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Attempting Aloha: Burlap Box Cover - Pleats Make Everything Better

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Burlap Box Cover - Pleats Make Everything Better


Today's project is going to show you a sneaky little way to give burlap more of a feminine touch. Because of it's generally neutral colors and rough texture, I think of it as more of a masculine fabric, but my house is full of mama and three pink-lovin' girlies, so almost everything in our house gets a pink or ruffled or flowered make-over! Burlap is no exception.

Now I will tell you a story. We'll call it, "The Ugly Boxling".

Once upon a time there was an ugly Ziploc bag box -- no offense, Mr. Zip, that packaging may help your product fly off the shelves, but it's purdy darn ugly as a countertop decoration and diaper holder in my laundry room -- The little box felt sad that all the other items in Charlie's laundry room were getting make-overs and fresh coats of paint. Some of the new door handles poked fun of the little box, and the front-load washer complained excessively about having something so "ugly" placed upon her. The poor little box would cry herself to sleep every night. 

One day, the Charlie Godmother came to visit the ugly boxling. Charlie thought of many different ways to transform the ugly boxling. A coat of spray paint? No, the rough edges would still show. Maybe adding cute trim after? Nah, it would take too many coats of paint to get it to look uniform. What's a girl to do? Toss the little ugly box? NO!!! 

Hmmm... Perhaps I could create a beautiful dress for the little box, and then she wouldn't feel so out of place in the new laundry room?!  Perfect!

All she needed was a little burlap, some scissors, hot glue, and some embellishments!

Step 1) Cut the top flaps from your ugly boxling and measure it from top to bottom and then around the entire box. Like this:

Add a couple inches to each measurement just in case... Always better to have too much and then cut it down than to not cut enough. You can always use the excess for flowers or other fun small things.

Cut out a rectangular piece of burlap using those two dimensions you just took.

Step 2) Decide how long you want your pleats and then cut out a strip that would wrap around your box 3x (so using your measurements, take the second number and multiply it by 3 to figure out how long to cut the pleat strip). It's okay if you can't find a piece that long, it's easy to patch in a new piece right along with your pleats. If you'd like more details on measuring, cutting, and sewing the pleats, visit my tutorial I did on pleated basket liners. :)

Step 3) Once your long strip of pleats is sewn, place the right side of the pleats facing the wrong side of your rectangle piece. Since we're using burlap, there isn't really a right and wrong side, but I thought I'd clarify this just in case. 

Step 4)  Flip your pleats over the top of the rectangle piece, so now the wrong side of your pleat should be touching the right side of the rectangle piece, and it will give you a nice little edge along the top without the extra step of adding another piece of fabric!

And measure it up to your box to decide how far down you want to take it and how wide you'd like the top section. You can always just trim right along the bottom since we're leaving the bottom edge rough anyway. Since I was just discovering and figuring it out as I went along, mine ended up being shorter than my box, so I just cut a bit off of my box! Don't worry, Ugly Boxling was grateful for the trim. ;)

Step 5) Once you know how wide you want the top to be, go ahead and glue the pleats down. I just put a strip of hot glue right along the seam allowance and then pinched them together with my fingers. Since I was just using a low-heat craft glue gun, this wasn't a problem. Please remember to use something other than your fingers if your glue comes out very hot! Burlap has lots of little holes, so the glue goes through and WILL burn you!

Step 6) Now go ahead and glue the entire piece to your box! My extra couple inches came in handy when I wrapped mine around since I wanted a really clean finish, so I went ahead and took it right to the edge and then cut off the excess and glued it down.  I also gave myself about an extra 1/4" at the top of the box, and when I was finished wrapping around the edges, I folded the top in to cover the raw, corrugated edges that were showing up top. :)


Once Charlie Godmother had worked her magic, the Ugly Boxling was transformed into a beautiful Boxerella...Errrr...something like that. And then she was stuffed full of baby diapers and wipes, and they lived...



The DIY Show Off


At April 14, 2011 at 6:07 AM , Blogger Ashley said...

such a cute and inexpensive project! thanks for sharing!

At April 14, 2011 at 9:21 AM , Blogger Ronda Batchelor said...

Great idea, love using inexpensive things. thanks for the comment on my bathroom over at Remodelaholic.


At April 14, 2011 at 10:59 AM , Blogger Jenni said...

Hi Charlie~

I love this! You took an ordinary store box and created something so beautiful out of it. :) I love those pleats, too. :) What a fantastic idea!

I hope you have a wonderful day!


At April 14, 2011 at 11:06 AM , Blogger Sally Lee by the Sea said...

goodness, aren't you talented?!?! It is so darn cute!

At April 14, 2011 at 11:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great idea!
Im going to have to try this this weekend


At April 14, 2011 at 11:56 AM , Blogger Tammy @ Type A said...

thanks for sharing this at my party, what a great idea! love it.

At April 16, 2011 at 6:35 AM , Blogger Melanna said...

That's really cute. I never think to prettify boring things like cardboard boxes. I'll have to give it a whirl. Cute blog! I'm your newest follower.

At April 18, 2011 at 9:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Super cute idea! I have a burlap, rosette and pleat fetish. Oh, and ruffles too. This fits the bill! I'd love to try it. Have tons of leftover burlap. Thanks for the tutorial! I'll bookmark it so I have it handy!

Take care!
~Michelle :)

At April 19, 2011 at 6:22 AM , Blogger Alison said...

I like it a lot! I might have to go buy some burlap for the few boxes I've been saving up to do this to. :)

At April 19, 2011 at 7:14 AM , Blogger Ginger said...

SOOOOOO CUTE!! Great job...I have been wanting to do this and couldn't vision it...THANK you!

At April 19, 2011 at 8:13 AM , Blogger Ginger said...

I love it, posting on my page!! :)

At April 19, 2011 at 10:17 AM , Blogger Emilee said...

Saw this on Tip Junkie and I have to say this is amazing very creative!

At April 19, 2011 at 3:09 PM , Blogger aStarToSteerHerBy said...

so cute and girly! i love how you made burlap so feminine!

At April 20, 2011 at 9:20 AM , Blogger Lindsey Stipes said...

I would have never thought of this...great idea and super cute!! following via the tip junkie!!

At April 20, 2011 at 7:51 PM , Blogger Something Nice and Pretty said...

A really cute idea for diapers:)

At April 20, 2011 at 8:02 PM , Blogger Samantha said...

I found you through 'That's My Letter'. I have an ugly ziploc box in my kitchen--it holds trash bags and dog treats, etc. I am forever noticing it when company comes over (because I think it's an embarrassing catch all) but I never remember to measure what size basket I would actually need for the space. So, TA-DA! I can either do this, or the wire basket. I am leaning towards the wire basket just because I really want to try it. AWESOME. Thanks!!

At April 21, 2011 at 6:56 AM , Blogger michelle said...

What a great and adorable idea!! I love these!!

At April 21, 2011 at 8:17 AM , Blogger Julie said...

I would love for you to come by and link up to Inspire Me Monday. It's up all week!

At May 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM , Blogger SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

Hi, friend! I'm admiring all your creative projects here so can you please share them with us at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? I hope to see you there at the party :)


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I LOVE your comments! They're the reason I blog. If you've used one of my tutorials or found them helpful, I'd also love to see pics! You can post them on my FB page or send an email: attemptingaloha @ gmail . com

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