OK, this project is pretty ridiculously simple, but either I was searching with the wrong keywords or this hasn't been posted before.
I've seen some of the gift boxes people have made with old LP covers, so while browsing through Goodwill the other day and looking at all the forlorn VHS tapes, I couldn't help thinking, "Hey, these are made of cardstock... surely they could be reconstructed into gift boxes."
Surely they could.
This is my proof of concept box, recycled from a Disney Reluctant Dragon tape sleeve. Dimensions of the finished box are approximately 4" x 4.25" x 1.25"; it's about the right size to hold a large jewelry item or a specialty card game, or maybe a set of small square notecards. I used some white cardstock I had on hand for the box bottom, but I could just as easily have used another VHS tape sleeve, maybe turned inside out so that the inner white side showed.
The basic template was tweaked from Mirkwood Designs' match box bottom template; I just made two box bottoms, one a bit smaller and with higher sides than the other. They fit VERY snugly, so next time I might reduce the dimensions of the box bottom by the tiniest bit. Also, because of the location of the image on the front of the sleeve, one of the sides didn't have quite enough paper to make fully doubled sides, so I just didn't double that side. No biggie.
I don't particularly look it, but I'm a quarter Swedish. This becomes most obvious when you visit my house around Christmastime, and the heart baskets, flag garlands, and tomtar come out with a vengeance. But I haven't really attempted to craft anything new related to my Swedish ancestry...
We have a Daiso near my house (yay Daiso!) which sells small sheets of shrink plastic for $1.50 (yay cheapie craft supplies!). After experimenting a bit with shrinkage--shrink plastic always seems to shrink more in one direction than another--I drew some Swedish heart baskets with red Sharpie marker, cut 'em out, craft-punched two strategic holes and set them in the oven to shrink.
I am not the Shrinky Dink Whisperer, so they came out less than perfect. The bottom of one of the hearts twisted around in a way that was less than aesthetically pleasing, and I didn't work fast enough to scootch it back into place before the charms hardened for good. So I just got out the scissors and trimmed off the offending area. If you look closely, you can also see these earrings are not perfectly flat; there are a few pits and warbles here and there. But overall I'm very pleased.
OK, I'm almost embarrassed to put this up. You people are amazing.
Anyway, you know those little Magic Towel washcloths, the kind that expand in water? Our local Dollar Tree has a whole bunch of Muppet and Disney ones right now, and I picked up a couple because I wanted to make something for my nephew who is Muppet-obsessed.
My mom made us pillows out of printed washcloths when we were kids. At first, I thought I'd get all fancy-pants and make a little pillow with piping around the edges, but let's just say that experiment was a disaster. Apparently I am not a quick study at sewing piping. So after a lot of cursing and seam ripping, I thought I'd make something a bit simpler. Back to the dollar store.
So, two washcloths, some recycled fiberfill and four homemade yarn tassels later, here's what we've got:
I've got to say, I think I like the tassels more than the original (yellow) piping.
Well, I've been looking at the photos, bought a cheap zipper from St. Vinnie's, and went at it. Here's the first attempt... still not quite there. I think I need a bigger zipper. That or smaller petals.
OK, one more--this is a set of denim accessories, including shoes.
Sandals, Bag, Kerchief
Materials: Denim--1 1/4 yds.; heavy cable cord, 2 yds.; 2 small buckles, 2 cork inner soles, 2 pieces of felt, 4" x 10".
Directions for Cutting: Kerchief--4 pieces: pattern No. XX--2 fabric (add 1/2" around pattern edge for seam allowance); 2 crinoline (no seam allowance); 1 triangle (half of 27" square). Bag, 2 pieces, 16 1/2" x 19 1/2" (one piece could be cut of waterproof fabric); 2 fabric circles 13" in diameter; 1 cardboard circle, 12" in diameter. Sandals, 4 pieces, 4" x 4" (fronts); 2 bias strips, 2" x 8 1/2" (back strap); 2 straight strips, 1 1/2" x 12 1/2" (ankle straps and 3" for center tab on front piece); 2 pieces of felt cut to fit cork inner soles.
Directions for Making: Observe the drawings closely. There are no special problems in making this set.
Personally, I think they wimped out on the "directions for making" section of this tutorial. The only further suggestion I would make is to try the shoes on as you make them, to be sure the front piece fits properly over the arch of your foot and that the back straps are situated so they fit smoothly around your heel.
I have a few more of these books. It's interesting and a bit touching to realize that '40s era women didn't make these shoes because they wanted to be crafty--they did it because they had to, if they wanted to enjoy some nice things. There were severe restrictions on purchasing new clothing and the use of fabrics during the war, and in all these books there is usually at least one chapter on how to make new, pretty items out of old clothes--cutting down a man's suit to make a woman's suit, remaking two old dresses into one new one, how to cut up Dad's old dress shirt to make play clothing for children, that sort of thing.
Espadrilles Sizes 6 or 7 (note: probably wouldn't be too hard to size up or down; I'd probably just trace around my own foot to make the pattern)
Material: Printed cotton--3/8" yd.; grosgrain ribbon--3 1/4 yds.; small pieces of felt, crinoline and toweling (scraps may be used since quantities needed are so small).
Directions for Cutting: Add 1/2" around pattern edges for seam allowance; 4 pieces, pattern No. XIX--1 fabric, 1 toweling, 1 crinoline, 1 felt; 2 bias strips, 1" x 24" for binding; 1 1/2" x 18" for loops.
Directions for Making: (1 espadrille) Fold 1 1/2" x 18" bias strip with right side inside and seam long edges. Turn to right side and cut in six equal pieces. Place three sole pieces together, fabric on top, then toweling and crinoline. Baste loops on fabric side as shown (see marks on pattern). Apply bias all around, catching in loops. Sew felt sole to bottom and lace as shown.
Material: Percale or chintz, plain and printed--1/4 yd. of each; denim or drill cloth--1/4 yd.; cotton batting or scraps of heavy woolen fabric--1/4 yd.; percale bias trim in contrasting color--2 yds.; elastic (3/8" wide)--1/2 yd.
Directions for cutting: Sole--3 pieces, pattern no. VII, 1 denim, 1 plain percale, 1 cotton batting. Top--3 pieces, pattern no. VIII, 1 plain percale, 1 printed percale, 1 cotton batting (or several thicknesses of woolen fabric). Ties--2 pieces, each 2" by 12", printed percale.
Directions for making:
1. Place batting (or woolen) between denim and percale pieces of sole (No. Vii), and between plain and print pieces of top (No. VIII), right sides of fabric out.
2. Baste layers together and machine quilt. To machine quilt, mark off diamond shapes by marking lines about 3/4" apart to cover piece. Machine stitch along these lines (see slipper illustration).
3. Bind edges of both pieces with bias trim.
4. Top stitch another piece of bias trim over binding just applied around rounded edge of top piece on printed side, turning under 1/2" at each end.
5. Baste top to upper side (percale) of sole, matching center fronts.
6. Whipstitch free edge of bias trim to under (denim) side of sole.
7. Fold 2" by 12" strips in half lengthwise (right side inside).
8. Stitch edges together along 12" side.
9. Turn strips, insert 8" of elastic in each and whip ends of elastic to ends of strip. Turn under ends of strip and whip to slipper top at each side of center notch.
The key to success is careful measuring and cutting. If you happen to have one of those rotary cutter sets, and you've got at least one blade that you don't mind using to cut paper, you're good to go.
Incidentally, since I am too lazy and/or impatient to put glue on and wait overnight, I used brown packing tape to adhere the flaps to the inside of the box, where they won't be seen. I used a little double-sided mounting tape to make sure the outside edges were well stuck down. This is a shallow box about 10" square across the top, and 3 1/2" deep.