How to Make Perfect Box Bottom Corners on a Bag Every Time
Lazies, Easily and accurately box the bottom corners of your next bag creation with my step-by-step sewing tutorial. A box bottom means the bag has a flat bottom, making it easier to hold wide things or rest comfortably when you set it down. This is an easy technique to use on lots of designs. I incorporate this technique in a number of my Lazy Girl Designs sewing patterns, too.
Lazy Girl Designs ‘With Love Tote’ with a 4″ deep boxed bottom.
Box Any Tote Bag or Purse Pattern Project
This tutorial uses our free With Love Tote bag pattern. Here are two totes showing boxed corners on the top tote and a flat tote on the bottom. You can grab the FREE Tote Bag pattern here. The pattern includes directions to box the bottom corners as shown in this tutorial.
Here’s a close-up view of the boxed corner from the image above. The side seam (left) and bottom seam (right) meet and a seam is stitched across these seams to give the bag dimension.
How Boxing the Bottom Corners Affects the Bag Size
Boxing the bottom corners to give a bag a flat bottom to stand on ‘steals’ from the width and height, changing the size of the finished bag. The result will be a bag that is narrower across the width of the bag at the bottom seam, and shorter in height along the side seam from top to bottom.
- Bag size before boxing corners: 19″ W x 16″ H (flat bag has zero depth)
- Bag size after boxing corners: 15″ W x 14″ H x 4″ D
- Width is the length of the remaining seam across the bag bottom: 19″ – 4″ = 15″
- Height is the length of the remaining side seam: 16″ – 2″ = 14″
- Depth of the bag is the length of the boxed corner seam: 4″
1. Determine Desired Size of the Boxed Corner
Small changes in the size of the corner cuts make a big difference in the finished size of the project. If you are unsure of how big to cut a square to box the bottom corners to give your bag depth, start with a smaller cut, sew, then see what you think. You can always cut more off and stitch again.
- Our tutorial shows a 4″ deep boxed corner.
- Divide the desired 4″ depth by 2 = 2″
- 2″ is the size of the square that will be cut off of both bottom corners.
2. Mark and Cut Squares From The Bag Corners
- Flatten project and align it with the grid on a cutting mat.
- Mark a 2″ square on both bottom corners.
- Cut the marked square from each bottom corner.
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3. Open and Align Seams of the Bag at the Cut Corners
- Reach into the corner and open.
- Bring the side and bottom seams together, matching the seams.
4. Stitch Closed to Box the Bottom Corners
- Stitch through all layers along the cut edge to close the corner.
- Backstitch at the beginning, where the seams match, and at the end.
- If desired, reinforce by stitching again for extra strength.
5. Finishing Details
Here’s a full view of the seams at the bottom of the bag after boxing the corners. Remember to box the bottom corners of the lining, too. Turn your project right side out and press. Improve your pressing skills with my Pressing Tips for Professional Results.
Give your bag more support with my trick for Easy Sew-In Bag Support.
Need a better ironing board? Check out the IKEA Hack Pressing Station of my Dreams.
Boxed Corner Cut Sizes and Finished Bag Sizes for This Tote Bag Project
Here’s how different size corner squares affect the finished size of our sample project.
- 1″ corner = 2″ deep. 17″ W x 15″ H x 2″ D (wide/tall/skinny, fits a large text book)
- 3″ corner = 6″ deep. 13″ W x 13″ H x 6″ D (square/deep, fits a shoe box on its side)
- 4″ corner = 8″ deep. 11″ W x 12″ H x 8″ D (short/deep, fits shoes without the box)
Show Me Your Boxed Bag Creations!
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