Having cut the basic box shapes a few days ago, this afternoon I made good headway on my latest project, an explosion box in the shape of a beehive for a bee-keeping friend for her Christmas present. I am intending this to be quite lighthearted and amusing, with tags and embellishments illustrating the various aspects of life in the hive, from queen to humble worker.
Here are a couple of pictures showing the basic box shapes cut out:
I chose two shades of beige 12 x 12 cardstock, one slightly lighter than the other, for this project.
I scored the darker cardstock 4 in from each side, and cut out the corners, for the outer box, reserving the pieces. I cut down the lighter 12 x 12 sheet to 10 1/2 x 10 1/2, and scored at 3 7/8 in from each side, again cutting out the corners, for the inner box.
Before I could make a proper start, I had to get the right tools for the job. I made a successful Ebay bid for a lovely set of Fiskar's Texture Plates (I keep calling them Texter's Fixture Plates! - my foggy brain lol! - sounds like something to attach you to your mobile phone so you don't lose it!!) and in this set was a beautiful honeycomb design, which is just the right scale for my project.
Here is a picture of the sandwich required for this embossing:
A-Plate, Fiskar's Texture Plate, cardstock, tan embossing mat, C-plate. I got this information from a Youtube video giving instructions how to use these texture plates with the Cuttlebug machine, and it works extremely well:
I cut pieces of cardstock to match the outer and inner boxes, to cover the inside of the box flaps. I embossed these with the honeycomb texture plate, choosing the debossed (reverse) side:
and then glued them down onto the insides of the box pieces with my glue tape gun. This is a mock-up of the box pieces with their linings adhered:
The next step was to make the small pockets to hold the tags. I decided to make these look like bits of comb with some cells filled with honey, and some empty. I spent some time experimenting to get more or less the effect I wanted - this proved quite difficult. In the end I found some scraps of yellowish-cream cards in my stash, with a slightly streaky background pattern, which I embossed in the same way as before - the measurements of these were 3 x 3 for the outer (larger) box flaps, and 2 1/2 x 2 1/12 for the inner (smaller) box flaps.
After embossing these pieces, I cut an irregular shape for the top edge, and also cut round the other edges, following the shape of the embossed honeycomb design.
I randomly selected the cells I wanted to fill with "honey" and painted these with my Pentel Metallic Brush - a pen which I bought ages ago and hadn't even opened, let alone used - this was to replace another gold pen I'd had which had dried up. This first pen had a ball point, and you made the ink flow by pumping up and down on the tip. It was absolutely hopeless, because you got absolutely nothing, and then you got a great blob of gold paint which ruined anything you were trying to decorate! This new pen has a long brush tip, a bit like a brush-tipped marker, and there is a button on the further end of the pen, which you pump up and down until you see the gold paint travel down the brush. When it reaches the tip, you have enough to begin work. This is so much easier to control than the other method. When it becomes faint, you repeat the pumping action. I did get a bit of a blob, but did the pumping over my craft mat just in case, and was able to mop this up with the brush as I worked, so I didn't waste a drop!
This is what they look like so far - I've only done the big ones as yet.
The next step will be to paint each gold cell with my Versamark pen and then heat-emboss each one with clear embossing powder, to give the effect of the glossy honey in the cell. This pen is pale blue in colour, unfortunately, which gives the embossing a slightly greenish tinge over the gold - I tried using a clear adhesive but it went on too thick and boiled when I used my heat gun to melt the embossing powder, giving an unsatisfactory result. Using the Versamark pen, the effect is quite good with a second, or even a third, layer of embossing powder to build up the effect. I have yet to finish the gold painting and then proceed to the heat-embossing, but here is a mock-up of the box so far, with the inner box laid on the outer box, with the tag holders laid in place, to give the effect of how it will be when it is finished.
Finally, I think I may put a flower in the centre, and I've done this mock-up with a couple of pieces of demolished silk chrysanthemum and a little felt flower I've got:
I may put a bee in the centre. The flower will serve to cover the attachment of several acetate strips which will have bee embellishments on the ends - these bees will appear to fly around when the box explodes.
Watch this space - more to follow!