Friday, December 16, 2011

Re-sizing Gift Boxes

Well, hello there.
Okay, now that I'm done using a creepy greeting, it's time to tell you what exciting craft we'll get to make this week! For many people, winter is a time of holidays that involve gift-giving. It's a fun, symbolic way to affirm friendship during the darkest, coldest time of year, plus you get cool stuff. The mug cozies and coasters from my previous posts are intended to be presents for just such a holiday, which means I get to wrap them. Unfortunately, as many crafters discover during the wee hours as they end up covered in tape with shredded wrapping paper surrounding them, irregularly shaped or floppy gifts are hell to wrap. Through the years, I have practiced two solutions to this problem: amass a gigantic collection of boxes through the year in the hopes of having enough on hand to cram all of those weirdly shaped gifts into something, and/or buy only gifts which come in neat, rectangular packaging.

This year, however, I moved twice. Understand that I have never moved in my life, not even into a dorm or other temporary situation, so for me throwing away boxes as I eventually unpacked was the greatest joy I thought the year could bring. It wasn't until I began planning out all of my fancy, hand-crafted gifts that I realized I had inadvertently screwed myself. I neither wanted to give all store bought gifts and deprive myself of crafting opportunities, nor did I want to wrap all of these bizarrely shaped items, nor buy boxes from a store when I ought to have had them on hand. Waste not, want not, I reminded myself. Oh, how I had wasted. I suddenly missed all of those cardboard monstrosities which had haunted me from residence to residence.

That said, there was an easy solution for at least two of the gifts I was giving and it sat innocently next to my trashcan, waiting to be seen. A 20 pack of soda! I had considered wrapping one or the other of this pair of gifts in the soda box, but I needed to transport all of my gifts and luggage and pets and additional travelers on a 14-ish hour drive, so wrapping something in a box that was twice as big as it needed to be rankled. So I did what any crafter would do and went all King Solomon on the box.

Recycled, Resized Gift Boxes:

I used a 20-can box of soda to end up with smaller, rectangular gift boxes. This project could be easily adjusted to a 12-can box so the end-product is even smaller and delightfully square.

First things first, cut the box in half. You could measure and mark this with a felt tipped pen or similar, or you could do what I did and just hold the ruler ahead of your scissors. My box was 13 inches long, so I held the ruler in place and aimed for the 6.5 inch mark.

When you have circumnavigated your box, and perhaps named your scissor
s Magellan in honor of this feat, it is time to make the flaps. You want your flaps to touch or even overlap across the end of your box, so it's time to do a bit of measuring again. Measure across your box, the narrow way, then divide this in half. The newly divided number is how long your cuts down the corners need to be. So, if your box is five inches across, you would want to cut at least 2.5 inches down each of the four corners,

Now fold your flaps in, making sure to keep the fold as straight and nice as possible. Isn't that nice? Put a present in it, tape it closed, and wrap it! You just saved the money you would have used to buy a gift-box, the space that a box twice as big as it needed to be would have taken up, and a third thing you saved that I can't think of right now but sure rounds out the list.
If you need to know the exact measurements of the finished box in advance, measure the length of the edge you will be halving and half it. Then figure the length you will cut for the flaps (the shortest edge divided by two) and subtract that from the halved length. For people who understand math, this is (long edge / 2) - (short edge / 2) = Length of finished edge. In my example, the long edge was 13 inches and the flaps were 2.5. The equation would look like 13/2 - 5/2 = 4.


1 comment:

  1. sneaky!!! A recycler and keep it green babe at heart! I like using trash items...Check out my blog
    Here's an example of a recycled whiskey packaging...