Cute Lil' Box and My First Tutorial!

Dontcha just love a bunch of quick, easy and beautiful cards?

Of course, you do!

Last weekend I broke out my new Fall Flowers Designer Paper and Priceless stamps and got to work on a quick One Sheet Wonder set. These are great to have on hand, and I left most of them blank so I could quickly add a sentiment when needed.

These were specificially inspired by Cambria's take on Stampin' Up!'s template - see her fabulous SCS gallery for inspiration!

So what do you do with a boatload of cards?

Make a box for them, of course! I love making chipboard boxes for my cards (see this post and the great bloggers linked there) and I decided to make another one to match this set.

A couple of people, including my fabulouso sister-in-law, Kim, have asked how I made my particular take on the good old chipboard box, so here it is.... My First Tutorial! Hope you enjoy, and I would really love any comments or advice you have. Frankly, I don't anticipate making too many tutorials, as I am too busy trying to keep up with everyone else's fabulous ideas. But, should some rare moment of genius strike, I'd like to know what I could do better.

First, though, I need to set the scene. My workspace is a little too crowded to make one of these boxes and keep the area clean enough to take pictures, so I moved to the kitchen table. So that's where we are.

Let's get started.

Step 1. Gather your supplies.

Here's a list of things you'll need-

1. Chipboard: I got mine from A.C. Moore, but, sadly, they don't carry it anymore. I'm sure it's available somewhere online or maybe at another local store (check there first, of course!)

2. Patterned Paper

3. Glue: I used Tombow mono multi for attaching the paper to the chipboard and the Zipdry glue for holding the box together.

4. Guillotine-type paper cutter or very sharp craft knife and ruler.

5. Crop-a-dile or other hole punch.

6. Sanding blocks or other file (I used the Basic Grey file kit)

7. General stamping supplies for decorating your box (stamps, ink, etc....)

Step 2. Cut Chipboard Pieces

You will need 5 pieces - 4 sides and a bottom!

Here are the dimensions I used (in inches).

1. 5 1/4 x 4 5/8 - cut 2 pieces this size

2. 5 1/4 x 3 - cut 2 pieces this size

3. 4 5/8 x 3 - cut 1 piece this size

I designed the box to hold standard 4.25 x 5.5 cards and envelopes. Of course, the dimensions can be easily changed, but I really like this size. I make the box a little short so you can see the tops of the cards peeking out - so cute!

Also, the chipboard I used (like all chipboard, I guess) is really tough stuff. There is no way my regular fiskars cutter would do the job. So I used my Tonic Guillotine. If you're using a guillotine-style cutter, you'll really need to hold the chipboard firmly in place as you cut, as it will move around as the blade goes through it. Another option would be to use a craft knife (keep it sharp!) and make a couple of passes.

Step 3. Cut Patterned Paper Pieces

You will need 2 pieces of patterned paper for each chipboard piece - one for the outside and one for the inside.

Here are the dimensions again:

1. 5 1/4 x 4 5/8 - cut 2 pieces from outside pattern and 2 pieces from inside pattern.

2. 5 1/4 x 3 - cut 2 pieces from outside pattern and 2 pieces from inside pattern

3. 4 5/8 x 3 - cut 1 piece from outside pattern and one piece from inside pattern.

Step 4. Glue Patterned Paper to Chipboard

Pretty self explanatory here....

As mentioned above, I used my Tombow Mono Multi for this step, and I have also used my Zipdry glue for this as well. But any good glue or adhesive will do the trick!

If you use a wet glue, make sure it doesn't buckle the paper. You can use a brayer to smooth out the paper and remove any bumps or wrinkles and to ensure a good bond.

Now, wait. wait. wait for that glue to DRY! Don't be too impatient. If the glue is wet on the next step (sanding), it could be very messy and frustrating (trust me on this...).

This might be a good time to make any embellishments you're going to use on the box (you can see how I did mine below).

Step 5. Sand the Edges.

Sanding the edges is important for 2 reasons. First, it will remove any excess paper hanging over the edge of the chipboard. Second, it creates a nice clean finish. You can sand a little (as I did here) for a subtle effect, or a lot, for a more distressed look.

For sanding, I used my "emery board" type file from the Basic Grey file kit. Stampin' Up!'s sanding block will also work, as would a regular old emery board or sanding paper.

A little tip: since you will be sanding both sides of your pieces, begin by sanding the inside first. That way, you finish by sanding the outside and can better control how it will look.

Step 6. Mark Hole Placement with Pencil Lines

Draw a light pencil line on the inside of each panel. This line will mark how far in from the edge your ribbon hole will be. For my box, I drew a vertical line 3/8 inch from the edge.

If you're using a Crop-a-dile to punch your holes, this is the only line you'll need to mark. If you're using another hole punch, i.e., the kind you need a hammer for, you will need to also draw two cross lines - one on the top and one on the bottom - to mark how far you want your holes from the top and bottom of the box, too.

You will only need to punch holes on the Four Side Panels, and not the bottom panel of the box. However, if you're paying attention, you will notice that I accidently punched holes in the bottom of my box, too. (got a little rambunctious, I guess). I just left them, since they can't be seen when the box is standing up. But I'm not using them for anything, so don't bother drawing your lines on the bottom panel.

Step 7. Punch Four Holes on each panel.

You should punch two holes at the top and two at the bottom of each panel.

With the Crop-a-dile, I set the depth for the largest hole punch (3/16 size hole) at 1/2 inch, so my hole would always be that far from the top and bottom edges of the box. Simply line up the large hole punch over the line. Looking through the little hole on the side of the Crop-a-dile, make sure your pencil line is in the middle and squeeze the handle.

If you're using the hole punch + hammer thingy, you will need to line up the hole punch in each corner where your lines cross.

After punching the holes, erase the pencil lines.

You can also use a small round file to sand the hole edges, too, but that's really not necessary.

Step 7 . . . again. Glue the First Side Panel to the Box Bottom.

Yes, yes... I have two step sevens... whoops...

Okay, now it's time to put it all together. Start by putting your bottom piece flat on your work surface, with the inside edge facing up. (Now you can see my accidental holes on the bottom panel. Remember, you don't need them). Grab one of your Side Panels to work with; it doesn't matter which one you start with.

This is where I switched to using my Zipdry Glue. Zipdry is a great paper glue that is clear, very fast drying and extremely strong. I use it for these boxes because the only place the box is actually glued is at the very bottom edge, and I know that Zipdry will do the job and hold everything together while the box is being assembled. I'm not sure how the Tombow Mono Multi would work here, and it would probably be just fine, I just haven't tried it. If you use something else that works, let me know!

Apply glue to the outside edge of the bottom panel and the very bottom edge of your side panel.

Step 8. Place First Edge and Support it While it Dries

Place the side panel (with the glue on the bottom) firmly against the edge of the bottom panel (the edge with the glue on it, of course) and make sure it is lined up.

You could just sit there and hold it while it dries, but that's a pain the patoot. I use something to hold the edge propped up in place while the glue dries (here, you can see I used a jar of mosaic tiles... another craft that had to be set aside temporarily while the boys are young and prone to put things in their mouths...).

Step 9. Glue Remaining Edges to Bottom of Box

Repeat Step 8 for the other three edges. Here you can see that the glue is holding strong and I no longer needed the jar to prop up the edges. The panels may, however, start tipping inward or outward. If so, make sure you keep each edge propped upright so the glue bond doesn't break.

This is the most tedious part of the process, but really doesn't take too long. Have patience and work carefully.

Step 10. Have a Chuckle at Elizabeth for having 2 Step 7's and forgetting Step 10.

Step 11. Add Ribbon and Embellishments.

Once all the sides are attached, they will usually sort of "rest" on each other while you thread the ribbon through.

I find that it is easiest to work on one corner at a time, both the top and bottom pieces of the ribbon. I thread the top and bottom pieces of ribbon through one corner and tie loosely (you know, the over/under thing you do before you make the loops on your shoe lace... what's that called anyway? It's like half a knot...). Gently tighten your "half-knots." This will add stability as you move on. Don't tighten all the way yet, though, because it is easy at this stage to pull too tight and make the box a little wonky. So what I do is thread the ribbon through the next corner and tighten and tie those knots. Then tie my first ribbon into knots and repeat the process on the other side.

The ribbon will really "pull" it all together and hold your box in place.

I have also seen boxes where the ribbon was "threaded," through the holes, which is also pretty, but I like to just tie a knot and cut off the ends, 'cause I'm a little lazy like that.

Finally, add your embellishments and you're good to go!

I added the next couple of pictures to show you how I go about covering my raw chipboard pieces. I'm not sure if this is the best way to do it, but it works for me. Leave a comment if you have any other ideas or something that might work better!

First, I stamp my images on the cardstock I want and then roughly cut it into the shape of the chipboard piece. I suppose I could first trace the chipboard shape on the paper and then stamp inside the outline, but, again, I picked the "lazy" way.

I glue the rough-cut paper piece onto the chipboard, then use my paper snips to roughly cut close to the edge of the chipboard piece.

(Note the design change.... :) ... Last minute change of plans....)

Then I just sand the edges so that everything is smooth and flat and pretty.


A Chipboard Box!!!

Complete with a pretty set of cards!

And, yes, the envelopes will fit in there, too, but mine were still back in the office and by this time, my boys had gotten home and I needed to take this one last picture and finish before everything was destroyed .... (notice the slight blur to the picture... Cade was pulling at my arms and clothes, trying to tell me something that just couldn't wait. LOL!)

If you read this whole thing, thanks for following along. And don't forget to leave any comments with tips, suggestions, etc... They're always appreciated!

Have a Happy Tuesday, everyone!


  1. mimihas5 said...

    Oh my gosh Elizabeth! Your box is so pretty. I love it. Thanks for making the tutorial. I know how long it can take to make a tutorial. Now I just need to set aside the time to make one of these boxes. I love all of your cards too.My goodness you have been very busy.


  2. Tisha said...

    I love your box, Elizabeth!! Your tutorial is beautiful - I can't wait to try my hand at one of these! Please let us know if you find another source for the chipboard! Thanks again for the amazing ideas!  

  3. A. Sanborn said...

    AWESOME tutorial my friend and what FUN-tabulous cards with your "one sheet wonder!" I do believe that Liz of Stamping Memories carries chipboard not only in brown, but white in sheets... MAYBE a little roadtrip for you in the future and Mare and I can't meet-up with you??? *wink*
    Guillotine paper cutter is for your CHIPBOARD I presume?! *wink* Definitely will be trying it out.

    Anne :)  

  4. Reality Show Reject said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  5. Reality Show Reject said...

    LOVE IT! I've been meaning to ask my paper supplier at work if they sell any kind of super thick chipboard. There actually is different thicknesses of chipboard, and unfortunately, the only thing I have access to is the thin stuff. (Sometimes working at a print shop comes in handy...but not this time!) I still have not made one, but did find a cute paper mache type shopping bag that I have added paper to and decoupaged. As soon as I'm finished embellishing, I'll add to my blog. So much crafting, so little time! Great work Elizabeth!  

  6. SpAzzGiRL said...

    So cute, love the colors!
    And your tutorial was great, love the skipped number and use of the word...lil'.
    Has to be one of my favs.
    Love your lil' box 'o cards!!  

  7. Cambria Turnbow said...

    LOVE this.... it's AWESBOMB!! PERFECT tutorial... you rock babe!!! :)  

  8. Charmingdesigns said...

    I just found your blog and it is wonderful. Your box is just beautiful! I really need to get busy and make one of these! Laurie  

  9. Michelle said...

    Well done on your first tutorial, keep it up! I found it very easy to follow.,
    Michelle in Oz  

  10. Angie Tieman said...

    Wow! Your box and cards are fantastic!! And what a great tutorial, thanks so much for sharing it!  

  11. Mandy said...

    Cool tutorial!!! I'm going to have to try this sometime. Thanks for sharing.  

  12. Vicki C said...

    Darling Box.. great tutorial!