Wednesday, 22 March 2017

How to make an Exploding Box!

Hi folks, I'm excited to share with you a little video of my exploding box - the first I've ever made - and I confess to being really pleased with it!  I'd not come across exploding boxes until I saw a post on a Facebook forum - so I headed over to YouTube to see what I could find.  

As you might expect, there are all sorts of crafters who make these boxes from all over the world, with some amazing ideas about decorations - from the sublime to the totally over the top!  I liked this tutorial for the basic box from Lisa of - the basic box took me no more than about 20 minutes to make.  I used 12x12 cardstock, with a lovely contrasting sheet for the box lid.

Tip - don't throw away the off cuts - they come in handy later!

Then came deciding what decorations to do - this will be a gift for my lovely daughter-in-law's birthday, so I needed something that is pretty but classy and not overblown - less is more!  Two things helped my focus 

1  She likes nice cards to write little notes, thank you notes etc
2  She loves luscious smelling candles

Using an envelope as a template I created little pockets which I stuck, using sticky glue - sets quickly but gives you enough time to position decorations - to the inner side of each flap - 12 pockets in all, using contrasting paper.  For the last layer on the inside, I used the off cuts of the box lid to make pockets.

Next step - make the cards and envelopes.  The cards are super simple to make:

** Cut white (or any colour of your choice) card stock 6 inches x 3 inches, and score on the long side at 3 inches.  If you don't have a scoring board, simply fold the card in half making sure that the edges all line up exactly, and press the fold down firmly.  

**To decorate, I cut little squares of patterned paper that I found in a crafting magazine, cut to about 2 7/8 inches square.  I rounded the corners with a neat little piece of kit that snips the corners for you - very cool!  I also rounded the corners of the cards themselves for a good finish.  

Of course, you don't have to do that - I just like the look of it.

Making the envelopes comes next - again, not difficult and you don't need a template - just follow this YouTube link 

Next step - I decided to use the printed paper off cuts stuck to white card off cuts to make gift labels - I have a couple of label punches which are brilliant for this and you can make them using a ruler and scissors, of course.  

To make them more interesting and substantial, I used contrasting labels for each little set, using the off cuts from the main box.  So, each green tag had a cream and a black one placed under it and tied with some narrow cream satin ribbon.

The decorations are very much a matter of personal taste.  To start off, I used the larger off cuts from the main box to create smaller squares that I glued to the panels as contrasts.  Then I used paper craft flower shapes that I brushed with green ink and then curled the petals to make the flower shape and stuck them on.

And finally to the centre box.  I used black and cream A4 cardstock for this and created a bottom box to fit the centre square - I planned a 3x3x3 inch cube but found the card wasn't quite long enough, so I made the sides 2 3/4 inches.  

I made the lid out of cream card - making the top 3 1/8 inch square and the sides 2 1/2 inches all round.  I stuck the black base to the central square in the main box securely - lots of sticky glue all over and then left to dry.  The lid I decorated with some black chiffon ribbon that I found in my ribbon stash, for that classy finish.

I bought a votive candle in a pretty ceramic pot that my daughter-in-law will be able to use again - as you will see from the video, it fits nicely in that centre box.

I hope you enjoy the video - and have fun making your own!


If you would like me to make one for you, do get in touch through my Etsy shop:

Friday, 17 March 2017

Mothers and Daughters - Mother's Day 26th March 2017 #3


The relationship between mother and daughter is like no other - it can be like two sisters, can be fraught with conflict, or can be somewhere in the middle ... my own mother was like my best friend to whom I could talk about anything and know that she would respond with merriment and teasing or with calm wisdom, depending on what she sensed was needed.  She very rarely got it wrong! She also insisted on her position as matriarch and even as a frail old lady of 96 years she could put me in my place with a word and a look.. and I would be a six year old again (much to my intense irritation at myself!)   

On Instagram I posed the question 'How would you spoil your Mum?'

My mother rejected Mother's Day as an American commercial racket - but appreciated being fussed over.  Gifts she wouldn't accept .... but a home made cake and tea all laid out on a trolley? That was different!

I've discovered a lovely shop on Etsy called QuirkyArtsHere - Kerry is a talented maker of all sorts of gifts using decoupage - and her answer to my question on Instagram was 'I'll be treating mine to one of my decoupaged 'all things tea related' tea caddies.'  

... and here is what she meant......

How cool is that!  A great gift for anyone who likes tea ... (she also makes a coffee lover's caddy!)

My old mum died a few years ago so I'll be treating my lovely daughter-in-law and my own daughter to something special that I will make .... 

... and in case you are stuck, there is still time to visit DunnCrafting for an intimate gift for a special mum - or grandmum

You will find these in the Wedding Favours section at DunnCrafting

The final word I give to Kahlil Gibran (author of The Prophet - a beautiful philosophical poem )

The mother is everything - she is our consolation in sorrow, our hope in misery, and our strength in weakness. She is the source of love, mercy, sympathy, and forgiveness. He who loses his mother loses a pure soul who blesses and guards him constantly

Here are the links to the two Etsy shops featured : -

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Mother's Day: 26th March 2017 #2

The bond between mothers and daughters can be incredibly strong - even when their personalities clash!

My mother used to say 'A son is a son 'til he gets him a wife, a daughter's a daughter all her life' - I'm not sure that is entirely true (seems a bit hard on sons who have their own special relationship with their mothers!) but I always valued my mum's sense of fun (she was in many ways my best friend) - and above all her wisdom.

Mothers Love.  Love Mothers
Gra of has designed some amazing cross stitch designs that would be great gifts for these very special mums.


The centre of any home starts with the mother - chief cook, bottle washer, seamstress, creative genius of fancy dress costumes, birthday cakes and party games, provider of soft lap and hugs, medic, and a shoulder provider for weepy moments - often while being a full time employee somewhere else!

Juggling Mum- this makes me laugh, it's so true!(

Ancient Greeks and Romans celebrated mother goddesses in the spring, and later early Christians took the fourth Sunday of Lent to pay tribute to the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ - this was then expanded to become Mothering Sunday when children brought gifts and flowers to church, and workers were encouraged to return home to honour their mothers.

Today, it is a vast commercial enterprise across the world - but fundamentally, it is still the one time in the year when families can say - Love you mum!

A tribute to a mother's wisdom and love

It has to be said that ideally we should show our appreciation to our mothers all the year round - not just on one day!  Mums of all ages, new mums, older mums, working mums, grandmums - we salute you!

Pay a visit to Gra's shop - you won't be disappointed!

Happy Mother's Day