Friday, January 22, 2010

If the shoe fits...

...don't throw away the box.
(Or: "The why I rarely post tutorials-tutorial". Or: "Recycling craft no.1").


I couldn't write a crochet or knitting tutorial if my life depended on it and I'm in constant awe of people who can (especially when they offer charts for different sizes as well - it seems like rocket science to me). I tried, believe me. That's why I usually describe what I did and not even that works most of the time as most of my projects are trial and error.

Well - making gift boxes from old shoe boxes is quite another thing. I've made a ton over the years to hold everything from sewing notions to make-up items or cookie cutters. it goes.

You will need:
- old cardboard box
- wrapping paper (I even used newspaper once)
- scissors/cutting knife
- pencil
- ruler
- cutting mat
- plastic bag
- brush
- mod podge (dries quicker) OR wall paper paste (makes a smoother surface but can distort your box if you use too much)

How to:
Take the measurements of your box. Make a pattern according to this drawing (I hope you can read everything...)


You will - of course - need two. But you figured that out already. One for the lid, one for the bottom.
The rectangle in the middle should be exactly as big as your box (theoretically speaking you could trace around it, if you are very accurate), the sides should measure twice the height of your box or lid, plus about 1 cm for the tab. Really - don't forget the tabs! And even more important: don't forget the tabs on the sides! Cut out. Cut two rectangles that are slightly smaller than your lid/box.

Place your paper pattern on the plastic bag, left side facing up. Now either smother pattern in wall paper paste OR brush mod podge on the box. Carefully place box on the pattern, make sure to center it and match up the corners. Carefully lift sides of paper cut-out, the ones with the side tabs first. Try to smooth out bubbles while you are working. Fold and smooth tabs around the corners, fold the paper carefully over the sides. Smooth, smooth, smooth paper into corners and around the edges. Do the same with the other sides. Paste/glue rectangle to the bottom, covering the long tabs. Use your fingers to smooth out any wrinkles you might find. Note - some wrinkles will magically disappear when the box is completely dry. Some don't... So try to get out as many as you can while the paste/glue is still wet.
Let the box dry completely before you put on the lid (overnight is best).


Tadaaahhh! - that's it. Give yourself a pat on the back. Make more.


Natasha said...

Fab tutorial! I definately have a go at some point.
I know what you mean about tutorials, I've done a few but live in dread of getting comments from people wuo tried them and went disasterously wrong!

DustyLu said...

Great post! would love to try that! Fantastic idea lulu

P aus H said...

Beautiful wrapping paper! You did not cut out the hexagons yourself, did you? I am already collecting bits and pieces of paper and rags to do the same with old yoghurt boxes or such. Just have to find the time to do it...

Anke said...

@Natasha - I didn't even think about people getting angry at me because the tutorial is faulty. Yikes! :)

@Lulu - You really should try it, it's actually a pretty quick craft (you can eyeball some of the steps if you have a little practise).

@P - I see a Hamburg/Berlin craft session in our near future! :) No, no - I did not cut the hexagons (I'm a pretty patient crafter, but I'm not crazy...well...)...the wrapping paper is from House Doctor. It is printed on both sides and they always have fab colours/patterns.

Anonymous said...

Wow gorgeous box! I just found you via oneprettything and can't wait to look at your blog. I'm throwing my first ever International crafters blog party tomorrow, Sunday, adn I'd love if you'd come and link up to a favorite project.

see you there!

Anke said...

@creativejewishmom - thank you for inviting me - I'm very flattered! A blog party is a fantastic idea!

creativejewishmom said...

Hi Anke, thanks so much for coming, I'll definately be featuring your project next week at the blog party, so do come back! said...

Wow, that's beautiful! I love the paper. I think I'll be saving my shoeboxes from now on. And linking as well!

Anne said...

That's beautiful!

Sew Crafty Meg said...

Great tutorial and great idea! Thanks for taking the time to post it. Can't wait to give it a try. Don't worry... if mine doesn't turn out as nice as yours I won't fault you!! ;)

Diane @ InMyOwnStyle said...

I found your blog through One Pretty Thing. The "flower garden" quilt pattern really got my attention. I love it and your box. Tutorials are hard to write and take a lot of time, but you did a great job. Thanks
Diane @ InMyOwnStyle

Anke said...

@creativejewishmom As far as I could see, the blog party was a huge success. Thanks for having me! :)

@Rachel Wow - thanks again for featuring me on oneprettything - as I said before, it really is the first site I visit each morning!

@Anne Thank you!

@Meg I hope they turn out fine - if you have any problems, you can contact me anytime.

@Diane Thank you for your kind words - the response is so encouraging I might write more...well, maybe without my pre-schooller drawings to accompany them. ;)

kitty said...

Congratulations!A great post and a good idea.
I invited you to know my blog ..basically recicled works.
Best regards from Spain!