I’m actually getting this Iron Craft post in on time.  For the first time!  Woot!

This week’s challenge was a materials challenge, as they call it– make something out of a fat quarter, which is a one-fourth yard cut of fabric that (usually) measures 18″ x 22″ (approx. 46 cm x 56 cm) instead of the typical 9″ x 44″ quarter-yard cut.  We could purchase a fat quarter or use leftover fabric from a previous project, as long as it didn’t exceed the measurements.

Incidentally, I also recently received a Martha Stewart Craft of the Day email about making fabric-covered pots.  And my idea was born.

I took some left over fabric I had and decided to cover a tin, to be used as a key holder in our laundry room.  We enter and exit our house through this area, so it’s a perfect place to have a key wrangler in the form of a lovely little tin.

The instructions suggest using double-sided adhesive sheets, and lo and behold, I found them– kind of by accident!– at Michaels.  They are made by Thermoweb.  I suspected that they might be difficult to work with, and I will say it was a little tricky.  I think I was helped by the fact that my tin was small: only 2 1/4″ tall.

So, you cut your fabric to cover your tin.  A tin is much easier than a pot, I think, because you can cut a rectangle.  With a pot, you kind of have to trace the shape of the outline of the pot onto your fabric, since you need to cut an arc.  I just measured the diameter and height of my tin and cut an appropriate rectangle with a rotary cutter and self-healing mat.  I added an extra 3/4″ to the height and 1/4″ to the diameter for overlap.

Once I did that, I had to cut the adhesive to match.  Then, I carefully placed the adhesive on the wrong-side of the fabric.  It helps to peel back just a small part of the beginning edge first, get that placed, and then slowly peel more as you adhere.  That way, you don’t have a long piece of sticky sheet that is adhering to itself.  Once you’ve attached the adhesive, you will probably need to trim the edges a bit.

Then, you simply adhere your fabric to the tin.  Use the same technique– peeling and sticking a bit at a time– for best results.  Smooth it down as you go along.

Once it’s adhered, you need to make small vertical cuts in the overhang fabric in order to smooth it down on the inside.  If you are doing a pot, you’ll want to do this on the bottom, too.  I made mine flush with the lower lip of the tin, so I didn’t need that.

Now, I probably could’ve stopped there.  But I kind of wanted the inside to look nice, too.  So I cut another piece of fabric for the inside diameter, and then I cut a piece of navy blue felt for the bottom.

You like?  Here it is in action:

Look at it, working so hard, holding my keys.  It’s a workhorse, you know.

Yay, Iron Craft!


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  • March 10, 2011, 4:07 pm Becky

    You covered the inside! That’s what sets you apart, girl. And it does look much better that way.

    Remind me to never show you the big bowl of junk we have holding our keys. OMG.