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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tiny Gift Boxes

What do you do with greeting cards that you have received? I save the fronts of cards, especially Christmas cards, because I like to use them to make gift tags. I usually recycle the back half (inside) of the card, unless the back side doesn't have much printing on it and it's a nice colored card stock, then I save that, too. But yesterday, I decided to put an old card to another use - something I haven't done in quite a while. I made a little gift box for earrings.

My mom showed me quite some time ago how to fold a card into a little box. I found this colorful Easter card in my stash and decided to use it. These photos show the steps to follow. Click on any photo to enlarge it for a better view.

Card with 5 inch square marked - click to enlargeYou need to start with a square. This card was 5 inches wide, so I made a 5 inch square. I centered the design in the square and marked the cutting lines, as shown in the photo.

5 inch square - click to enlargeHere is my cut square.

Back of card with lines marked - click to enlargeTurn the card over and use a ruler to draw a line from each corner to the opposite corner. You will have a big "X" when you are done.

First folds - click to enlargeFold each point so that it touches the center of the card as shown in the photo at left. You need to make a good crease, which isn't always easy with some of these thicker cards. Find something to use to make a sharp crease, such as a bone folder. I just use the top side of my thumb nail. You will now have a smaller square once these folds are made.

Fold in two opposite sides to center - click to enlargeFold two opposite sides in so that they meet in the middle. You will have two new fold lines that run parallel to the sides of the new smaller square in one direction.

Fold in remaining two sides - click to enlargeUnfold the last two folds you just made and do the same thing with the remaining two sides. I rotated my card before I took this photo - probably should not have done that so the card would always be pointed the same direction for the photos. If you enlarge the photo at left, you can see the fold lines made in the previous step.

Unfolded card - click to enlargeNow unfold all the folds you have made so far. Your card should like like this photo.

Next, you are going to make four cuts. In the photo on the left below, I marked in pencil where the cuts will be. Since this is a square, it doesn't matter which direction you have your cuts face. Just make four cuts as shown in the photo below right that go from the edge of the square to what will become a corner of the finished box top.
Four cuts marked in pencil - click to enlargeAfter making the four cuts - click to enlarge
Starting to make the box sides - click to enlargeNow you are going to start making the sides of the box. With your cuts running horizontally, fold the top and bottom points back in to the center of the card. Fold the little triangular pieces above and below the cuts in toward the center.You have now made two opposite sides of the box.

Putting the box sides in place - click to enlargeFold these two box sides up, so they form a 90 degree angle with the table. On each end of a box side is a half side of the neighboring side. Fold these so they are pointing in the right direction as shown in the photo. Your side will now have two 90 degree folds in it.

Third side in place - click to enlargeWhile holding these opposite two sides into a square shape, fold a third side up and over to hold the two halves of one side in place. Press along the crease to push it down into the edge of the box top. Do the same with the fourth side.

And here is the finished box top! My 5-inch square made a box top a little over 1 3/4 inches per side.
Finished box top - click to enlargeTop of finished box top - click to enlarge

Top and bottom of finished box - click to enlargeNow here's the reason to start saving the back half of greeting cards. You can make the bottom of your box from a nice card back. I wanted a plain white bottom, so I found a greeting card whose back side had a very large white space without any printing on it. If you don't have any plain card backs, you could use one with printing to be a very green person or you could use card stock. I started with a 4.5 inch square to make the bottom and did exactly the same steps as for the box top. My finished bottom was 1.5 inches per side. Could have been just a tad larger, but it worked fine with the lid. I haven't come up with a formula for determining the finished size from the size of the square you start with, but I think if you start by making the top first, then make the square for the bottom a half inch smaller than the square for the top, you'll do pretty well. If you make a lot of these, I'm sure you'd know exactly what size square to start with for a particular size box.

Give one of these a try. Once you've done this one time, the second time is super easy. And what a nice way to recycle some of those pretty greeting cards!

1 comment:

  1. What an absolutely brilliant idea!!! I loved the box, thanks for showing us.