One Yard Décor: Fabric Covered Boxes

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After the great response I got from the One Yard Window Treatment – 3 Ways post I wrote,  I thought I would create a series called One Yard Décor, showing what you can decoratively do in your home with one yard or under of fabric.

Fabric can get pricey and I usually save every scrap from my projects. I have a stash in my basement that I recently went through and found enough small pieces of fabric to cover a stack of storage boxes I have had for a long time in my studioffice.  As I am redoing the room  – the boxes, which were taupe and black, no longer went with the white with pops of color scheme I am trying to create.   I used many different fabrics and colors. Now my stack of storage boxes adds a cheery bit of interest to the room.

Fabric Covered Box Tutorial {}

If you don’t have a full yard of fabric or have smaller boxes to cover – use Fat Quarters. Fat Quarters are pre-cuts of fabric that quilters often use. They measure about 18″ x 21″. I also have a group of smaller boxes that I want to use on one of the shelves in the room.   The fabrics I used to cover them are from Imagine Fabrics where you can find all sizes and cuts of decorative and designer fabric at affordable prices. They sell many designer lines of coordinating fabrics which look great on a stack of storage boxes. The fabrics I used are from designer, Annette Tatum. I covered them in the same way, but left the tops in their original state since they matched.

How to cover boxes with fabric or wallpaper

You can also mix and match coordinating fabrics on the top and bottom.   Add a ribbon bow or tissue paper flower topper and you have a very pretty box in which to give a gift.  You can use any type of box that has a separate lid. Craft stores sell them very inexpensively if you don’t have a shoe box laying around.

How to gift wrap a box with fabric

How To Cover a Box With Fabric

supplies needed:

  • Fabric or wallpaper remnants
  • Spray Glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Optional: White Glue and a small paint brush

How to make fabric covered boxes: Tutorial

  1. Measure the bottom and sides of the box, then add 1-inch to each side; cut the fabric to this size
  2. Spray bottom of box with spray glue. Let it get tacky. Set box on top to adhere. Align a ruler along one long side of the box so it extends beyond the edge. Draw a pencil line along the inside edge of the ruler. After cutting this line you will have a flap that will be the exact width of the box.
  3. Cut along line.
  4. Repeat on the other 3 corners.
  5. Bring on long side of fabric up and wrap excess around the short side of the box. Use scissors to cut a straight line from the edge of the the fabric and into the corner. Tuck and adhere to the inside of the box.
  6. Repeat on other long side and then, after each side flap is adhered to the short end of the box, bring the end flap up and over the box. Repeat on other end.

How to Make Fabric Covered Boxes

Repeat steps to cover the lid. Optional: If the sides of the end flaps of fabric are fraying – dab some white glue along the cut edge of the fabric. It will dry clear and stop the fabric from fraying.

Fabric Covered Box Tutorial

Staples sells a line of Martha Stewart stick-on metal label holders in a few different finishes.  I put one on the front of each box so I will know what is inside each one at a glance.

Martha Stewart Metal-File-Box-Labels

I made the labels using MS Word on my computer.  The font is Hand of Sean.

Fabric Covered Box Tutorial {}

 Cover a few to create a colorful stack of fabric covered boxes to organize your stuff while adding to your decor.


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  1. Love this idea. I’ve been looking for an easy-to-follow tutorial on it for a while. I really liked one gal’s use of burlap, gingham, & calico. That sounds like a great country look! I have a lot of old Laura Ashley dresses that I no longer wear, and I’m thinking of using the beautiful fabrics to make my boxes. If you are into upcycling, you could buy all kinds of things like skirts, tablecloths, curtains, etc. at Goodwill or Habitat. I really like this idea!!

    Thank you so much!!

  2. WOW! What an elegantly simple process for covering a box! Thank you for this brilliant idea. I’ve been slowly covering all of the storage boxes on the shelves in my computer/sewing/crafting room. Most of my boxes are open-top so with a tad more fabric it will go down the inside and you’ll never see the cardboard.
    With all due respect, I’d like to suggest that you also trace the whole outline of the box bottom, that way when you go to glue it back down on the fabric, your positioning will be perfect. Just a thought.
    Thanks again for a wonderful tutuorial.

  3. Is each side of the box covered seperately? What do you suggest for keeping the fabric securely in place? Are you suggesting anything in specific to cover the inside of the box, likevthe bottom? Otherwise that yucky gray cardboard color is visible inside the box! Project is great and I will be making it!

  4. I love your idea but I wanted to ask what do you cover box with to keep it clean?Is there something I could coat the box with to keep it clean when I handle them. Also is there another kind of cardboard to use to make the box stronger. Thanks so much for the info.

  5. I am in the “process” of creating a crafting room…My last child is graduating this year, and I have now will have the time to Scrap, Sew, Craft, and just all in all have a “woman cave”…In organizing Dakotas pics for his open house boards, I realized it was high time I took care of my 2 older childrens pics etc. Throw in grandchildren, friends, trips, etc. I bought a slew of photo boxes. A tad bit OCD here! I was disappointed I could not get coordinating ones! So I got a bolt of burlap, and have used your demonstration for my boxes…shoot I’m addicted! I went onto gingham, calico, well you know! I may have to set up a booth, at our local festival…LOL thank you Linda

  6. If you are going to store photos in your box it would be worthwhile to line the inside with something that will protect the photos from acid.

    Cardboard is full of acid, which will make the photos turn prematurely yellow. Photo sites sell papers and sprays that can stop or retard acid transfer.

    1. Hi Ash –

      This is great to know. Thanks so much for sharing about the acid retardant products. It would be sad to have your fave photos turn yellow.

  7. Hi, this is my first time on your informative, clear, fun, colorful webpage.
    Your instructions are so easy, and very very informative!!
    I love the bright, joyful colors on all you do, we all need more joy and
    happy bright colors bring JOY!
    Thanks for sharing so much! You must not have a selfish bone in your
    talented body!!

    1. Hi Kathy – Thanks so much for taking the time to say hi and connect with me. Your comment put a smile on my face. I am passionate about all things creative and DIY. Sharing it makes it all worth the time and effort I put into it.

  8. Hi Diane, love these fabric covered boxes! I’ve been stashing shoeboxes like crazy. Now it’s time to make them pretty! Thanks for a good tutorial.

  9. I have some box from the early eighties full of pictures. This is such a cute idea. I was going to spray paint them but this will look much better and my book case more up to date.

  10. Hi,
    thank you for sharing
    I wish they sell that Martha Stewards’s piece for naming in Indonesia

  11. kicking myself now after a clear out of some old boxes. Must have some more stashed somewhere around.

  12. Hi Diane!
    I happened upon your website while looking for instructions on how to wrap existing storage boxes in fabric. This is exactly the kind of information I needed and I’m off to give it a try right now. Thanks!

  13. Love that you have a box labeled “Stuff.” My go-to word for all the “stuff” that doesn’t fit anywhere else is “Misc” – maybe we’re kindred spirits!

  14. Great tutorial. I’m not very handy and I want to cover a really nice box I have. I’m confused about step 5. Can you give dummy instructions after you cut the sides from step 4 and go to step 5. Td.

    1. Hi Chellie – What you want to do is cut away the excess fabric that is not needed to wrap around each corner. Here is way to look at it. When the box is centered and laying on the fabric, draw a straight line using a ruler along one side of the box onto the wrong side of the fabric. Extend this line past the box (extend to the height measurement of box) Do the same on every side of the box. Now when you look at the fabric you will see pencil lines extending past the box at each corner. You want to cut on those lines right up to the box – when you do the extra piece of fabric (square shape of fabric at each corner will be removed), allowing you to bring the fabric up and over the box to the perfect box measurements. If I get time later, I can draw a diagram and add it to the post.

  15. These look awesome, just curious, what did you end up doing with the inside of the boxes? Did you line them with the same fabric?

    1. Hi Ana-
      I didn’t line the insides of the boxes since they are closed and all the stuff stored in them would cover the fabric anyway. I did wrap about 1 ” of the fabric around the top edge of the boxes and bottom edge of the lids. I used spray glue to and glue it down inside the box/lid.

  16. Hi Diane, I’ve just pinned this to my Crafts board and I’m going to use this for the Winter Pinterest Challenge at Young House Love. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  17. Hi Diane,
    I just wanted to thank you for your detailed post. I was Googling labels for frabric boxes when I came across your post. I ran right out and purchased the Labels from Staples. They worked great! Thanks for your post and for sharing your creatively lovely project!

  18. These boxes are so darling! What a great way to make storage look cute. I recently moved into a new condo and since space is so limited I can’t wait to get to work on these cute DIY boxes!

  19. Ooooh – these are fabulous! Just saw this on Pinterest and had to come check it out. I’m in the process of re-decorating my bedroom, and think some of these, done in the fabrics I’ll be using for my bedskirt and valances, will be AWESOME extra touches (and nice storage!) in our “new” room! Thanks for sharing these great directions! :)

  20. What a great idea! I bought some fabric I don’t think I can use for the project I had in mind, this would be a wonderful idea to use it up.
    Thanks for the inspiration, I’ve pinned this one!
    Debbie :)

  21. Thank you for the tip about the Martha Stewart label holders at Staples!! I have fabric-covered boxes here just waiting to be labeled!!

  22. Love it! Thanks for sharing. My daughter has a shoe box she is starting to collect pictures in. I am going to surprise her and cover it so it matches her room….
    BTW, I love your blog! I look forward to it every day.

  23. So cute and yet stylish! Great for gifts! You have amazing ideas, Diane! They’re inexpensive to make, yet very chic and they don’t have the tacky look!

  24. This is a great idea….it has inspired me to cover a box lid to make a small tray for a desktop. Think I will try it this weekend.

  25. Diane, your boxes are sooo cute!! What a terrific selection of fabrics, too! I seriously have never thought of doing this. What a great idea! I have some shoeboxes that would look terrific covered in fabric in my “studioffice” too! Oh…the Martha labels are fabulous! Great tip!!!

  26. Love the tutorial,great gift box idea, Walmart fabric is inexpensive and I think I will make these for my homemade Christmas gifts to be wrapped in.