Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Poinsettia Explosion Box – Part 3 - Amended

Today I made the box itself. After sleeping on the very difficult decision whether to emboss or ink the sides of the box, I have decided to do both! I embossed them with the Cuttlebug, using the embossing folder “Ornamental Iron” which is a great favourite of mine, and which has the added advantage that the pattern repeats exactly around this box. I inked the raised parts with Black Soot Distress Ink, using my brayer, and going gently so as to avoid inking the background as far as possible. Each piece was then scored 1/4 in from the end, to make a tab for attaching the sides to the base of the box.

07 Embossed and Inked Side Panels

I used double-sided tape to attach the sides to the base of the box, trimming off the corners of each tab to reduce bulk underneath. The tabs are attached to the top of one of the green octagons, so that the inked and embossed surface is outwards.

08 Box Inside

This is what the outside now looks like:

09 Box Outside

At this point, after inking the edges with Pumice Stone Distress Ink, I stuck the side strengtheners to the inside of the box sides with double sided tape, trimming 1/4 in off one end of each, because they do not need tabs. As well as strengthening the box, they also cover up the back of the embossing, giving a neater finish. As I had to line them up above the scored line which forms the hinge with the base so that the sides would fold nicely, there was as tiny amount of excess card extending above the top in each case, which was, of course, sticky on the back as well as not looking good, so I trimmed these off carefully with scissors.

10 Box Inside with Strengtheners Attached

The completed poinsettia flower was then stuck to the base, again using double-sided tape, covering up the tabs.

11 Box with Flower Attached

12 Box with Flower Attached Side View

Making the Lid

As with the box side pieces, I scored the lid side pieces 1/4 in from the top, to form tabs for attaching to the top of the lid, taking great care to score along the longer side of the rectangle – these pieces are not far off square, and are wider than they are tall, so it would be easy to score along the wrong edge by mistake! I did not emboss or ink these pieces because they would be covered by the lid band. I attached them to one of the green octagons, as I did for the box side pieces, so that the tabs were on the inside (underside).

Laura’s lid band is made of striking black and white striped paper, which really contrasts with the box and give the whole project the look of an old-fashioned hat box, which I love, and I was determined to do the same. After much searching, I was completely unable to find any black and white striped paper or card, so decided to make my own with Serif PagePlus, my desk top publisher. I have created an A4 sheet with 1/4 in stripes which I have saved as a digital paper, ready for printing out:

Black and White Stripes Quarter-Inch A4

and cut 2 lengths of this, 1 1/2 in wide, and glued them together end to end, matching the stripes. Laura specifies 2 lengths of 12 in each (obviously cut from a 12 x 12 sheet) but A4 is a little short of 12 in long, and my printer wouldn’t print right to the top and bottom of the sheet, so I am left with a somewhat shorter length, but since the circumference of the box is 16 in, that leaves me plenty, including an overlap.

15 Striped Paper for Lid Band

I have found to my cost that when I print on card with my laser printer, the black toner does rub off with a bit of persuasion – on the tags on my beehive explosion box this proved to be quite a problem as they are subjected to quite a bit of rubbing as you push them in and out, and I had to go over them with a fine permanent black marker. I have tried spraying the printed pieces with some inkjet fixative spray I have got, and this does seem to help – it’s got a matt finish, so is completely invisible when dry. Any small patches of white showing, can be inked over. I am not sure why this happens, as I always assumed that laser printing was permanent, and bonded to the paper.

I inked the edges of the last dark red octagon with Pumice Stone Distress Ink, and glued it inside the top of the lid with double-sided tape, covering all the tabs. I inked edges of the side strengtheners for the lid side pieces with the same Distress Ink, and before attaching them, I trimmed off 1/16 in from the top edge of each, to allow for the thickness of the octagon lining the box lid. I then glued them with double-sided tape to the inside of the lid sides, making sure that the bottom edges exactly matched the lid side pieces. After this, I folded the strengthened flaps to form the shape of the lid, and glued on the lid band. To make this easier to do, I cut some strips of double-sided tape and stuck these across the edges of the lid sides, where they butted together, to hold them in place, and then added more double-sided tape so that the band would be well adhered. This was probably the most difficult part of the whole project to get right; a small amount of trimming was necessary once the band was on, which was not easy to do. I think I would have got a tidier result if I had printed the stripes onto paper rather than card.

(On my second box, I made the band out of paper, and it was indeed a lot easier. It is also important not to have the join in the band coinciding with one of the corners of the lid – it has a tendency to catch and come loose. Also, I have since learnt a marvellous technique from Ikki of the Cuttlebug Cupboard (link in my Blog List), that if you run a Pritt glue stick over double-sided tape after you have removed the protective paper, it enables you to reposition the piece before you finally stick it down – it will dry as strongly as normal. Thank you Ikki – this is going to be so useful in so many projects!!)

The final stage in the lid construction was to ink the final green octagon’s edges with Pumice Stone Distress Ink, and glue it onto the top of the lid.
Here is how the inside of the completed lid looks:

14 Lid Inside

and here is the outside, with the final green octagon stuck on the top.

16 Lid Outside

Decorating the lid of the box

Using Penny Duncan’s poinsettia flower cut file, I had already cut 2 of each of the smaller ones in dark red, and all the leaves in green, when I did my initial cutting, and I now cut two of the larger flower in white. The red flowers, together with the leaves for all 3 flowers, I inked with Pumice Stone Distress Ink. I hand-embossed all the leaves and flowers, including the white ones, using my ball-ended embossing tool. and I painted the white flowers with Perfect Pearls (in Perfect Pearl colour) to give a shimmery silver finish.

17 Flowers and Leaves Inked and Embossed

Unfortunately this photo is slightly out of focus, and also the shimmer on the white flowers does not show up. I made centres for the flowers from Stickles in diamond colour, and the white flower petals are edged with the same Stickles to give a frosted edge.

I assembled the flowers in their layers, with their leaves, and stuck them to the top of the box. This photo shows the detail on the white flower a bit better than the previous one, but you can’t really see the lovely shimmer of the Perfect Pearls.

18 Lid Decorated

I shall leave it to dry overnight, and then mould the petals and leaves slightly, to give it a more 3-dimensional appearance.


  1. Wow! Absolutely fantastic. Shoshi, your work is so beautiful, so professional looking - perfectly done. This box is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. oh it just lovely shoshi, how pretty are the flowers and what a surprise when opened

  3. I Just dropped in to wish you and your family a Merry CHRISTmas. God bless, Lloyd


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