Customized Gift Box

This year we told my mother-in-law that her gift was going to be a little late because we wanted to get her something that had both kids’ pictures on it.  Since her birthday was before my due date she just had to wait on her gift.  She got an iPad mini recently so, after our family pictures were taken, we had a custom iPad case made for her.  I wanted something special as a gift box rather than wrapping it in plain paper.  I had my 4 year old, who is learning how to write, write “Happy Birthday Grammy” for the top of the box.  Rather then having her practice writing on nice cardstock she used her drawing pad and I scanned/pixel traced her handwriting into MTC.  This not only saved paper but allowed me to then center the message on the gift box.  This is only a practice of the box, I’m planning on making it out of heavier cardstock before we see her (my crafting time has sort-of been put on the back burner with a newborn in the house).                                           ipad-case-boximg_8939_4592 gift box





  • Force:  150
  • Passes:  3
  • Off-set:  none
  • Speed:  10/10
  • Embosser height: 25 post-its


  • Force:  65
  • Passes:  1
  • Off-set:  .25
  • Speed:  10/10
  • Blade height:  25 post-its


  1. Draw what you want your box to say.  High contrast between the paper and writing makes life easier.                                      ipad-case-boximg_8935_4588
  2. Scan in your drawing
  3. Design your file including pixel trace for your drawing.  This is an occasion where the “color” option on pixel trace comes in handy.  The handwriting can now be moved, resized, and even thickened to make it easier to read.
  4. Print out the design you want on the top.
  5. Emboss the fold lines.  I attempted Print and Cut with the embossing but I couldn’t get it to work properly due to minimum printer margins.  My design was pretty much in the center of the paper anyways so I just made do.
  6. WITHOUT taking out your mat change out the embossing tool to a blade and hide the emboss layer and make sure the cutting layers are active.
  7. Cut out the project and fold along the embossed lines.
  8. Tape your flaps to the sides to make a box .                            ipad-case-boximg_8937_4590
  9. Repeat with a second piece to make a full box (and add heart cutout as desired).  Making the bottom slightly smaller helps the two halve slide together easier.                                ipad-case-boximg_8938_4591 gift box

Beautiful Castle / Gift Card Holder And Party Favors Tray



Castle Tray


Castle Gift Card Holder









This is a beautiful castle which you could use in… well, really, any special event! This project is also really cost efficient. Considering it is made out of recycled materials. In fact. Most grocery stores or “big name” stores have boxes on boxes, just sitting there waiting to be thrown out… or grabbed by an amazingly wonderful person with some crafty ideas hahaha. In other words, all you have to do is ask! Anyways, this castle apart from being a fun project, and pretty-eye-catching, doubles as a Gift Card Holder with an attached party favor tray. Also you can complete this project around any schedule, in my case I just sat down for around two to three hours a day, for two days. Now for this project you may want to find a reference image. Even if you have an “idea” of what you want your castle to look like. Having a reference really helps. Now, bare with me. If you sort of squint your eyes, till you cant see, and tilt your head you can probably tell I used the Disney castle as my reference. It just didn’t come out exactly how I had hoped, but look on the bright side. Once i realized It wasn’t going to look exactly like the Disney castle, i was able to play around with it a lot. This not only made it original and personal, it ended up coming out better than i had hoped! It even has a spot in the front for party favors. In other words keep an open mind.  Now in this post i will also let you in on some tips and tricks, as well as how i used the KNK machines to embellish the castle!



  • F = 60
  • V = 150


  1. *Note: All tissue paper will be glued/wrapped using , “mod podge,” if not it can break or rip!*
  2. Cut all of the four lids, flaps, or fold (whichever title fits best) of the small boxes.
  3. Now on the sealed part of the small box, you will cut the slot where people will slide the gift cards through.
  4. After cutting the slot, proceed by warping the box in tissue paper.
  5. Utilizing the flaps from step one, you will form a barrier, or a path for the post card to follow. That way it doesn’t get stuck or jammed on the way down.
  6. Then on the bigger box seal it shut via the flaps.
  7. Now put that small (wrapped) box on top of the big box, where you want it to be, more specifically where it will be at the end of the project.
  8. After you will mark where that box is placed. In other words trace it.
  9. Now you can put the small box aside.
  10. Once you are done, cut a whole a little bit wider then the whole on the small box. You want to try and get it as directly under the hole as possible, I did this by measuring the distances from the hole on the small box. However, don’t let this stress you out as that’s what the barriers are there for.
  11. Then you can rap the big box in tissue paper.
  12. Now glue the boxes together.
  13. Finally you can begin the pillars, using the cardboard tubes commonly known for keeping our gift wrap neatly kept and unwrinkled. Cut it to your liking, then wrap it in tissue paper. (Including the paper towel tubes)
  14. Begin making the top of the pillars, by making a cone out of card stock.
  15. Again, wrap it in tissue paper.
  16. Glue the the cone to the “pillars,” you just made.
  17. Utilizing MTC, design the parapets of the castle. (The jagged, block pattern renown for being on castle ledges). As well as the  door, windows, hearts, flag, and text.
  18. Tip: for more windows you can use the cut out squares from the parapets.
  19. Cut the parapets and windows using the pressure sensitive vinyl. Also cut the flags out of out door vinyl, and the door out of card stock.
  20. Now that it is cut, just remove the adhesive covers, that the vinyl has, and paste it where it corresponds to in your castle. Except the flags.
  21. Paste the flags to tooth picks.
  22. Glue the flags to the top of the cones.
  23. After glue The pillars, which should now be wrapped, coned, and flagged to the other two boxes.
  24. Now onto the third box, the party favors tray. You will need either a “short” but wide box, or just cut a box, leaving a make-shift short box. Mine is about roughly 4 to 5 inches tall, but my box came like this, so no cutting was necessary.
  25. Now wrap it with tissue paper.
  26. After wrapping it, glue pillars to the inside corners farthest to the outside.
  27. Then cover the inside (gluing it in place) the inside of the box with foil wrapping paper.
  28. Then paste the text, which should have been designed in step 17.
  29.  Time fore some fireworks! Utilizing the designed hearts, from step 17, On one of the hearts glue some of the Easter basket filling/”grass.” I’ve found translucent works best.
  30. Then glue another heart on top of the “grass.” So the grass should be sandwiched in between the two hearts.
  31. Now with wire, attach the fireworks to the top of the pillar.

It isn’t  as difficult as it may seem. The machine not only cuts down the time and work, it gives it a “professional” feel. Lastly this project is one you can enjoy with your whole family!

you’re tearrific part 2


I saw this cute die on the sizzix web site so I decided to draw my own using Inkscape and MTC. Usually you can easily trace these in MTC, but I hadn’t drawn anything in awhile and there were very few curves in this, other than the handle. I did trace the cup and spoon attachment though, which is why I can’t share those. I changed up some things as well so not to step on any copyright toes.


The sides kind of taper in at the top, which was a bit of a trick to draw, but I think I got it. It’s not perfect, but it worked.


It comfortably holds 3 teabags.


Here’s the file if you want to make one. It just includes the teabag holder. I used a Martha Stewart punch for the front and I have some coffee/tea clear stamps I used for the “you’re teariffic” part.


K&C double sided designer paper



Martha Stewart punch

clear stamp


KNK Zing

red blade: 10/10, 90


So I gave it to the aide that works in my classroom and she seemed to like it a lot. 🙂

Carry Me

I am again using my wonderful KNK Force to allow me to make something for the store where I work.  We have a new line of embroidery threads and want to do something special and eye catching to promote the sales.  I was asked to put together some mini collections.  Immediately I started thinking about what I could make with my Force to present these mini collection.  This is what I came up with.


I thought that four would be a good number of threads to start with and since we also sell them individually, the customers can purchase additional colors as they want.

Materials Used:

Recollections Kraft Cardstock Paper

Liquid scrapbooking glue


Machine:  KNK Force

Blade:  Standard Materials Blade (red cap),  Blade Tension 2,  Passes 2, Starting Depth  60,  Ending Depth 75, Cutting Speed 25,  Blade Offset  0.25,  Blade Overcut  .50

Additional Info:

Here are pictures of the parts of the box prior to assembly, and after assembly.



I’m thinking that Snoopy makes a great background for photos of things he has cut!!  (Snoopy is my Force).  I used inspiration from several cup carriers that I’ve seen on the internet and then did my own thing using both my KNK Studio and Make the Cut software to prepare the files for cutting.

I am delighted that the box parts cut beautifully on my Force.  The large ends of the handle piece (the one with 2 holes) are folded at 90 degrees and glued to the inside of the bottom of the box.  The spools of thread are placed in the box and then the insert (the one with 4 holes) is placed over the handle and the spools to hold them in place and to help keep them from falling out.  I will be putting labels on the sides of the box to describe what is inside and to dress them up a bit.


Reclaiming Glass with Stencils

I really didn’t know what to title this post, so I thought about it overnight and still didn’t come up with anything, lol. In the end, it just made sense to state exactly what we did – reclaimed used glass with stencils.

My husband found this solid oak, Amish-made gun cabinet on the local Swap and Sell facebook page. We took a drive to check it out and he decided he had to have it. The biggest issue was the sandblasted etching on the glass. The door itself was built around the glass, so we would need a woodworker to replace it, but my husband didn’t want to weaken the integrity of the door. That left us with the option of altering the glass while still in the door frame.


We put some scrap vinyl over a letter to see how badly it would show through, and then a second layer. The sandblasted texture definitely would show through both layers. I knew that acid etching wouldn’t match the texture, so that was out. It was time to get creative.

I measured the area that had been etched, and created it in Make-the-Cut. Then we tried out different shapes to cover it, until he found the one he liked best. I cut the stencil out of 24″ wide vinyl on the roll using a slow speed. I covered the stencil with transfer paper to pick up the thin border and then I used application fluid to give me some time to adjust/move the vinyl around to get it positioned perfectly. After two tries applying the vinyl to the door, we decided to trim it down to just a few inches all the way around because it was just too hard to handle 24″ of vinyl.

Once the stencil was in position, and we had squeegeed the water and bubbles out, we masked the area using freezer paper – one of my favorite multipurpose craft supplies.


At this point, I had to decide if I was going to use acid etch to make the glass hold the paint securely or try something else. In the end, since it was a very large area and I don’t have a lot of acid etch on hand, we decided to use an universal bonding primer (it boasts that it bonds to ANY surface – let’s hope that’s accurate).

Universal Bonding Primer

Universal Bonding Primer

After the primer had dried completely, we added a stone coat paint. This was how we were going to hide the sandblasted letters within the stencil area. On top of the stone coat, I also added a Matte Finish Coat. Then, the big REVEAL!


There was some water under the vinyl in the upper left hand corner, and it had watered down the primer there. Once it dried completely, I placed small strips of vinyl over the clear glass and touched it up.


Now that the previous owner’s etched ‘sign’ is covered, hubby just has to decide what he wants to put on it. 😉


Settings (Maxx Air 24″):

  • f = 28
  • v = 150
  • p = 1


  1. Measure the area to be stenciled
  2. Create or find a pattern that will cover the area
  3. Cut the vinyl
  4. Apply the vinyl and mask
  5. Paint according to directions
  6. Peel away the mask and vinyl