It’s so convenient to live just 15 minutes from a Michaels craft store. I’m convinced that our Petaluma store has the best employees and staff a shopper/crafter could ask for. I’m even getting to know the staff by name- John, the manager is always busy on the floor stocking and organizing but never too busy for a kind hello and product update, and I’ve grown quite fond of several other employees there, especially Claire, my favorite cashier. For a big store, it sure has a small town vibe. Gotta love that.I went to Michaels yesterday to brainstorm an idea for crafting Mother’s day gifts. I was looking to create something of a mix between my sister’s journal cigar box and my husband’s Top Ten lists. I spied these large wooden recipe boxes and the crafty gears started to turn. Here’s what I came up with…
I made a total of four memory boxes, one for my mom, one for my sister, one for my mother-in-law, and one for me (of course!) So, yes, if they read my blog, the jig is up.
Michael’s just stocked Jolee’s Boutique new line of French General products by Kaari Meng. Here’s a sweet video of Kaari and her new product-
I picked up pads of her two sided 12″ x 12″ papers, delightful embellishments and 12″ x 12″ adhesive-backed fabric.
Although the boxes can be decoupaged with paper, the adhesive fabric couldn’t have been more perfect and mess free for this project. The fabric patterns and images are just gorgeous and some so beautifully “patch-worked” in places. I cut out shapes to match all sides of the recipe box, cutting the back panel into two pieces to work around the hinges. I trimmed each of my pieces just a bit smaller than the box sides, you’ll see how that looks in a bit. Each box required a bit more than one 12″ x 12″ piece of adhesive fabric, so I did a bit of mixing and matching on a couple of the boxes to maximize my sheets.I peeled the backing from each piece and adhered it to the sides.Using my Xacto knife, I trimmed around the hinges, and sliced through the fabric along the lid sides and front to separate.
I then used sandpaper to scuff all edges of the fabric pieces and edges of the wood, even rounding the corners of the box. This created a wonderful aged look.With the little fabric fibers sanded off smooth, I brushed the entire box with Mod Podge Hard Coat, careful to avoid the hinges. This was my first time using this product and I think I’m hooked! It dries nice and hard and actually enhances the texture of the fabric rather than dulling it. Also, it doesn’t have the slightest stickiness factor when dry that you might find when decoupaging.Once the hard coat was dry, I gave the entire piece another quick and light sanding to soften the surface just a bit. Then I added embellishments to the front of each.The French General embellishments have adhesive foam dots which are great for scrapbooking, but I recommend something stronger, such as hot glue, for adhering them to boxes that may get knocked around a bit.
Here are my four finished boxes:For the inside of the box there are lots of options for Top Ten memory making. I designed a couple of printable cards to help explain the concept, and printable list cards in both one-sided layouts or for longer entries, two-sided or folded layouts. The printables are sized as both 3″ x 5″ cards and 4″ x 6″ cards, depending on your preference. If you’re working with a smaller box or would like to attach cards to decorative larger paper (as shown below), then the 3″ x 5″ cards work best. If you’d like to skip the decorative paper backing part and just have large cards, print the 4″ x 6″ sheets. And, in a pinch, standard office supply index cards will work just fine.
The French General two-sided papers are breathtaking. Each 12″ x 12″ sheet cuts equally into quarters of 4″ x 6″.An adhesive runner, glue stick or liquid paper glue does the trick for attaching smaller cards to the quartered papers. There’s no set number of any of the cards that you should make. Make several and the recipient can always make more of their own as needed. Or fill their box with cards, papers and a glue stick and allow them to craft their own from the start. Also, you may opt to print larger 4″ x 6″ cards and save the decorative paper to cut into subject/category dividers slightly taller than the cards and labeled or tabbed.
TIP: To keep cards of any size from falling back into the not-so-full box, glue a piece of corrugated cardboard or corrugated cardstock trimmed to fit into the bottom of the box.
TIP: When making these boxes as shown, you may find yourself with scraps of adhesive fabric. Cut those into strips, remove the backing and wrap around wooden spools to create your own rolls of beautiful fabric tape!Now I’m off to start filling my Top Ten Memory Box and nibble on chocolates.