Okay - true confession time. In school， I was a theater rat... always in plays and musicals， always taking artsy-fartsy classes， including "How To Mime" or， as I remember it， "How To Pretend You're Stuck In A Box And Look Foolish Doing It." Unless you're Marcel Marceau， you look really silly doing mime. So... no mime today. But， we are still making a box. In particular， a boxed corner. This is a sewing technique everyone should have in her/his arsenal. The boxed corner creates space in something that would otherwise be flat. For example， in a bag， you'll have a lot more room to stash your stuff if you create boxed corners. Basically， any sewn corner can be turned into a boxed corner with a few simple steps. We show you the two most common methods.burlap throw pillow covers
Projects shown in top imagecheap throw pillow covers， clockwise from top right： Messenger Style Brief， Quintessential Plaid Tote， Back to School Totes， Big Canvas Beach Tote， Dritz Buckle Bag.
If you sew two squares together， then turn them right side out， the square is still flat. If you were to stuff it with some filler， it would make a lovely knife-edge pillow. If you want to turn your flat square into something with more dimension， you add boxed corners.
We love the box corner here at S4H. Below are just a few of our projects made more appealing and functional thanks to their boxed corners.？
Aurifil Thread Carry Case
Mustang Messenger Bag with Push Locks
Kitchen Chair Cushions？
Patent Leather Color Block Tote？
Structured Fabric Baskets？
Box Style Zippered Cosmetics &； Toiletries Case
Triangle Pencil Case
The basic box corner
For this tutorial， we've used a light colored fabric with contrasting thread so you can clearly see the steps of our techniques. You would use the fabric of your choice with coordinating thread.？
In this example， we're assuming you’re working on a project that has sewn corners and is shaped like a square or rectangle. If you’re following a pattern or tutorial， the boxed corners (as well as the exact measurements) will be indicated.
As with many sewing techniques， there’s an alternate way to create a boxed corner. Some people prefer to cut a square from each corner， then bring the seams together to sew the corner. You get the exact same finish as above， just in a different way. You may find this to be a better approach when sewing a boxed corner with heavier-weight fabrics.？
If you’re not following a pattern or tutorial that tells you the proper measurements， you will need to do some calculating to determine the size (or depth) of your boxed corner. It’s recommended you start with a shorter distance and go from there； you can always increase the size of a box corner， but ya can't go smaller after you've made your cuts. As always， we recommend testing any new technique on scraps prior to starting your project.
With a basic box corner， the distance from one folded edge to the other at the base of the peak is the depth of the box corner. Remember， in our example above， we sewed 3” across the peak from fold to fold， which yielded a 3" box corner. Or from the top fold of the peak， you can measure HALF the width of what you want your finished corner to be.
The farther away from the peak that you draw your line and sew， the deeper the box corner will be. Using a ruler to mark the stitch line will help you determine the depth， plus it helps you stay consistent on the other corner(s).？
In general， remember these rules：
When you plan to use the cutout box corner method， you need to pre-determine the size of the box corner. The most important thing to remember is： the size of the square you cut away is HALF？the size of your finished box corner. In our example above， we cut out a 2" x 2" square， which resulted in a 4" box corner.？
The other detail to remember is seam allowance. You want to use the exact same seam allowance across the box corner seam as was used for your side and bottom (or adjacent) seam allowance.
As always， accuracy in cutting is key so the box corners are consistent in size.
If you’re making a lined bag/box， remember that you will need to create matching box corners on your lining.
The drawing below of a simple rectangular bag identifies the main measurements of your finished project. The top edge in these calculations is raw； don't forget to add the inches needed for the hemmed， seamed， or faced finish needed for your particular project.
As you work through our formulas， here is a key to the measurements with which we're working：
Depth； the desired size of the box (or the side of the bag) = D
Cutout = C
Raw Height (cut size) = RH
Finished Height = FH
Raw Width (cut size) = RW
Finished Width = FW
Seam Allowance = S
Let's say you want to end up with a bag that is 13？" tall (see the note below regarding any additional height needed for your top finish) x 11" wide x 4" deep. What size panels (front and back) would you need to cut？
For our example， we are working with a standard ？" seam allowance.
Cutout we've addressed above several times. As a formula it is represented as C = D ÷ 2. In our sample： C = 4" ÷ 2 or 2".
Raw or cut height is represented as RH = FH C S. In our sample： RH = 13？" 2" ？" or 16".
Raw or cut width is represented as RW = FW D (S x 2). In our sample： RW = 11" 4" 1" or 16".
Our front and back cut panels should be 16" x 16".？
Don't be fooled by your seam allowance when doing the calculations. The diagrams below show a cut-out corner that will result in a 4" boxed corner. In figure 1， the side and bottom seams are both stitched with a ？" seam allowance and the corner box is cut out at 2" x 2". In figure 2， the corner is folded into place to yield the 4" width when stitched across with a matching seam allowance (？"). "But， but， but，" you scream. "Where did that ？" go？ The ？" seam allowance is accounted for because all three seams are a consistent ？" (side seam， bottom seam， and diagonal seam). A diagonal is always wider than an original square cut corner... that's how it works. We love geometry， don't we？
The basic box corner method works in the same manner. Make sure your side and bottom seam allowances are both the same (figure 3 below). Pull and flatten the corner， then draw in the stitching guide line at the point where you measure the desired width – 4" in our example (figure 4 below). As mentioned above in the step-by-step section， you can also measure HALF the desired depth from the point of the seam.？
So， both methods yield the same result： a 4" boxed corner.
Hopefully this walk through of the formulas also helps your brain wrap around how the height of each panel is reduced. You lose the 2" in the box plus ？" in the bottom seam allowance.
In our calculations and formulas above， we do not address how the top raw edge of your finished box/bag might be handled. There are just too many variables that come into play! Simply remember that you DO need to account for that top finish. For example， if you are just doing a simple hem at the top， you may need to add another 1-2" to the Raw Height to account for that hem.
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