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Linen Chest

by Bryony Harrison (follow)
I'm a freelance writer & poet; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page' from tinyurl.com/pgyyx76
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storage chest, storage box

Seasonal clothing, bed linen, and the like, are best kept in storage if you want to save valuable wardrobe space. Buying the appropriate storage units can be expensive, and while cardboard boxes are cheap and functional, they are not very appealing to the eye, particularly if they have to be on display. With a bit of spare material, however, you can turn it into an attractive furnishing for the home.

I use my storage chests for bed linen, and they are 75cm long x 45cm high x 45cm wide. All measurements are approximate, and you can adapt them for the size of box and amount of material you have, but the method will remain the same.

Art and Craft Supplies

Tape measure
Polyester or cotton thread
Iron & Ironing board
Staple gun & staples
Brown packing tape
Cardboard from large sturdy cardboard boxes
Sewing Machine
Material (1) - 120cm long x 150cm wide
Material (2) - 100cm long x 60cm wide


1. Right sides together, fold the long piece of material in half lengthways and sew the two shorter sides together (15mm is the standard seam length).

2. Press the seams open or use an overlocking stitch if the edges are frayed. If you want a shorter or deeper chest, fold along the width and sew the two longer sides together.

3. To make the base, fold the seam about 30cm in from the base to make a triangle so that the tip of the triangle is in line with the side seam. Pin in place and repeat at the other end.
4. Turn the material right side out to check that you have the base width you want. Once you're happy with the positioning turn the material inside out again, and sew along each fold and press.

5. Turn under the remaining edge of the material. Press. Stitch along the edge of the fold.
6. Turn under the edge again, approximately 5cm - 7cm. Press. Stitch close along the edge of the fold, leaving a large lip of material.
7. Cut five cardboard pieces to size to reinforce the sides and bottom of the cardboard box. You need a snug fit to provide the necessary strength.

8. Fit the cardboard in place in the four sides; fit the bottom piece last. if the edges are rough, cover them with packing tape. When you're happy with the placement secure the side joins and base with packing tape.
9. Put the upper edges under the lip of the material, and stretch the material tightly. Staple the cardboard to the material. If the cardboard you use is corrugated, staple on the diagonal, not the horizontal, otherwise the staples won't hold.
10. Cover the stapled material with packing tape.

11. Turn under the edge of Material (2). Press and stitch along the sides of the fold.

12. Place the chest in its chosen position before filling.

13. Drape Material (2) over the top to finish it off. If you want a flat surface, cut another piece of cardboard to go across the top, then drape the material over that. This makes a reasonably robust linen chest, and the contents will add strength.

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