Do you ever wonder how to finish small embroidery projects to display them, aside from hanging them on a wall?
The combination of embroidery and boxes is not really a new concept. After all, embroidered boxes and box lids have been around for centuries and centuries!
Creating a fully embroidered box is often the work of many years, if not a whole life time. Instead, for smaller projects, there’s the option of mounting embroidery projects in the display lid of specially crafted wooden boxes.
And while there are several sources for mass-produced display boxes for embroidery (often made of wood composites and the like), if you want something Really Special and really beautiful, a hand-crafted, exquisitely finished, conscientiously detailed, solid wood display box is definitely the way to go!
Today, I’m going to show you two just such boxes, made by Mark at Mythic Crafts. You might remember he’s the guy who made this gorgeous and functional slate frame that I reviewed a while ago? Well, he’s now making a line of boxes – and making custom boxes, too – that are perfect for displaying small embroidery masterpieces.
Update, 2019: At this point in time, I’m cautioning folks about purchasing goods from Mythic Crafts. After a very successful crowd-funding campaign in January of 2018, many of the backers have still not received their goods from backing that campaign. I hope that Mythic Crafts is able to fulfill the orders made during the crowdfunding campaign, but until they do, I don’t recommend ordering from the company’s website.
Update, July 2019: Mythic Crafts is out of business.
Mark recently sent me two of his boxes to try out and to share feedback on.
I mounted in the lids of the boxes a couple finished projects I had lying about.
You know what?
I don’t like the boxes…
I love them!
The square box in the first photo above is just short of 6″ square and just short of 4″ high, with a 4″ round circular opening for an embroidery project.
It just so happens this is the perfect size for most of the monograms in all three of my monogram e-books – Stitch Sampler Alphabet (used for the embroidery in the first photo above), all the designs in Favorite Monograms, and even the letters in Will Ewe Bee Mine!
It was rather serendipitous that I had a bunch of embroidered samples on hand, perfect for mounting in the box lid! The only letters that didn’t fit as well in the 4″ opening were the wider letters like M and W in Stitch Sampler Alphabet. They’d fit great in the boxes with the 5″ round openings.
While I didn’t have anything made specifically to fit a 6″ x 4″ opening for the rectangular box, my R tulip monogram from Favorite Monograms, situated on a fairly large piece of fabric, was my tester on the larger box.
The wooden insert for the inside of the lid, which covers the back of the mounted embroidery, is pretty ingeniously crafted. It’s super easy to situate the embroidery in the lid, and just as easy to remove it for cleaning or replacement.
Easily Mounting Embroidery in the Lid
The back of the lid (on the inside of the box) is a beautifully finished piece of wood, matching the rest of the box.
On the edge of this back insert, there are two tiny dowel-like nubs that fit into corresponding holes in the edge of the underside of the lid.
On the opposite long edge of the insert, there are two tiny holes into which you slip two tiny springs followed by two tiny metal pegs. The metal pegs push down (thanks to the springs in the hole), and, by situating the little dowel nubs into their corresponding holes first and then compressing the metal pegs and springs, the cover snaps into place and stays securely.
So this back cover goes on very easily – but better yet, it comes off easily, too, thanks to the little slits you see there in the back of the cover. The box comes with a small tool that slips in there to retract the metal pegs. Removing the embroidery to clean it or to switch it out with another piece is simple!
Isn’t that wood just lovely? I’m such a sucker for beautiful wood that’s been beautifully crafted into something…beautiful! The grain. The finish. *Sigh*
Each box comes with archival mounting board for the embroidery, cut to fit inside the box lid.
How you mount the embroidery on the board is up to you. You can take this approach of lacing the embroidery onto the mounting board, for example.
Or you can do what I did for these samples. I simply centered (ok, more or less…!) the embroidery, folded the fabric around the white mounting board, and taped the fabric on the back of the board using archival framer’s tape.
You could also add a little compact batting or heavier interfacing on top of the board and under the embroidery, if you wanted the embroidery to sit up into the open frame of the lid. I prefer the flat look, personally, but many people like to pad underneath embroidery that’s mounted in box lids, so that’s an option, too.
The insides of the boxes are plain, but finished perfectly. They’d make gorgeous jewelry boxes, gift boxes (the box itself is a gift!), or boxes to store special memories, tokens, heirlooms, or even those Really Special embroidery tools.
Chatting with Mark about box ideas, I found out he’s planning on boxes with removable trays, too. Yay!! A shallow, removable tray inside a box expands its storage capacity and use in so many ways. I Love Trays!
And then, of course, there’s hardware!
On the square box with the 4″ opening, there’s a pretty little brass clasp that holds the box closed.
On the larger box with the 6″ x 4″ display lid, there’s a lovely lock.
Two little keys came with the box, just right for attaching a coordinating handmade tassel.
And the hinges are pretty, too!
A customizable feature of each box – if you want it – are little inset spacers made from layers of exotic woods laminated together. Very unique, cool, and classy!
The detailed craftsmanship in these boxes is unsurpassed, really. Mark really knows wood and he does wonderful things with it!
Where to Find Them
Mythic Crafts is out of business.
I’m not affiliated with Mythic Crafts, though Mark did send the boxes to get my opinion on them. But I love passing on information that will help other stitchers find special things like these boxes. And I like to support businesses like Mythic Crafts, that contribute beautiful, useful items to the needlework world!