Monday, November 03, 2014

Crafty Secrets - November Challenge

(For my Craft Hoarders Challenge #19 post, please click HERE.)

Welcome to the Crafty Secrets Design Team November Challenge! (I do have two posts this morning, so make sure you click the link above to see the second post. It just happens that the Crafty Secrets blog party is always on a one Monday a month you get slammed! {wink})

The Crafty Secrets designer challenge for November is Christmas/Winter. Since I don't have "winter" here in southern California, I decided to make a Christmas project. {grin}

I recycled a box into a Christmas gift box, and I also created a matching card. I love the Crafty Secrets Christmas collections, especially the digital papers!

I recently received an email from a Reader who asked me what paper I use to print my digital papers. I use Neenah Classic Crest Natural White (80#) cardstock to print most of my digital elements. It has a soft cream color that works well with vintage papers and images. I use Neenah Classic Crest Solar White (80#) cardstock if I want a white background. When I print images that I plan to color with Copic markers, I use X-Press It Blending cardstock (92#). I purchase all of this cardstock online at various retailers. One trick is to set the printer to print on "bright white paper" and to set it to the best photo quality. I get very good results that way.

My printer is an older model, Epson Stylus Photo R380. I use the "cheap" ink...because I am cheap. {smile} I have found no difference between the "refilled" ink cartridges from third-party supplies and the "new" cartridges from Epson. Do your homework to find a highly rated ink in your preferred price range. I purchase from InkFarm or I purchase refilled cartridges from Staples. I trust them (so far).  I DO notice a better quality in my photographs if I print on Epson brand photo paper. 

Now that we got THAT out of the way, here are some directions for recycling an old box into a pretty gift packaging!

I purchase Project Life cards for use in my mini album projects. I have a storage method for them, therefore I do not need the provided boxes. However, the boxes are really nice They are a sturdy cardboard and also come with a magnetic flap. I hoard save them just in case I need them for..something.

For this project, I removed the plastic handle and the plastic card insert from the bottom of the box. One tip for decorating this type of box is to paint it with gesso or sand it a bit BEFORE attaching paper to it. This type of box has a shiny finish which RESISTS glue and double-sided tape. (Ask me how I know!)

I printed a selection of papers and images from the Vintage Christmas CD#6 and the Retro Christmas CD#5 to cover the box. I covered all the outside edges with paper. I rubbed all of the edges with  Vintage Photo ink. (The Vintage and Retro Christmas papers are also available as downloadable collections.) 

The main Santa image is from Seasonal Calendar Creative Scraps. I added some photo corners from Heavenly Christmas Vintage Stickers. I looked through my hoarded Christmas pretties to create the flower clusters. I also added a handle to the lid of the box. I used one of my hoarded Graphic 45 Antique Metal Door Pulls.

I added paper to the inside of the lid and the bottom of the "tray." I did allow some of the white bits to show since I like the contrast of cream and white with vintage papers. I added a Santa sticker from the Heavenly Christmas Vintage Stickers sheet. The tray is approximately 6 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches, which means it can fit a nice-sized gift, or a set of cards and envelopes.

I created a 6 x 4 1/2 inch card to match my box. All of the paper and images are digital. You can get both of the Christmas CDs HERE, or you can purchase them separately. I love the rich colors of the digital papers. My only complaint is that I do not have a wide format printer to enable me to print them at 12x12 inches! 

I decorated the inside of the card with more paper and images. I also stamped a greeting from the Seasons Greetings Stamp set, available as a clear stamp set, or as part of the Christmas Sale Pack

I hope you are inspired to recycle an old box into something fun and pretty! Now hop along and see what the rest of the team made!

Crafty Secrets Design Team
Kathy Clement - DT Leader  
Birgit Norton - November Guest Designer
Darlene Pavlick

Create a new project featuring a Crafty Secrets products, link it to the Crafty Secrets BLOG, and you’ll automatically receive a $6 store credit. One lucky participant will be randomly chosen to win a $50 shopping spree in the store! If you don’t have any Crafty Secrets goodies, you can download FREE images from the Crafty Secrets blog; just look in the sidebar! You have until 11:59PT,  Sunday October 19th to play!

Come and play along! I mean you get $6 just for linking up your project! How can you pass that up! And a $50 shopping spree for the winner...come on, people! Make something and link 'er up!
Crafty Secrets products:
Vintage Christmas CD#6
Retro Christmas CD#5
Creative Scraps: Seasonal Calendar
Heartwarming Vintage Stickers: Heavenly Christmas Vintage Stickers
Seasons Greetings Clear Stamp set

Other products:
Cardstock: WorldWin Smooth White; Neenah Natural White
Flowers: Petaloo, Wild Orchid Crafts, Michael's Crafts
Bell: Michael's Crafts
Ribbon: Really Reasonable Ribbon
Ink: Ranger Distress Vintage Photo; Memento Rich Cocoa
Door pull: Graphic 45
Dies: Spellbinders Standard Circles Large, Small; My Favorite Things Fishtail Flag Stax, Layers
Adhesive: Aleene's Tacky Glue; Scotch 3M ATG tape; Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L 3D Foam Squares
Found item: cardboard box


  1. This is incredibly lovely! Why have I never seen that paper before? I love it! The repurposed box is stunning and the card is so festive and vintage at the same time. You have that magic touch, my friend!

  2. Gloria, this is beautiful!! I am so inspired to get this paper now!!

  3. OMG this is FABULOUS ... I just LOVE THIS PROJECT!!! (need my address? lol) You are always SO CREATIVE and inspirational ... I look forward every day to what you come up with and this one is at the top of my list (for the moment, lol). I love how it just SCREAMS CHRISTMAS with all the traditional color and dodads! Outstanding as always! HUGS and Happy Day to you my friend!

  4. Know what you mean about winter in southern California, we lived in Laguna Beach for 2 years. After spending a lifetime in the north it seemed strange and almost artificial. One neighbour covered his whole yard in cotton batting to look like snow. We went to the beach for Christmas day and enjoyed an elegant picnic with white linens, candles sticks, and the full deal to make it magic. The best thing about Santa (besides his generosity) is that he means "Christmas' in every climate. I love all the Santa images you used and as always you combined fantastic papers and embellishments in your project. Well done!

  5. This box is so incredibly sweet! I love the colors, the papers, the images you've used and your layout is always expertly thought out. Thanks for always inspiring.
    Blessings~ Birgit

  6. what a great idea! I love how you decorated your repurposed box. Helene

  7. Fabulous job on your re-purposed box and card Gloria and I'm so happy to hear you also buy non-generic ink from the Ink Farm! In case anyone reads this and wants to try them out they give Crafty Secrets customers a permanent discount of 15% off and free shipping - you just need to give them the code: craftyink

    Over the years I've saved a bundle on ink and have been very happy with their service. Your colors look perfect!

    Thanks for sharing

  8. Gorgeous, gorgeous altered box and card!! So inspiring and it...and CONGRATS on your other news too that I read on the below fabulous for not only you, but us too!! Looking forward to seeing all your creativeness!!

  9. Gorgeous box and card, love your big bow and design. Thanks also for sharing tips!

  10. Absolutely gorgeous Gloria! My jaw is on the floor. Such beautiful images!

  11. This is so beautiful! Love how you repurposed the box. All the details are so gorgeous!

  12. I love that you revamped a box, and gave it a beautiful new life! Great tips on Printing, I also use the best or photo setting on my printer if I'm coloring digital images!