How to find a Beatrix Potter themed box for a new cross stitch project

I’ve never been one of those people who do idle retail therapy. When I go shopping, either online or in person round ‘real’ shops, it’s because I know exactly what I want, and I’m just trying to find it in the shortest possible time, as I don’t actually enjoy shopping much.

So, when I decided the other day that I wanted a box, I wanted a very particular kind of box, and quickly. But it wasn’t to be!

Beatrix Potter cross stitch

I’ve mentioned on my blog before about the gorgeous little French cross stitch book ‘Le monde de Beatrix Potter’ by Veronique Enginger, full of very well-designed interpretations of Beatrix Potter’s animal characters and related motifs from the series of books.

Beatrix Potter cross stitch


Beatrix Potter cross stitch

Annoyingly, it’s now out of print, and when it appears on places like Ebay, it is really expensive. I paid about £40 for mine, several years ago, but I’ve never got round to stitching anything from it, because I couldn’t decide what to use the designs for. Then, this week, I had another look through it and decided how I’d like to use them.

What I’d like to do is stitch lots of the designs and related motifs from one page in the book (for instance, the iconic Peter Rabbit image of him holding a carrot, and then a border of carrots and cabbages, the robin, the scarecrow, etc.) leaving lots of space around each motif, and then cut the fabric around them so that they can be appliqued separately on to pieces of patchwork fabric from my stash (Ha ha!! Then I can get my fabric stash down at the same time!! Fat chance!), and store them as loose ‘sheets’ in a box. I don’t want to make them into pictures or pillows, because my house is so full already, but I thought that a square box would do nicely, as I could then store them flat.

Here’s the fabric that I want to applique the motifs to. It’s called ‘Whitewashed Cottage’ by 3 Sisters for Moda:

Beatrix Potter cross stitch

Should be easy, then, shouldn’t it? A square box, about 10 x 10 inches, with a lid? Hmmm……

Well, I looked on Etsy (arty, but not suitable), then on Ebay (cheap, but not suitable), then on Amazon (gaudy, and definitely not suitable – their search engine kept showing me leather-covered rectangular footstools, for some reason). Getting slightly desperate, I looked on Pinterest (but I always find that frustrating, as the images are great, but the links never go to anything that you can actually buy), and Google images (those links tended to go to blogs, or American shops which don’t ship to the UK).

I searched with the phrases ‘Beatrix Potter box’, ‘fabric covered box’, ‘memory box’, ‘gift box’, ‘lidded box’, ‘wooden box’, ‘decoupage box’….you get my drift? It’s not easy.

I even contemplated learning cartonnage and making my own box from scratch, after I came across a remnant of Mrs Tiggywinkle fabric on Ebay.

After about five hours I was giving up the will to live. I’d stopped looking for PRETTY boxes, or boxes with Beatrix Potter images on, to ANYTHING remotely ‘nice’. Still no luck.

Then, the following day, I thought I’d have another go on Google, and lo and behold, with the wonders of the internet, Google in its wisdom decided to show me something ‘related’ to my previous search….and actually showed me in the sidebar what I’d been seeking for hours the day before – a 10 x 10 inch gift box with a loose lid, covered in Peter Rabbit paper, nicely lined, and only £6.50, from Paperchase. Hadn’t thought of them!!

So, here’s the box I’m going to use:

Beatrix Potter cross stitch

I hadn’t noticed at the time I ordered it, but the Peter Rabbit on the box lid even has a fluffy little tail!

Beatrix Potter cross stitch

Simple, eh? All I needed was the internet to behave itself…….

Beatrix Potter cross stitch


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19 thoughts on “How to find a Beatrix Potter themed box for a new cross stitch project”

  1. I often buy gift or craft boxes at the $ store and recover or paint them…sometimes with added embroidery on top. Sometimes I get lucky and they are in the right colour!

  2. You’ve just reminded me – I bought a cross stitch kit when I visited Beatrix Potter’s house nearly two years ago. I must find where I stashed it and make a start 😂

  3. I feel exactly the same about Pinterest. Rather than appliquing which will require turning under the hems creating bulk, I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to piece a border of fabric strips around the cross stitch, after first tacking a backing layer of a thin plain cotton behind the cross stitch that matches/tones with the colour of canvas you are using? You could then finish the edges of the block if desired, or even piece three or four vertically into a wallhanging?

    1. Yes, it can be hard to track down what you want on Pinterest, too, especially since they started allowing totally unrelated adverts to infiltrate the search results!

      I think my blocks will have to stay as small pieces, whatever I do, as I don’t have any wall space left.

  4. Googling I so difficult sometimes and the thing you have been searching for just magically appears when searching for something else. It is like when you have lost something in real life and only find it again when you are actually looking for the next thing you have lost! I really wish they would reprint this book as I really want a copy!

    1. The book sometimes appears on Ebay, or Amazon. Try (French site), as it’s more common in France, as it was published there, and is cheaper when it does appear. But it won’t be ‘cheap’! Pity that they don’t reprint it, really.

      1. Yes, I have tried to search for it online for a few years now but I have never come across it for less than a three figure sum. When in France I look for it in 2nd hand bookshops, but I have never come across it yet. It is a shame, reprinting is so easy nowadays. Maybe I should contact dmc and ask about it….

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