Poker Box

I've been meaning to post this for awhile. But my electricity went out and I got the flu. It was like being Amish, but, like, if an Amish person was injected with an alien who lived inside their stomach and made their life a living hell. Except worse.

On the plus side, I learned that I am a master fire builder. So there's that.

Moving on to embroidering boxes...

Aren't they cute?! And the boxes alone are pretty cheap. You just need the patience to poke some holes and you're all set!

The first thing I did was get a small paper mache box*, around 3" in diameter, and a pattern. This pattern is from Sublime Stitching's Winter Wonderland. If you are registered at Sublime Stitching, you can purchase pdfs. They are a bit cheaper and almost instantly in your inbox. It's delightful! And since we are poking, you won't even need to transfer the design as you would with fabric! So you can just print and poke!
Next you tape the design to the surface. I used a painting masking tape and took a bit of the tack off by sticking the tape to my pants first. Sounds crazy, but you don't want any paper coming up with the tape.

Then you poke. I use a thumbtack with a rubber top. After poking for awhile with a regular thumbtack, you're fingers want to commit suicide. So do yourself a favor and find a comfy one.

For where to poke, I poke a hole at the intersections first, then at long stretches of lines. If it's a continuous line, I poke the ends, or intersections, then the center, then the center of those. Sometimes you have room for two holes, where you divide by three, sometimes you just need one poke. Just try to get them even.
When you're done, you'll have a bunch of holes punched that make no sense. Keep your pattern piece to refer back!
Now find your embroidery floss and some tape.  Thread your needle and cut a few tiny pieces of tape. I used the same making tape, but I didn't untackify it. 

You can tape the end of the floss to the inside of the box away from any holes and away from the edge. Then pull your floss through and you're ready to go!
Some intersections end up with quite a few threads going through. The snowflake, for example, has 6 threads coming through the center. You can kind of make the hole a bit bigger with your thumbtack if it gets hard to pull your thread through.
About halfway through...normally I try to be a little neater on the back, but this snowflake was so small I just went for it.
When you reach the end, you can use a second piece of tape to secure the other end. If you're awesome, you could use the same piece!

Here's an example of a larger box with lots of colors and tape:
To cover all that mess, I add a pretty piece of wool felt. 

To get the perfect circle/shape for the box, I measured the inside and used open office to create a pattern. I just make a 2-3/4" circle and printed it. I'm sure there are better ways, but this is the fastest and easiest for me.
See, a circle out of paper!
To cut it out of felt, you just tape the circle to the felt. I would use smaller pieces of tape than I used. Like maybe five skinny pieces that stick out like a kids sunshine drawing. Below is the wrong way but the gist is pretty close!
If you do it this way, you'll miss the curves. So do it the sunshine way and we'll all be happy.
See? Pretty. To attach, I use spray glue. Which, I know, caustic horribleness. But! It keep the stitches together and safe. And it doesn't leak out through the holes. Just spray a light coat on the felt and then attach.
And now you have your super cute little gift box!  And it was cheap and easy! Right?

If you don't want to make them, I have some in my etsy shop!

*I've done this with a paper box, but it's not quite rigid enough to withstand the endless poking.

Also, the embroidered lady is from The Roaring 20's pattern at Sublime Stitching.

1 comment

altadenahiker said...

Oh, I think you need a lot more than patience to do this. I'm very impressed.