I threatened you with a tutorial on how to make these cute $2 craft boxes into hat boxes for your dolls, and here it is!
To make these specific hat boxes (also called band boxes) you will need 1 larger sized piece of fancy wrapping paper – 18×24 is plenty. The reason for this is the outside measurement is greater than 12” which is the standard large size you will find at your local big box store. Original Victorian hat boxes came in many different shapes and sizes, but the ones we are most familiar with today are the round variety. I found reference to an enterprising young woman who created beautiful boxes covered with wallpaper so I tried to find papers that looked a bit like doll-sized wallpaper. Unfortunately I lost track of the website where I read this and can’t give you more detail.
If you are looking for a source of large format paper, you might be interested in the site Mulberry Paper and More. It’s a bit overwhelming at first, but they have an amazing selection of papers that would be perfect for this use case. This tutorial is being shown with Japanese Chiyogami Yuzen paper. I’m visual so there will be a lot of pictures to illustrate this project.
You will need:
Scissors or exacto knife
Sewing ruler for small, precision measurements
Measure your box carefully. Allow for overlaps and edges! These boxes from Dollar Tree are 3 5/8” diameter on the lower box portion and 3 7/8” diameter on the lid. The circumference is equally important. Use your tape measure to find the circumference (outside and inside) plus a 1/2” overlap. I wound up cutting the following pieces:
(1) 12 1/2” X 3 5/8” rectangle (box outside sidewall)
(1) 11 3/4” X 2 1/2” rectangle (box inside sidewall)
(1) 13” X 1 1/4” rectangle (lid outside sidewall)
(1) 12 1/2” X 5/8” rectangle (lid inside sidewall)
(2) 3 5/8” diameter circles (box inside bottom and underside)
(1) 4 1/2” diameter circle (lid outside)
(1) 3 3/4” diameter circle (lid inside)
Each piece was labeled so I would know where they went.
Once you have everything cut the assembly goes quite quickly.
1. Glue in the box inside bottom circle (for fun you could make this piece from a newspaper print which was done in the past)
2. Glue in the box inside sidewall. Be careful to overlap and press out any excess glue. I forgot to take a picture of this step, sorry!
3. Glue the outside box sidewall. This piece should extend past the box edges on both top and bottom. These extended sections will be folded down.
4. Run a bead of glue where you will fold down the extended section on the bottom of the box. Then press down the paper into the glue, making overlapping wedges so the paper confirms neatly to the round shape of the box.
When it is folded down, press the paper flat firmly so the glue squishes into all the places it needs to be, and then use a paper towel to wipe off any that oozes out from under the paper.
On the upper edge, run your glue onto the paper extension. This piece is going to be folded to the inside of the box. You may want to prefold it before putting the glue. Once you have run the glue, fold the paper inside the box and press, making sure it conforms to the shape and working the glue into place with your fingers. Wipe away any that oozes out.
5. Turn the box upside down and glue on the circle to the underside. All the folded edges should be covered by this circle. Set the box piece aside to dry.
The lid will follow a similar method, except in a slightly different order.
6. Glue in the inner circle to the lid.
7. Glue in the inner lid sidewall.
8. Glue the outside lid circle. It may be helpful to trace the lid onto the plain side of this circle so you place the lid right in the center.
Next, place the glue onto the box side and fold down the paper around the circle of the lid, again working the glue evenly and wiping off any excess.
9. Glue the outside lid sidewall. To do this, put glue on only half of the paper – the other half will be folded inside the lid.
Place the paper edge just a smidge under the top edge of the lid.
As you did with the box sidewall, carefully fold the paper edge to the inside. Press firmly and wipe away any glue that oozes out.
Set the pieces aside to dry thoroughly. The lid will be tight at first but as you use the box it will ease. Use the box for hats or any other storage.