Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pinterest Challenge Day 7: Heart-Shaped Box

My husband and I don't really get each other gifts for Valentine's Day. We never have. Most years, we just exchange cards. I don't want to change that because, really, neither my husband nor I like "stuff."

Last year, I made some chocolate covered strawberries because strawberries were on sale at the grocery store. I bought and made dozens of them, and Andrew loved it. It probably cost about $7 to make three dozen. Once, I was at the mall with a friend, I was pregnant, and I wanted a chocolate-covered strawberry. We stopped into the Godiva store, and I ordered a single berry. The cost? $4. That's disgusting.

I've decided I'm going to make chocolate-covered strawberries again this year. I thought I could get even more creative and make a heart-shaped candy box to put them in. So, I looked up a how-to guide, and I pinned it here:

If you want to make your own box, just click the picture in that link, and it will take you to the guide that I used.

I used a leftover cardboard box (free!) and some red, sparkling wrapping paper that cost a dollar from The Dollar Tree. So, my gift box cost a buck!

Check out the guide for more detail, but here's a quick briefing of what I did. I printed a picture of a heart from Google Images. I used it as a template to cut out two hearts from the cardboard. I used yarn to measure half of the perimeter of the heart (from the center of the top point of the heart to the center of the bottom point) because I'm just so technical like that.

I cut out four pieces of cardboard that was the length of my yarn (fool-proof!).

I made two of those pieces 1 inch wide for the lid (giving my box lid an approximate height of 1 inch), and I made two of those pieces 2.5 inches wide for the box itself (giving my box an approximate height of 2.5 inches).

As per the tutorial, I pre-bent the side walls so they would have an easier time following the curve of the heart. I just curled those side pieces using the edge of my kitchen table.

I have to say that cutting the cardboard was the most difficult part of the whole project. I used a combo of scissors and a razor blade, but it took a lot of strength to cut through everything. I ended up with a few blisters, and I wondered why the link advertised this project for kids. But I digress.

I wanted the lid to be slightly larger than the box so that it could go on it. That makes sense, right? So, I used my hot glue gun and glued the side walls on the outer edges of one of the hearts for the lid, and I glued the side walls directly onto the other heart for the box itself. This made the lid fit perfectly snug on the box. As I applied the glue, I added tape (temporarily) to hold everything in place until the glue dried.

Once it was dry, I removed the tape and had a box! It was easy, and it felt good making something so cute out of a cardboard box.

The tutorial I pinned says to sand the edges to make them smooth and flush with each other. I love my husband, and I just made him this neat box by hand, but I wasn't going to bust out the sand paper to make it a flawless cardboard box. So he's getting the un-sanded, flawed kind.

Next came the wrapping paper. Mine was a plastic-like, slippery, shiny wrapping paper. It would not have folded over as nicely as it did in the tutorial I used. So, what to do? I decided to mimic the cuts I used to make the box and just put the wrapping paper over each individual piece. I knew the edges would be visible with that method, so I thought, "Why don't I first glue the wrapping paper over all of the edges? Then, I can attach the pieces, and there won't be any cardboard showing." Easier said than done. The wrapping paper wouldn't bend on itself at all. To do the curves, I ended up cutting out a million little strips of paper.

It took forever. When I finally finished the lid, I decided there was no way I was going to do that with the base of the box. I decided seeing a little cardboard would be just fine (sorry, Andrew!), so I only put the wrapping paper on the sides of the heart box.

Here are the final pictures. I took one of it open so that you could see that I didn't do anything to finish the inside of the box. I'll use cute tissue paper nestled in the bottom to hold the strawberries, and that will be that!

In total, it took about an hour to build the box, and it took about an hour to do a half-assed decorating job. The box I had originally been so proud of because it was just a dollar, I was now a little put-off with because it took hours of my time. Like I've said, I love my husband. If he really wanted me to, I'd make him a dozen of these boxes. But I know he doesn't care about a box, and so spending two hours making one just seems stupid (now that I've done it, of course).

I guess I get to feel a little proud when I give him the box because I can tell him I made it, but I'll be damned if I ever do this project again. OK, that's not entirely true. If this is something my kids are ever interested in, I guess I'd do it again. But I'd either skip the decorating all together, or I'd just use tissue paper instead of wrapping paper because it would be easier to bend and manipulate. Better yet, I'd just use a piece of white cardboard, and I'd let the kids decorate it with markers and crayons.

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