Monday, April 20, 2009

Jewelry boxes for Mother's Day

This is a fun little project to do with your children. Two years ago my then 5 year old made me one in his preschool class. He was so excited to come home and have me open it up. They had it wrapped in sponge painted paper. What he was really excited about was the surprise inside. He couldn't wait for me to open the box. Inside the top is a picture of him that says "Happy Mother's Day 2007." Along with the surprise on the inside of the lid, there was a message on the back of the box. It says "I (a wood heart shape) You." It was a fun twist on an ordinary box. He had put one flower sticker on the top and one on the front. The box had a inlay design on it so, it didn't need much. What I loved best about it, was his pride in the project. He was so proud to bring me something that he made. You know what he also said, I will never ever forget this, "Mama, your my best friend." He then gave me a huge hug. Who says Autistic individuals can't show love? He shows it quite clearly and often. Maybe it is because since the day he was born I haven't been able to stop hugging and holding him and showering him with love. Ok one last little story about my youngest son and then back to the box. My 4 year old asked me the other day if I would marry him. I tried to explain that, while I love him a lot and he will always be mine and I his, Mama's can't marry their sons. Then he said "will you marry me now?" What is not to love?
Ok back on track.

-Your local craft store should sell un-finished boxes complete with hinges and a latch. They come in all shapes and sizes and some are more fancy than others. Choose one that best suits your needs. Keep in mind that you will be putting a picture on the inside of the lid, so you want it to have enough room to put your picture in it. If you have more than one child then you will need to have room for all your children's pictures.

I picked out two different styles of boxes and some wood decorative pieces that I thought would look nice together. One of my boxes is a little more plain than the other. That is why I have the decorative molding, to jazz it up a bit. I thought the rosette would look nice in the middle of my square box. I also dug out some flower stickers from my scrap booking supplies. The blue one is a real pressed flower made into a sticker. I also picked up some silk flowers, I thought they would also look nice on top of the box. I picked out blue felt, because my Mother-in-law's favorite color is blue (I added felt to the inside of the boxes).

Before I get my boys involved with the putting together of the boxes, I did some prep work. To make the flowers sit more flush to the top of the box, I snipped off the back as flush as I could get it.
You can see that I was able to cut quite a bit off. I did this with at least 3 of my flowers. I also pulled all the flowers off the stems as well as the leaves. That way we will have plenty to work with. You may find that even with the stem cut all the way down, you may need to flatten your flower some more. In this particular flower there were plastic spacers between each of the petal layers. They are there to help the petals lift towards the center of the flower. I removed the green backing you see above and all but one of the spacers and trimmed the excess stem again. Then put a dab of glue between the layers to help keep the flower together then glue the flower to the box.

I could have left the rosette un-painted and just put a clear coat over it and the box when we are done. However, in my minds eye, I knew it would pop so much more if I painted it. I could have gone with any color on this. I could also see this in shades of brown orange and yellow.

Play with what you have and see what you like best. I cut the flower stickers close so that I could lay them out on the box with out having the backing be a distraction. Here I am just showing the different ways I could make up this box with the supplies I showed you earlier. My plan was to have my boys help me make the final choices. I considered painting the rim of the box, but opted to leave it. The middle picture shows how you can add a sticker to the front of the box below the hinge. You don't have to be elaborate and your child may choose just to add a few simple stickers. If you want this to be something your child makes for some one then give them all the options and show them how it can look. Then let them choose and help stick/glue the embellishments on. It can be as simple or as fancy as you want.
This is the box that is for my Mother-in-law. Shh don't tell her!!! I think I am safe because she doesn't come on line all that often. Keep your fingers crossed. My partner's in crime should keep my secret safe. I used a decorative trim to take the box to the next level. Before it was plain and in need of some thing special. I used my husbands miter box and hand saw to cut the corners at a 45 degree angle. Just like you would for making a frame. It took some thought but it wasn't hard at all. I used a fine grit sand paper (the higher the number the finer the grit) to smooth out the cuts and any rough edges on the box. After I glued the trim onto my box and let it set up, I used a spray polyurethane to give the box a light protective coating. This also adds a bit of shine to my box. The more coats you layer on the glossier the finish will be. Let it dry between coats. The wood will soak up the first layer or two, so plan on at least 3 coats. (be sure not to make each coat too heavy or you will get drips) Also be sure to have your latch open and not down over the bottom portion of the latch. You don't want to seal your box shut. Between coats I also opened my box to ensure the hinge didn't freeze shut. After the polyurethane dried I glued the flowers on top. The outside isn't the best part about this box.................
Go outside with your kids and do a photo shoot. Be creative. Take pictures of them all together or as separate shots. Pretty portraits with beautiful smiles are nice and so are the silly pictures with funny faces. Try to get personality shots. Sometimes the best pictures aren't the ones that are staged. For my Mother-in-law I would consider putting a picture of my husband and boys inside the lid. For my Mother I would try to get a picture of the boys and I. If you can manage it, have some one take a picture of your whole family together. That is when you say "Oh SIL, with the great portrait taking skills, please come take our family picture.........pretty please." Assuming you live remotely close for her to do that for you. Alas, mine isn't all the close at hand and not feeling well right now.

My husband got sick last night and the boys just didn't want to pose for me. So I went with a picture I took at the Zoo yesterday. I don't want my boy's faces posted on line so my heart Shields them. What you can't see are silly faces. A lot of the time I get silly faces and various expressions instead of just smiles from my boys. It is their sense of humor coming out. I like it. The pictures seem more real to me when they show the personalities coming through that way.

I chose to put my picture on a background and that lead me to finish it off scrap book style. I rather like it a lot. My original plan was just to put a picture in the lid. One thing almost always leads to another. And they ARE a few of my MOST FAVORITE THINGS . You could laminate the picture to protect it from the acid in the wood that will, over time, yellow the photo.
For the bottom of the box, I lined it with felt. I used my die cutter to cut out the letters and the hearts out of felt. This is where I got the most help, because they love using the die cutter. I then cut out the piece that covers the bottom of the box. Before I placed it inside, I glued the letters and the heart on to it. I then put some glue down in the bottom of the box along the edges and some a long the center. I didn't use a ton of glue because it will bleed through the felt if you use too much. You could also choose to line the bottom with scrap book paper that coordinates with the lid and use alphabet stickers for your message.

Don't forget to put your child's name and the date on the box. Either inside the lid with the picture or on the bottom of the box. On the bottom of the box I am adding who the box is to and who it is from. That way in years to come, everyone who sees it will know who made it and who it was for. After all, this is the kind of gift you keep forever.

You can change this project up a little and could make it for other people as well.
For a teacher, I would have my child draw a picture. Then scan it and re size it to fit. Print it out and put it inside the lid with a special message on the bottom of the box.

For a Dad or Grandpa, I would still put a picture in the lid (with name and date of course). The decorations on the outside, I would keep simple. A Fleur-de-lis applique on top or on the front would be nice. Maybe themed stickers of their favorite hobby. If you get a big enough box, a hand print would also be a nice touch. At the craft store they had a box shaped like a book. This would be perfect for some one that loves books. Such as my husband and Father-in-law.


1 comment:

RootsAndWingsCo said...

Katrina, I love this! Especially the picture and saying on the inside of the lid! Love that!