Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cigar Box Mini-Album I haven't been around much this week. This was not on purpose. In fact, since Collin has been working and Darian is with his mom, I had this whole brilliant plan to make this a "project weekend" starting on Friday. Ah, best laid plans...

I spent Friday morning running errands and Saturday cleaning the house in preparation for game night. On the upside, my house got really clean yesterday and smelled like my yummy Scentsy for about 24 hours. But...we had the friends over to watch the BSU game (we're die-hard fans) and the nice fresh feeling has faded. In fact, when I woke up this morning it smelled like hot wings. Delicious...but not at 9am. The Scentsy has been turned back on.

I did manage to break out a project on Friday - so you do finally get a post. Eventually I will have this down to a science. This blogging thing is time consuming.

I'm coming clean right now people. I am a scrap supply hoarder. It's a little ridiculous. I admit it. But I finally made it worthwhile. I have been saving some of the cuter boxes that my chipboard alphabets came in thinking that someday I would make something of them. Guess what? That day has come. I finally did it. I took one down off the shelf and made this :

It's a cigar box mini-album. Obviously it's not filled in yet, but I'm saving that for another post. (I have to ration these things.) It has 26 pages in it (this was not really planned, it just happened) so now I'm trying to decide if I want to do something alphabetty - I'm making that a word - or if I want to make a mini-album about the house (it's a little sick, but I wrote it down and it can work out to 26 rooms/areas). What do you think I should do? Let me know in the comments section. Hopefully I can have it ready for a big blog reveal in October.

This project was (or should have been) pretty straightforward, but I did learn some things along the way. It really bothers me when crafters make it look like they never make mistakes and everything they make comes out perfect on the first try. I think that a lot of people get discouraged by this because they then think that it's not something they can do themselves. I say bologna. Because of this, I think me telling you how I did it (even with some of the dumber ideas that didn't work out) can show you that mistakes happen and maybe I might also help make a similar project easier for you. Learn from my occasional lack of common sense.

It took me about four hours start to finish, but I'm pretty sure I could do another one in about half the time now that I've learned from my mistakes.

This is what I started with :

You see why I kept it right?! It's cute. I just couldn't toss it.

The first task was to cover up the product information on the front cover. I measured the center red block and cut a piece of red cardstock to size. This is when I found road block number one. I LOVE the cute little window on the cover. But how the heck to recreate that on my cardstock...hmm...I knew I would have to use my handy dandy X-Acto to cut it out, but how in the world was I going to make a template?

Brilliant idea number one was to use a rubbing. Basically a less creepy version of the headstone rubbing that my high school history teacher had us do for a project my senior year. Junior year? I'm getting old...this is all a blur. So I made the rubbing on white scrap and cut it out. Super. That worked great.

But then I discovered the downside to this idea. How was I going to line this up on my cut out cover? Well...I tried measuring from the edges of the box and making coordinating marks on my red paper. That failed miserably. I ended up with three different versions, each one crooked. I got one that lined up pretty good and cut it out with the X-Acto thinking that I had conquered the problem. Wrong. My rubbing was apparently not very accurate and the edges looked rough and messy. Blegh. New plan.

What I ended up doing - what actually worked - was to lay an uncut piece of red paper on the cutting mat and then lay the lid down over the top of that. I used my dry embossing tool to press an impression into the paper from above. Haha! I have beaten you plastic window!

I cut that out and then used the center as a guide to cut the paper to fit. I then used my ModPodge to adhere it to the lid. Task one complete. I think this part alone took me nearly two hours. I will admit it. There was cursing. In retrospect, I think painting over this section would've been wiser...and easier. Live and learn.

I decorated the lid after that. Some cute ribbon, a paper flower, chipboard circle and a pink Heidi Swapp jewel. I realized that opening the lid was a little tough, so it needed a handle. So I created a cute little tab out of some ribbon and a brad.

Outside done. Check. (Well...except for the album title that will be added later.)

If you've seen my scrap room then you know that I have a bunch of random crap. This came in handy. I just happened to have some D-rings in a drawer from some belt kits that I bought a few years back because I thought the belt fabric was cute (I have used it as ribbon on scrap pages in the past). I decided to use these to hold my interior pages.

It then came time to pick the paper. It took me a while to figure it out. I originally wanted to use scrap paper because heaven knows I have enough of that.

Well, nope. That didn't work. I'm apparently far too particular. I wound up busting out my 6x6" scrapbook paper stack and picked out identical patterns in red, blue and green (colors fairly close to those on the outside of the box). To mix things up a little I also added some black and white patterns.

I cut each page down to 5" high and 5 1/2" wide to fit inside the 6x6" box with enough room for movement and the D-rings. There was cursing at this stage too. The cute little box patterns came out looking a little wall-eyed. Whatever. I had to just let this go - which was hard, I promise. I very nearly scrapped those.

I hole punched them...let's amend that...I hole punched them INCORRECTLY. Crap. Again with the cursing. You know that old adage "measure twice, cut once"? Ya, I didn't do that. I punched the first holes about 1/2" from the edge only to realize that this did not allow enough room to actually fit both the paper and the D-rings in the box. (There is a reason I am not an engineer like my brother.) So I had to punch another set of holes.

At first I thought I could "cover" this up by putting a ribbon through the first set of holes and tying a bow. This looked cute, but the pages couldn't turn freely. Fail. I cut the ribbon and decided to live with the extra holes. Such is life.

I then had to figure out a way to attach the D-rings to the box. This was interesting. The D-rings that I have open on the underside. So I had to put the paper on the rings before I attached the rings to the box. That was obnoxious. I came up with the idea to get a base sheet and then adhere this base to the box. I cut out a piece of black cardstock, punched holes in the appropriate location, and added this to the D-rings. I laid the whole assembly in the box to make sure it would work, only to realize that the rings would flop to the side. Fine. Bust out the fancy supplies. I scotch taped the rings to the cardstock to hold them in place.

I then used some scrapbook adhesive to glue the cardstock to the box (ModPodge was too wimpy and made a mess. It would've worked, but I was too lazy to sit there and hold everything in place while it dried so that the weight of the rings didn't pull the paper from the back.)

Tada! Finished. I really hope you have been able to learn from my mistakes. I'm sure that there are other ways to do what I did, but this is what worked for me. And now I have a cute little mini-album that can also act as a display piece. Plus, I have four more of these in the scrap closet to play with. Whee!


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