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Even more Chinese Sewing Box

My name is Elissa and I can’t stop making the Chinese Sewing Box.

As I mentioned in this post, I wanted to make the structure using reversible Unryu. So that’s what I did.

I have a nice stash of the stuff – the colors are bright and it has a lovely texture. While the paper starts out a bit stiff, it softens as you fold it. I found that rubbing the surface of the paper with a bone folder helped to soften it further.

The main drawback with using this paper is that when you make folds, it’s really hard to see them. Even when I made super-sharp creases, after I opened up the paper it was fairly impossible to see what I had just done. I found that it helped to keep my paper folded (instead of unfolding) when moving on to the next step, just to remind me where my crease was.

In addition to trying a new material this time around, I also wanted to find an alternative to the Victorian Puzzle Purse for the top layer of the structure. I found a photo tutorial on Flickr for a Pop Up Envelope by annekata. There wasn’t any text accompanying the pictures, so when I got stuck, I really got stuck. After some trial and error (and help from a friend), I nailed it.

Pop Up Envelope with printed instructions

The thing is so cool – it has two triangular flaps on the sides that you pull on to open the box. The way it’s folded allows you to showcase both colors of the Unryu.

Pop Up Envelope

It looks great when added to the Chinese Sewing Box.

Chinese sewing box

And were we go on our tour of the structure, layer by layer:

Chinese sewing box

Chinese sewing box

Chinese sewing box

Chinese sewing box

Chinese sewing box

In a nutshell, Chinese Sewing Box + Reversible Unryu = all kinds of awesome.

Chinese sewing box

Now how many more of these am I going to make…

13 Responses to “Even more Chinese Sewing Box”

By Liz - 6 May 2016 Reply

I love this ! When are you teaching this?

By Elissa - 8 May 2016 Reply

Liz –

I think I need to make a few dozen more before I’d come even close to being prepared to teaching this!

Elissa

By daria wilber - 6 May 2016 Reply

They are sooooooo addictive!!!

By Elissa - 8 May 2016 Reply

Daria –

Yeah, I’m finding that out. 🙂

Elissa

By Janet - 6 May 2016 Reply

OMG – you’re killing me here! This is beautiful. I’ve been buying paper and making templates for years to make a Chinese Sewing Box. The time is now, I think. Thanks for the inspiration.

By Elissa - 8 May 2016 Reply

Janet –

Go for it! When you’re done, send me a picture so I can see your handiwork.

Elissa

By Janet Hickey - 9 May 2016 Reply

Hi Elissa, Here is the link to my Pinterest board holding pics of interesting Chinese Thread Books. Yours, as usual, leads to comprehensive instructions on the construction.

https://www.pinterest.com/smARTaleck/books-chinese-thread-book/

You’ve inspired me to pull out my templates and assemble one of my own thread books. Now on to deciding which of the many papers I’ve been gathering (gathering paper is the best part) to use.

Thanks again.

By Elissa - 10 May 2016 Reply

Janet –

That’s a great Pinterest board! I am now following you. 🙂

You had a tutorial on there that I’m going to try next: Square Origami Envelope

Elissa

By Janet Hickey - 28 June 2016

Hi Elissa,

I came across a blog on the Chinese Sewing Box I hadn’t see before. She shows a drawing in the bottom of her box. I think I’ll try that too.

https://rachelmarsdenwords.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/zhen-xian-baochinese-thread-book-workshop-with-lori-sauer/

Aside from gathering paper, I haven’t started my box yet. It’s going to be a big let down if it doesn’t measure up to my “minds eye” 😉

By daria wilber - 28 June 2016

Janet, when I teach a zhen xian bao class I have the students start with the twist fold box using practice paper. I have them make a few of the twist fold boxes until they are comfortable with the measuring, cutting and folding of the structure. Think about using some decent weight wrapping paper you likely have hanging around. The wrapping paper likely has an obvious right side and wrong side so you won’t have to worry about which side is which. Remember, for the twist fold box the decorative side faces up on the table and is folded inside the structure so when it’s closed you see the decorative side of the paper on the outside not the “plain” side.

By Elissa - 29 June 2016

Daria –

Thanks for the tips! Between you and me, we’ll get Janet on the Chinese Sewing Box train. 🙂

Elissa

By daria wilber - 29 June 2016

Amen sister! I love making these boxes and I know she will too once she dives in!

By Elissa - 29 June 2016

Janet –

This is what I tell my students when they make something for the first time – This is your learning book. The next one can be your awesome book.

Try it out with materials you don’t care so much about – it takes off the pressure of making something “perfect”.

Elissa

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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