Monday, 29 July 2013


Inspired by this picture I pinned a while back on Pinterest, I had a fun idea for the next snailmail tutorial. I believe there's also a tutorial at the picture, but I prefer creating with my own things. Here's what I did:

First I created a foldout of a little box (10 x 10 x 2,5 cm). You can download it over here for free (to print yourself). The solid borders need to be cut, dotted is folding and the grey is where the glue goes at the end.

I printed this twice on kraft paper and cut it out.

I used a stanley knife, but you can of course also use scissors. Whatever you prefer.
Note! When you do use a knife, don't forget to put a mat under it.

Because I wanted the boxes to be firm, but my printer doesn't accept too heavy paper, I glued (Pritt) the cut outs on cardboard. Don't forget to really secure the edges, so the don't curl off when you're folding.

I didn't want you to be able to see the print when the box is done, so I put the glue on that side. I kept the fold out nearby (on the computer, or and extra print), to use for reference.

I took my stanley knife and ruler again and cut away the excess cardboard. I also cut the little flaps loose, which I have to use to put the box together.

After that I took a folding bone to the folding lines. Huh what? Don't worry, let me explain :) A folding bone is little plastic thing that helps you crease in the paper/cardboard to make folding easier. If you don't have one, you can also use a pen (tip inside). Would you like to buy one? They usually have them at art stores.

Here's what you do: put the ruler, following one of the dotted lines. pull the folding bone or pen against it, over the paper until you see a creased line. Sometimes you have to repeat a few times, this depends on how thick the paper/cardboard is. remove the ruler and bend the paper back and forth. You will notice this is very easy.

> Do this on a cutting mat, it's easier with a flexible underground.
> Don't push too hard, or else you'll damage the paper. To be sure, it's better to do this on the side that is going to be the inside of the box. Once it's folded, you won't really be able to see any possible damages.

Next you can assemble the boxes. Put some glue on the grey areas (see foldout). You can also use doublesided tape, then you won't have to wait for the glue to dry. Don't have tape? Secure the corners with a hairpin, after the glue, so they won't come loose.

> When you're folding, the glued paper can come off. Keep the glue handy, so you can immediately secure it.
> When you're using doublesided tape, cut this with old scissors. The glue can really damage your scissors.

And voilá the boxes!

After that, I created a folder, the boxes are going in here, so it needs to wrap around them. I took a large piece of cardboard on which I placed one of the boxes. The first part had to have the same width, so I put a little scratch where the box ended. I drew a line with the folding bone over the cardboard. I also made it a little bit bigger: better to cut away excess than bummed that it's too small.

I repeated this, but next with the height of the box.

And again, this time with the width again. In stead of creating a foldline, I cut it off. To test if I did it right, I put the boxes in the folder:

The folder is a little bit too big, but that's ok!

Now it's time to glue the boxes in the folder. I held the back of the folder up, so it would in it's right place. First glue the bottom of the box and place it where you want it. What I love about Pritt is that it's not instantly dry, you can still move it about.

Now this is something you can decide for yourself, but I had this crazy idea that I wanted the other box on the other side. They had to be joining, so here's what I did: Glue the bottom of the box and put it upside-down (glue on top) next to the first box. Now close the folder.

and tadaa!

Cut away the excess cardboard, while you're holding the folder in place.

As you can see, my box isn't perfect either. But I kind of like that, makes it more 'handmade'. So don't be bummed about possible mistakes. You can always try to hide them with tape or something!

For the tabs, you have various possibilities. You can work with a button and rope (small and thin!), or use magnet tape. But while I was creating it, I noticed that when you put them inside the boxes, the boxes stay closed. Unfortunately this isn't really handy for the receiver to open them.. so now what?

Create a little tab on the box, so the receiver can easily open the boxes.
> Put a piece of tape on the tab.
> Double fold it.
> Cut it straight and next a triangle out it.
> Fold the tab on the cover and draw an arrow on it.

And next is the decoration and content, totally up to you!


I hope I've explained it right, if not.. ask a question in a comment. I was also wondering if this tutorial might be too extensive / complicated. What do you think?
Psst.. There's also a tutorial today at ankepanke's blog that is fun for a (theme)goodie in your snailmail. 

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