Making Shaker Boxes With Special Shapes
Welcome to another blog post! This time, I’m here to talk about gifts. Of course, we all like to get them, but I really like giving them. It’s my love language. Choosing a gift that represents the person who is getting it, thinking about their reaction while opening it, wanting it to be special in any way. I truly believe the gift itself isn’t the only thing that has to be special. When I gift, I think about the wrapping, ribbons, tags and cards, anything to make it different, even if I don’t have too much time. I know some people aren’t crafty, some can’t afford to go an extra step, and some simply don’t care about packaging and just deliver the gift in a shopping bag, but I believe in putting thought in every detail. What’s inside is just part of the gift, and the outside, for me, also reflects how you feel about the person.
One of the reasons I like making boxes and gifting them to people (other than the fact that I’m not very good with wrapping paper) is that I hope the box will be useful for the person I’m gifting it to. A nice box with a heartfelt message on it is more likely to be kept instead of being thrown away. Many times, boxes are my go-to, specially if I’m gifting something small. And today, I’ll be showing you how to make two very special boxes. Their shapes are not the traditional squares or rectangles, and what makes them even more special is that they are shaker boxes.
But what are shaker boxes?
These boxes have windows, and inside them you can put sequins, confetti, glitter or small pieces of paper in various shapes, anything to make it pretty when the box is shaken. You can also write something inside the window to make it even more special and very unique to the person who will receive the gift, you can even skip bows and gift tags depending on what you have there. Ready to start?
Resources I used for these two projects:
– Cardstock (one color for each box, and white if you want to print or write something inside the window)
– Cutting machine
– Sequins, small stars, hearts, anything small enough for the shaker
For this box, I used blue metallic cardstock, with white cardstock for the inside of the window. I printed the sentiment on a laser printer and then used my laminator to add the silver foil. For the small pieces inside, I used hearts and stars in silver, metallic blue, baby blue and white, so the colors could compliment each other.
I cut all the pieces with my Cameo, but the files work with other cutting machines too. Be careful with the acetate, if you don’t feel comfortable cutting it on your machine because of the glue on the cutting mat, you can print the template, transfer it to the acetate and cut it by hand. The shapes for the acetate on both boxes are super simple and easy to cut.
For this box, I used the print-and-cut option on Silhouette Studio to print the sentiment and then cut the shape (I used the acetate template for it, the size fit perfectly). After putting the silver foil, I used white glue to attach it to the blue insert. I could have just printed it on the insert and cut it in white cardstock, but I wanted the inside of the box to be blue as well, so I made them two separate pieces.
Putting everything together
These boxes are very easy to assemble, very intuitive, even if their shapes aren’t the usual square or rectangle. Specially if you’re used to making boxes, this will be very easy. I used clear glue to attach the acetate to the box, but there are many other options that would work too. For the paper, I used simple white glue. Since I’m working with metallic cardstock, I had to wait a little bit longer for the glue to dry than I would with other types of paper. I found that fabric glue also works really well and dries faster, if you want to try it.
For this next box, I used black metallic cardstock. There are two models when you get this file (they are the same shape, but the shaker windows are different), I chose the one with the largest window so I could put the sentiment I wanted, which is the same reason I decided to use it horizontally instead of vertically (which is the intended use, the opening does work better vertically, but I had this very specific idea that wouldn’t work vertically).
Inside the shaker window
I used the watercolor ballons design, and wrote “Happy Birthday” in the 1980 Portable font, both were found in the freebies section at the time of the publishing of this article. Again, I printed it on a separate piece of cardstock and attached it to the piece that I cut on the same color as everything else. I used purple for writing because it was a proeminent color in the waterclolor balloons, so the colors wouldn’t clash and there’s harmony on the design, but if you want it to really pop, you can make it really colorful and use each letter in a different color, if the person receiving the gift has a more playful personality it will be a great choice, along with a brighter color for the box. For the shaker, I chose small stars in every color I had, to make it really colorful and the contrast with the black box makes the colors the center of attention.
This box is a little bit trickier to assemble, because it has more parts, and they are larger, but I got the hang of it by observing the picture of the box. For the lid, after I assembled it, the way I found best was to glue one of the sides to the box, to make it easy to open and close. I recommend cutting na extra square of cardstock to put in the bottom, to make it firm, then it’s ready to go to someone really special.
Since I am very much into card making and shaker cards and boxes, there is something I do. Every time I cut something on my Cameo, I pay attention to the spaces I won’t use on my paper. If it’s large enough, I’ll just leave it and use this leftover in other projects. If it’s small, I try to fit things inside the spaces that would go to waste, depending on the color of the paper. I cut small stars, circles and hearts in every color to use for the shakers. If I’m cutting green, I cut leaves and trees. Flowers for red, yellow and pink paper. Feathers, snowflakes, snowmen on white paper (these come in handy for Christmas cards!) and so on. I then separate by design and color and store them in old chocolate boxes. It comes in handy when I need them and I don’t have to stop what I’m doing to search for scraps and measure them and wait for everything to be cut, Alternativelly, you can use small punches if you have them. The ones I have are too big for this, but if you have them, it’s a great, easy and fast way to make your fillings.
Now, let’s get crafting!