Every year my family holds a Christmas name drawing. We can opt out if the money isn’t there, but most of us participate. There are two rules: the gift must be homemade and it must cost less than $20. Sometimes these rules get bent a little, but neat gift ideas have come out of this little family ritual.
This year I drew my cousin’s young tween daughter. She loves to read and she loves to draw. This is right up my alley. I found a project online for a keepsake box. I documented the process because I thought it would make a great post.
Ok, so here is what is needed to make a keepsake book box.
1 used or disposable book (find a copy or title you don’t mind shredding.)
1 bottle of white school glue
1 small mixing cup (such as film canisters or disposable bathroom mouth rinse cups)
1 paint brush (I liked using one of those sponge brushes I thought it gave better coverage.)
Access to water (you’ll need to mix water in with the glue 50/50)
A box cutter (especially for a thick book)
Plastic cling wrap
2 decks of playing cards or a similar shaped object
A stack of heavy textbooks
First make sure you cover your work area in newspaper. It is just simple school art class glue, but protect your surface.
Then wrap your cover sans dust jacket in cling wrap plastic. This way when the book dries you don’t leave newsprint all over the cover. Remember this only works with hardcover books.
Decide where you want the book to open and insert the decks of cards or wooden blocks or whatever inside the book. This will keep you from gluing the book into a solid brick.
Brush the glue/water lacquer mix onto the paper sections of the book. In other words everywhere, but the binding.
Set the heavy stack of textbooks or other heavy weight on top of the book. Let it dry (preferably over night.)
Open up the dry book to the desired open spot. You can leave the top pages if you want, but I wanted it to open without that. And there was a pretty awesome sketch of Will Shakespeare I wanted to use later on, so I cut those loose.
I took the ruler and measured out the margins I wanted for the box. A good 1″ to 1 1/2″ is best. After all you don’t want too thin of a wall or else the box won’t hold it’s shape. Then I used my first cut section as a template.
Start cutting by your pattern. The deeper you go, the more glad you’ll be you have the box cutter. Eventually the weight of the book will make it impossible to cut all the way down to the bottom.
After a few frustrated attempts I remembered I didn’t glue the bottom down to the back cover. So I turned it over and started the cutting process again. Word of advice, keep your original template so you don’t forget the pattern. I was sure a couple of times I was cutting in the wrong place.
Soon I cut through the whole book. Of course you don’t have to go to the bottom, but it does make a deeper box.
Now here is where the fun part comes into play. Anything can be placed in the bottom of this box. Colorful paper or fabric, even cute little baubles like buttons. Coat the bottom of the box with glue and add your embellishment. Simple craft glue may be needed for heavier items like buttons or ribbon.
Next add a layer of glue to the box margins and press the two together with heavy textbooks (lay down a layer of plastic wrap over the top of the open book.)
The final step is brush a layer of glue lacquer on the inside of the box. Make sure you have trimmed all the access edges away with the exto-knife before you do this step. Leave the box open and let it dry (again preferably over night.)
When it’s dry, then remove the plastic from the cover and fill it with a trinket before you wrap it.
Me? I sent a small bundle of colored pencils inside mine.