Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Embroidered Boxes: There are Kits for These Things!


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The more I delve into the embroidered boxes question, the more I find out about them. I’m obviously not the only person who likes the idea of hand-made boxes that are made from textiles (fabric, embroidery, etc.). Thanks to several readers who sent me links, I’ve discovered that there are actually kits available for making your own boxes. They are, for the most part, étui boxes, and some of them are really neat!

The first embroidered box kit here is actually a crazy quilted étui from Maureen’s Vintage Acquisitions.

Kits for Embroidered Boxes

The kit is for a 6-sided étui. The sides open when the lid is removed, and pulls closed with a drawstring, before putting the lid back on. It comes with precisely cut chipboard and instructions, as well as a cross stitch pattern for the box (if you wanted to go in that direction). However, using your own fabric and embellishments in your stash, you can doll up the box with all kinds of crazy quilting, which is how the sample is shown on the website.

Kits for Embroidered Boxes

Another place to find kits for fabric boxes is Needleboxes, Etc. Here, you can buy kits with specific fabrics for different kinds of boxes, including étuis, or you can order a finished box custom made with your choice of fabric. Right now, I’m hankering to make my own box, but I was thinking the custom made boxes would make an excellent gift for a needleworker!

Even though the kits here are for fabric covered boxes, you can always substitute the cover fabric for an embroidered piece. The site features lots of specialty shapes and designs for boxes, too – from birdhouses to pyramid-shaped “baubles” to hold your needlework goods. They look fun!

Kits for Embroidered Boxes

Yesterday, I mentioned that Inspirations Magazine, Issue 65, features an embroidered box – it’s actually a whole étui / needlework accessory set called Tiny Treasures. It’s embroidered in cross stitch, in a Quaker style, and they offer the whole embroidered box kit on their website. A bit pricy! But if it’s your heart’s desire, and if making it ends up being your entertainment for the year, well… you might spring for it!

Note: (added Feb. 20) Upon hearing from readers in the UK, I thought a little warning about customs fees appropriate! For readers in the UK, you might want to look carefully into custom fees before ordering kits from CB. One reader was charged, above and beyond the kit and shipping, a £32 customs duty! Yikes!

So if you’re looking to go more the kit route in making an embroidered box, these resources might be helpful for you!

Yesterday, I also mentioned that I started another project. It’s still in the planning stage, but later today and tomorrow, I plan to move it into the preparation stage, so I’ll be showing you that soon. Yes, as a matter of fact, I’m planning for it to include a box. But first, the embroidery must be executed! The design? Well, I’m going with goldwork. Heh heh. It’s about time!

Also, this weekend, I’ll be setting up the glove project I mentioned in my whining post last week, when I didn’t know what project to do next! (Finishing the rooster put everything else in a whole new light!)

On top of all that, I did set up a simple project earlier this week – another spring towel to use as a basket liner. It’s a flop, though. I printed the design Way Too Large, because I thought I’d like a really Large design in a corner of the towel. But it’s just too big – I’ll start over on that eventually, but not before I get the aforementioned projects prepared to stitch on.

So that’s what I’m up to. I hope you have a terrific weekend with your needle and thread. And keep your fingers crossed for me, that I actually manage to accomplish the things I have planned for the weekend! (Hey, if I get halfway there, I think I’ll be pretty happy!)


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(11) Comments

  1. OMG, Mary, Goldwork!! I have this indescribeable little swarm of butterflies at the thought. I know (hope?) you will be compassionate with those of us who are lesser-versed in this technique and give really, really specific instruction. Thank you!

  2. Dear Mary,
    This is an inspiration! The last few blogs you did on "boxes" I honestly, kind of ignored, but when I looked through these pictures today I thought "Wait A Minute!..HI HO!..I have one or two silky covered boxes I've been keeping in my dresser drawer, and wondering what will I ever do with them. And the embroidery is a perfect idea! Mary I swear you stay up nights thinking of these things 🙂 !! God Luv Ya….Judy in Pittsburgh

  3. Hi, Mary. I found another book that shows how to make the basic covered boxes. It is called "Hand Stitched Boxes" by Meg Evans. Quite a few of the designs are worked on plastic canvas, but she also shows how to cover the mat board with fabric, and the designs that were made with plastic canvas can be made with tag board and fabric instead. Trying to work through her instructions is a little confusing, but the book is available quite inexpensively through used booksellers. I am going to begin a box here very shortly, using a needlepoint piece for the lid, and fabric for the rest of the box.I am looking forward to seeing what you create next! Sandi

  4. Dear Mary,

    I too am thinking seriously about making boxes – actually, it is something that has been in the back of my mind for many years but I am only now starting to put it into action.

    Kits for boxes (look to be cross stitched), and also houses and a few other things, are produced by The Nutmeg Company. The web address for their boxes is: http://www.3dcrossstitch.co.uk/Categories.cfm?MainCategoryId=5

    All the best with your quest. I look forward to seeing the results.

  5. G'day Mary,

    This is all so interesting. I too look forward to the Goldwork and box project.

    The look of Goldwork hasn't appealed to me greatly in the past so haven't looked into it much. Have read what I've come across in magazines so am not all together uninformed. I feel tho that I'm going to really enjoy these posts and gain a happier appreciation for this type of embroidery.

    Thank you Mary for piquing my interest, and the project is hardly started. I sort of feel excited about it. So roll out the gold and lets begin…over to you Mary, when you're ready of course!

    Bye for now, Kath

  6. Thanks for the links for the box kits. I'm very tempted to try one! My biggest problem is deciding what to stitch on them so I'll anxiously be waiting to see what kind of design you use.

    I'm doing the glove too! Does printing out the instructions and photos count as starting? I'm a little in awe of the materials still – I've read through the instructions twice, pulling out the silk threads and the gold to ooh and ahh over them but haven't started stitching yet.


  7. Wow! Thank you for this post! I have a small shelf that goes along the top part of my living room wall – decorative boxes would look really great there! (Although I'm not sure how I will reach them to dust them)
    Happy Stitchin'…
    An encyclopedia of needlepoint stitches…

  8. Hi, all! Well, I will let you know how the project goes as I progress. It's Saturday, not quite noon, and I haven't started yet. Still trying to catch up on everything else in the house!

    Thanks for the link to the Nutmeg Company, Irene – those are pretty boxes!

    Kath – goldwork is wonderful, once you get into it. There's nothing quite so beautiful, in my opinion, in the whole needlework world. The problem is that the supplies are harder to come by than most (that's getting a bit better, though, as goldwork becomes more popular), they are more expensive than most needlework supplies, and it's not as "relaxing" a technique. When I do goldwork, I find myself very focused and concentrated. I can't do anything else – listen to audiobooks or anything like that – when I do goldwork. It's absorbing and intense.

    Jayashree – Good! I'm glad you're looking forward to the project, and I hope I can make it easy and instructive. I'll try my best!

    Sandi – thanks for the book reference. Guess what? I have it! I was going to review it next week.

    Denise – LOL! Oh, goldwork isn't "hard," it's just intense, and the supplies are more difficult to come by! I plan to do some simple instruction as I go along in this project, and I'll try my best to make it clear and less intimidating! I don't plan on doing anything too advanced with this project. We'll see how it develops. Of course, I can't do quite the same thing I did with the rooster – goldwork threads are a bit more expensive than wool! So I'll do my best to minimize waste and to eliminate picking out and starting over!

    Judy – Funny! Now you know what I do with my nights….! Hey, I hope you can do something with those boxes. If they're already covered, a crazy-quilting approach might work really well for them!

    Ok, thanks all, for your comments!


  9. I would love to purchase kits in the u.k I,m almost 80 but still love beading and sewing thank you so much for your lovely web site

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