A Dream of an Idea

I’m sure every parent is familiar with the phrase “I had a bad dream”.

We first encountered this problem about a year ago, when our little one was coming up to 4 years old.  Every so often, the patter of his little feet at 2am would announce his presence in our bedroom, where he would explain that he couldn’t sleep because of the bad dreams.

My solution was simple: give him good dreams instead.

And it worked.  All I had to do was tuck him back into his bed and reel off a short list of some of his favourite things to give him something to think about that would banish those bad dreams.  It was easy for the first couple of times – it took me no time at all to come up with Buzz Lightyear, a rollercoaster, ice cream, and a christmas tree.  But at 2am my brainpower is somewhat limited, and after a few nights of this I was running out of ideas.

So the “Dream Box” was born.

I typed up a list of as many of his favourite things as I could think of – TV characters, real people, food, places, and things.  I laminated the list and cut it up into individual words, which I put into a box that had once contained some kind of conference freebie and was waiting in my drawer for its opportunity to be reused.  Then I just decorated it with a few stickers.

Dream Box

It was a bit rough and ready, but it did the job.  And continues to do so.  Every night at bedtime we choose five dreams.  Sometimes we make up a little story with them.  This was last night’s selection:

Dreams

So now I have decided to share the dreams, by making Dream Boxes to sell in my Folksy Shop.  They are rather more attractive than the original, and I can personalise them to include the recipient’s favourite things.

Here’s the new improved Dream Box:

It’s available to order from www.folksy.com/shops/jumbleshell

Just don’t tell my son, or he’ll be wanting a new shiny one too!

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Making Notes: Little Boxes

A while ago I bought some photo frame bracelets.  I like the idea and I am hoping that other people will too, as I plan to sell them.  But they looked very uninspiring in their original packaging, so I knew something would have to be done to make them more appealing.

I immediately thought that replacing the stock photos with patterned card would improve their look, and knew that a gift box would help too.  So they got thrown into the “random craft things” drawer to await further action.

Then yesterday I was putting away some new purchases including this pad of patterned paper, acquired last week from my current favourite shop, Tiger.  And I had a Eureka moment.  Not only would this paper be great for the frames, but I could also use it to make matching gift boxes.

Making a box from a square of paper is relatively easy once you get your head around it.  And much cheaper than buying a gift box.  So here’s my short guide to making little boxes:

1.  Take your square of paper.  I used A4 size paper which I squared off by simply folding one corner to the opposite side and trimming off the excess.

While you are at it, fold the square diagonally in the other direction as well, and the point where the two folds cross is the centre of your square.

2.  Fold each corner of the square into the centre.  (ignore the fold you can see on the top right of the photo – that’s there because I was reusing some paper that had been folded in an envelope, and isn’t part of the design.)

Then fold again so that the edge of your fold meets the centre line.

Unfold each corner before moving on to the next one.

You should end up with a piece of paper which has lots of little square fold lines marked out on it.

3.  Make four cuts, two sets of two at opposite corners.  Use the fold lines as a guide, cutting in two squares long and two squares wide.

4.  Fold up the corners you haven’t cut, bringing the point into the centre.  You now have two sides of the box, plus some support for the other two sides.

5.  Then fold in the other two corners, so all of the points meet in the middle.  And you’re done!

It shouldn’t need any glue to stay together, but free free to add a little dot under the corner points if you like – sometimes they just don’t want to stay put!

This white box was actually the base of my boxes, and the lids were made using the coloured paper.  To make the bases and lids fit together, the square for the bottom needs to be slightly smaller – I chop off about 1/4 inch from each side before folding, and that seems to do the trick.

So here is a finished box:

And one with its matching bracelet:

I think this is definitely an improvement on how the bracelet looked at the start, and it didn’t cost much money or take much time.

Now all I need is someone to buy them!