Tutorial: Red Velvet Lines the Black Box

Sometimes, Snarklings, you find a lovely box: a jewelry box, a lunchbox, perhaps the Holy Grail of a vintage metal coffin purse ”¦ Or, almost perfect, if it was only lined in a different fabric. (In the Lady of the Manners world, this is always pink or dark red crushed velvet.) Never fear, the Lady of the Manners is here to show you how to fix that!


  • The box or purse in need of lining.
  • Poster board or thin cardboard.
  • 3/4 – 1 yard (65 – 90 cm) of velvet. Don’t bother going to the fabric store for this, but head to your local thrift store! And don’t just look for fabric yardage (though you may get lucky and find some); skirts and scarves are excellent sources of nice velvet to use for projects. (Want that velvet crushed? Take a look at the Crushed Velvet tutorial!)
  • Scissors – 1 pair for cardboard, 1 pair for the fabric. Only cut fabric with the fabric scissors. 
  • Ruler, pencil, and a metallic Sharpie.

1. On the cardboard, trace the outline of the sides of the box in need of lining.  Be sure to trace an outline of every surface that you want lined, not just the bottom.

Note: Or you can measure the height, length, and width of each side and draw the pattern pieces. The Lady of the Manners and geometry are not good friends, so she traces the sides.

2. Cut out the pattern pieces so they are approximately 1/4” (6.35 mm) smaller than the original outlines.

3. Fit check! Put all of the cardboard pieces into the box to make sure everything fits (loosely!), and that none of the edges stick up outside of the box.

4. Take the pattern pieces out of the box, then trace them onto the non-fuzzy side of the velvet with the metallic Sharpie, adding approximately 1” (25.4 mm) to the size of the pieces.

(Behold the Lady of the Manners’ terrible photo editing to show you what sort of lines she means! You can tell she’s not the illustrator in the household.)

5. Cut out the pieces of velvet. Make a small snip into each corner of the velvet so you can make tighter and tidier folds against the cardboard.

6. Set one of the pattern pieces on the corresponding piece of velvet (again, fuzzy side down). Fold an edge of the velvet over the edge of the cardboard, and tape that edge down with a piece of duct tape!

Keep doing that until all of the edges are taped, making sure all of the overlapping folds at the corners are secured with multiple pieces of tape.

7. Do another test fit of the pieces in the box. The Lady of the Manners usually places the side pieces first, then squishes the bottom piece in last, which helps press the side pieces against the box. If pieces are now too large for the box to close, remove the tape and velvet, trim the pieces in question, and re-tape everything. Possibly while crying in frustration.

Optional Step! Take a few scraps of leftover velvet, place a drop of perfume on them, then tape them to the cardboard. The Lady of the Manners doesn’t usually do this when lining purses, as you never know if anyone around you has fragrance sensitivities, but she couldn’t resist adding the faintest faintest trace of “Clove Cigarette” perfume oil – a collaboration between Thorns Clothing and Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Lining a vintage metal coffin purse seemed to cry out for the faintest touch of olfactory Eldergoth Nostalgia.

8. Once everything fits, take the pieces out one more time, then put loops of duct tape on the cardboard side.

9. Put all the pieces back into the box, in order, and press each piece against the sides to ensure the tape loops securely stick to the box interior.

Success! A sumptuous velvet lining!


With that, the Lady of the Manners is going to window shop the usual sites to see if any more vintage metal coffin purses pop up for sale. She’s not going to buy them, as she’s pretty much completed her collection (no really, you can believe her), but she tends to post those sorts of shopping links over on Twitter so others can pounce upon them.

Questions? Comments? Photos to share of your beautiful projects? Why yes, the comments are open!

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1 Response to Tutorial: Red Velvet Lines the Black Box

  1. BlackRose says:

    Or if you’re like most of us and you have bags of velvet hanging around that you bought years ago that you never did anything with.

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