How to Make a Homemade Custom Reading Deck Box – Helpful Construction Tips
Card Decks fronts

How to Make a Homemade Custom Reading Deck Box – Helpful Construction Tips

  • Post category:Crafts

Construction Tips for Custom Card Box are here to help put the boxes together. I decided some further tips may be needed. The instructions may seem complicated. I wanted to see if I could make a few details clearer. I marked the beginning of what I find to be an important construction tip at the beginning of the paragraph.

Handmade Box Pattern 2

I have attached the pdf, link above, to print out a basic poker-size playing cards pattern here, besides being on the first article. This one is “improved” and I updated the one on the previous article. I kept forgetting there needed to a second flap to fold in before closing the flap! laughing… The pattern is black and white so you can make multiple copies, color and draw on it to figure out your design elements.

Construction Tips for Making a Custom Reading Deck Box

Basting a line around the pattern piece
Basting a line around the pattern piece

Construction Tip: This photo shows that I baste-stitch around the edges of the pattern along the 1/4″ edge where you will cut out the piece. I marked the photo with red lines to point them out. I use a blue fabric marker that rinses out in cold water to mark out the pieces. It makes it easier to find the pattern edges after rinsing and drying the fabric for cutting.

You could also use a marker and skip this step. I use a rotary cutter on a cutting mat and a transparent ruler, placed just-covering the stitching to get a clean line. You can also cut to remove the stitching or the marker if you opt for that method, following that as your cutting line. I leave it for less fraying.

Laying out the box interfacing
Laying out the box interfacing

Construction Tip: These photos show placing the interfacing over the fabric that has all of its designs filled in. I tape down the fabric with blue painter’s tape. I tape down the interfacing with regular masking tape. I found the blue tape does not stick to the interfacing. I use my clear ruler and the blue fabric marker to mark the interfacing. When I cut the pieces out, I (try) to remember to remove the lines drawn so they fit just inside the pattern piece’s design, on the wrong side of the fabric, of course.

Interfacing pattern ready to be cut
Interfacing pattern ready to be cut

If you use iron-on interfacing, you would iron it on after cutting out the pieces out. You do not want to go beyond the edges of the design. I found sewing the pieces together with interfacing to the edges of the pattern piece made the seams bulky. It is my quirk. Do as you prefer, of course.

Cutting out the box pieces
Cutting out the box pieces

Once the interfacing pieces are cut out, I cut out the box pieces using my rotary cutter set-up to get straight edges. This particular box had its flap added to the end of the first flap because I forgot to add it. This was when I realized I needed to add it to the pdf pattern.

Attaching pattern pieces with interfacing tacked down inside
Attaching pattern pieces with interfacing tacked down inside

Construction Tip: This photo shows the wrong side of the box after attaching the pieces. I first sew the top flap on. I then iron in the seam allowances, unfold and then fold over the corner diagonally, matching the ironed-in line when folded over. I iron this fold in, then refold the seam allowances to make somewhat better corners. After laying the piece of interfacing inside, I baste the seam allowances down, and iron the piece again. I then sew on the little flap next to it. The reason I do not do both at the same time, folding over the seam allowances and all of that is a massive booger, being so close together for me.

Construction Tip: Before adding the backing, this is the time to decide if you want to add beading, cabochons and other decorations. These particular boxes, I did not. I prefer to do this sort of thing at this point. The backing covers up the stitches on the back when I bead and protects them from wear from removing and putting a deck of cards inside. It is a bit neater inside, too.

Connecting pattern pieces to make the lining
Connecting pattern pieces to make the lining

Construction Tip: For the backing, I taped together one pattern and laid out another, showing how the box is first put together. You will notice that I removed the seam allowances except for the bottoms for ease of taping the pieces together for the backing or lining. I found a better way to cut out the box lining. I made a number of boxes using “sharpie art” designs to show the stages of construction.

Various stages of the box construction
Various stages of the box construction

Many Construction Tips: The box on the lower left shows how I get a better backing. I baste the box to the felt instead of pinning it down now. If I pinned it, once unpinned, I found it goes whomper-jawed. It also needs to stay stable when attaching. Basting worked the best for me. I also baste near what will be the edges of the box so the lining stays stable while sewing the box “edges” edges down with thread or embroidery thread. You can see what I mean looking at the aforementioned box or the one on the bottom right.

Construction Tip: Not shown is the back. I whip-stitch the backing to the front, EXCEPT for the two shorter edges, the sides, where the box will be joined. Doing so means not having to sew the lining bottom together before turning right-side out. Most of the boxes have black felt linings, making it hard to see. After whip-stitching the lining, I go ahead and add my blanket/buttonhole edging with embroidery thread around the top of the whole top of the box- flaps, front edge and all around the top flap. Of course, you can leave the edges as-is.

Construction Tip: In the back-left of the photo, you can see how I pinned together the sides. I whip-stitch the felt lining ONLY. The box in the top-right shows the box sew together. Unfortunately, the still basted area to keep things together while sewing the seams are hard to see. I turn the box right-side out and then sew the fabric together using a blind stitch. Once done, I go over the seam with embroidery thread to “hide” the seam.

Sewing the box bottom closed
Sewing the box bottom closed

Construction Tip: To attach the bottom of the box, I use a safety pin to match the corners. I then pull while matching the long edge of the bottom and put a safety pin there to keep it centered while sewing it closed. After making many boxes, I found blind-stitching a short side to the corner and to the middle, stopping there, and then repeating on the other short side to the corner and towards the middle, I rarely needed to ease if they are not quite the same length of edges. It does happen, the pulling of the corners and sewing the way I do, it comes out even without any puckers. It is hard to explain unless one has constructed something similar. It does work out in the end.

Attaching a snap to the box
Attaching a snap to the box

Once the the bottom is sewed together, all that is left is the snap closure. I show this in the photo. It is pretty cut-and-dry. I first sew the top part, with the male bit half of the snap. I make sure to not go through to the front fabric. unless I am attached a gem or decoration to hide the sewing.

Construction Tip: Before sewing on the female bit of the snap, I put the cards inside the box and close the flaps and top down over the box and gently push to make an indent. I dab the indent with a washable fabric pin. I then know where to center the snap so it closes evenly on the front. Make sure the front flap is centered before gently pushing to male end into the fabric to make the indent. I remove the cards, of course, and finish by sewing the second half of the snap down. I usually go around the snap 4 or 5 times. Do what your prefer.

You could also do a toggle closure or button wrap thing like I did for a deck in my craft gallery, or velcro. I found the toggle tends to come undone. The velcro is a booger to sew down. If it the sticky kind, it comes off eventually from use. You make have better luck with it and the ability to sew it on without killing your fingers.

Once the box is done, you can add a bit of sparklies around the edges of the flap if you wish. There are many how-to bead decorations to look at and try. Have some fun with it! You can have swashes of seed beads, fringe of beads or thread… whatever you prefer. You are the artist here.

At the end is photos of the fronts and backs of the boxes. I know, the box on the far left is wrinkly. I put something on top of it and did not feel like getting out my iron. The photos are a mini-gallery to look closer at the boxes.

It was interesting to mess with the Sharpies, to see if they bled or went down okay. I was going to try the alcohol drop for that effect, but decided not to do so. Maybe the next box, using a different backing, more beaded or something. It takes me a bit to see what I want to do when making a new box and what I want a particular deck to go into. The boxes I just made are for decks I will use occasionally. The ones I use all of the time get a bit more frilly and sparklie. laughing…

If my instructions in the first article and in this one are still too confusing, email me and I will try to help you as much as possible. Have fun! Hugs!

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