Victorian Keepsakes Box

By  Cindy Mann Vitale 

size: 3-1/4"x8"

  • Fabric Floral Victorian Keepsake Box


  • Papier-mâché heart box, 3-1/4"x8"
  • Assorted fabrics of choice (floral, gingham, batik and plaid)
  • Battenburg doily
  • Buttons, two
  • Assorted ribbons and trims of choice
  • Paper scrapbooking tag
  • Yarn and ribbon (for tag)
  • DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paints: Warm White; Burnt Umber; Wisteria; Royal Purple; Green Tea; Avocado Dip; Spa Blue; Salem Blue; Raw Sienna; Poodleskirt Pink; Bubblegum Pink; Vivid Violet; Moon Yellow
  • DecoArt Americana Matte Spray Sealer


  • Dressmaker's tape
  • Tea bags or coffee (optional)
  • Royal & Langnickel Aqualon paintbrushes: Round, Series 2250, #1, #3, #5, #8; Liner, Series 2595, #1; Glaze/Wash, Series 2700, 1/2"
  • Low- and medium-loft batting
  • Sewing needle and thread
  • Thin, flexible cardboard
  • Sewing machine and matching thread

Basic Supplies

  • wooden or plastic clothespins, iron and pressing board

Pattern - Fabric Floral Victorian Keepsake Box

  • Box
  • 1. For a vintage look, tea dye or coffee stain fabrics, if desired.
  • 2. For sides of box base, cut: 5"x26" rectangle from floral fabric (exterior); 5"x26" rectangle from batik (interior). For box lid exterior edge, cut 3-1/2"x28" rectangle from gingham fabric. For heart shapes for box lid and base, cut two 10" high x 11" wide triangles for interior and exterior lid and two 10" high x 11" wide triangles for interior and exterior base. Cut: floral fabric for top of box lid; floral fabric for interior of box lid; batik fabric for interior of box base; solid neutral for bottom of box base.
  • 3. For each fabric piece, cut a corresponding piece from cardboard, except for exterior sides of base. The cardboard should fit close to the edges, with an allowance for the batting and fabric bulk. Cut pieces 1/8" smaller for surfaces that do not require batting, and 3/16" smaller when using batting.
  • 4. Use thin, lightweight batting for interior of lid to ensure a proper fit. Quick Tip: When cutting cardboard shapes for box, mark each piece's intended location to avoid confusion. Glue strips together as needed for required length.
  • 5. For hearts, trace box lid and base onto cardboard. Cut out shapes approximately 1/8" smaller for exterior area of lid and base. Cut approximately 3/16" smaller for interior areas of lid and base to allow for batting and fabric bulk. Interior cardboard forms should slip in and out easily if cut to correct size.
  • 6. For interior lid form, and form for exterior box base, use a very thin batting. For top of lid, use several layers of batting for a full, rounded effect once lid is completed. For interior box and base, use a medium-weight batting.
  • 7. Glue a thin strip of batting directly onto exterior edge of lid. Glue gingham fabric at creviced area, leaving extra at ends, so they overlap at the crevice for a finished seam. Begin with 1/2" of fabric just beyond crevice, and where fabric ends meet, fold other end another 1/2" and glue to secure. Use clothespins to hold glued fabric in place as needed. Press fabric tightly into place inside box lid edges.
  • 8. Glue floral fabric directly to exterior sides of box base, wrapping and adhering edges around to inside and bottom of box. Use same technique as described before, starting at crevice, overlapping edges and folding fabric under to create a smooth seam. Refer to instructions above for fitting fabric around pointed area of heart.
  • 9. Box lid is only part of design that requires sewing embellishments in place. Machine sew doily onto fabric. Arrange and sew buttons, trims and embellishments to fabric as desired. To attach beaded trim, pull ends around to back of cardboard form, and glue in place. This is where painted tag is inserted later.
  • 10. Once top fabric piece is complete, glue fabric onto cardboard and batting form. Place glue only on underneath edge of cardboard, and pull and adjust fabric around form. Refer to instructions for fitting heart-shaped fabrics.
  • 11. Cut 11" ribbon lengths for inside lid lining. Sew ribbons together to form an "X" and sew on button. Glue ribbon ends in place on back of cardboard form in same way as beaded trim was attached to lid, so a card or photo may be inserted later.
  • 12. Glue lining to inside of box lid. Spread a large amount of glue around inside of lid. Avoid applying glue too closely to edge. Press and hold lining in place to secure.
  • 13. Glue fabric around cardboard form for interior sides of box base. Position fabric so 1" is wrapped around top of cardboard, and remainder on other side is left unglued. Begin attaching liner at crevice of box base, leaving 1/2" unglued. This will be connected to other end later. Spread glue around one side of box base from top of inside edges all the way to bottom of box. Top of liner should fit snugly to top edges. Use clothespins to hold liner in place while working. Adjust excess fabric around smoothly in bottom of box as you secure liner to sides of box. When two ends meet at crevice, overlap cardboard form, then fold excess fabric over both ends, to conceal seam created. Glue in place and secure with clothespin until dry.
  • 14. Cover heart insert for box base in same way as before. Cut at least 32" length from ribbon. Glue entire length of ribbon, centering it on back of cardboard form for equal lengths at ends to tie bow. Apply a generous amount of glue to bottom of box and press heart insert in place. Tie ribbon bow.
  • 15. Cover final heart shape for bottom panel of box. For box tie, cut at least 48" length from ribbon. Glue ribbon to box as shown.
  • 16. Cover heart panel for bottom of box, and glue in place, making sure ribbon ends are loose. Place lid on box and tie bow.
  • Tag
  • 1. Print and cut out pattern. Transfer design to tag.
  • 2. Note: Intensity of shading is not accomplished in only one application of paint. Dilute paints with water (80% water and 20% paint) for shading. Float small amounts of this mixture over the base color with a round brush for a soft, watercolor effect. Three or more applications are needed for a deep dimensional effect.
  • 3. Paint the following:
  • 4. Striped design: Base purple stripes Wisteria; shade Royal Purple. Base green stripes Green Tea; shade Avocado Dip.
  • 5. Green polka dot area: Base Spa Blue; shade Salem Blue. When dry, freehand or transfer polka dots. Do not worry about making perfectly placed dots. Base polka dots Poodleskirt Pink; shade with light wash of Fuchsia. Add a dot of Royal Purple in each polka dot with tip of liner.
  • 6. Rose: Base Poodleskirt Pink; shade Bubblegum Pink. As a final step, shade with Vivid Violet. Paint on thin lines to accent with liner, with diluted Vivid Violet.
  • 7. Center of rose: Base Wisteria; shade Royal Purple. Paint on thin lines with diluted Royal Purple, to accent, with liner.
  • 8. Stamen: Freehand or transfer design. Base Raw Sienna. Paint over to highlight with Moon Yellow.
  • 9. Stems and leaves: Base Green Tea. Shade leaves and float a light wash over stems with Avocado Dip.
  • 10. Rounded base at stem: Base Spa Blue. Shade Salem Blue. Paint on dots with tip of liner and Green Tea. Add dots of Royal Purple all around outside edge with tip of liner.
  • 11. Keepsake lettering: Base Poodleskirt Pink. Shade over letters with diluted Vivid Violet, and float a thin wash of Vivid Violet around some areas of letters while working.
  • 12. Apply sealer. Cut 8" lengths from ribbons and tie onto tag. Place tag on box lid.