Posts Tagged ‘16 ct’

A DIY Tea Chest [photos]

Posted: April 20, 2017 by zenstitcher in Finished Stitches
Tags: , , ,

If you’re like me, you’ve been keeping things back over the years because you just know they’re going to come in handy some day. These silly little plastic cassette tape boxes have narrowly avoided the recycling bin here because I discovered that they make terribly cute little keepsake boxes, and they provided yet another outlet for my stitchy projects. This one ended up rather nicely for a first run!

For holding a cup’s worth of loose leaf tea, or possibly two.

As some of you know, my husband Michael and I are fantasy fiction writers, and before that, we were fantasy/sci-fi role playing gamers. Both of these pursuits only encourage idle research into such topics as, oh, say the right poison for blow darts (curare works), or the construction of aqueducts, or where the Hittites came from, or, lately, the cultivation and production of loose leaf tea. I’ve had my flirtation with those delicious, fragrant bundles of heaven in a cup already, but this time it was his turn — and he backed up his research with his money, and has been keeping us in couple of delightful blends, when we can afford it. Since he’s gone back to work, he’s begun taking a fancy thermos-style go-cup with him full of tea (that stays HOT all day, I’m envious of this particular bit of tech), and on the trips where he has to spend the night, well… I decided he needed a tea chest, and he loves my stitching enough not to argue with me. 

I started with one of these plastic cassette tape boxes, and covered the bottom and sides with some washi tape. 

Choosing the design for the stitchy was easy — Michael is/was a third generation commercial fisherman, and there literally is salt water in his veins, I swear. He loves all things nautical, and I’d caught these nautical card charts on (I think) awhile back, and on 16 count aida, it was a perfect fit. I trimmed it to size, then frayed the edges. I ran a coat of Fray-Check around the edges in an attempt to keep them from fraying any further.


I got into my craft felt box and pulled out a scrap of white and trimmed it for backing: 1.75″ x 3.75″.

And because I am not worried about archiving or conservation, I used Mod Podge for fabric to fasten the felt to the back of the stitchy. I fully expect to have to replace this at some point, because it’s a travel accessory and in this house, we use those hard.

Here’s a nicer shot of the washi tape covering on the sides and bottom. I took some pains to match up the design. It’s not perfect, but it’s close!

And here’s a shot of the turquoise felt I secured to the box with double sticky-sided tape, and more of the same on the white felt backing. You know what’s coming next, right? 

Now: If the double sticky-sided tape doesn’t hold up well under wear and tear (I’m dubious), I’ll correct that with another slathering of Mod Podge. So here it is, an upcycled plastic cassette tape box, DIY cross stitch tea chest. 🙂  So there you have it — what do you think?