Twisty Bin Tutorial

This is a variation of the tutorial by Butterflyspain found here –


The bin uses less than 1 fat quarter piece of fabric [fat quarter = 18″ x 22″ / 46cm x 56cm]

clip_image002Choose a ring – The original tutorial suggests using the inside ring from a small wooden embroidery hoop to construct this bin; Butterflyspain replaced this with plastic tubing formed into a ring. I think using an embroidery hoop is wasteful and not having any tubing to hand I decided to recycle the lid from an ice cream container . You might find something different to use, the key is that it needs to be rigid enough to hold its shape.

I used a cutting blade to carefully cut around the inside of the lid.

Cut out base – Draw around the inside of your chosen ring onto card, this can be a cereal box or other card packaging. Use a thick tipped marker pen that gives a line approximately 2mm thick and cut out along the inside edge of this line – cut 2 of these circles.

Note – you could use the centre of 2 ice cream lids to cut out bases especially if making more than 1 bin, don’t know why I didn’t think of this before!

I reinforced the plastic ring by wrapping it with flexible adhesive tape (Gaffer/Duct tape), this is not essential & if you do this you should be aware that you may need to trim down the cardboard base a little. The base should sit inside the ring with a gap of about 2mm all around to allow for the fabric.

Work out measurements

Measure the circumference of your ring – mine is 32.5cm / 12 3/4″.

Decide on the height you want your bin – mine is 16cm / 6 1/4″.


Fabric piece for main bin section = Circumference + seam allowance of 1cm – in my case 33.5cm by Height X2 + seam allowance of 1cm – in my case 33cm

Cut out Fabric

Main bin section X1

Circles 1cm/1/4″ larger in circumference than card base, cut 2 from Fabric & cut 2 from wadding. Wadding is not essential. I used it with bases cut from cereal pack but not with bases cut from thicker packaging card.

clip_image006  Pieces required for 1 Twisty Bin




Construction Method

clip_image0081. Prepare Base

Stitch around the fabric circle using a long running stitch (gathering stitch), leave a tail of thread at the beginning and end of stitching.

Place fabric circle right side down, place 1 wadding circle, (if using), in the centre of your fabric circle and place 1 card circle on top of this.

Pull up gathering thread in main fabric circle until edge of fabric is tightly gathered around enclosing the wadding and card, knot the thread ends to secure.

Repeat these steps for the second set of base circles. You now have 2 bases the same.

Place bases together with card sides inside and slip stitch together all around the edge, pulling stitches tightly.

clip_image010clip_image014 clip_image012_thumb.jpg




2. Prepare Main Bin Section

You are going to join the main fabric piece to form a tube – sew along the length using a straight machine stitch, (or small back stitches if you prefer to make by hand).

clip_image016NB – When cutting out the fabric rectangle you may want to mark the seam lines on the wrong side of the fabric the as the measurements are very similar!

Press seam open, turn in seam allowance at each end of tube, press.

clip_image020Place fabric tube through the plastic ring so that the ring is at the centre of the tube. Fold the fabric tube in half, wrong sides together and enclosing the ring inside. Bring edges together and work the ring tightly into the fold.

The fabric tube should fit snugly around the ring but not so tight as to distort its shape.clip_image018

At the bottom of the picture you can see the ring pinned tightly into the fold of the fabric and at the top the open edges are pinned together vertically – this is where your base will be stitched.

NB – if your fabric has a directional print one side of the tube will  have the print running upside down – you want this to be on the inside of the completed bin but at this point you want it on the outside – so if you need to turn it through, just push the open fabric end through the middle of the ring and straighten it out – take the pins holding the ring tightly out first, you can re-pin once it’s straightened out.

If you prefer to have both sides of the bin with a print running in the right direction you could cut the main section as 2 pieces that are joined with a seam in the centre – just remember to add this seam allowance! Or just do like me and use non directional prints!

3. Join Main Bin Section To Base

clip_image022You need to place the base section into the open end of the tube without the ring.

Each layer of fabric is stitched separately with the inside layer stitched first – just turn out the edge of the outer layer to keep it out of the way while you’re stitching.



Slip stitch the first layer to the edge of the base then repeat with the outer layer – again the fabric tube should fit snugly around the edge but if the tube is a little bigger don’t worry just use your stitches to gather in the excess – in my experience up to 0.5cm / 1/4″ bigger has no detrimental effect on the finished bin.



This is the base stitched into the body of the bin.




Ensure that the ring is tight in the fclip_image028old of the fabric and stitch all around the bottom of the ring, through both layers of fabric so that the ring cannot move down. Use a small running stitch and keep as close to the bottom of the ring as possible.

You will see in the picture that I actually machine stitched this bin, I used the zipper foot and adjusted the needle position to get as close as possible to the ring.                                      This was quite difficult as the free arm of my machine is quite wide so the bin only just fit and it wouldn’t move around very easily as I stitched – I have hand stitched all the others I have made.

Depending on your machine, and/or the size of ring used for your bin, machine stitching may be a quicker and easier option for you.

4. Turn Through

The final step is to push the base up through the ring and turn the bin through – if you are using fabric with a directional print you will remember that the right side is on the inside so turning through will ensure the upside down print is inside your bin.

Now I have no idea if or why this step is necessary! In my experience it makes no difference to the function of closing/opening the bin or to the way it stands up but it was in the original instructions so I have included it in case it is some kind of magic I don’t understand!!!

To close the bin hold the base in one hand and the top in the other, twist in opposite directions and, as you do so, bring the ring down over the base so that the base just tucks inside the ring.clip_image032_thumb.jpg


There you have it, your Tclip_image030wisty Bin is ready to go!



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