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A Romantic Bedroom Retreat with Rowan & FreeSpirit Fabrics: Table Top Storage: 2 Vanity Boxes & 1 Makeup Brush Cup

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A place for everything and everything in its place. Makeup and toiletries are some of the hardest things to keep tidy; there are so many little bottles and brushes and bits of this and that. We knew when we were putting together our Romantic Bedroom Retreat with Rowan and FreeSpirit that we would need some storage solutions. We also knew it would be a great opportunity to use the laminates... because all those bits of this and that tend to spill here and there! Both our pretty boxes are generous in size, finishing at 10" x 6" x 7" deep. We made them using two different methods; you can choose your favorite option below. The makeup brush cup uses a standard tin can, but we show you how to measure and cut the pieces for any cylindrical container you have on hand. 

This is the final set of projects in our Romantic Bedroom Retreat series with Westminster Fibers Lifestyle Fabrics. We hope you get a chance to try out all the ideas, using your new mix-and-match skills! We also hope you get a chance to work with some of the fabulous fabrics from the four collections we featured during the series: FreeSpirit Pagoda Lullaby by Tina GivensFreeSpirit Birds & Bees by Tula PinkRowan Bromley by Victoria & Albert and Rowan Cameo by Amy Butler. Make sure you join us tomorrow to find out how you can enter to win one of TWO amazing bundles of these fabrics in our Romantic Bedroom Retreat Great Giveaway!

For all of the projects in our series, Westminster helped us put together a very handy Where to Buy Retailer Locator, giving you a fast and easy way to source the fabrics we are featuring from both brick and mortar stores in your area (the page is broken out by state) as well as online options. The collections are just coming out now in-store and online.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

Supplies for ONE box:

Supplies for ONE cup:

  • One clean empty can; as mentioned above, ours measured 4½" high with a 9¼" circumference
  • Scrap or ¼ yard of 54-55" wide print laminate for the liningr; we used Squirrel in Sunset from The Birds & The Bees collection by Tula Pink for FreeSpirit Fabrics
  • Scrap or ⅛ yard 45" + wide of home décor weight fabric for the exterior; we used a 54" medium weight white linen (purchased locally) - sateen would also be a good choice
  • Scrap or ½ yard of decorative, dangling trim; we used a dangling spangle trim (purchased locally)

General supplies:

  • All-purpose thread to match fabrics
  • See-through ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Fabric pen or pencil
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat
  • Seam gauge
  • Seam ripper
  • Straight pins
  • Clips to hold laminate

Getting Started

Meteor Shower Box

  1. From the exterior fabric (white medium-weight linen in our sample), cut ONE 27" wide x 23" high rectangle.
  2. From the interior fabric (Meteor Shower in Cinnamon laminate in our sample), cut ONE 33" wide x 13" high rectangle
  3. From the fusible interfacing, cut ONE 24" x 20" rectangle.

Tree of Life Box

  1. From the exterior fabric (white medium-weight linen in our sample), cut TWO 17" wide x 11" high rectangles.
  2. From the interior fabric (Tree of Life in Cinnamon laminate in our sample), cut ONE 33" wide x 13" high rectangle
  3. From the fusible interfacing, cut TWO 16" x 10" rectangles. 

Makeup Brush Cup

  1. As mentioned above, our can measured 4½" high and 9¼" around. The finished cuff of the laminate should be less than half the can height, remembering to also consider the length of the dangling trim you choose. We decided on a finished cuff of 2" since our trim dangles were approximately ¾".
  2. The equations for the two fabrics are figured as follows:
    Laminate lining: can height + cuff depth + ½" for seam allowance of the lining to the fabric base + ½" for the cuff hem x circumference + 1". The inside/bottom edge of the laminate sits at the bottom of the can and so doesn't need a hem since laminate doesn't ravel and you'll never see it.
    Our sample equation was: 4½" + 2" + ½" = 7½" high x 9¼" + 1 = 10¼" wide.
    Fabric base: can height - cuff depth + ½" for seam allowance of the fabric base to the lining + ½" for the bottom hem x circumference + 1". 
    Our sample equation was: 4½" - 2" + ½" + ½" = 3½" high x 9¼" + 1 = 10¼" wide.
  3. From the exterior fabric (white medium-weight linen in our sample), cut ONE 10¼" wide x 3½" high rectangle.
  4. From the interior fabric (Squirrel in Sunset laminate in our sample), fussy cut ONE 10¼" wide x 7½" high rectangle. The fussy cut should concentrate on the bottom 2½" as that is what will show on the front of the cup as the cuff. 
  5. Cut the trim to ONE 10¼" length.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

Meteor Shower Box

  1. Using the flat-box diagram below as a guide, draw a 7" x 7" square in each corner of the interfacing rectangle. 
  2. Cut out all four corners along the drawn lines. 
  3. Place the cut interfacing on top of the wrong side of the exterior fabric rectangle, centering the interfacing so the interfacing "wings" are each 1½" from the edge of exterior fabric.
  4. Following manufacturer's instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the exterior fabric. 
  5. Fold one corner at a diagonal, wrong sides together, matching the edges of the interfacing. Press in place.
  6. Attach a Zipper foot
  7. Stitch right along the edge of the interfacing, creating a triangle wing sticking out to the side.
  8. Repeat on the remaining three corners.
  9. Fold in one triangle wing. 
  10. Then fold in the opposite wing, overlapping the two as if wrapping a gift box. 
  11. Fold the extra top fabric to the inside of the box. 
  12. Press and pin in place.
  13. Still using your Zipper foot, stitch all around the top of the box, keeping your seam ¼" from the top folded edge. 
  14. Set the completed box base aside. 
  15. Find the 13" x 33" laminate lining piece.
  16. Fold this piece in half, right sides together, so it is now 13" x 16½".
    NOTE: If your fabric has a directional print, remember that the fabric will need to be upside down when you are sewing. When you fold down the cuff to the outside of the box, it will then be right side up. 
  17. Using a ½" seam allowance, stitch along the side and across the bottom, pivoting at the corner. You have created a bag.
  18. Following our handy tutorial, box the two bottom corners. 
  19. The finished corner should be 6".
  20. Find the dangling trim. Starting at the side seam, place the flange of the trim against the right side of the lining. Pin in place all the way around the top of the lining, overlapping and trimming away the excess where the two ends meet. You are working from the inside of the lining.
  21. Still using your Zipper foot, stitch the trim to the lining.
  22. Remove the project from the machine. Flip under the raw edge of the laminate so the dangles now become the bottom edge all around. 
  23. Attach a Teflon® type foot, such as Janome's Ultraglide foot
  24. Topstitch all around, using an approximate ¼ - ½" seam allowance. The exact seam will depend on the width of your trim's flange. You want a narrow hem but also want to be sure to catch the flange on the back.
  25. Here's what the trim looks like (from the inside and the outside) after it's been stitched in place to the raw edge and then folded up and topstitched. 

  26. Insert the lining into the box so the two pieces are wrong sides together.
  27. Fold the lining to the outside to create the decorative cuff. 

Tree of Life Box

  1. This box was made using the same method as our popular Structured Fabric Baskets
  2. One change we made was to cut our interfacing smaller in order to keep it out of the seam allowance, which made the box a bit easier to manipulate. Because of this decision, we also opted for the cut-out-corner method of making box corners. 
    NOTE: We just posted an updated Box Corners tutorial that shows you both methods. 
  3. To follow our plan, you will need to cut a 3" square from each bottom corner of each 16" x 10" interfacing rectangle prior to fusing.
  4. Complete the box following our Structured Baskets tutorial
  5. The only other change we made to our original baskets is the finishing of the top. Because the Tree of Life box has a lining with a cuff, the top edge is completely covered. Therefore, you can simply fold over the top raw edge ½" and stitch it in place. 
  6. Since our two boxes are the same size, the lining for this box is completed in the exact manner as for the Meteor Box. 

Makeup Brush Cup 

  1. Find the three can pieces: the laminate lining, the fabric base and the trim.
  2. Place the laminate right side up on your work surface. 
  3. Place the trim along the BOTTOM 10¼" edge, aligning the trim's flange with the raw edge of the fabric. 
  4. Place the fabric base on top, sandwiching the the trim in between the two layers. 
  5. Attach a Zipper foot.
  6. Stitch as close to the edge of the trim as possible through all the layers. 
  7. Open out the seam so the laminate is up and the base fabric is down; the trim should be dangling down from the seam on the base fabric. 
  8. Finger press the seam allowances towards the laminate.  
  9. Fold the piece in half, right sides together. 
  10. Stitch together along the side only (the top and bottom ends are open), using a ½"  seam allowance, to create a tube.  
  11. Turn right side out. Finish the bottom end (the base fabric end). We used a simple pinked-edge finish. 
  12. Fold under the raw edge of the bottom opening ½" and press to create a simple single-layer hem. 
  13. Stitch the hem in place all around. 
  14. Slip the tube over the can and fold the excess laminate to the inside.


Project Design: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Kathy Andrews, What Sew Ever



Comments (56)

Momo said:
Momo's picture

I've had quilted fabric covered boxes for well over 50 years (made commercially) that hold lingerie, gloves, pantyhose, and socks in my armoire.  The glove box even has an attached lid.  They are wonderful drawer dividers, and I have enjoyed them immensly!  It never occurred to me to make some fabric boxes or baskets for gifts to serve the same purpose, but the light finally came on, and I think I will start on a set very soon!  I made matching sachets for my boxes several times, too.  These would all make a fabulous bridal gift!

gibbylet said:
gibbylet's picture

This is a great idea - I have some stray stuff in the bathroom that really need to be straightened up, this would be a wonderful way to tidy the area while brining in some fun fabric.

SewSealy said:
SewSealy's picture

I have not sewn much with laminates, however I see so many cute ones available.  This gives me a great resource to put them to use.  What a wonderful idea to make these for my daughter's bathroom.  She would love them!

Evelucia said:
Evelucia's picture

Love the first box especially -- the origami look of it is cute and different!

jane@rickrackandpolkadots.com said:
jane@rickrackandpolkadots.com's picture

Very clever and useful pattern idea that I will be using for new containers in my sewing room.  Thank you!  Love this fabric collection...

vanishinghitchhiker said:
vanishinghitchhiker's picture

 This is a great project, I'm trying to make something similar right now and this should be a big help! Never thought I'd see fabric with a squirrel motif in such... tropical punch colors, either. 

Tina C said:
Tina C's picture

love fabric boxes!!  oicloth is so fun to use and i love the patterns on the fabrics.

mlewisbirdbrain said:
mlewisbirdbrain's picture

wow, my daughter would love these for her new appartment.  Thanks for the great directions with lots of pictures.  Love it!

tburt said:
tburt's picture

Wow! I love these. One can never have enough pretty storage containers.

Bamom23girls said:
Bamom23girls's picture

Great instructions! My daughters and I are going to enjoy making this one!

mamabrinkles said:
mamabrinkles's picture

That laminate is beautiful.  I love how your projects look so crisp and blemish free - someday ill be there.

3TadpolesMom said:
3TadpolesMom's picture

I love the use of the laminate fabric on the table as well as in the boxes.

Chandorf said:
Chandorf's picture

I am going to make the makeup brush cup for my pencils. So cute.

eamylove said:
eamylove's picture

That method of creating boxed corners with triangular wings really appeals to me...I've never seen it before, and it's beautiful!

Sarah Strange said:
Sarah Strange's picture

So brilliant!!  I never thoget to make fabric boxes to hold my bathroom things!!

Sarah Strange said:
Sarah Strange's picture

So brilliant!!  I never thoget to make fabric boxes to hold my bathroom things!!

Jan S. said:
Jan S.'s picture

Don't know that I would make them white, but this is a great idea!!

SomeBunnyWhoSews said:
SomeBunnyWhoSews's picture

What a beautiful way to contain all our girly stuff!  Love these laminates!

Loretta S. said:
Loretta S.'s picture

Will have to make some of these for my daughter's bathroom someday!

sjmartin84 said:
sjmartin84's picture

I love these vanity boxes!  They are such a great idea!  And using the laminate cottons as the lining is wonderful!

avablondie said:

I am soon to make my own vanity, so these tutorials will be perfect storage solutions, and translate in so many other areas/ways.  Thanks so much for always hitting a home run! 

MargaretG said:
MargaretG's picture

I can think of so many uises for these boxes. Thanks for the tutorial.

Betsy Sposetta said:
Betsy Sposetta's picture

I love this tutorial! The projects can be used for many differman uses - like organizing your desk area.  Thank you!

sarahkate said:
sarahkate's picture

I love the look of just that pop of color from the laminates just at the top. The simplicity makes that tula pink fabric stand out in the project but not overwhelming. Great project!

susiripple said:
susiripple's picture

Love the fabrics and projects in this series, I have made other fabric boxes but these look like the easiest and nicest to make.  I will definitly be making some!

meredith burch said:
meredith burch's picture

I am always looking for new and pretty ways to contain all of my stuff!  This will be perfect for mine and my girls bathroom counter tops!!

meredith burch said:
meredith burch's picture

I am always looking for new and pretty ways to contain all of my stuff!  This will be perfect for mine and my girls bathroom counter tops!!