The things you need for this easy, fast, and fun project.
Cost break down: 1 yard clearance Moda fabric $6.00, 1 yard clearance Free Spirit fabric $6.00, 2 fat quarters 2.50 ea. Poly fiber fill reused from some old pillows I hated-Free! Total cost=$17.00 (your cost will obviously vary depending what you have on hand and how much your fabric costs ya)
- 1 yard each of coordinating fabrics (or 2 yards total of one print)
- Fat quarters of coordinating prints for handles and monogrammed letter. (this is optional, I just like the look of having multiple fabrics)
- Rotary cutter or scissors.
- Heat n' bond lite
- Serger or Sewing machine
- Poly fiber fill or bean bag pellets. (the amount depends on how big your cube is)
My cube is 17" on all sides. Great thing about this is you can make it big, small, or even rectangle. First step is to cut your fabric. I will give you my dimensions and cuts for a 17" cube, it is quite large so you may want to scale it down a bit for your tot. Now these instructions may seem quite long but this pattern is very forgiving and you definitely have room for error. Don't let the length of the post trick you, this cube only took me about 2 hours to make (including cutting time!).
- First cut 4- 17.5" x17.5" of your chosen side fabric. (I left my fabric folded in half from the bolt and folded it in half again so I only had to cut once with my rotary cutter.)
- Next cut 2-17.5"x 17.5" of your chosen top fabric.
- Next cut 4-6.5"x10.5" strips of your chosen handles fabric (this is completely optional, I added handles so my cute little munchkin of a niece could tote this all over the house on her own)
- Next print a letter for your monogram and trace it on your fabric, be sure you trace it reversed on the back side. Repeat this same process with your letter on the heat n' bond.
Now your fabric is all cut, which is the most un-fun part of the process in my opinion. Now you get to sew this puppy up. If you are using a sewing machine be sure to use an overlocking stitch, you don't want this to rip open the first jump your wild munchkin throws at it lol!!
- First we need to make the handles. Take 1 of your strips and fold in half long ways or hot dog style with right sides together. Sew a straight stitch with 1/4" seam allowance along the long side. Turn your fabric so the right side is showing. Press so the seam is in the center back of strip. Turn each short end under about 1/4" and press inside the casing (so no raw edges are showing.). Repeat with 2nd strip of fabric.
- Now we need to attach the handles to the side pieces. Take 1 of your side pieces and fold in half, then fold in half again. Mark with a pin or fabric chalk/pen the point or center of cube. Measure, or in my case, eyeball about 4.5 inches from each side of the center and pin the short ends down. You want your handle to be loose so that a hand can fit under it to carry it. Repeat this simple process with your other side piece.
- Now it is time to sew (yippee). We are going to create a square (ish) on either end of the handle. To do this we top stitch the short end of the handle down. Start at the top and go down to the bottom, with the needle still in the fabric turn it 90 degrees and stitch another 2 inches (ish). Once again leave the needle in the fabric and turn 90 degrees and sew back to the top of fabric, and finally turn the fabric again and stitch back to your starting point. Leave your needle in the fabric and turn it 45 degrees so that you can sew a diagonal across your barely sewn square. Sew the diagonal to the other point or corner, lift fabric off and repeat the diagonal on the other corners making an X in your square. Repeat this process for all ends of the handles.
- Next take your side fabrics and put two (use one of the sides with a handle) with the right sides together and do a straight stitch down the side with a 1/4" seam allowance, you can use pins put at a horizontal to attach them together, if needed (I didn't, but you'll find I don't hardly ever). Repeat this with your next set of side pieces. Now you will sew your sets of 2 side pieces together putting right sides together, making sure your handle side pieces alternate with your blank side pieces (also be sure that your handles are both horizontal).
- Now you should have a long strip of 4 side pieces all sewn together. You can now sew the 2 ends together by folding it and matching raw edges of right sides together. Leave an opening on this seam wide enough that you can fit your hand in to stuff it. Press all seams
Wow, that is sooo long but really now that you made it to this step it didn't take that long did it? Now we get to do the top and bottom, which may seem scary matching all those seams, but once again it is very forgiving and if you "drunk" sew or aka very tired mama sewing like I do it won't matter if your lines/seams aren't perfectly straight.
- First if you have chosen to monogram it you want to get your printed letter and trace it on reverse to your chosen fabric and the heat n' bond. Then cut each out and iron them together (follow directions on heat n' bond)
- Next center your letter on one of your fabric pieces and iron it down.
- Now you can applique it on one of two ways, depending on how you feel your skill level is. I did a very, very tiny zig-zag stitch around the very edges of my letter to hide all the raw edges. Or you can simply do a top stitch fairly close to the edges of your letter to help secure it down. Completely up to you. (I suggest a good quality thread if you choose to zig-zag, I have found that Gutterman is great for this kind of applique).
- Now you can attach your top and bottom. Start by pinning, and I really do recommend actually pinning on this step, one of your top/bottom side pieces to a side side piece right sides together. Sew along over the pins with a 1/4" seam allowance. Once you have done the first side go on to the next side you may have extra fabric that doesn't align perfectly just pin it as best you can and match the start of this seam to the end of your previous seam. Repeat for the next two sides, clip corners if you used a sewing machine. Repeat for the other bottom/top side piece. Press seams.
- Turn cube right side out and begin to fill with poly fiber fill. I filled mine fairly full but not so full it was busting at the seams. When it starts to look full and the fabric isn't sagging in any place you are probably good to go, based on your own preference. My cube was kind of lumpy at first (see my above picture) because I reused poly fiber fill from some pillows. It took a few days to get in a new shape.
- LAST STEP (did you just do a little dance because you are loving your easy, super cute, project?) all you need to do now is close the opening by using a ladder stitch. Follow this perfect tutorial here.
Now do you love it? I am thinking of making a few to toss around in my girls room or even something like it as an ottoman in my living room. Oh and don't forget my darling niece who loved her treasure.
Look forward to some of my next postings on a Toddler Girls fitted Peplum dress and my blog GRAND OPENING post of my girls room.