be sure to tap directly perpendicular to your eyelet setting tool, or it will go on at an angle and not catch all of your fabric (I also learned this lesson the hard way).
  13. Try to push your eyelet through the hole without fabric overlapping the edge of the eyelet, this will help the back stay neater.
  14. Keep setting eyelets all the way around until you’ve done them all.
  15. Choose your sewing implement. I went with yarn and a large, dull needle, but you could use a thin ribbon on a needle, a shoelace, etc.With the yarn, I started with a pretty long piece, and sewed it all the way around to make sure it would be long enough before I cut it off.

Once you have your sewing implement, you’re done. I couldn’t wait to share this with my little sewer (yes, it’s a word).

I don’t know about you, but there is something about those chubbly little fingers holding an oversized needle that is just too adorable (and yes, my daughter is sporting a snow hat at the end of July).

I’m not going to lie, putting in all 26 eyelets was kind of a pain because of the aforementioned problems that I had to work through. But I really liked the result, so I think I’ll definitely have to make a couple more of these.
**If you would like to embroider you’re own fox, leave a comment with your email address, and I will send you the embroidery template.

Have a great weekend!

ps. I’m linking this up on skip to my lou.

The saddest story of my creative life

(My husband is going to roll his eyes when he sees this post, because he’s only heard this story about a million times, but I’m going to share it with you anyways. No tutorial here, so skip this post if you’re bored already. But I do promise that there is ***a point coming.)

As a child I was lucky to have parents who supported my creative development, which meant that I got to do a lot of summer and after-school art classes. It was these classess that introduced me to a lot of different mediums—all kinds of painting, drawing, sculpture, and collage. (I think there exists a picture of me dressed from head to toe in a paper mache rhinoceros costume of my own fashioning—Dad, if you’re reading this, I would love to see this picture again.)

During 6th grade, I took class that included an introduction to clay. I made a bunch of little things in that class, but my favorite was a type of clay that you molded and that hardened once you put it in water (has anyone ever used this stuff? I haven’t seen anything like it since that class, so I don’t know if they still make it or not). Part of our assignment was to use ancient Egypt for our inspiration. I chose to do a statue of a reclining lion, and in my minds eye I can still picture the great little figure, a full four inches of sculptural splendor, with a minimalistic all-gold finish.

I loved that lion. I knew it was pretty much the best thing I had ever made—ever. I knew that it was impressive, and I wanted people to be impressed. In this line of thought, I decided such a wonderful project needed a grand unveiling of sorts; I couldn’t just set the thing on the kitchen counter and say “what do you think, mom.” No, I was imagining it to be a jaw-dropping, moment-to-catch-my-breath inducing moment when I showed my creation to my parents. You may think I’m exaggerating, but sadly, I’m not.

The day I got to take my lion home, I wrapped it loosely in my black zipper jacket and tucked it under my arm like it was no big deal before I met my mom at the car. The whole car ride home I was imagining the praises that would be poured out for my lion. When we pulled up to the house, I gingerly stashed my piece under my arm again and practically jumped out of the car, and it was at that moment, that regrettable moment, that my jacket came untucked, and my lion slipped to the pavement, shattering into a thousand fragments.

The only thing more crushed than that little lion was my poor 11-year old heart. I was devastated, to put it mildly. I cried and cried and cried. The thing was, I was sad that it was gone, but I was more sad that no one else had even seen it. No one else even knew how cool it was. No one understood how big of a tragedy this was. I looked on it as no less loss to the art world than if the Mona Lisa had just gone up in flames. Yeah, I can see now that I was overreacting. But I still mourn that lion. I wish that I had a picture of it at least, and I wish that I hadn’t made such a big deal about keeping it a secret until the grand unveiling moment.

***So what’s the point of this story? Besides that I might want to consider grief counseling or psychiatric help in general. Well, it’s that the whole “grand unveiling moment” is still something I can’t let go of. I have this almost inextricable compulsion to keep my projects a secret until they are done. But I want to try to get over it, at least a little bit, before I have another clay-lion experience.

Anyways, to help me with that, I think I’ll start sharing more images of my works-in-progress. It won’t usually be wordy like this post, and sometimes it may not be any words at all, just pictures. But I hope you’ll take a look, give some feedback, and find something to inspire you. So, in the spirit of sharing more, here are some images of one of my long-standing (over a year) works-in-progress:

Let me know what you think (about my story or my project). And have a wonderful day!

Another Fabric Box Tutorial

So, did I mention that I really like my tangram puzzle? A lot. But I knew as soon as I finished the project I would need some way to store the whole thing. Because a neat little stack doesn’t stay neat very long.
I thought I would do a bag at first, like what I used in my chess set, but my sister suggested a box, and after thinking about it, I decided to go with it.

When it came to the design of the box, I wanted to do something a little different. I knew it had to be a fabric box (unsmashable) since my girls would be using it, but I wanted it to have some sort of lid, too. As is often the case, I thought back to my college studies for some ideas (I picked up a lot of DIY skills during my art major). I decided to use an overlapping flap closure from the portfolios I used to make for my printmaking class.

I originally thought a tie closure would be nice, but in the end I decided to go with buttons, because I love hand-sewn buttonholes. Don’t you?

Would you like to make your own fabric box with flap closures (in case you’ve already made up a set of tangram pieces you need to store, or you have something else you want to store with style)? It’s pretty much the same process as making a regular fabric box like the cute ones here and the ones I made here, but the flaps are added in as you are sewing the box up.

  1. Cut out the pieces of your fabric basket. The sizes of each piece will depend on the dimensions of what you’re putting in the box, but you will need to have four side pieces and a bottom piece in the outside fabric, four side pieces and a bottom piece in the inside fabric, and eight pieces for the flaps.
  2. Now you’re going to be sewing your box together. Start by sewing the side pieces to the bottom piece for both the inside and outside parts of the box. You’ll end up with something that looks like a “+” sign.
  3. Then sew up the sides of the box.
  4. For each flap, put your two pieces of fabric right sides together, and sew the flaps on three sides. Clip the corners, and then turn them right sides out. (If you want, you can do some fun little label, stamp, embroidery, or other embellishment on your flaps to identify the contents.)
    (I also did rounded corners, just for fun.)
  5. Clip the corners of your box outside and inside.
  6. To assemble the box, start with the outside box part wrong side out, and then lay the flaps in the box, arranging them face down and pin them in place.
    Then place the inside box piece (right side out) in the outside box piece, so the right sides are facing each other, with the flaps sandwiched between the two.
  7. Sew all the way around the top edge, leaving an approximately 5-inch opening for turning out.
  8. Turn the box out with the flaps.
  9. Top stitch around the top edge of the box to seal the opening.
    This is a little tricky with the flaps, but if I can do it, I think you can too.
  10. The closure method is really up to you.
    I put the buttons on the inside flaps, and put the buttonholes through the two top flaps, but you could put the buttons on the top and the loops on the side of the box. Or sew ribbon into the flaps to tie at the side. Be creative. If you are going to do machine-stitched buttonholes, you should probably sew those on the flaps before you sew the box together.

You’re done. Congratulations. You now have a cute little box for storing your tangrams, or anything else, really. I thought these boxes might be nice for storing photographs, collectible items, memorabilia, felt food, or other handmade toys, or as extra-special gift wrapping for a special gift.

ps. I’m linking this up at skip to my lou and here: