Papercrafting the Holidays: Gratitude Box
Papercrafting for Thanksgiving Day – quick and easy and fun for the whole family!
I’m back with a quick project that’s fun for the whole family!
This is a new addition to our Thankful Thursdays series and one we hope you’ll enjoy checking out and creating.
You can easily create this fun project before Thanksgiving and involve the whole family in adding their two cents on Thanksgiving Day.
I call this the GRATITUDE BOX and inside the box is a decorated, accordion-folded journal.
Quick tip: You can make this a “growing journal” by adding pages each year!
Because my family is quite large, this particular product (the Kraftboard Altered Art Box With Magnetic Closure from Graphic 45) is perfectly suited to my needs – there’s a panel for each family member.
But, if you don’t have as many people in your family, you could have a panel for each year and make it a tradition to add to it every year.
Here are a couple pictures of the finished project:
And now, on to the quick and easy process for creating this so you can have it ready for Thanksgiving Day…
(A supply list has been included at the bottom of this post, but keep in mind that a lot of the supplies I used are just random bits from my stash.)
My idea for this project was to use what I have lying around and not obligate myself to yet ANOTHER trip to the store to purchase anything new.
I did, however, start this project with a new Kraftboard Altered Art Box With Magnetic Closure from Graphic 45.
Quick Tip: You could start this project with an old cigar box or some other sturdy box you have lying around.
The first thing I did was paint the box – I used a gold, metallic paint.
Paint everything that will NOT be covered with decorative paper and be sure to get all of the edges and creases (see below).
The next step (once the paint is completely dry) is to measure all of the areas that will be covered with your decorative paper.
Transfer those measurements to the backs of your chosen paper and cut out the pieces.
Here’s an easy way to measure and cut your paper if your box has windows (images follow the instructions):
- Center your measured and cut decorative paper over the spot where it will be adhered, but do not yet adhere it.
- Secure it well, with clips – you don’t want the paper to move!
- Trace the window openings onto the back of the paper.
- Unclip the paper and grab your ruler and draw lines 1/4″ from the outside of all of the traced lines – these are the lines you will cut on (do NOT cut on the originally traced lines!).
- Cut out the windows using a sharp craft knife, and ruler (preferably with a metal edge) to guide the knife (you could also use scissors if you don’t have a craft knife).
Here you can see the decorative paper, properly cut and adhered to the lid of the box:
I covered the spines of the box, and a couple of spaces on the inside of the box, with my chosen paper:
Quick Tip: Once all the paint, and glue (from adhering the paper down), is completely dry, give your project a good coat of sealer – I used Mod Podge (glossy finish).
You want this to last for many years to come!
Another Quick Tip: If you find that once you seal a project it tends to stick, give it a coat of Daddy Van’s All Natural Unscented Beeswax Furniture Polish. I am always reaching for this product and a little goes a long way. I LOVE this stuff, and the company!
Now it’s time to move onto the journal…
Click on the following link – this is a template for the pockets which you’ll attach to the inside of the journal pages:
Papercrafting the Holidays: Gratitude Box – Pocket Template
Trace this template onto the paper you’d like to use for your journal page pockets and cut out as many pockets as you’ll need – I needed a total of seven for my journal.
I made my pockets out of kraft paper, but you can use anything that inspires you and/or that you have on hand.
For the journal pages, I went through my paper stash and found some paper that I liked and that I thought would go well with the look and feel that I was after.
I then measured and cut out the size I needed to cover the journal pages.
In the pictures below, you can see the before & after of my journal page paper edges – I like the distressed look, so I went with the inked edges, but you can skip this step if that isn’t the look you’re going for.
You will see later where I also inked the edges of the pockets. Again, you can choose to do this or not, depending on whether or not you like this look.
Quick Tip: To get the partial-circle cut-out you see on the pocket above, grab a circle punch and slide it about one-third of the way into your paper edge and punch the pocket paper.
Now adhere your desired paper to the journal pages and then adhere the pockets to the covered journal pages.
And now, let’s move on to the really fun part…EMBELLISHING!!!
Again I used my stash – I embellished with things that I already own.
I used items such as:
- washi tape
- lace stickers
- wood veneers
- paper flowers
- quote stickers
- alphabet chipboard
Have fun with this part!
This is your opportunity to personalize each section.
Did you see (in the image above) where I distressed the edges of the pockets with ink?
For the cover of the journal, I Googled “Attitude of Gratitude” quotes.
I found one that I liked, printed it out and then simply glued that down to the front of the journal, above a definition of gratitude sticker I had in my stash.
Add a few wood pieces, paper flowers and metal brads, and the font cover is all done!
For the tags…
I determined the size I wanted them to be and marked those measurements on cardstock.
I wanted rough edges so I tore out the tag shapes rather than cutting them.
Simply lay a metal ruler along the measured, marked lines, then grab hold of the paper and tear it upward, towards you.
I then used my alphabet stamps and stamped “I am GRATEFUL for…” on the top of each tag before stapling some yarn, ribbon and twine to the top of each tag.
Tags are DONE!!
Place the tags into their corresponding pockets and your GRATITUDE BOX is finished!!
The only thing left to do is for each family member to add what he or she is grateful for – a fun family activity as you celebrate Thanksgiving Day!
See, wasn’t that easy?
Now, IT’S YOUR TURN TO MAKE ONE!
This project is about using what you have on hand.
If you don’t have access to this Graphic 45 product (linked above and below) or simply want to make do with what you have on hand, you can use a cigar box or another sturdy box you already own.
Also, the journal for the inside of the box can be created by accordian-folding cardstock or thin chipboard.
I hope I’ve inspired you to create a simple project like this,
a project that you and your family can always look back at
to remember all the ways that you’ve been blessed during the past year.
Please leave us a comment below and tell us what you think about this project –
we’d love to hear your thoughts!
And if you have any questions about the process above, please ask –
I’m happy to help!
And finally, if you decide to make a Gratitude Box,
please share a link to your finished project –
we’d love to see it!
I’d love it if you’d come by my blog, BeEclecticArtStudio, to say hi.
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Supplies and tools used in this project:
- Graphic 45’s Kraftboard Altered Art Box With Magnetic Closure
- Gold Metallic Acrylic Paint
- Scrapbook Paper
- Mod Podge (Glossy Finish)
- Daddy Van’s Natural Unscented Beeswax Furniture Polish
- Kraft Paper
- Ranger | Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Aged Mahogany, Rusty Hinge, Peeled Paint, Vintage Photo)
- Chipboard Alphabets and Numbers
- Aleene’s Tacky Glue
- Paper Flowers
- Paper Beads (I make these in bulk and have them ready for whenever I need them)
- Fibers (Yarn, Ribbon, Twine, Lace)
- Washi Tape
- Embellishments (Buttons, Brads, Wood Veneers)
- Alphabet Stamps
- Alphabet Stickers
- Stapler & Staples
- Craft Knife
- Circle Punch
- Binder Clips