Hey, guys. I seem to have started a theme lately- crates and containers. Today, I have another crate, a metal one this time. I have no idea how these were used originally, but the sides and bottom are much too open to be used as is. So, I created a fabric covered insert.
As you can see, the metal frame wouldn’t contain anything.
I decided to make a fabric covered cardboard insert for the crate. This would have been much easier if the sides were straight; however, it is wider at the top and narrower at the base. So, I measured the length of each side at the top and at the base, as well as the inside height.
To make a pattern, draw a line the length of the top of one side- in this case, 19 1/2 inches. Find the center point and draw perpendicular to that the height measurement- 7 inches. From the end of the 7 inch line, draw a line 1/2 the narrower (base) measurement in each direction. In this case, the base measurement was 18 inches, so I drew a line 9 inches in each direction. Connect the end points to form your pattern. Clear as mud? Maybe the drawing will help. Note: drawing is not to scale.
Repeat for the ends. For this crate, the ends measured 10 3/4 at the top, and 9 1/2 at the base.
For the bottom, simply measure the rectangle, which should be the same as the bottom measurements on the side pieces: 18 x 9 1/2.
Ok, so you should have 3 pattern pieces. For the outside of the insert, you will need to cut 2 sides, 2 ends, and one base out of cardboard. Check the fit.
Lay the base and the two sides on batting and add just a bit of hot glue here and there to hold in place. You’ll need a small space between the pieces to allow room for folding them up into position. Trim the batting along the outside edges, but leave all three pieces attached.
Lay the large 3-piece section, batting side down, onto your outside fabric. Glue in place.
For the end pieces, glue batting to each piece and trim. Glue fabric in place along the top and two sides, but leave an extra fabric tail, about 3 inches, on the bottom
Line up the two end pieces with the ends of the base, leaving a small gap, and glue along the tail. Set aside.
Repeat for the inside pieces, but cutting the cardboard about 1/8 inch smaller on all sides. I used poster board for the inside pieces because my hands were cramping while trying to cut the cardboard. Cardboard definitely works better.
After your inside pieces are covered with batting and fabric in the same manner as before, glue the end pieces to the outside end pieces, wrong sides together. You can see that using the flimsier poster board caused problems with being able to pull the fabric tight.
After attaching the two ends, glue the middle pieces down. The hot glue will harden too quickly to do it all at once, so glue one section at a time, and go back and add more glue between the edges as needed. Yeah, that looks bad, doesn’t it? ugh. Use cardboard if you want to be able to stretch the fabric nice and tight. Next time.
Are you still with me? We’re in the home stretch, I promise. Fold up one end and one side, and add a bead of hot glue along the edge. Press together until secure, but PLEASE be careful- hot glue is dangerous. Ask me sometime about my horrible hot glue experience.
Repeat for the other 3 corners. My corners do not line up perfectly, mostly because I wasn’t careful enough about cutting the inside pieces smaller. Press into the metal frame- it will be a tight fit.
A great spot for a few magazines, or as I’ll probably be doing, filling with fabric scraps and other project supplies.
Any idea what these crates were used for originally? I see them at thrift stores all the time, and have always wondered what kind of insert must have been in them.
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