My So Called Crafty Life

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DIY Custom Wooden Stationary Box

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13 DSC 0091 DIY Custom Wooden Stationary BoxToday I am going to share how to make a custom wood box with a slide lid with you. This is something I have wanted to make for a while now, but I couldn’t decide what I wanted to put inside to store. A few weeks ago, I bought a set of mini greeting cards from Printstagram, and I instantly knew that they were the perfect item to make the little wooden box for. This project, although not totally advanced, does require some major power tools. So, it has the potential to be quite dangerous when working with items like a table saw. If you don’t know what you are doing, or are not very careful, you can easily lose a finger. This is why I had a LOT of help from my hubby on this project, since he is an experienced craftsman. There are probably other ways to make one of these boxes, since everyone has a prefered method of woodworking. This is how we made our box…

Here’s What You Need:

*3/8″ Birch Plywood

*1/8″ Birch Plywood

*Ruler and Pencil

*Table Saw & Push Block

*Drill Press or Drill with a 3/4″ forstner bit

*Wood Glue

*Pin Nailer &23 gage pins

*Dremmel Tool and a Carving bit

*Image Transfer or Decorative Paper to decoupage top of box

*Clear Lacquer Spray to seal the image on the lid

Instructions:

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The first thing you need to do is measure your items that are going to go in your box. My cards are 4×4, but my envelopes are a little less than 4.5×6″, and the stack of everything compressed is around 2-2.5″. I want my box to be a little larger to fit everything nicely. So, I want the inside bottom to be 5.25×6.75 which is the padded measurement of the envelope plus the width of the wood for each side because the sides are going to sit on top of the bottom. The sides will be the length of the bottom and a height of over 2 inches, so sides are 6.75×2.5″. The front and back pieces will be a bit different since the front will be shorter for the top to slide into the grooves you will cut. The back will be the width of the bottom and the same height as the sides, so 4.5×2.5″. Cut the front a quarter-inch shorter in height, so it would be 4.5×2.25″

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Measure and mark your wood. Set up your table saw to cut your lengthwise strips. Cut your length pieces first. We cut the 6.75 strip first. And then a 4.5″ strip.

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Then cut your cross cuts. So out of the 6.75 piece, cut one at a 5.25 for the bottom, and then two pieces at 2.5 for the sides. Then cut the 4.5 strip for the front and back pieces at 2.5″ for the back and 2.25 for the front.

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To make the groove for the wood to sit in you need to cut a dado 1/8″ in from the top of the side and back pieces. Set your table saw to 1/8″ from the blade. Now, using extreme caution since you can lose a finger, carefully push the side piece through the blade of the saw from the front until you see the blade breaching the back end, but don’t let it go all the way through.  Stop it short. Do the same thing with the other side making sure the groove is being cut on the correct side of the wood. For the back you can cut your dado all the way through from one side to the other since it will be sandwiched in between the sides and therefore the sides of the wood won’t be seen.

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Take your front piece and mark the halfway point on the top front. Load your drill or drill press with a 3/4″ forstner bit, and drill halfway onto the top edge making a half moon notch in the top of the wood.

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Next, load a small carving bit onto your dremmel. Take your side pieces and carve out the rest of the dado in the side piece, stopping just a tiny bit short of the back ends. You should now be able to fit the side and back pieces together and see a continuous groove all around the sides and the back.

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Now, run a small amount of glue down the bottom of one of the side pieces. Smooth out the glue so it is a thin layer. Glue it to the bottom piece. Now shoot a few pin nails through the bottom into the side you just glued. Glue and nail the other side. Then run some glue onto the bottom and sides of the back piece. Sandwich it in between the sides in the back. Nail it in place from the bottom and add a few nails in the sides. Then glue and nail in the front piece.

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To make the top of the box, measure the inside dimensions of the top inside of the groove plus a tiny bit of wiggle room. My top needed to be 4.75×6.5″

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Measure and cut your top piece from the 1/8″ plywood using your table saw.

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Fit the top into the box. If it is a bit tight you can shave it down by sanding the edges.

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You will need to sand the entire box lightly with some 220 grit sandpaper to smooth off any rough spots.

*You can leave your box natural or you can add an image to the top like I did. The top of my box was a little of a craft fail. I originally tried to use a lazertran transfer and burn the image into the wood with the real turpentine method. This did not work for me at all. I’m entirely positive if my turpentine is the real deal, especially since I followed the directions on the transfer paper to a t. What I ended up using was another transfer that I let dry and then glued it on with a layer of decoupage medium. I then sealed it with a clear lacquer spray. I was not very happy with this one either. You can’t see it in the photos, but the transfer bubbled a bit when I sprayed the lacquer on it. I am planning on making another top sometime and just decoupaging a thin paper image on the top since I think that will have a better turn out. *

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12 DSC 0090 DIY Custom Wooden Stationary BoxI LOVE my stationary box! I LOVE my Printstagram mini cards too! This box is a great piece for a coffee table or a side table. You can make one to fit your photos, craft supplies, beauty projects, anything you like. If this is a little more work than you’d like to take on, sometimes you can find an old cigar box with a slide top and decorate the top. I will be back next week with a fun and easy bunting to share with you guys. Until then…

Happy Crafting!

DIY Cute Vintage Christmas Wrapping Paper Mats

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Hey everybody! Welcome to the third day on my 12 Days of Christmas! Today I am going to share one of my favorite new Christmas crafts, Vintage Christmas Wrapping Paper Mats! I love how they add a cute festive touch to the frames on my shelves! They are perfect with my Printstagram square prints. These mats are so fast and easy to make! The best part is that you only need a few things to whip one up!

Here’s What You Need:

*Vintage Holiday Wrapping Paper

*Chipboard (like a cereal box)

*Xacto knife

*Self Healing Mat

*Ruler

*Double Stick Tape

*Printstagram Squares or photos

*Frames

*Glitter and Minis for shadowbox frames (optional)

Instructions:

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These mats are really easy to make. The first thing you need to do is cut your mats to the size of your frame. So if you have a 5×7 frame, cut your chipboard to be 5×7. Decide where you want your photo to go and lightly mark. Now, take 1/4 inch off of the size of your photo. So if your photo is 4×4, your image opening needs to be 3.75×3.75. Measure out and mark on your chipboard for the image opening. Now carefully cut the opening out with your craft knife. Cut a piece of wrapping paper to be a little larger than your chipboard. Lay your wrapping paper piece face down on the table. Then lay your chipboard piece on top and center. Put some double stick tape onto the edge of your wrapping paper on the left and right side. Pull the sides over the back of the chipboard and press down to adhere the paper to the chipboard. Then add tape to the top and bottom of the paper, and fold them over to adhere the top and bottom to the back of the mat. Next you need to cut the opening for the photo. On the backside of the mat, where the image will go cut an “x” in the paper from one corner diagonally to the other of the opening. Now pull the triangles made by the “x” over and tape to the back of the mat creating the opening for the photo. Tape your photo in with some acid free tape and frame your mat into your frame. Enjoy!

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I LOVE my wrapping paper mats! They are so fun and a great way to display your favorite holiday memories or photos with Santa! They are so fast to whip up and a fast and inexpensive way to add a little holiday cheer to your everyday frames for your Christmas decorating. I hope some of you guys will give this diy a try, you’ll love it! I’ll be back next week with more Christmas fun! Until then…

Happy Crafting!

DIY Instagram Mats

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This year I have been getting really into Instagram! I love posting pictures! This year I started doing an Instagram every day with the end goal of creating an Instaprint calendar for 2014. I discovered Printstagram last year around the holidays and fell in love with their products! They print your instagram pictures on a bunch of different items like posters, mini prints, and stickers. One of my favorite products is the sticker books you can get. I bought a pack for my mom for Christmas, and she loves them. She put her favorites on her Kindle case. The stickers come in a two book pack with 252 stickers. I have been holding on to my set for a while trying to find a fun project for my favorites, and then it dawned on me, Instagram mats for my favorite art cards and printables!

Here’s What You Need:

*Mats (I used a 4×6 mat with a 2.5×3.5″ opening)

*Instaprint Sticker Books (You can get them Here)

*Ruler

*Frame

Instructions:

These mats are really easy to make, figure out your layout and lay your ruler down across your mat as a guide. Then apply your stickers to your mat at the bottom. Then add your next row, and so on until your layout is complete. And that’s pretty much it. As soon as your stickers are laid out on your mat you can tape in your favorite print or picture and frame.

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I LOVE these Instagram Mats! They are really fun to make and super easy too! This would be a great project for a girls craft night. Or make some with the kids. They would make great gifts too! I made mine to fit a regular 4×6 frame because that is what I have the most of, but you can embellish any size mat. I think it would be fun to make a larger mat too, like a 12×12 square. Maybe I’ll do a larger one next time. I hope you all will give this one a try, it’s so fun! I’ll be back on Thursday with another fun DIY. Until then…

Happy Crafting!