Stitching Essentials Box

Pat Winter © 2006

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Whenever I gather items for a small project to take outside where I may soil my Hussif, I grab a bag of some sort, toss in my supplies along with a small sheet of beader's cloth (vellux blanketing) and mat board to work on. I must say, not too inspiring .

Yesterday I decided it was time to do something with one of the cigar boxes I seem to have collected over the summer. I chose a thin one, which held sixteen cigars and measures 7 ½” x 8 ½” and is only 1” deep.

I set out to mentally design my box and remembered I recently found pieces of vintage appliqués in a bag of lace from a quilt guild sale. They were sewn onto what seemed to have been a jersey type garment. I carefully cut the stitching to reveal beautiful appliqués. After a few ironing tasks, I gathered my embellishments and needed supplies, tossed them inside the cigar box and headed for the porch swing. After an hour or two I had embellished and assembled my new Stitching Essentials Box.

I now have an attractive and very useful container to keep basic supplies in to grab and go. It is lightweight, and fits on my lap nicely. I open it up and there is a beading area and supply area so no more spills when I swat a bug or jump for the phone. I only decorated the top but you can line the inside with a nice fabric and paint the outside as you wish.

These would be very simple, fast, and useful gifts that any crafter would love to receive. Follow these simple directions to make your own Stitcher's Essentials Box.

Supplies Needed:

  • Wooden cigar box of your choice
  • Pretty base fabric for front
  • Nice printed image
  • Fusible thin batting
  • Appliqués, silk ribbon, beads, button, charms, etc for embellishing
  • Sheet of beader's cloth to fit inside lid.
  • Trim for around box
  • Clamps to hold glued edges


Gather all your supplies. 


Measure fabric to hang over box top edges ½”.    Measure a piece of beader's cloth to fit inside the lid cutting away the edges so box will close tightly. 

Cut thin fusible batting to fit under fabric and printed image and iron them in place.

  Tack the printed image to the center of fabric. Next, embellish around image as you wish, covering all raw edges of printed image. 
Glue around edge and clamp fabric securely until dry. Repeat on all edges. Glue trim over raw glued edges.   




Fill box with essentials such as embroidery scissors, sewing glasses, needle case, beading thread, bead assortments, thread heaven, etc. and enjoy! 

Giving a box filled with these items would be a most appreciated gift I'm sure. However, the box alone would surely be treasured.

Cigar boxes are always available at smoke shops, cigar lounges, and tag sales for a dollar or two depending on size. I prefer the wooden ones.

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