Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Craft tutorial - make reversible fabric covered display trays that pack flat


I have designed a reversible display tray that is light and packs flat for easy carrying.  I created this tray to be ideal for market displays. Even better I have recycled old bed sheets to make the trays - an economical and eco friendly solution.

Finished size:   30cm wide by 30cm long by 12 cm deep

Materials (for one tray):

  • 2 panels cotton fabric 63cm square (I have used two contrasting bed sheet colours)
  • 1 panel box board or core flute 54cm square
  • varnish or PVA glue and paintbrush (optional)
  • Matching sewing thread
  • Cutting knife, metal ruler and cutting board
  • Sewing machine walking foot ( In this layout, I have left a 2.5cm width between panels when sewing in order to neatly fit my walking foot when sewing.  Please check your foot width before starting.  You may wish to slightly increase the total fabric width if your foot is wider)

Cut the five panels to make up the tray from either boxboard or core flute.  Cut the following sections: one square panel for base 30cm square; 4 side panels 12cm by 30cm. This is five panels laid out as one centre and four sides.  If you are using boxboard, you may wish to paint a coat of varnish or PVA to increase it's strength.

With right sides together, pin and stitch the two 63cm square fabric panels along three sides, with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Turn the fabric through.  This is now a large bag shape with a sealed bottom and open top.

Stitch the two long seam lines: Mark two lines from bag base to bag  top opening 14 cm in from each side seam using pins.  Using a walking foot and matching thread run two lines of stitching down the bag, stopping 2cm from the open end on both seams (to allow later turning in of the top).

The bag should now be an open top with three long pockets.  In the middle pocket, insert one of the box board side panels and move it right to the bag end. This will be one side of the finished tray.  Pin a row of pins 14cm in from this end to form a line.  Stitch along this pinned line, being careful of the box board panel in the bag.

You should now have a bag with a sealed end containing one side panel.  Now insert the three middle panels.  Insert the 30cm box board square base into the middle pocket, and insert one box board side each in  the two side pockets.  This now forms base and three sides.


Pin a row of pins 16cm in from the  top end of the bag.  Stitch this line, being careful of the three inserted panels. 

Insert the final box board side panel in the middle pocket at the top of the bag.  This forms the final of the four sides. Turn in the top of the bag, and pin and machine stitch closed. 

The finished tray is the five tray pieces with corners you can fold in to form the tray shape.  You can pull up the sides using pins or badges.  I have created fabric flowers pins to form the corners (I will be posting a tutorial for these in the future).  The tray is a little loose and really not for carrying lots of weight, but are a great way to match your display to your product.


Pam said...

What a great idea Sharlene and very easy and handy. I'm bookmarking this one. Thanks so much! :)

Maria Filomena said...

very nice!!!!!´´

hugs MF