Sew holiday or birthday gift boxes using fabric from your stash! These adorable gift boxes have a fold-over lid that closes with a snap. They are easy to sew using just cotton fabric and flexible foam stabilizer to make them sturdy. No matter what you put inside, the handmade box will be just as treasured as the present!
These DIY fabric gift boxes are approximately 4” tall, 5” wide, and 5” deep. The footprint of the box is a 5” x 5” square. I’m thinking about Christmas already, but wouldn’t these be cute filled with Halloween candy? After the gift-giving is done, the recipient can use this practical box for organizing items in their bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, or craft room! You might even decide to keep a few for yourself to hold your sewing notions.
And guess what? This free sewing pattern is fat quarter friendly too!
This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Fabric Gift Box Pattern is included in the blog post below and is free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $3 is optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library to access anytime you want? Check it out.
This Fabric Gift Box Pattern is a much smaller version of the DIY Fabric Storage Bin Pattern I wrote a few years ago. The finished size of this large fabric bin is approximately 15’’ wide x 10’’ deep and 10’’ tall. It has a vinyl window so you can see what’s inside.
Can you imagine how much fun it would be to receive a gift in this beautiful fabric box? I filled one up with embroidery thread to help me imagine it. I might put something like this under the tree for myself. ❤️
The lid on the gift box folds over the top and secures on the front with a plastic snap. This project is great if you’re not sure about sewing with zippers yet.
Flexible foam stabilizer sandwiched in between two layers of quilting cotton is the secret to beautiful sturdy gift boxes. The first step in this pattern will be quilting pieces of fabric with foam stabilizer in between. This is pretty much the same technique I use to make most of my projects involving flexible foam stabilizer.
Free Fabric Gift Box Tutorial
You will need:
- 1/3 yard or a fat quarter of fabric for the box exterior
- 1/3 yard or a fat quarter of fabric for the interior (lining)
- a 14” square of fabric to make bias binding for the edges and seams
- 1/3 yard of foam stabilizer (such as ByAnnie Soft and Stable)
- a plastic snap and snap setter (mine is the KAM snap variety; see lots of options here)
- a fabric marking pen (such as a Frixion pen)
- Sewing Stiletto (very helpful!)
Note: This pattern is not ideal for directional fabric. Please make at least one with non-directional fabric first to see how the fabric layout must change depending on the directional fabric you choose.
From your fabric for the box exterior, cut:
- 1 rectangle 10’’ x 17’’
From your fabric for the box interior (lining), cut:
- 1 rectangle 10’’ x 17’’
From your flexible foam stabilizer, cut:
- 1 rectangle 10’’ x 17’’
From your binding fabric, cut:
- 1 square 14” x 14”
Instructions for making bias binding from this fabric square are included in the tutorial.
Make A Quilted Piece of Fabric and Stabilizer
1. Smooth the fabric for the box exterior over your stabilizer (right side up) and baste all the way around 1/8’’ from the edge. Here’s a how-to blog post and video for this step.
2. Smooth the lining fabric rectangle over the back of the stabilizer (right side up) and baste all the way around 1/8’’ from the edge.
3. Quilt the fabric and stabilizer together however you like. Easy straight line quilting is a good option if you’re in a hurry.
If you have a long-arm quilter, you can use up extra backing fabric at the bottom of your quilts by adding any stabilizer you like and other fabric. That is how I often make my quilted pieces of fabric and stabilizer.
Cut Quilted Pieces for Your DIY Gift Box
1. From the quilted fabric and stabilizer, cut:
- 1 rectangle 4’’ x 14 1/2”
- 1 rectangle 5” x 15 3/4”
2. Using a long stitch length, baste around the edges of the cut pieces, 1/8’’ from the edge. This helps prevent the fabrics from separating as well as compresses the fabric and stabilizer in the seam allowances – making them easier to bind later.
Make 2 Yards of Bias Binding from the 14” Square of Fabric
1. Cut the 14” square of fabric in half diagonally.
Take note of the labels ‘A’ and ‘B’ on the edges of the fabric pictured above. Lift up the edge labeled ‘B’ and turn it over to place edge ‘B’ on top of edge ‘A,’ right sides together. Pin this edge.
2. Sew this edge with a 1/4” seam allowance.
3. Press the seam open. Place the piece on your cutting mat right side up.
Tip: Check out my video and blog post How to Make 3 Yards of Continuous Bias Binding from a Fat Quarter. You may wish to follow that tutorial instead to finish your bias binding. It’s really fun!
If not, here’s another way to finish the binding…
4. Trim the bottom of the parallelogram to make it straight. Cut 4 strips that are 2 1/4” tall. You will have a thin strip of fabric leftover.
5. Sew the strips together at an angle. Press the seams open and trim away the dog ear corners. Cut the ends square.
6. Fold the binding in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.
Prepare the Side/Front Piece
The 4” x 14 1/2” quilted piece will be the sides and front of the gift box.
1. From the long strip of binding, cut a piece 14 1/2’’ long.
Pin or clip the binding to the wrong side (lining) top edge of the 4” x 14 1/2” quilted piece. All of the raw edges should be lined up.
2. Stitch with a 1/4’’ seam allowance
4. Wrap the binding around to the front of the piece. Sew it down close to the fold.
5. Use the frixion heat-erasable pen to draw two vertical lines on the front/side piece. The lines should be 5” from either side edge and 4 1/2” apart.
Use sharp scissors to make a 1/4” clip at the bottom of each drawn line.
6. Fold the piece along each line (wrong sides facing) and press from both sides, using steam, to make a permanent crease.
The heat and steam will remove the frixion pen lines and give the piece a square-ish shape.
Prepare the Top Piece
The 5” x 15 3/4” top piece is also the bottom and back – it’s just easier to call it the Top Piece!
1. Use the frixion heat-erasable pen to draw three vertical lines on the 5” x 15 3/4” top piece. The first line should be 5’’ away from the left edge. The second line should be 3 3/4” away from the first line, and the third line should be 4 3/4” away from that. The last section of the strip should be 2 1/4” wide. Measure and correct your lines, as needed.
Use sharp scissors to make a 1/4” clip at both ends of the first drawn line.
2. Using the bottom of a medium sized spool of thread, mark curves at the right side corners (the 2 1/4” section) of the quilted piece. Cut along the curve marks to create two rounded corners.
3. Press the Top Piece along the marked lines the same way that you pressed the Side/Front Piece. These create natural fold lines in the back and top of the gift box to help it look nice and square.
Sew the DIY Gift Box Pieces Together
Use a 1/4” seam allowance.
1. Place the Top Piece on your workspace with the lining side up and the short end with the curved corners at the bottom.
Center the Side/Front Piece on top, right side up. The raw edges should be aligned. Clip or pin the edges together in the center.
Tip: The short end of the Top Piece is 5” wide and the 1/4” clips along the raw edge of the Side/Front Piece are 4 1/2” apart. The piece will be centered when the 1/4” clips are each 1/4” away from a corner underneath.
Place two clips (or pins) along the top raw edges. Bend the Side/Front Piece to line it up with the sides of the Top Piece. Place one clip or pin on either side. Note how the 1/4” clips help the Side/Front Piece to bend nicely at the corner.
2. The next step is to sew around the end of the piece from one side clip to the other side clip, pivoting at the corners.
This stitching sequence will make it so that you are always sewing with the 1/4’’ snips on top. I prefer to sew this way so I can make sure that the little square formed by the 1/4’’ snips is exactly on the corner of the piece underneath (as much as possible).
So begin sewing on one side with the box facing up, and sew towards the corner.
Stop sewing with your needle down when you reach the little square made from the snip in the fabric.
Pivot and continue sewing along the next straight edge.
Sew until you reach the clip on the other side of the piece, and then stop. Remove the gift box from your sewing machine.
3. Use clips or pins to secure the Top Piece around the remaining edges of the Front/Side Piece.
This time, you will sew with the box facing down, so place your clips on the bottom and back of the box.
On one side, begin sewing in the middle, starting where the previous stitching ends.
Sew to the corner and pivot with your needle down as before.
Sew until you reach the bound edge of the piece underneath. Backstitch and take the box out from your sewing machine.
When you sew the other side of the box, begin sewing right over the spot with the bound edge underneath. Sew to the corner, pivot with the needle down, and then sew to meet the previous stitching.
Check out the cute shape of your almost-finished diy gift box!
Bind the Remaining Raw Edges
1. Begin binding the box at the back right corner. Clip one end to the seam with the folded edge of the binding against the side of the box and the raw edges lined up.
2. Sew the binding on with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.
3. When you reach a corner, stop with the needle down 1/4’’ away from the edge. Lift the sewing machine foot and turn your project 45 degrees so you can sew directly off the corner underneath. Cut threads.
Here’s how to make a mitered corner:
Using the 45 degree stitching, fold the binding to the right at a 45 degree angle. Use your fingernail to crease the fold in the binding.
Fold the binding over to the left along the next edge. If desired, use clips to hold it in place while you place the piece under your sewing machine foot again.
Begin sewing at the edge (on the fold in the binding) and continue sewing around the gift box with a 1/4” seam allowance. Miter the binding at each corner.
4. When you reach the top edge of the box with the curved corners, carefully turn the binding to sew around the top rounded corners while maintaining a 1/4’’ seam allowance.
5. Stop sewing when you reach the bound edge of the Side/Front Piece (about 4” away from where you started sewing the binding).
In order to make a neat binding finish, you’ll need to begin sewing the binding just a little bit in the place where you started.
Wrap the starting end of the binding around the seam and secure with a clip.
Sew the binding down close to the fold for about 1/4” – 1/2”.
Then finish sewing the binding to the box’s final side, right over the binding’s starting point.
6. Cut away the extra binding about 1” past the corner of the box.
7. Wrap the extra 1” of binding around the end to make a neat finish, and turn the binding to the other side of the seam. You can use clips to hold it as you move to the sewing machine.
Sew the binding down close to the fold. Begin sewing at the corner. Be sure to backstitch so it will be secure.
A sewing stiletto really helps when sewing the binding around the curves and holding it in place!
It will also help you make nice mitred corners!
Sew all the way until you reach the spot where you started sewing the binding.
Attach Snap Pieces to the Gift Box
Use a pen or pencil to make a small mark on the front (exterior side) of the front flap. The mark should be centered and 1 1/8” above the curved edge.
2. Following the instructions with your snaps and snap setter, attach the male side of the snap to the flap over this mark.
3. On the front of the box, make a mark that is centered and 1 1/8” below the top bound edge.
4. Attach the female side of the snap over this mark.
And now your fabric gift box is done! How many are you going to make?
As always, I’d love to see the projects you sew from my patterns and tutorials. Please post a picture to Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe or #sewcanshe so I can take a look!
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