Friday, May 8, 2009

Back on Line..... and Jumping into the Blog Roll with Gift Bags and Treasure Boxes

Fifteen years ago I never would have believed that a computer crash would be totally paralyzing! But that is exactly what I've experienced for the past week. Eureka, my system is almost finally back to normal. (Now, if I can only figure out how to get my desktop back the way I had it, I'll be in techno heaven.)

While I've struggled with a nasty flu (not the swine flu, just a regular old knock down drag out seasonal flu) and computer glitches, the Mothers and Daughters Creations Traditions Blog Roll has been happening around me. So I'm signing on this morning to play catch up with some projects for some of the challenges that have been posted this week.

The challenge for last Friday, Blog Day 2, disappeared into cyberspace but I am resurrecting it for you now. Remember, you have until 12 noon on Saturday, May 16th to complete a challenge and post a comment in the appropriate blog to be eligible to win some truly fabulous blog candy! To be eligible, make either a treasure box, explosion box, or a gift bag and post a link to your creation on any of the three blog posts that show how to make these fabulous gift packages. (Post more than one, and your name will be put in the hat for each one you post.) Blog candy for this challenge is a hand-made green and gold treasure box (filled with some card making treasures!).

So let's get started and lets talk about gift boxes first.

The secret to making the easiest gift boxes and bags is to use a lightweight card stock (or heavy weight, stiff paper - 60-90 pound stock) that is patterned on both sides. This gives you a wonderful exterior and a lovely patterned interior without the work of lining it.

Marks paper, Melissa Frances, Kaiser, Imaginisce, Basic Grey, and Bo Bunny are perfect for this and make excellent boxes. Daisy Bucket papers have a unique weight and texture to them. The softness and suppleness makes them especially suitable for "coffee type" gift bags that you will close and fasten at the top.

Last week I gave a preview of some miniature treasure boxes. Whether you make them large or small, the instructions are the same. Both the bottom of the box and the top of the box are set up something like a tic tac toe board, with the bottom or top as the center square and the sides and corner squares forming the sides of the box and rim of the cover.

For the bottom of the box, determine how wide and deep your box is going to be. If you would like a box that is 4 inches wide and 3 inches deep, you will need a square that measures 10 inches on each side - 3 inches for each side and four inches for the bottom of the box. A box that is 6 inches wide with 3 inch sides would be cut from a 12 inch square.

If you want a rectangular box, determine the length and width, and then add twice the height of the box to each dimension. To make a rectangular box that is 3 inches wide, 5 inches long, and 2 inches deep, your card stock needs to measure 3 inches + 2 inches + 2 inches by 5 inches + 2 inches + 2 inches, or 7 inches by 9 inches.

The box top is made essentially the same way, but the sides that form the rim of the top are usually 1 - 1-1/2 inches deep for a larger box and as little as a quarter inch for a miniature box.

Here are some templates to guide you. Rick click and save the image to your own computer and either use it as a guide or enlarge it to the size you want to make your box, print it out, and use it as a pattern.

I have found that the absolute simplest way to cut a box top or bottom is to use the template only to visualize the dimensions, then calculate the length and width of the paper I need for the bottom of the box. Then I score it all the way around with the help of the Scor-Pal, making a score mark at the incremental mark for the height of the box. Using my 3 inch by 5 inch rectangular box as an example, I score the 7 inch by 9 inch piece of card stock at the 2 inch mark on all four sides.

To figure out the size paper needed for a cover, take the length and width of the bottom of the box and add 1/16 of an inch to each dimension. Then add twice the depth of the rim of the box cover to each dimension as well. For my 3 inch by 5 inch box, if I want the cover to be 3/4 inch deep, I will need to cut a piece of card stock that is 3 + 1/16 + 3/4 + 3/4 inches by 5 + 1/16 + 3/4 + 3/4 inches, or 4-9/16 by 6-9/16. That extra sixteenth of an inch is what allows the cover to slide on and off easily yet fit snugly on the box.

Score all four sides at the 3/4 inch mark. On the Scor-Pal, the easiest way to do this is by lining the paper up along the middle of the groove at the 3-1/2 inch mark and score on the 4-1/4 mark. Be sure to consistently line up along the middle of the groove or that "measly" sixteenth of an inch will either shrink or expand and the cover won't fit properly.

After your box has been scored, cut along the score marks of the corner panels, cutting only as far as the inside corner, on opposite facing sides. These are the blue lines in the diagram. When you assemble the box, you will fold along the score lines and these flaps will be secured inside the box and will hold your box together. The cover is made the same way.

To adhere the side panels of the box and cover, I use either an ultra-strong tape adhesive like Scor-Tape or Thermo Web's Super Tape, or I glue them with two-way or tacky glue. If I glue them, I clip the panels with lightweight clothespins to hold them securely until the glue has dried.

I love to make 3D flowers and other embellishments to decorate the top and sides of the boxes. Future posts that will be appearing in the next few days will include a template for a gift bag, an explosion box, and a tutorial for making the fabulous flowers seen on today's miniature boxes.


Anonymous said...

Your boxes and flowers are so pretty! Can't wait to see what's next.

Gift Bags and Boxes said...

Nice information on gift bags and treasure boxes.