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My 8-year-old son's love of Legos, coupled with generous grandparents, has left him with a massive collection of the brightly colored plastic pieces. We've tried many types of storage containers and always return to using medium-sized clear plastic containers with locking lids. While they are the best all-around storage option for us, a problem arises each time we need to add a container. Even though we stick to purchasing clear containers, the colors of the handles change to match current trends. His Lego collection is large enough that asking him to move the containers in and out of his closet and stack them each day became frustrating. Keeping all that clashing color out in the middle of his room was frustrating my desire for a neat and tidy looking room. My solution was to create a fabric cover to place over the stacked boxes each night after clean up.
We are currently using four 27-quart Sterilite containers. When stacked they measure 23.5 inches high x 27 inches wide x 17 inches deep. I wanted to use fabric I already had on hand so I pieced fabrics together to reach the sizes I needed. To create the cover I began by cutting fabric panels for the cover in the sizes that follow.
The cut size for the finished top panel is 28 inches x 18.5 inches. I pieced a variety of fabrics together to reach this size. If you do this, be sure to add 1/4 inch to each side of each piece for seam allowances. As long as your finished panel is 28 x 18.5 inches, you can make it as simple or complex as you want.
The cut size for the front panel is 28 inches x 24 inches.
The cut size for the side panels is 18.5 x 24 inches. You'll need 2 of these.
When I was designing the cover, I thought about my son putting it on each day and decided one that was floor length all the way around might be a little cumbersome for him to work with. I made the panel on the back short enough that it will slip over the containers easily but long enough that it will prevent the cover from slipping off the boxes. The cut size for it is 28 x 8 inches.
In addition to making the back panel a partial one, I added a good amount of room to the finished size of the cover so it would be easy for my son to slip it over the boxes. While it might look more tailored to have it fit snugly around the boxes, that would defeat the purpose of the finding a solution that meets both of our needs. If it frustrates him to use it, he won't use it.
Begin assembling the cover by layering one side panel and the front panel, right-sides together. Pinning the pieces together is optional, but recommended.
Stitch the panels together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, stopping 1/4 inch from the top edge. Leaving this 1/4 inch is necessary when stitching each of the 4 panels together as it will make attaching the top panel easier.
Repeat with the other side panel. Finish by attaching the short back panel (remember, right-sides together) to the 2 side panels. Be sure to stop 1/4 inch from the top each time!
If you want to add some embroidery and are using a light-weight material as I did in my center panel, adhere some iron-on interfacing to the back-side of the embroidery area.
Fiskars produces many tools that can be used as templates for creating embroidery patterns from Ultra ShapeXpress templates to punches. There are a variety of Ultra Shape Express templates that can be used to create stars, hearts, circles, and flowers, among other shapes. I wanted a star that was larger than the largest available on the template so I used a computer generated star. I used the tape measure from the 12-in-1 Sewing Tool to locate the center of my square, traced the star onto it, and used a simple running stitch around the outline.
Pin the long edges of the top panel to the tops of the front and back panels, right-sides together, and stitch them with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Next, stitch the top to the short edges.
You have 2 options for finishing the cover. You can hem the remaining raw edges by ironing them to the back side of the cover and stitching them. Or if you want a more finished look, you can line the cover. To line it, begin by repeating the steps for creating the cover with the exception of leaving an opening (about 3 inches long) for turning in one of your seams.
Keep the liner turned inside out. Turn the outer cover right side out and place it inside the liner. Your covers will be right-sides together. Pin all of the raw edges together and stitch them with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Turn the cover right-side out using the opening you left in the seam of the liner. Shape the corners by gently pushing them out with a blunt object such as the stuffing tool in the 12-in-1 Sewing tool.
Hand stitch the opening in the liner closed.
Press the bottom edge all the way around the cover and finish by stitching 1/4 inch from the edge.
If your child has difficulty working with the cover because the liner is loose, you can tack the liner to the outer cover with a small hand stitch in each corner of the top panel.
My son has had no problems using his cover and loves that it matches his newly redecorated room. And Mom is happy that it matches, too!