Wednesday, March 6, 2013

DIY Stair Box

1 box 12-16" tall, no more than 8" wide, and 14-16" deep
Heavy tape like duct, masking, or packing
Approx 2 yards of fabric (one for covering the inside, one for the outside)
Hot glue gun
Box cutter

Step 1: Say, "Yeah, I can totally do this."

Step 2: Measure your stair rise and depth. Most stairs are 8" high and 8" deep, but double check, just in case. (mine were slightly over 8" with the treads and the carpeting) Now mark your box on both sides where you'll be cutting out a hole for the step.

Step 3: Cut a square out of each side of the box where you marked it (will probably be an 8"x8" square) but do not cut the bottom or end. If you want a taller box, tape the top flaps up to increase the height.

Step 4: Lightly score the bottom and end where the hole is, because you're going to be folding those parts to the inside of the box. A ruler and un-clicked pen help.

Now fold the flaps to the inside...

Step 5: And tape it all together, inside and out. Putting it on the edge of the counter helps.

And tape...
And tape some more... get all of the seams and corners.

Step 6: Cut your fabric. You'll cut two L shaped pieces for the inside and two for the outside edges (make sure your L's are facing the right side out), and one long, narrow strip for the interior bottom/ends and one for the exterior. The L's you can cut by laying the box on the fabric and tracing around the outside, giving yourself a 1" allowance on all the edges. For the long strip, measure the bottom and ends to get your overall length, measure the width, then add 1-1.5" for a turn-under hem.

Step 7: Get out the glue gun!

Start with the interior L pieces, and glue along the interior edges. I didn't put glue in the center of the fabric, but you could if you felt like it. Don't worry about a little overhang, that's a good thing! It'll get covered up by the long strip, and ensure that you don't have cardboard peeking out in the final product. When you get to the top, turn the fabric over the exterior edge. Now do the long strip, turning under the edges by 1/2" as you go so there are no exposed raw edges or cardboard.

I tried taking pictures of the interior process, but it's all just a mess of fabric, cardboard, and glue gun. Have faith, it'll work out!

Do the exterior similar to the interior. Start with the L's and fold the excess over to the bottom and ends - but when you get to the top edge fold the fabric under itself so you have a clean edge. Then do the long strip, turning the edges under as you go.

If you mis-measured, don't worry! Just add a few pretty patches or bias tape and pretend that you meant to add an embellishment there the whole time. Or if it's a big whoops - cut some more fabric and add another layer. No one will see the original layer, you'll just cover it all up.

turn under at the top
wrap the edges of the L, and turn under the edges of the long strip

Step 8: You're almost done! Now just get out the iron and do some touch-up on the exterior. A little heat along the glue lines will re-melt it a little bit and allow you to readjust if needed, or to just get a crisper edge.

Step 9: Just kidding! No step 9, you're all done! We're using ours for winter accessories, but it makes a great catch-all! 

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