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Saturday, 13 August 2011

Tutorial: Two-tiered Recycled Shoebox Sewing Kit

So it was about time I did something about all the mess with my sewing supplies. I'd read in several places about reusing an old shoebox to create a sewing kit but I couldn't find a step-by-step tutorial anywhere. I decided to take the plunge and make a tutorial out of it as well. I also took it a stretch further and recycled a collection of smaller household containers to organize my sewing equipment.

I ended up making a handy two-tiered sewing box that fulfills most of my storage needs. Here is the finished product:

The main things I used for this project were:
  • An old shoe box
  • Some decorative paper (I used some wallpaper from a leftover roll and scraps of gift-wrap paper)
  • Food/drink/etc boxes e.g. juice box, cookie trays, fruit containers. I'll talk about these as we go along...
Right so those are the main things I used. Let's get started!

Here's the shoebox I used. It's pretty basic ...

I wanted to make a hinged-lid sewing kit. To do this, I sliced the box in two adjacent corners along one length using a retractable cutter ...
Here's how it looks after being cut.
To allow the hinge to slide inside the box, I shaved off some slivers of cardboard on either side of the cut edge like so ...
Next, I prettied up the box and the lid using paper from an old wallpaper roll. I used watered-down PVA glue and used the technique outlined in this video to cover the box and the lid. (Thanks monkeysee!)

I found a lonely old button lying around and hot-glued that to the lid to make it feel like a sewing kit lol !
Next, I pasted a piece of gift-wrap paper to cover the inner base of the box. I also hot-glued the cut-edge of the lid to the inside of the box, creating a hinged lid (yellow arrow). See?
Now that the outer shell of the kit is ready, time to work on the inside. I used a handful of different boxes salvaged from the kitchen and around the house to create the inner compartments. Let me show you how to make one box and you can pretty much apply the same technique to any box you find suitable.

Here's a rinsed-out orange juice box. I sliced off the top using a sharp knife...
Next, I opened up the four sides of the box by cutting down the four corners, down to the point of the height of the box.
I trimmed off the four sides around 1-and-3/4th the height of the box. Pretty simple, see?
Next I just folded in the extra cardboard and hot-glued it to the inside. Here's the finished box. Ta-daaa!
So I ended up make three such boxes. I covered up the base of each box with pieces of gift-wrap paper ...

A little tip here: try to keep the boxes roughly about the same height to make it easier to organize the insides.

Right. The sewing kit has two levels. To make the upper level, I took a piece of cardboard and trimmed it down to slightly smaller than the actual shoebox.

Next, I prettied it up by covering it with gift-wrap paper. I also cut out a small rectangle on one side of the cardboard to make it easier to lift out.
Next, I played around a bit with the different boxes and settled upon two boxes that I wanted on the upper level. I hot-glued these to the cardboard tray. Check them out; can you spot a re-used cookie tray in there?
All done! Here's the finished sewing kit. Let me show you how it's working for me ...

The upper tray lifts out easily, see?
And here are the contents of the top compartment. I pasted strips of magnetic tape in one cookie compartment to keep all the pins in one place.
And here's the bottom compartment. See the cherry-box compartment on the left? Works perfectly! :-)
So now all my sewing supplies are neatly in one place...
I'll be making a thread/bobbin sorter next to keep my threads tidy. Watch this blog for more tutes. Thanks for looking and let me know how your projects turn out! xxx


  1. Hi Mimi
    I love your sewing box! And I love that you were able to repurpose items from around the house to make it! Such a great and very pretty idea!


    1. It looks so beautiful you're very talented

  2. Hiya Mimi,

    This is awesome! I pinched a couple of your photos & featured your tutorial on my blog!


    Thanks for your compliments on my storage box tute!

    -Sheri =O)

  3. I love the idea! From a shoebox you produced a great output! This would be great in storing scrapbook emellishments too!

  4. Thank you all!!! Right now, I'm up to my elbows in baby diapers and LOVing it =D but i'm back on my blog too and will start posting things soon! *cuddles!*


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