Thursday, February 9, 2012

"Plan B" Crafting

I saw this lovely idea the other day for making little valentines mailboxes and thought - Hey, I'd like to make those!  I thought they'd be fun for valentines day and then maybe, if I got my act together I could also use them for little "we love you" gifties for the kids while we were on our holiday in the near future.

So today, which it turns out is also known as too late, I went into town to search for the elusive  little metal mailboxes.

I got skunked.  And, let's be honest, I was a little bummed.  I had visions of sugarplums excited kids looking forward to the yearly Valentines tradition of checking their mailboxes for surprises from Mom and Dad.  Maybe, if I left them out they would start writing little notes of encouragement to one another, maybe they would never have occasion to be snippy or find fault with one another, maybe these mailboxes were the key to family, nay, world peace, and I had missed out on finding them.

I might overestimate the power of crafts.

I still liked the idea of smallish and stylish container that could hold small gifts and notes.  I liked the idea of something durable that I could decorate once, and then not have to wrap said small gifts and notes to put inside.

You call it lazy, I call it...lazy.

Just when I was about to give up, I saw these little unfinished wooden boxes, and decided that for $1.25 a piece, it was worth giving it a try.  I brought them home, spray painted them, and marked them with a "B".  Okay, actually a B, M, N, K & T, (my kids initials - man that's a bunch!) and then did a little stamping and here is how they turned out:

I'm in love, and feeling fairly like a genius.

I ended up getting a brain wave half way through making them and thought - what if I could make them more of a special occasion box, as opposed to just a Valentines box?  Bingo!
This is me, wishing I was a good photographer.  

I was really having a good day, or at least, a good crafting day, and I also thought to make a little pocket to fasten to each lid to hold the other tags.

Yay!  Can't wait to fill these with little somethings!

In case you want to attempt this totally doable craft, here are the supplies I used.  I happened to have everything but the boxes in my possession already, so the grand total for this inspiring moment was $7 and about 3 hours total effort - drying time not included!

Spray paint (Home Depot), Decor Elements White Vinyl, 1 3/8" circle punch, "Got Treats" stamp set, Clips Assortment, Pumpie Pie, Pear Pizzazz Soft Suede, Tempting Turqouise, Cranberry Crisp Markers and Classis Ink, Big Shot Die Cutter, Alphabet dies, cardstock  (Stampin' Up!), Velcro (Staples?), Glue Gun (Michaels), Silver Tray (IKEA),
Piece of card stock 1 3/4" by 5 1/2" - scored at 1/2" and 2 1/2" to make pocket for inside lid. (Some needed to be cut narrower to fit the space in between the lid.)
*If you don't own a Big Shot die cutter, or any stamp sets etc, I would venture you could find stickers that you could substitute with.


  • Cut paper or post-it-note to cover window on the outside and inside of the box.  Alternately, you can just do the outside and spend five minutes scrubbing the inside of the window after you've done spray painting.  Moving along...
  • Spray the boxes and lids using short small strokes.  It is better to do multiple layers of paint than try and get it done in one shot.  I finally believe this after many streaky/blobby spray paint projects - I'm a slow learner, but take my advice, you won't be sorry.
  • When boxes are dry, remove paper
  • Cut out monogram letters using decor elements vinyl sheets in the Big Shot - remember to place it with the back facing you, so your letter won't be backwards when you want to stick it on the glass.
  • Stick monograms onto glass window
  • Use glue gun to stick small clip in bottom corner
  • Make fun little tags using 1 3/8" punch 
  • Fold piece of card stock  to make a pocket, adhere velcro to the side without the flap. As shown in the picture below - cause I don't know how to explain it well otherwise. Place opposite piece of velcro on this piece, and THEN stick it to the lid - no need to worry about lining it up.  This piece will hold all the extra tags that aren't being used.  Or, maybe you're not like me, and you can put those tags somewhere else and not lose them or forget about them.  I'm not judgy, you do what works for you.  The tension of the flap against the lid should be enough to keep everything in! (I hope - or I will have to come with a Plan C!
copyright 2012 - Karina Loewen -  Feel free to share, but please link back to this specific blog post when you do.  And...what else am I supposed to say?  I think something about not claiming this idea as your own when entering contests etc.  Do what's right!

Reality Check
This is what my school/craft room looked like half way through the got worse before it got better.

What you don't hear in that picture are my kids picking and crabbing at each other, and you don't see supper that is not being made when it should be.  Like I said, it was a good crafting moment.  There were some other moments that weren't so awesome.  But it ended well, kids, crafts and all.

Happy Crafting, and may all your Plan B's be beautiful in the end!


  1. you are a genius!

    1. Why thank you Moni! Right now you are my favourite person - ha ha!

  2. Hey Karina
    LOVE these...couldn't see where you picked up the boxes for 1.25.
    Made my day, and great article by the way.

  3. I bought them from the dollar store on Marshall Rd. in Abby. (Don't know where you are from, but guessing you're local!) I've seen them at other dollar stores a well AND I also saw them totally overpriced at Michael's. :) Glad you liked it!


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