Introduction: Collapsible Gift Boxes for Valentines Day

About: I am married with two children. Spring, summer, and fall are my very favorite times of the year. I enjoy working in the yard, sewing, cooking, quilting, gardening, and creating. I do this to keep my sanity.

When holidays and birthdays roll around, I am always thinking of things I can make from fabric, because I have an abundance, that family, friends, and co -workers have giving me over the years. Several weeks ago I made several round collapsible boxes and I liked them so much, I thought I would try to make some in the shape of a heart. I wanted to make some decorative boxes to put smaller gifts in for Valentine's Day and these worked out perfect for Jewelry, such as earrings and rings. This box would be a nice presentation box for an engagement or wedding ring especially for a Valentine's day proposal.

My idea worked, but I did not estimate the length correctly, so after several attempts we finally figured it out. Follow through and I will share how we made round and heart shaped collapsible boxes, using just a few supplies.

Let's get started . . . . .

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

For the Heart shaped boxes:

Scraps of light/medium weight cotton fabric in solids and prints (largest size 12 X 10 1/2)

Cotton batting or you could use polyfil

Matching thread and sewing needle

Ink pen, pencil, or fabric marker

Cardboard or plastic ( about the weight of a cereal box or milk jug) I used plastic from a notebook


Iron & ironing board

A cookie cutter that is 1 inch deep and 10 inches around the rim. Plastic or metal straight edge cookie cutter works the best they need to be somewhat light weight, if they are heavy the box will not stand up

Embroidery hoop ( optional )

Ruler and tape measure

Glue gun can be useful

Sewing pins

Small clothes pins ( optional )

Seam ripper ( optional )

Pringles lid ( optional )

Round boxes:

Pringles box and lid

Plastic milk jug or equivalent ( a small strip will be used for bracing the cardboard )

Cardboard about the weight and thickness of a cereal box

Scrap fabric can be different matching colors or prints

Batting or polyfil

Matching thread and sewing needle and sewing pins

Sewing scissors

Ribbon or embellishments if desired


Box cutter

Iron & ironing board

Cutting board or work surface that can be damaged if it happens

Tape measure and a straight edge for cutting and measuring


Old scissors

Please note:

Both boxes are sewn almost the same way. The difference is in the materials used for the shape and the size will vary.

Step 2: Measure and Cutting Containers

Measure the perimeter of the Pringles can to cut the fabric pieces:

Measure around the Pringles can as shown in the pictures and add 1/2 inch This will help us decide the size to cut the fabric.

Remove the metal band around the Pringles can.

Make approximately 3/4 inch mark around the can as shown.

Using the box cutter and a cutting board, cut along the mark as shown.

Mark a 1/2 inch strip around the plastic container and using the old scissors and cut the container as shown, forming a strip to go inside the Pringles ring fitting exactly as shown.

Glue the strip inside the Pringles ring as shown.

Step 3: Measure and Cut Fabric for Round Box

The measurements below are for the measurements for a Pringles can, if your measurements are different please refer to your notes. My can measured 9 1/2 inches so we added 1 inch to that measurement and cut the fabric 10 &1/2 inches long and 8 inches wide. This will be the main fabric for the box. Please note that I made several versions of the round box and the green fabric shows that the ends have not been sewn. Yours should be if there is enough extra fabric to ease in to fit the heart shape.

Measuring and cutting fabric:

Cut a rectangle 10 & 1/2 inches X 8 inches ( from the main color of fabric you choose).

Using an iron, press the shorts ends under 1/4 inch for a hem to mark the fabric.

Unfold the ironed mark.The pictures will show I did not do this, but it is best if the marked hem is not folded, so it will not accidentally get sewn in the next step.

Fold the fabric with right sides together lengthwise and press with an iron.

Hand stitch along the long seam-line and press seam open.

Refold the short ends using the crease as a guide.

Hand stitch both of the ends as shown, using a basting stitch and leave the ends long, so you can gather the opening to fit the ring later on. This stitch will be removed later on.

While the fabric is wrong side out, slip the fabric, through the stabilized Pringles ring as shown and pin to secure or use clothes pins.

Go on to the next step.

Step 4: Sew Ring

Stitching the ring:

Stitch around the ring just below the rim of the ring as shown to secure the ring.

Pull the inside fabric up and through the ring as shown.

Go on to the next step.

Step 5: Measure and Cut the Fabric Circles and Cardboard Circles

You will need 2 cardboard circles, 2 circles from the fabric colors you choose. You could use a print and a solid like I did or mix and match, depending on what you like. 2 batting circles or 2 more for extra padding if you like. To be safe, you might cut 2 and make one box and if there is not room for more padding make the necessary adjustments to allow for it.

Measure and cutting the circles:

Mark and cut the 2 cardboard circles marking the inside of the Pringles can as shown.

Mark and cut 2 batting pieces slightly smaller than the cardboard circles so they do not get sewn in the seam.

Marking the outside circle of the Pringles can, trace a circle for the fabric pieces as shown and then draw another circle around about 1/2 inch larger to allow for the seams. I like the fabric to cover the cardboard with extra fabric.

Step 6: Sewing the Circles

Sew the fabric circles and layer the circles to stitch.

Sew a 1/ 4 inch basting stitch around the edges of the cloth circles as shown.

Layer the batting inside the circles on the wrong side of the fabric as shown.

Next, layer the cardboard.

Then pull the basting stitch carefully to gather the fabric around the circles and secure the threads as shown.

Stitch the two padded cloth circles together as shown and tie off.

Step 7: Sewing the Circle to the Fabric Tube

Please note: When you push the circle through the tube to sew the opposite end, the picture does not show the white gathering threads. That is because I added the step after I realized I thought it would make the box more attractive to even out the thread and it did. I used the second picture for the first part of this step so you could decide for yourself.

Attaching the circle to the fabric tube:

Pin the fabric circle to the tube as shown and sew them together by gently pulling the white gather stitch to shorten the tube fabric to fit the circle evenly.

Remove the gathering stitch as shown.

Push the circle through to the other side so the other end can be sewn to the tube.

Repeat this end just like you just did at the opposite end.

The Pringles lid can be used for a lid if you add something inside the rim to take up the slack so the lid will fit snug.Add a few embellishments to make it pretty or use it clear for viewing the contents. I made a top for mine that was similar to a padded yoyo and I love how it looked.

How to collapse the box is in the next step.

Step 8: Collapsing the Box

Here is how to collapse the box:

Gently push and twist and turn the circle as you go through the tube as shown.

Add the lid if you choose.

Step 9: Heart Shaped Box Tools and Supplies

Please note: I used a scalloped cookie cutter and it worked but it made it more difficult to make because of the extra deep cutter and the scalloped edge was difficult to trace around and sew. I recommend a smoother cookie cutter that is not quite as deep as some. You need to adjust the measurements accordingly if using them; otherwise I used a shallow cheap metal cookie cutter that was 10 inches around the perimeter with straight sides.

Tools and Supplies:

Matching thread and sewing needle

Ink pen, pencil, or fabric marker

Cardboard or plastic ( about the weight of a cereal box or milk jug) I used plastic from a notebook


Iron & ironing board

A cookie cutter that is 1 inch deep and 10 inches around the rim. Plastic or metal straight edge cookie cutter works the best they need to be somewhat light weight, if they are heavy the box will not stand up

Embroidery hoop ( optional ) this is if you want to design the top of the box with needle work.

Ruler and tape measure

Glue gun can be useful

Sewing pins Small clothes pins ( optional )

Seam ripper ( optional )

Pringles lid ( optional )

Step 10: Cutting Measurements

My cookie cutter measured 10 inches around the perimeter. I added 1/2 inch to that measurement for a seam allowance. I cut extra pieces because I was making so many. After you cut the cardboard or plastic it is good to check to see how they fit inside the heart shaped cookie cutter. Trim if needed. I also cut a clear flexible plastic heart to use for a lid. I cut a rectangle 12 X 10 1/2 for the main fabric of the box. I do not recommend heavy fabrics for this project. They are much too bulky. Lighter weight fabrics aren't a great choice either if you want the box to stand up when you open them. I made a few from different fabrics to test it for this and was glad I did. I saved my favorite fabrics for the last few I made, after the testing was done.

Mark and Cut 1 rectangle 12 X 10 1/2 inches from main color of fabric

Mark and Cut 2 cardboard or flexible plastic circles tracing the inside of the heart shaped cookie cutter.

Mark and Cut 2 cotton batting slightly smaller than the cardboard hearts.

Mark and Cut 2 cotton contrasting fabric pieces if desired 1/2 inch larger than the perimeter of the cookie cutter.

Step 11: Press and Sew the Tube

Press and Sew the tube:

Fold and press the short ends of the fabric rectangle to form a crease.

Unfold this crease.

Fold the long edge of the fabric in half with right sides together and make a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Press seam open.

Re-fold the short ends of the fabric and baste leaving long thread ends; to gather later.

While the fabric is wrong side out place the cookie cutter through the fabric as shown and fold outter layer of fabric over the cookie cutter until it is even with the opposite end of the tube. Pin to hold into place or use clothes pins.

Sew as shown to secure the cookie cutter inside the tube.

Stitch around the heart shape just below the rim as shown to secure the ring. Pull the inside fabric up and through the cookie cutter as shown. I am showing the red fabric for this part.

Go to the next step.

Step 12: Sew Circles Together

Here is how to sew the circle pieces together:

Sew a ( gathering) stitch 1/4 inch around the heart shaped fabric leaving long thread ends and clip the curved edges.

Carefully gather the fabric slightly.

Place the batting inside the heart shaped fabric.

Place the plastic or cardboard over the batting.

Carefully pull again on the string to gather the stitches to tighten around the cardboard as shown.

Tie off.

Place the circles together and sew all the way around them to attach the together to make one heart.

Step 13: Sew Heart Shape to Fabric Tube

Sometimes it is not necessary to gather the fabric at the ends because the heart or circle is closer to the size of the fabric tube and there is not much extra fabric to ease in. Such was the case with the black box. The green box needed gathering as you can see.

Here is how to attach the heart to the tube:

Pin the heart shape in the center of the tube and line up the raw edges to the heart edges and sew

to attach the heart to the tube as shown.Tie off.

Push the fabric through to the opposite end so the heart can be sewn again, repeating what you have just done.

Collapsing the heart box is the same as the round box in step 9. As you are pushing the heart through the tube, you also twist and turn to collapse the box.

Step 14: Sunshiines Final Thoughts.

I am happy with the results of these heart shaped boxes. They are very functional and can be decorated so many different ways. If you decide to use a different shape, I had trouble trying to figure out how long I needed the box to be and had to make three before I got it correct. It almost has to be completely made before you can accurately estimate it. If you make it too long then there is too much fabric inside the box and there is no room to store anything in the bottom of the box or in the area I used for the rings and stuff. The thickness of fabric is important also. They are simple to make if you don't have to make the pattern like I did.

I hope you make a couple for someone special in your life, I am sure they would use the boxes for many different things.

Thanks for stopping by and do have a safe and happy Valentine's Day in 2018, you have a whole year to work on a heart shaped box for your loved ones next year~


Valentine's Day Challenge 2017

Runner Up in the
Valentine's Day Challenge 2017