Sunday, 2 July 2017

Take 3 boxes.....

I've got something a little different to share today.  I think we get hung up as card makers only making cards, but I love to use my crafty skills for gifts and one of the things that drives me crazy is the cost of gift boxes!  Often they can cost as much as the gift inside.  But if you go DIY on the decoration (or even make the boxes from scratch) then you can box up an inexpensive gift and make it look extra special.

So I started with a set of 3 nesting gift boxes in plain kraft bought for a couple of quid from The Range and set about making some different little gifts with them.  For the smallest box I went with a fun kids theme using the new maze pieces and co-ordinating stamps from MFT.

I used distress oxides to ink the bottom of the box, and then used a sheet of grid paper from MFT to cover the top  - make the circle bigger and snip around the edges so you can fold it down the side and cover the messy bits with a bit of ribbon.  You then secure the maze piece inside a shaker circle pouch (not forgetting to add your little sphere first so you can play the maze game).  You can cover the plastic rim with a die cut circle frame.   To finish I stamped the birthday sentiment onto the inked bottom - stamping on a circle can be tricky but it is possible.  You can either - stick the stamp to you desk and roll the box across it, or after inking stick the stamp to your fingers (and extra pair of hands is handy here) and press it in place which is the method I opted for.

It's just large enough for one little gift like this little key chain, but you could also make these for party favours with some mini sweets and badges in.  The maze reminded me of bubbles I had as a kid as they always had mazes on top.

For the medium box I upped the age of my recipient and as it's festival season went with a fun idea for Festival Survival Kit!

This idea came about as soon as I saw the new 3D tent die from Hero Arts - it is just toooo cute especially when you cut it from pineapple paper with bikinis on the inside!  The papers are from the Echo Park summer party pad which seemed appropriate.  I inked it all over with distress oxides and spritz with water - I was going for a fusty moss look for the food that will inevitably be rotting in the tent corner ;-)  I then just cut letters from the same paper using MFT's Little Letters dies.

I filled it with festival essentials - a folding water bottle, tissues for when the loo roll runs out, ear plugs, eye mask and pain killers for the hangovers......

For the final and largest box I went with a grown up theme and made a simple birthday box for a girlfriend covered in handmade poppies using the really clever new die from Lawn Fawn.

For this box I decided I'd keep the natural craft as I like the bold red and dark green against it.  I die cut 3 each of the largest and medium leaves and arranged them in a circle around the top of the box and just glued them at the centre so I could add a little curve to them for some natural dimension.

For the poppies themselves I'd had a couple of ideas to get good dimension to them - using cotton buds for the centres, and using water on the chili pepper card stock so I could scrunch it before die cutting.

I just used a sharpie to colour the cotton buds and then cut them in half with cutting pliers.  Adding water to the card stock gives it a sort of "leather look" finish when you die cut it after and it also makes it more pliable so you can stack it on the cotton bud and shape it and it then sets in place when dry you can see the sort of look you get in this close up.

I die cut 2 large petal layers and one small from the red and one of each size of the spiky stamens from black (no water on the black).  I just used a bradawl to poke a hole in the centre of each and then thread them onto the cotton buds using a little dab of glue to keep each layer in place.  When you've finished with your layers, just bend the remaining cotton bud stem and trim off any excess.   Secure in place with a foam pad under the stem and a dab of glue at the front of each flower.  I added a final large leaf in the middle for extra height.

I decorated the bottom of the box with a simple strip of ribbon around the bottom and a sentiment using Lil' Inker Designs Happy Birthday Border die and a couple of extra little leaves from the poppies set.

I filled mine with some chocolates, a mini bottle of gin and a bottle of nail varnish, all inexpensive little items which just wrapped up don't look like much of a gift but when  you pop them in a fancy box with some nice tissue paper, suddenly it looks so much more than the sum of its parts (something the likes of Harrods have known with their overpriced hampers for years!!!)

As poppies are also synonymous with remembrance, you could make a lovely memory box with the same sort of design.


As it's the start of a month, lots of the brands have releases pending so we have orders coming in the next couple of weeks or so from:
  • Altenew
  • Neat & Tangled
  • Stamping Bella
  • Concord & 9th
  • My Favorite Things 
  • Mama Elephant
  • Waffle Flower Crafts and
  • Winnie & Walter

We also have a brand new brand coming and we'll be the first UK store to stock it!   We're keeping it under wraps for now but watch this space for more details.

OK - time for breakfast.

Happy crafting - catch you next weekend.



  1. 3 wonderful gift boxes, Tara :D

  2. Some lovely ideas for gift boxes - how fun is that tent?! As always, I really appreciate the weekly stock update too, as it helps me to plan exactly when I will be sending you all my money!

  3. Totally fabulous! I love all these designs, and am blown away by your cotton buds in the poppies! So creative and fun <3

  4. Lovely boxes, I especially love the poppies. I'm really hoping the new brand is going to be Flora and Fauna!!!!!


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The Seven Hills Crafts Design Team