You can get the cardboard boxes in packs as low as 25 count at a craft or party supply store. They come in various sizes and colors, from foiled gold or silver, embossed pattern, plain white or cream, and others. (I used 2 3/4" X 2 1/8" X 1 7/8" boxes, in cream with an embossed pattern, for mine.) Choose a box that will best compliment your color scheme.
You will also need the following:
- Fabric for the top and sides of boxes. You will need to calculate how much. I found it was easier to plan ahead by buying the boxes first, making the templates (see below), then calculating how many yards of fabric I would need based on the template. Remember when calculating, that you need two side pieces per box. For my boxes, I used a burgundy velveteen, not velvet, as velvet is too plush for this size box, and also too expensive.
- Decorative Trim or Lace for the edge of the lid. Also calculate yardage after purchasing the boxes. The best way to do this is to measure all four sides of the lid, then the two curved sides that go over the lid. Add all those numbers together, and then multiply it by the number of boxes that you have. Add a few inches just in case you need extra. Here's a, hopefully, helpful pic:
- Beaded Trim for the latch. The latch is actually more decorative than functional. Beaded trim is just a ribbon trim with beads hanging from them (see pic below.) For one box, you will just need to cut the ribbon between each strand of beads. Make sure the strands are not longer than the height of the bottom of the box, otherwise it will drag. The length of trim will depend on how many boxes you have - merely count the number of strands and purchase the length it comes out to.
- Craft glue. I like using Aileen's Craft Glue, but you can use whatever you like as long as it adheres to fabric and dries clear. It's not necessary to use a glue gun, and I personally find them to be a pain in the butt, but if that's your preference then by all means - use it.
- Scissors and/or fabric shears.
- Fabric marker or chalk
Making the Templates
The easiest way I've found to make the templates is to just cut one of the boxes as shown in the following pic:
Your box may not exactly look like this when flattened since different companies have their own way of assembling these. Just adjust these instructions as you see fit to whatever design box you have. You need to cut slightly above the crease so the fabric will not block it. If it does, it makes the lid difficult to open. It's okay if you think you've made it too short because the trim will be covering the edge. You just have to place the trim lower.
How to Assemble
I apologize that I don't have pics for each step, but I have a couple of reference pics after the instructions. You should be able to make it out, but if you need help feel free to leave a comment.
- Assemble the box according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- On the wrong side of the fabric, trace two side pieces and one top piece using your templates.
- Cut the pieces out on the inside of the traced lines (if you cut it on the line or outside the line, it will be too big.)
- Glue the side pieces to the box while the lid is open. Glue the top piece to the box, while the lid is closed (if you glue it while the box is open, the fabric may not have enough ease to allow the box to be closed.)
- Cut the beaded trim so that you have one strand of beads on a slip of ribbon. Open the lid. Glue the ribbon to the center of the lid so that the bottom edge is flush with the bottom of the fabric. (When doing your first box, you might want to close the lid and make sure the beads don't get caught on the edge of the box, causing them to pop out. If they do, just move the ribbon up a little. Make note of this adjustment for your other boxes.)
- Cut the decorative trim for the curved part of the box first. The ends should reach all the way to ends of the fabric. Glue these on.
- Cut the decorative trim for the front and back. Note that it does not extend to the ends of the box - it only goes up to the trim on the curved part. Glue these on. (as an alternative, you can do mitered edges, but I would only do that on larger boxes as it is time consuming.)
- Cut the decorative trim for the sides. Glue them on.
Streamlining Your Work
I suggest starting off making batches of five boxes at first, so that you can widdle out the bugs with your templates, placements, and process. But no matter how many boxes you do in a batch, you should divide the tasks so the glue has time to dry. It should go something like this:
- Cut and glue the fabric to the top and sides. Do this for all boxes in the batch.
- Go back to the the first box. Cut and glue the latch (beaded trim) to the box. Do this for all the boxes in the batch.
- Go back to the first box. Cut and glue the decorative trim around the edges.
- Start a new batch!
Sweet Lolita - White box, light pink or blue fabric, lacy poofy trim. Might also want to add lace bows, fabric roses, or strings of faux pearls.
Gothic Lolita - Black box, black velveteen, lacy poofy trim. Might also want to add lace bows, crosses, or strings of faux pearls.
Shabby Chic -White or cream box, striped floral fabric, lace trim. Might also want to add a tiny bouquet of fabric or dried flowers on the top.
Morrocan - Gold box, deep purple or maroon satin, gold trim. Instead of regular gold trim around the bottom of the lid, try beaded trim all the way around. That means you won't have a latch, but you could substitute a metallic or jewelled button for the front-center.
Victorian - Embossed pattern box, subdued peach satin, antique colored lace. Might also want to add a tiny bouquet of fabric or dried flowers on the top. Another option is velveteen in jewel tones and lace.
Rococo - White box, blue satin (not too dark), gold trim. Instead of regular gold trim around the bottom of the lid, try gold tulle, gently twisted to form waves.