Soft Box Tutorial

Soft Boxes!

by Melissa

I'm working on some boxes to act as baskets-for-eggs-and-treats for my boys.  There are different ways to make a fabric box or basket, but this is the way I used to make all the soft boxes you may have seen in Bolt (they hold notions, bindings, thread, etc., all over the store).  I originally wrote a tutorial for the trim box size here.  These are fully customizable-- you might change the dimensions, add pockets to the exterior or interior panels before you sew them together, or add handles after you put the whole thing together. 

You're going to need:

  1. At least two fat quarters worth of scraps-- one color for the interior and another for the exterior

  2. A piece of heavy weight interfacing like Timtex or Bosal brand at least 21" long and 5 1/2" wide

  3. Thread and a machine

We’re making an open sided
cube so you can customize your pattern to your measurements.  For our purposes here, we’re
going to do the following:

Out of the exterior
fabric—cut 5 squares 6” by 6”

Out of the interior
fabric—cut 5 squares 6” by 6”

Mark four of your squares
(from each square—8 total) 1/4" from each bottom edge.  Mark the fifth/bottom square 1/4" from each
corner all the way around.  When
you get some practice, you’ll be able to eyeball that amount and skip marking
your fabric altogether. 

The Cube Construction: 


  • With right sides together, sew two squares
    together along one edge. 
    Backtack at each end, stopping where you made your 1/4” mark.  Repeat.  You’re making the sides of the box, so you’ll sew up
    both sides of your fourth square to either end of the “chain” of squares.

  • Press each seam open. 

  • To attach the bottom of your box, match the
    bottom of the side panels you’ve sewn (right sides together), to each side
    of your remaining square of fabric using pins.  You want to match them point to point. 

  • When you begin to sew, start each line at the 1/4”
    mark you’ve made and only sew to the next 1/4” mark.  


  • Repeat all the steps for the exterior with one
    exception: When you’re sewing your 
    box sides together you’re going to leave one
    of those sides partially open-- maybe 3"


Make it whole: 

  • You now have two separate cubes.  Put them inside each other, right sides facing

  • Stitch around the entire top raw edge.

  • Turn the cube right way around using the opening
    you’ve left in the interior cube. 

Measure the interfacing out
in one long strip—you’ll need a piece about 21” by 5 1/2”.  Fold the interfacing in half and stuff it into the middle of
your cube.  This is the trickiest
part of the whole thing.  You’ll
need to maneuver and massage the interfacing in where you want it, with each
end meeting back at the hole you’ve left. 
When you’ve got it in straight, pin the top edge down through all three
layers.  Up until this step, you
might not realize that your interfacing will fit—but if you’ve used the right
seam allowances and done your math, it will work. 
The sides of your box will be stiff, but the bottom won't be.  If you need to stiffen it up, you might cover a piece of heavyweight interfacing or cardboard with your interior fabric and put it in the bottom of you box. 


Top stitch the top edge
1/8”-1/4” from the top. 
As you top stitch, the fabric
will stretch along the interfacing slightly, so it's okay if it seems
like your piece is longer than you need. 
Use a slip
or blind stitch to close up the interior hole.

Now fill it with something.  You did a great job.