Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Artist Trading Blocks

Artist Trading Blocks are all the rage these days. If you have not heard of this art form, here is a Pinterest Link to get you started! Some of the blocks are made of wood, but many are made from cardstock using some sort of template. I created my "block" using WorldWin Cardstock and the We R Memory Keepers Gift Box Punch Board! {'cause that's how I roll}

I selected the WorldWin Papers Elan Metallics Candied Violet cardstock for the lovely color, but more importantly, for the heavy weight of the cardstock. I needed something that would be easy to work with, but that would also be very sturdy. The cardstock is 111 pound cover and worked perfectly for the project. Plus, the paper is all shimmery and puuurrrty!

The finished box is 4 x 4 x 4 inches, which means you need one 12 x 12-inch sheet of cardstock to create the box. Follow the directions on the punch board to score and fold the box. Use a strong adhesive to assemble the box. Since my box is for display only, I glued the top flap closed. 

With this board, you can make boxes in sizes from 1 3/4 x 1 3/4 x 1 3/4 inches to 4 x 4 x 4 inches. If you have access to paper larger than 12 x 12-inches, I am sure you can figure out how to make larger boxes! (And please forgive my very messy desk mat! It is well loved and well used!)

Trim 6 pieces of printed paper to 3 3/4 x 3 3/4-inches and attach to the sides, bottom, and the top of the box. I am using Graphic 45 Secret Garden, because I love the luscious purple! Remember, if you want to use the box as a gift box, you will NOT cover the top and you need to be aware of how the closure works before gluing any decor to the top of the box.

To create the flowers, I cut various flower shapes from Elan Metallics Candied Violet and Petallics Ice cardstock. I also cut leaves from Elan Metallics Moss cardstock. I used a variety of die cut templates to cut the flowers (see the supply list below).

Lightly spray all the flower and leaf die cut shapes with water. Crumple the flowers and leaves and allow to air dry. Since I am using such heavy weight cardstock, I needed the moisture to break down the fibers of the paper, allowing me to work with it easier. (You could also spray the flowers with a colored mist, rather than plain water.)

Trim out two doily shapes from the Candied Violet and Ice cardstock and ink with distress inks. (If you do not have access to a doily-shaped die cut template, you could use paper doilies, purchased from a craft store.) Using foam tape, attach the doilies to the top of the box as shown.

After the paper flowers and leaves are dry, gently unfold each item. Ink the flowers and leaves with distress ink as desired, and then shape them with a stylus and a foam mat or with your fingers.

Glue each layer together to form flowers. My flowers resemble carnations or dahlias. Arrange the flowers and leaves onto the top of the box and glue in place. You may choose to add a chipboard tag or other element to the box, as desired.

Cut several 1 1/2-inch wide strips of Petallics Ice cardstock and wrap them around the box to form a "belly band." Trim excess cardstock and glue the seams securely. Cut several 3/4-inch wide strips of printed paper and wrap them around the cardstock band as shown.

Add more flowers and leaves to the front and sides of the box, as desired. (I used flowers to hide the seam on the side of the box.) IT is hard to see in the photos, but the Elan Metallics and Petallics cardstock is very shimmery, adding an elegant touch to the project.

Place your box on your desk or table and enjoy! Thanks for looking! I sure had fun creating my first ever artist trading block. {Please, do NOT ask me why they are called that!}

WorldWin Papers:
Elan Metallics Candied Violet, Moss
Petallics Ice

Designer Paper: Graphic 45 Secret Garden Sun Kissed
Chipboard tag: Graphic 45 Secret Garden
Ink: Ranger Distress Dusty Concord, Shaded Lilac
Die cut templates: Spellbinders Jewel Flowers and Flourishes, Carnation Creations, Foliage, Lotus Pendant
Tools: We R Memory Keepers Gift Box Punch Board
Adhesive: Scotch 3M ATG tape; Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L 3D Foam Squares; Aleene's Tacky Glue; Scor-tape


  1. I love this box! I have to tell you, your are one of my fav craft bloggers cause you make me laugh! "that's how I roll" hahaha love it! keep up the great work!

  2. You can send this little dittie along to me...you don't even have to fill it...cause that's how I roll! Seriously, I love this. The purple is just lovely!

  3. Love your blog. Purple is my favorite color and this box is absolutely gorgeous!

  4. This box is gorgeous!!!

  5. Gorgeous, gorgeous. Left you some love over at World Win....these colors...and the flowers...swooning!

  6. Gorgeous box! Some of my favorite papers, too. Another beautiful project.

  7. LOVE this project! I have made one box with my punch board and it's just 'sitting here' ... you've inspired me to get 'more creative' and make something GORGEOUS like yours! Of course, LOVE the color (my favorite) and the flowers are awesome! YOU ROCK! Thanks for always inspiring me and pushing me outside my comfort zone! Happy Day!

  8. Oh wow! I have never heard of this. How fabulous! Love your project, Gloria! It is beautiful!

  9. Oh, oh...I need this punch board! I really, really NEED this! Or well, not really, but I'd like to have it (sigh). What am I thinking? I'm like that video...more stuff than I can use now. Still, this is a realy beaut'. I'll shoot you my address so you can package it right up. Just kiddin'.........

  10. Thanks a lot for this awesome information. Keep up the good work. I will be coming back often.
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