If you're like me, you own some configuration of a cube bookcase, cubby shelf or square bin organizer. (It's so popular it goes by many names.) After all, what's not to love about its simple boxy design perfect for cube bins that can hide (I mean... store) all your clutter? This patchwork storage cube tutorial brings a new level of sophistication to this functional piece.
But we aren't going to stop there, because we like to quilt-ify all the things! I'm also going to show you how to sew a sweet sawtooth star block to the front of each bin. The square in the middle is a perfect place to feature some fussy cut fabric or, for extra organization, a label or monogram!
The bin in this project fits the 13" cube storage systems, and finishes at 13 x 13 x 13". Most 13" cube storage systems measure slightly larger than 13" so the bins can slide in and out easily.
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My Storage Cube Fabric
While writing this patchwork storage cube tutorial, I had the honor of testing out the newest Rifle Paper Co collection, Camont. I've always loved Rifle's canvases, and they were the perfect weight for this home decor project, as well as being a good reminder that spring is just around the corner! The black floral is Poppy Fields in Black Unbleached Canvas, and the woodland animal print is Menagerie in Natural Unbleached Canvas.
Through February 2022 use coupon code SUZY15 for 15% off everything at riflepaperco.com.
Patchwork Storage Cube Tutorial Supplies
Optional Supplies (that'll make things easier)
- Exterior Fabric (canvas or home decor fabric recommended): 1 yard
- Lining: 1 yard
- Fabric for 12" Sawtooth Star block - requirements listed here
- Pellon Flex Foam 2-Sided Fusible Stabilizer (FF78F2) 20" width of bolt: 2 yards (you can also use a similar fusible or sew-in stabilizer)
- RST = right sides together
- WST = wrong sides together
- WOF = width of fabric
- Seam allowance = 1/4" for piecing the block, but 1/2" for construction of the bin
Step 1: Cut Your Fabric
First things first! Press your fabric, and let's start cutting the pieces for this patchwork storage cube tutorial!
Exterior Fabric: (4) 14" squares, (2) 2" x 12 1/2" strips, (2) 2" x 14" strips, and (2) 2 1/2" x 4" strips for the handle
Lining Fabric: (5) 14" squares
Pellon or similar stabilizer: (5) 13 1/4" squares
Star Block: Using this tutorial, cut your fabric a 12" sawtooth star block. For my block, I used the exterior canvas fabric as the "light fabric" squares, a bright yellow as the larger "dark fabric" square, and a coordinating red as the smaller "dark fabric" squares.
Tip: You can also substitute an additional 14x14" square of exterior fabric for the star block if you'd prefer all the sides of your cube to be solid.
Step 2: Assemble the Block & Borders
Next, we're going to assemble our sawtooth star block. Follow this tutorial for the 12" block instructions on how to piece this traditional block that's been around for generations.
After you've assembled the block, it's time to add the borders. Sew the 2 x 12 1/2" strips onto the left and right side of the block. Then, center the 2 x 14" strips and sew them onto the top and bottom of the block (the corners will not be square.) Trim the entire thing down to 14 x 14" making sure the star is centered from all sides.
Step 3: Add the Stabilizer
Now let's give our sides some stability! Center your flex foam on the wrong side of each 14" square of exterior fabric, including the square with the star block. Adhere by following the directions that came with the foam - it may take a little extra time to fuse since canvas is thicker than regular fabric.
I used the Pellon Fusible Flex Foam (try saying that three times fast) because it was fairly sturdy and I could attach it to my fabrics easily. Both sides were fusible, but I only wanted to fuse one side, so I made sure I used a scrap piece of fabric to cover my pressing mat while I adhered it to the wrong side of my exterior fabric.
Step 4: Create and Attach the Handles
A quick note on these handles - they are relatively small and act more as a loop you can slip your finger through to pull the bin in and out of the cube organizer storage versus a "heavy lifting" handle. If the handle were any larger, it would cover up part of the sawtooth star block.
Take one of the 2 1/2 x 4" pieces of exterior fabric, and press 1/4" under on the long side. Then, press 1/4" under on the short side. Next, fold the rectangle in half and press well. Topstitch around the perimeter to secure.
Center the handle between the top points of the star, leaving some slack to form a loop. Pin in place.
Using your walking foot, sew a rectangle with an X through it on the ends of the handle to attach the handle to the exterior.
Repeat this step to create a second handle, and attach it in the same position to the piece of exterior fabric that will opposite to the star block piece.
Step 5: Assemble the Exterior of the Bin
After your handles are attached, it's time to start the actual assembly of the bin.
Please note that from here on out, all seam allowances are 1/2".
Decide which square you'd like to be the base (bottom) of the tote. Place this square in the center. Lay the star block with the handle to the right of the base with the handle furthest from the base. Take the other exterior piece with the other handle, and place it to the left of the base, with the handle furthest from the base. Place the two remaining exterior pieces above and below the base.
Place the star block and the base RST (aligning the sides that are closest to each other in the photo above.)
Mark a 1/2" square in the corners. Start sewing at the point of the square that just touches the foam, backstitching to secure the end of your seam. Sew until you get 1/2" from the end, then backstitch to finish the seam.
Your seam should look like the photo below (I left a tail on my thread to show where I started sewing.)
Repeat this step to sew the other exterior handle piece to the opposite side of the base.
Next, lay one of the adjacent side pieces RST with the base. Mark the 1/2" squares in the corners, and making sure that the seams from the other pieces are pulled out of the way, sew using a 1/2" seam allowance, stopping 1/2" from the end. Repeat with the final side.
Let's give this patchwork storage cube some shape!
Align two adjacent side pieces RST. Match up the top and bottom corner, and pin the two together. Starting in the bottom corner (begin sewing right on the edge, backstitching at the beginning and end to secure) sew the two pieces together.
Repeat until all sides are sewn together.
Step 6: Assemble the Lining
Now it's time to do it again! Using the five lining pieces, sew them together by repeating Step 5, with the addition of leaving a 10" gap in one of the side seams so that we can turn the bin through it later.
Step 7: Put It All Together
We're nearing the end! Turn your cube's exterior right sides out, but leave the lining inside out. Place the exterior inside the lining, and align the lining and exterior corner seams. Pin or clip around the circumference of the top of the cube bin.
Sew around the circumference of the bin, taking time when you sew over the seams to ensure they lay flat.
Next, turn the entire tote right side out through the gap in the lining. Press the lining down into the tote, and sew the gap closed.
Step 8: Topstitch
Using your iron, press the top seam flat so the lining lays nicely inside the exterior. Then, topstitch around the circumference of the bin.
Tip: Match your top thread to the exterior color and your bobbin thread to the lining color.
Step 9: Darts (Optional)
At this point, things are looking pretty good. You can totally call it good at this point, but as you'll notice, the top of the bin is pretty circular. To add a little extra "boxiness" to the storage bin, you can add a small dart to each corner.
Fold your corner seam in half, and clip in place. Measure 1/2" in and 2" down. Draw a line connecting these two points to form a triangle. Using your walking foot and a heavy needle, sew along this line several times making sure to backstitch heavily at the beginning and end to make this dart as secure as possible.
And just like that, you've upscaled your storage cube game! Whether you're a parent tucking away toys, looking for a spot for odds and ends at the office, or realizing that your current storage situation just needs a little pop, this patchwork storage cube tutorial can help you accomplish just that!