I wanted to create a vintage style box using fabric and leather and nice hardware. The box in itself is made using plywood, and then a very simply technique for applying the fabric and the leather is used. This would be easy to make in any size based on what you're looking to store in this box, this particular one is a general keepsake box for notebooks etc... however the same principles could be applied for a camera case, make-up box, anything!
There is a video that goes over all the steps in making this box, where each step is a little clearer to see.
Step 1: Plywood
First cut up plywood to size. We used 1/4 inch baltic birch and cut up pieces for the sides, top and bottom.
Step 2: Assembly
Simply using glue and nails, we assembled the box, making sure the corners were square.
Step 3: Cutting It Open
Once the glue was fully dry it was time to cut the box open on the table saw, cutting one side at a time.
Step 4: Routing Edges
To create rounded edges, a handheld router was used on the cuts on both the lid and the base, as well on all the corners. This chipped the plywood quite a bit, however since it will be covered by fabric, it doesn't matter.
Step 5: Fabric
We used really thick 18 oz duck canvas fabric for the box which was cut in strips the width of the interior of the box. For gluing, water based contact cement, gluing one trip at a time.
Step 6: Leather
This design leaves the corners of the box exposed so you need to cover them with something. In this case, leather. We used rather thin leather for this application and cut strips that covered the corners. Also, rounded the edge to create a smooth look.
Step 7: Glue Up
To glue the leather to the wood and fabric, again, contact cement was used. This provided a really strong connection!
Step 8: Inside
To cover the lid and the bottom of the box, another piece of fabric was cut and simply glued in place.
Step 9: Handle
The handle was created by cutting a piece of leather, gluing it together and then adding two pieces of rope in the middle. Then the glued up leather was punched and sewed together. (Much easier to see the process in the video)
Step 10: Attaching the Leather
To attach the handle to the box, holes drilled with a drill in the areas where holes had been punched in the handle. Then it was sewed in place, providing a really strong connection.
Step 11: Leather Cover
There was still one seam one each side where the fabric connected, so to hide that, another piece of leather was glued on.
To get the box off the ground a little, some upholstery nails were added to the bottom as feet.
Step 12: Hardware
For hardware, relatively heavy duty hinges and a clasp were used which added to the vintage style feel of the box.
Step 13: Conclusion - Watch the Video
For a much better perspective, make sure to watch the video that goes over all the steps in making this box.