Margaret Henderson contributed the following directions for finishing the Mystery Flower box found in the December 2010 issue of Needle Arts. We supplied the photographs.
Any box can be covered with fabric. Take the box apart in order to fit and attach your embroidery. The model was mounted on a satin-covered lid, which was carefully removed from the base of the box top. The satin was discarded. The box in the photos is a linen covered box that is ready made for covering. The lid is lined with cotton, so you can place the stitched piece onto the padded area.
Place the box lid over the linen, centering the design. With a pen or pencil, mark a circle on the linen about two inches from the edge of the lid. Cut out the linen. Our version below is less than two inches, so you’ll probably want to allow for the two inches. You can see why.
If the box you use is not padded, cut some white or beige felt or thin quilt batting to give the lid some dimension. Cut one circle of padding the same size as the lid. Cut two more circles, each smaller than the one before it. If necessary, cut more and increasingly smaller circles to obtain the desired padding. Place the smaller circles in the center of the lid, then place increasing larger circles on top of them, centering them over the middle of the lid.
Center the embroidered linen over the padding and cardboard form and begin pinning in the linen to the edge of the cardboard form. After inserting the first pin, find the opposite side of the form and insert a second pin. Find the midpoint between these two pins and secure the linen with a third pin.
Secure the linen on the opposite side to the third pin. Continue securing the linen by pinning the mid-section between pins and then pinning the linen opposite to it.
Once the linen is securely fixed onto the box lid, spread fabric glue around the underside of the lid, about one half-inch from the edge. Press the fabric edges into the glue, working in the same manner as you did when pinning, securing opposite sides from each other, rotating, and securing those opposite sides. Check your work often, by turning over the lid to be sure that the edges on the embroidered linen are smooth and even.
Finally, glue the lid onto the base of the box top, by spreading glue evenly on the underside of the lid. Then, press the lid into the base. Clothes pegs can be used to clamp the lid to the box top until the glue dries.