I love this project because it's so versatile. You can use them for a variety of different occasions and personalize them any way you want. You can also make them in nearly any size you like. I'm talking about pillowboxes.
I learned to make these years ago, long before I had the convenience of computer software and a printer. You can make them out of any heavy, sturdy paper. I prefer to use cardstock because it scores easily and holds it's shape well. Heavy scrapbooking and decorative papers (even wallpaper) work well, too.
To begin, you need a template. You could easily make your own with a piece of paper, a ruler and something to trace for the curves. If you want to skip that part, I've scanned one of the templates that I used. It is for a pair of pillowboxes.
Be sure to click on the image before saving to get the largest size.
You can use this template as a guide to create your boxes with your photo software. With the software I use, I add this template as my background. After placing my photos and text, I delete the template so that the cut and score lines won't be printed on the finished product. The next step is to print your sheets.
Before cutting and scoring
Now, place the template over your printed sheet. Using a ball point pen and ruler, trace over all the straight lines of the template being sure to press very hard. I usually go over each line twice.
After you have traced the entire sheet, you can cut your boxes out. I use scissors, but you could use a mat knife if you prefer.
Next, fold along your straight score lines. Then, secure the flap by using glue or double sided tape. I used a glue stick that is purple when wet and clear when dry. Be sure to let the glue dry before moving on to the next step.
Using gentle pressure on the straight sides, squeeze the box open. Carefully fold in the end flaps along the score lines. The flaps should stay closed. That's it, you're done!
You can fill your boxes with small items like candy, individual serving packets of coffee, tea or hot chocolate, photos or lottery tickets. You can also wrap the boxes in ribbon and tie them up with a bow or add a loop of string for hanging on the Christmas tree.
I made some tiny boxes to use as placecards for Thanksgiving.
Each little box is the perfect size for a single mint.
Christmas themed boxes.
Here are some boxes used as invitations to a holiday gathering.
I printed the invitation on the front side and the address on the back side of each box. They would have to be delivered by hand to keep their shape, of course. You could tuck a map or a menu inside.The Graphics Fairy. Please visit her lovely website and check out her fabulous Brag Monday feature.
Food For Thought
I don't make as many homemade food gifts as I used to. I love to bake, so every year I made dozens of cakes, cookies, candies and pies to give as holidays gifts. It got to be pretty time consuming and, therefore, stressful to get it all done, so I've cut back over the last few years. Last year, Mr. Willoughby and I made batches of hot buttered rum batter, packaged them in attractive freezer containers (the batter is to be kept frozen) and paired them each with a bottle of spiced rum to give to friends and neighbors. We adorned each rum bottle with a silver Christmas ball on silver string and included the instructions for using the batter to make both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions. They were simple to make and very well received.
I've been thinking about what to make for this year's gift, and I'm wondering how "homemade" I want to go. I read a survey where people were asked if they enjoyed homemade food gifts, and, while many said that it depended on who made the food, a large number of people admitted to throwing it away without taking a single taste. They appreciated the thought and the effort, of course, but didn't want to eat food prepared in someone else's kitchen. With all of the flu viruses going around, I'm guessing people will be more wary than ever, this year.
How do you feel about homemade food gifts (other than those from immediate family members)? If you were to be completely honest, have you ever received something that you threw away without tasting? What are your plans for homemade food gifts?