Saturday, November 22, 2014

Christmas in November #22--Pillow Boxes

I have always been infatuated with these pillow boxes. There are now scoring boards that allow you to make them. The only problem with the scoring boards is that they only allow one width for the pillow box. I wanted to make the boxes myself for the dimensions that I wanted.

I knew that it would be a matter of mathematics and construction but I had some extra time on my hands and felt up to the challenge.

First order of business was deciding what I wanted to include in my pillow box. I decided to make some boxes to hold a gift card. The gift card is 2 1/8 inches by 3 3/4 inches. So I cut out a rectangular piece of card stock 5 1/2 inches (width) by 5 3/4 inches (height).

To calculate the dimensions of the card stock, I doubled the size of the width of the item (2 times 2 1/8 inches). I added 1/2 inch for the flap that gets glued to the inside of the box, I then added 3/4 to allow for the filling of the box. For thicker items, you might want to add a little more to this dimension.

For the height, I took the height of the item (3 1/4 inches) and added an one inch to the top and bottom (added a total of two inches) and then added an extra 1/2 inch for clearance.

Scoring guidelines and
Step Two: Score the card stock. Score along the long edge 1/2 inch from one edge. You can score the card stock again 2 1/2 inches from the same edge if you like. I simply took the opposite edge and folded the paper to the first score line to get an exactly half measurement.

Step Three: Round the edges and miter the flap. Take a rounded object and align one end to the left edge of the card (the left edge is the edge opposite the flap as shown above). Align the top of the curve to the top of card stock. Mark the curve until it meets the center crease. Move the rounded object and align the end so it meets the center crease. Again, align the top edge and mark the curve until it meets the crease on the right. Continue this mark so that you have a right triangle on the top right corner of the card stock.

Rotate your card stock 180 degrees. Repeat the above steps but reverse the order. In other words, work, right right to left. Your first markings should always be opposite of the flap so that the right triangle is the last item to mark.

Turn your card stock over (patterned side up). Repeat the same steps opposite of your cut lines but SCORE rather than mark your lines. The resulting shape should look like an eyelid.

Step Four: Take a half round punch and punch the center panel at both ends.

Step Five: Using your markings as a guide, trim the card stock.

Trimmed and punch
card stock
Step Six: Assemble the box by folding on all score lines. Apply glue to the top side of the flap (the pattern side). It is easier to shape the curves while the box is unglued so pre-form these creases.

With the flap to the right, fold the flap to the inside of the box (starting pattern side down to begin with as shown above). Bring the left panel to meet the edge formed by the folded flap. The glued flap should adhere to the inside of the left panel.

Form one rounded end by folded the punched out center section into the box. Take the remaining flap and fold down. Turn the box over and put your gift card inside. Close the box by folding down the punched center section and fold over the top section.

Traditional Pillow Box
Alternately, you can press both sections of the box simultaneously until the top flap catches the center punched section. This takes a little finesse but I prefer this look because it maximizes the shape of the box.

Alternate closing of pillow box

Notes: There are several YouTube videos which show both the score board and handmade versions of these boxes. The problem I had is that none of them showed how to determine the dimensions of the box.

For the rounding of the box, I used a plate and a jar lid. The best item that worked for me was a set of acrylic French Curves that I had. I was able to mark them with a Sharpie so I could consistently get the same curve within the project and every time I make this size box. In the future, I will probably make a template of the curve out of chip board so I can quickly get the measurement each time.

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