Friday, January 27, 2012

Acetate Grad Box Tutorial

Well here goes my first detailed tutorial, excuse the lighting and angles, I am still working on balancing my camera with one hand and showing the best angle of the descriptive photo with the other.  Not terribly coordinated!

Tools Needed:
Transparency 5.5 x 10.5"
Cardstock (I used SU Night of Navy)
Patterned Paper
Paper piercer and soft mat
Embroidery thread and cardboard 2.5 x 4"
Border punch
Oval Nestability
Strong Adhesive (I used Sookwang, Sticky Strip would work as well)
ScorPal (or something similar)
Owl charm

1. Take your 5.5 x 10.5 piece of transparency and score it several times (makes it easier to see) at 2.5, 5, 7.5 and 10".  Fold on the scored lines to sharpen the edges.

2. Add adhesive on the 1/2" flap on the inside of the fold and at the bottom of each creased area on the outside of the to be box. This allows the acetate to adhere to the bottom of the box easier.  Take the tape of the short side of the box and adhere it to the inside of the opposite end of the transparency.

3. Cut a piece of cardstock 3.5 x 3.5" and score 1/2" in on all sides.

4. Cut in on the ends where it is scored up to the next score line.  Make sure your cuts are all going in the same direction.  Add adhesive to the flaps.  When adhering the flaps to the opposite wall make sure your flaps sit securely on the inside of the flap.  This gives a more finished look.

5. Your finished bottom of the box.

6. Remove the adhesive from the bottom of the acetate box and gently squish the sides together.  Lower it into the box bottom, press against each side of the bottom of the box to secure.

7. Cut a piece of 2 x 10.5" patterned paper.  Run the one edge through a border punch making sure to line up your edges so it gives a sharp, clear finish.  Score 1/2" in on the one short end and place adhesive in on the back.  I tried scoring at each corner and I wouldn't do it again.

8.Adhere the 1/2" fold to the same spot where the box joins a little above the bottom of the box so that your cardstock shows a little.  Take off the next sides tape paper and continue to wrap around the box.  Do each side as you go, your final edge will overlap your initial piece adhered to the acetate. 

9. Measure out 2 pieces of ribbon about 11" long.  I added 1/4" Sookwang directly to the back of my ribbon to make it easier to adhere to the box.  I started my ribbon where my bow will be to later on to cover the seam.  Space your ribbons in a way that is pleasing to you.

10.  Color, cut and adhere your image, I used Graduation Gilly from Prairie Fairy Designs.

11. For the box lid you don't want it as tight as the box bottom, so I made it 1/4" bigger all the way around.  So cut a piece 3.75" x 3.75", and repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 to assemble your box.  Take a strip of patterned paper measuring 1.5" x 12" and punch a border around it.  Add adhesive to your box top and adhere the patterned paper.

12.  Take an oval die cut, I used Spellbinders and line it up on a piece of cardstock measuring 2 7/8" in length leaving a small edge on each side and when cut will remove about 1/3 of the cardstock.  Repeat 3 more times, these will make the head form of the mortarboard hat. 

13.  One you have cut all 4 pieces of cardstock with the oval die cut, trim each piece to a 1" width on the longest edges.  Adhere them to the lid of the box at the very top edges of the lid covering the patterned paper.

14. Take two small pieces of ribbon that coordinate with your ribbon, about 2-3" long. Adhere one end of the piece to the opposite end to make a circle (i.e. in my sample navy adheres to itself). Then wrap another piece of adhesive backed ribbon around the loop to make the center of the bow (start and end at the back of the loop for a finished look). Having the adhesive on the back of the center part of the bow makes it easy to handle and holds your loop bow securely. Add one more small piece of adhesive to the back of the loop and secure where your ribbon ends on your box to cover the seam.

15. To make the tassel for the mortarboard cap, cut a piece of cardboard 4" by 2 1/2".  On the long side of the cardboard (4") cut 2 slits in the middle of the strip, each about 1/2" deep and about 1" apart.  These slits will secure your thread ends for making your tassel.  Leave a good sized tail length so that it will become part of the tassel.  Make sure you have a full skein or almost full skein of embroidery thread as it takes a lot to make the tassel.  Wrap the thread around the cardboard between the slits 40 times.  Slip the other end through the opposite slit with a long tail and cut the thread.

16. Take a 10" strip of embroidery thread and tie a taut knot at the top of the wrapped thread.  If you cannot get it taut enough, tie it once and tie it again once the threads are cut.

17.  With sharp scissors cut the wrapped thread at the opposite end of the cardboard from where it is tied.  This will be where you would secure your knot tighter if you only tied it once in step 16.

18.  With your hand push all of the tassel thread together.  Take another 10" piece of embroidery thread and wrap it around the head of the tassel, tie a knot.  After your initial knot around the head of the tassel I tied the owl charm and wrapped the thread around the head of the tassel several more times.  Tie a knot to secure and mix the remaining thread in with the tassel.  Trim off excess length from the tie so that they are the same length as the tassel.

19.  Take the threads at the top of the tassel and tie them into a knot leaving a long loop, I gauged the length of the loop by where I wanted it to hang on the cap.

20. Cut a piece of cardstock 3.75" x 3.75".  With a ruler and a pencil, line up the ruler at opposite corners and draw a faint line in pencil.  Repeat this step with the opposite corners.  The center of your X is the center of your cap.  With a piercing tool and a soft mat poke a hole through the center of the paper.

21. Push a brad through the hole on the unmarked side of the cap, slip the tassel loop under the brad head.  I would have used a larger brad but I didn't have one that matched the color.  Spread the posts of the brad under the cap to secure.

22.  Place double sided adhesive to the top of the mortarboard cap near the brad, make sure it doesn't go outside of what the box lid will cover.  With the mortarboard cap upside down center the box lid over the adhesive leaving all the edges equal around the cap.  Place the lid onto the box.

23.  Your box is now complete and ready for you to fill with whatever pleases the recipient.  Have fun!

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