Guest Post, Chris of Pickup some Creativity!

Hi guys! Meet Chris of Pickup Some Creativity! Chris is our last guest poster for a while and I can’t be more excited that she agreed to “sit in” for me here for a day! Check out her blog, you will love it, tons of great sewing tutorials and other great ideas!

Hello fellow Polkadot Chair Readers!  I’m really excited to be Melissa’s guest today.  My name is Chris.  I write and create over at Pickup Some Creativity.

My husband and I recently moved to a new city and new to us home.  We’re still getting settled, but one area we tackled first was the office/craft space.  My dear husband knew I needed my creative outlet  back ASAP.  We made some new shelves from stair treads and heavy duty metal supports, but they weren’t very pretty.

 Now they look like this:

 Ready to learn how to make a box pleat shelf skirt?  Here’s the how to.

You’ll need:

  • Chosen fabric, plan on about a yard.
  • 1 package bias tape
  • Cutting tools, a rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat are preferred
  • Matching thread
  • Fabric marking pen
  • Sewing tools; including scissors, seam ripper, pins , and sewing machine

Step one.  Measure the shelf you want to dress up.
My finished size needed to be 71 inches, to cover all three sides.  I knew I wanted pleats every 12 inches, with 5 inches needed for each pleat…this meant 9 pleats.  In order to account for each pleat, I added 45″ (9×5) to the desired finished size for a total of 116″. You’ll need the same amount plus 21 inches for the bias tape. 

Step two.  Cut your fabric.
The pleats will be made with folded fabric, so your width should be double your desired finished size.  I cut my fabric in 9 inch strips, along the full width of the fabric.

The only tick for using the plaid is trying to match up the design.  I cut off 2.5″ between strips to create a continuous look.  Depending on your fabric you’ll need to match up designs.  I cut three 9″ wide strips total.

Step two.  Join the cut pieces into one continuous strip.
Since we’re using the whole width from the bolt, you will be joining the selvage edges.  Bonus, no seams to finish!

Press the seams open, and then fold the whole length in half.

Iron the whole length of fabric in half, wrong sides together, and mark the center from each end.  Iron that spot to mark it.

Optional.   If you want to have a crisp edge to the ends, open your fabric up again, and with right sides together, sew the edge closed.

Step three.  Mark the pleats and pin in place. 
The funnest thing about box pleats is that they are easy, but look difficult.  To begin, mark the center of each pleat. Be sure to start at the center of your fabric strip.

Next, using your fabric marker, mark your folds.  I numbered mine in the diagram so you can follow along.

To create a box pleat, you bring two folds of fabric to the center.  Pinch the fabric at f2, and bring it to the center.  Pin in place.  F3 should end up over f1.  

Now just repeat making box pleats until you have all the pleats pinned in place.

Step four.  Sew pleats in place and bind with bias tape.

Now to finish off the top edge, insert the pleats inside the bias tape.  I left 10 inches of bias tape off each edge.  That gives you some extra to tie with if you wanted to use this as a bunting or banner. 

As you’re going, make sure that the back edge of the bias tape is in line with your pleated fabric.

To apply mine to the shelf, I just pulled out my staple gun and stapled it into place.

There you have it!  A fun way to dress up a utilitarian shelf.  These would look wonderful on a  smaller scale on bookshelves, or as a fun new bunting.

I’d love to see what you come up with.  Pop on over to my blog.  I’ve shared free tutorials and ideas that could help spark your creative juices.  I also host a monthly Sewing 101 series which has many great tips from guests who want to help you learn to love sewing as much as I do. 

Thank you so much, Melissa for having me over today!

Melissa Mortenson is the author of the Polka Dot Chair blog which is in its 7th year of sharing fresh and creative ideas with readers. She is the author of “Project Teen, Handmade Gifts your Teen will Actually Love”. Her first fabric line “Derby Style” debuted in January 2015 through Riley Blake Designs. A mom of 3, she considers herself lucky to be living in Kentucky.

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  1. says

    What a pretty look doe shelves. Thanks so much, I’ll be linking.

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