Intro: Silk Screened Decorative Box
My husband, Brian, and I took a class in Silk Screening at the Tech Shop, San Jose, taught by Karen Davis (http://www.techshop.ws). There is screening equipment and some very nice drying equipment so that the designs are set completely by the time you take it home. The graphics were made at the Tech Shop, and the box project was finished at home.
The cat design is Brian's design and this is the test screen from the class. I think he registered the design. I have his permission to use it here. The Tech Shop has a textiles area with screen printing, sewing machines and a powerful iron that has continuous steam. For this project, the screening was done at the tech shop, but the sewing and gluing was done at home. Here are the steps.
First I laminated the design by pressing an iron-on laminate over it.
Then I cut a box from stiff pellon. This material has fusible on one side.
I made the base smaller than the top to suggest an Oriental design theme which matches a fabric I picked to cover the lid. I picked that print and some black velveteen, all of which I had on hand.
The only thing I had to purchase for this project was the pellon. I got 2 yards and used nearly all of it. I originally purchased the black velveteen fabric because its online description said it was suitable to make pants, but when it arrived, it clearly was a home dec fabric which an almost plastic base fabric that would be completely unsuitable for garments. But good! It works for this project and the soft texture evokes a sense of the black cat's fur. I sewed the silk screened design to the velveteen then I fused the box pieces to the velveteen and silk screened design. While I still need to file and sand it, the gear weight that appears in this picture is actually a bottle opener cut with a Waterjet -- I make it at the Tech Shop!
Next I used a glue stick to wrap the edges to the inside and paper clipped them to hold them while it dried. If I were starting this project again, I'd just use the hot glue for this step and skip the wait.
Then I sewed the edges of the box to make the fabric very secure.I also sewed along the fold lines in order to make the crease sharper.
To construct the box, I hot-glued the pieces together, using pieces of velveteen to hold the corners together. Next I used some muslin scraps I had on hand and hot glued them to the inside of the box. Next I fused velveteen over the inside bottom piece, and then hot glued the wrap around as well as hot gluing it to the inside bottom. At this point the base is constructed.
I had a piece of thin, light batting left over from a recent quilting project, so I used that to pad the top to give it a more sumptuous feel. I put the lib fabric face down and ironed it, then covered it with some batting, then put the lid pellon piece glue side down and fused it.
Then I trimmed it and hot glued the fabric to the inside. Next I fused a rectangle of pellon cut to the inside lid to velveteen, hot glued the wrap around, and hot glued it to the inside of the lid.
I had 2 tassels and some ribbon and an amber ring I had picked up from a rock shop a couple of years ago. The tassels were originally going to go onto a table runner, but they interfered with the person sitting on that end, but here I thought they went very nicely. Feel free to use found objects or other decorations to make the box endearing to its intended recipient. and to tie in the graphics from the silk screening. I always think of cats as being creatures of luxury and leisure. And so the opulence of the double tassels, and the ribbon along with the velveteen all underscore the graphic design. So please be sure to include decorative reinforcement for your graphic design.
I sewed the tassels onto the ribbon and hand sewed it to the center top I made a few thread loops at the left edge of the lid to hold the ribbon off to the side. Then I took button hole twist to attach the amber ring to the center of the lid to use as a handle. This also ties in nicely with the colors in the lid fabric, and is yet another luxurious element to enhance the cat theme.