Thrifted Thursdays—Pattern Box Tutorial

A few weeks ago I was able to guest post HERE at Someday Crafts:

On that day I shared a tutorial that helped me organize a little problem of mine but it’s actually a perfect project for me to share on thrifted Thursdays. Perfect because it helps me organize all the vintage patterns that I buy at thrift stores! (And believe me, I buy a lot of them.)
Here’s what I made:

Mod Podged & Patterned Pattern Boxes.
They are easy to make and absolutely perfect to store all your thrifted (or brand spanking new) sewing patterns in. Here’s what you’ll need:
*5 Quart storage bins (I bought mine at the Dollar Store but they also sell them at Wal-Mart)
*Mod Podge
*An old paint brush
*Some old patterns that you are willing to part with
Just a note here about the patterns—I can’t bear to see any potentially good patterns being wasted—even if it is to decorate something I want. SO I chose patterns that really should never ever be sewn again to use for this project. (That way I wasn’t destroying something that I someone may want later and I was saving the planet from pregnant women walking around wearing that red jumpsuit.)
Now. On to the instructions:
#1. Using your paintbrush slather some Mod Podge over the area of the bin you are going to start covering.
#2. Lay a piece of pattern over the area covered in Mod Podge. Press it down firmly with your fingers or the paintbrush. (Note: Patterns are very thin so be a gentle…)
*Don’t worry about having to fold the pattern over on itself around corners. That will happen. As for the wrinkling…don’t worry about that either. Wrinkles happen and it’s ok. It will give your bins texture and character.
#3. Use large pattern pieces first and then fill in any blank areas with smaller pieces. Do this until your entire bin is covered with patterns.
#4. When your bin is covered go over the ENTIRE surface with your Mod Podge. (This will give the frail pattern paper a protective layer that will become hard and prevent your bin from getting rips and tears. Plus it makes it look shiny and cool.)
#5. Hot glue a big old ribbon to the front. (I used strips of scrap fabric to make mine.)
And now your done!
(However, if you are really particular about your patterns you could skip the bow and make a cute label for the front detailing the sizes or styles of patterns in each bin. Obviously I didn’t do that with mine…as per most of my projects I chose fun over practicality…)

I love my little army of pattern boxes. They are exactly what I needed–I can easily flip through the contents of each bin, the patterns are organized by size and style, and of course they look good on my shelf. It was just what I needed. And with the bins costing only $1 each I can collect and organize as many thrifted patterns as my heart desires.

Happy Thursday!
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  1. says

    I so love that idea! I tried to make a pattern box with an cardboard cat litter box. It is cute but this is awesome! Thrift store here I come!

  2. says

    I came here to thank you for your lovely comment and I found your blog so sweet! I simply love your tutorial! great idea!!! I’ve never thought of it! I’m crazy about boxes, containers, and organizers! cute!

  3. says

    Those turned out so cute! I’m a sucker for storage AND patterns. And thank you for sparing us all from someone sewing the red maternity jumpsuit. haha. so funny!

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