Colour Me Happy

I love my colour printer.

For years we have had a black and white laser printer. It works fine, has lasted a long time, and is economical to run. But it was rather limiting when it came to crafts.

So when we moved house last year, and I acquired a work room of my own, I graciously allowed my husband to have the laser printer in his office. I, meanwhile, emptied out my money box and bought myself a swanky new colour printer. It is a thing of beauty, sitting unobtrusively on the corner of my desk and trilling into life when I send it a job (wirelessly, no less). It wasn’t cheap, and I am in denial about how much the cartridges cost, but it gives me enormous pleasure every time I use it. And it has greatly increased the scope of my labelling and packaging.

For example, last year my Christmas wish bracelets looked like this:
But now I have this little gem:

I have come up with these:

Okay, I know I have probably got a bit overexcited and gone too far the other way. But it’s definitely an improvement. And maybe by next year I will have found the happy medium.


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!