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Michael Miller Fabrics' Citron-Gray Nursery: Tissue Box Cover

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Crocodile tears, runny noses, spit ups and blow outs... there's almost never a time you don't need a tissue around the nursery. Why not let them pop out through a grommet on the top of our cute and clever tissue box cover? This fun project is one of eight pieces in our new nursery series sponsored by our good friends at Michael Miller Fabrics. We created the collection using their new Color Story concept, selecting the Citron-Gray Color Story for a modern baby boy nursery: happy yet soothing with bright, bold geometric shapes reminiscent of groovy sixties fashion. This project can be finished with less than a yard of fabric and a few of your favorite scraps. We used the leftovers from all our Citron-Gray fabrics to create a pretty patchwork.

Unlike most fabric collections that are filled with coordinated prints in multiple colorwayscolor is what this story is all about. Michael Miller's Color Story concept combines hues that consistently work so well together, they create their own ambience, their own feeling... their own story. These fabric color pairings are also currently prominent in other areas of fashion, interior style and pop culture: Citron-Gray, Aqua-Red, Cocoa-Berry, It's a Boy thing, It's a Girl Thing, Lagoon, Orchid-Gray, Retro, Rouge et Noir, Sorbet and Urban Grit.

Like good friends who hang together over time, Michael Miller's eleven Color Story pals will evolve from one release to another. Their stories will update and build momentum as color trends evolve, but their compatibility will remain. You'll be able to add new fabrics within the same Color Story, knowing they'll fit in and work well together.

Welcome to the Citron-Gray Color Story and our custom baby boy nursery. It's a story with a very happy ending.

For more baby projects, take a look at our original Shower Power Baby Gifts.

Sewing Tools You Need

Fabric and Other Supplies

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NOTE: This project is sized for a standard small, square-type of tissue box, such as this one from Kleenex®

Where to Buy

Michael Miller Fabrics recommends the following online retailers as great places to shop for and buy the beautiful fabrics within the Citron-Gray Color Story as well as many other Michael Miller collections:

Hancock's of Paducah: 10% discount on Michael Miller Citron-Gray Color Story fabric. Use promo code: Citrongrey

Fat Quarter Shop

Quilt Home

Fabric Depot

CityCraft Online

Hawthorne Threads


Getting Started

  1. Download and print FOUR copies of our Tissue Box Pattern.
    IMPORTANT: This pattern consists of ONE 8.5" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. Print FOUR copies of this page.
  2. Cut out all four pieces along the solid lines. Tape together at center triangles to create a single pattern piece that resembles a "+" sign as shown on the page.  
  3. Pin the assembled pattern to the solid fabric (Michael Miller Fabrics white sheeting in our sample), and cut out the base for the cover.
  4. From the scrap of fabric you picked for the top square, cut one 4" x 4" square.
  5. From the scraps of fabric you picked for the side accent strips, cut EIGHT rectangles, each one should be 2½" high x 3⅛" wide. Fussy cut your rectangles so you feature a pretty part of the design motif.
  6. This stripe wraps all the way around the box cover. Lay out your eight cuts in a pleasing order, mixing and matching to best alternate lights and darks, small and large motifs, and color repeats.
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  7. From the scrap of fusible interfacing, cut one 4¾" x 4¾" square.

At Your Sewing Machine & Ironing Board

  1. Flip the base piece over so it is right side is down and flat on your work surface.
  2. Place the 4¾" x 4¾" fusing square in the center of the base piece, adhesive side down, so it is evenly spaced ½" from the cut corners. Following manufacturer's instructions, adhere the interfacing to the fabric.
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  3. Turn the base piece right side up and set aside.
  4. Find the 4" x 4" top accent square (Charcoal Dumb Dot in our example).
  5. Fold and press ¼" along all four raw edges.
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  6. Pin this pressed square in the exact center of the base piece. The base piece should be right side up AND the top accent square should also be right side up.
  7. Edgestitch the top accent square in place around all four sides. We used a contrasting yellow thread as an accent.
  8. Place the grommet template in the exact center of the top accent square, and trace a circle.
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  9. Following the manufacturer's directions, or our own tutorial on these great grommets, cut out the circle and snap the grommet in place.
  10. Collect the eight side accent stripe pieces, keeping them in the order you picked above. Separate them into four pairs, and pin each pair together along one 2½" edge. Then, sew each pair together, using a ¼" seam allowance. Press each seam allowance open. Finally, fold under the two long edges of each pair ¼" and press well.
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  11. Pin one finished stripe-pair to each of the four sides of the base piece. Each stripe should be placed so its bottom folded edge is 2" from the bottom raw edge of the base piece.
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  12. Edgestitch each stripe in place along both the top and the bottom.
  13. Fold each of the four sides of the base piece right sides together along the raw edges. Make sure to line up the fabric stripes so they create a perfect match on the seam line. Pin in place. Stitch each side, using a ½" seam allowance.
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  14. Press these side seams flat.
  15. Make a double-turn hem along the bottom raw edge. To do this, fold and press ¼" along bottom raw edges, then fold and press an additional ½" to create a ¾" clean finished hem.
  16. Edgestitch the hem in place all the way around.
  17. Turn the tissue box cover right side out, and gently push out corners with a long blunt-end tool, such as a chopstick or knitting needle.
  18. Place the cover over your tissue box and pull the first tissue through the grommet hole.

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Project Concept: Alicia Thommas
Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Gregory Dickson



Comments (16)

Glenda Marsh said:
Glenda Marsh's picture

I too would enjoy a template/instructions for the longer tissue box...either depth would be guys have great project ideas.  thanks for providing to those of us who are 'visual learners'!!

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Glenda Marsh - We have added that request to our official "You Asked 4 It" list. Thanks!

Jane Coombs said:
Jane Coombs's picture

I have made four of these using the purchased grommets. For the fifth one I made a grommet using Phoomph. Mind you it looks a little more homemade than the others, but it is the area where the tissue emerges and the corresponding fabrics pull the look together. Coats has a tutorial on making grommets for shower curtains.

This is a terrific project for some of those exquisite fabric scraps that are too small for anything else. Makes a great gift for babies living overseas as well. 

Katy said:
Katy's picture

I would love a template for the long box tissues... I guess I could just measure, but the template is spot on. Thank you!

Jane Coombs said:
Jane Coombs's picture

I have two of the long box covers. One sits on a bedside table. The other hangs on a wall in the hallway. The latter one is most useful. I just bought the tissue in the small box to make a cover for. Some of the brands are taller than the others. I am going to gift a teacher with one for her desk.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Katy - We will add this to our "You Asked 4 It" list of ideas!

Jane Coombs said:
Jane Coombs's picture

Now a great idea for some leftover grommets. Thanks.

Susi (Menorca, Spain) said:
Susi (Menorca, Spain)'s picture

Muchas gracias por las explicaciones. Aunque esten en inglés logro entenderlo todo. Me parece una idea fantástica. Ya estoy preparando las telas para empezar a coser!! 

Jacki Mekemson said:
Jacki Mekemson's picture

Why does the pattern itself print out as a blank page?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Jacki Mekemson - we tested the pattern download and print again just now and everything is working fine. The file has been tested on various computers. Make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat (it's free). There are so many variables in computer system and broswer set-ups, troubleshooting long distance is nearly impossible. The other option are to make sure our browser is set-up to allow downloads and/or additional windows opening from websites. Finally, the newest versions of Acrobat work best if you use the print icon imbedded in the pdf itself. Hover your mouse over the bottom of the page and a tool bar will show up with a printer icon. Try using that to print.

Ginni Kruger said:
Ginni Kruger's picture
I have an pattern for a tissue box cover but this one is much easier to sew. My other pattern was like a bag you placed the tissue box into. My husband could never get them in there because it's a snug fit. Can't wait to make one, or two or three. :-)
cindi said:
cindi's picture
i can not believe my eyes, i have been looking for a template for a tissue box 2make. thank u so much and now i can make me one. the fabric is pretty and i will buy some.
Lauren Blum-Weinberg said:
Lauren Blum-Weinberg's picture
I like this. Often I buy more expensive tissues for the prettier box, but most have lotion to make them soft so they are not real absorbant. I'll make my own covers with the grommet (nifty idea) and buy the tissues I like, not the box. I like your color picks on all your projects.
Barb Halvorset said:
Barb Halvorset's picture
Love it! I appreciate the clear instructions and that you always say what you use in your tutes. One of the fabrics you show is just what I've been searching for for another project I've been wanting to make. smilies/wink.gif
Katie Maddox said:
Katie Maddox's picture
That grommet is a fantastic idea!!! I've made several tissue box covers and have never been satisfied with the way the opening is handled. This provides a smooth surface and a little weight to help keep the cover in place. Very clever & cute!!! Will try this for sure. Thx!

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