Saturday, April 16, 2011

"school box" minibook by lauren bergold

knowing how much i love a crafty challenge, pixie-in-chief kirsty vittetoe asked me if i had any ideas for an empty maya road chipboard tin. of course the first thing i noticed is how much the tin resembles the metal lunchbox i carried to elementary school "in the olden days"...which made me think it would be perfect to hold a school-themed minibook; and it turned out that april's COUNTRY FARM STAND kit had just the right patterns and embellishments!

i decided to make a custom-sized album to fit perfectly inside the box. i started by measuring carefully and making a template for the pages and chipboard covers; i even cut a few scrap pieces of paper and joined them using the bookrings with which i intended to bind the album, just to make extra sure that the completed book would slide easily in and out of the "lunchbox"! the ideal size turned out to be 4 3/8" x 5 1/4" so i set to work trimming the pages from the kit's gorgeous selection of papers by webster's pages, glitz design, pink paislee and american crafts.

i used a metal ruler and craft knife to trim the straight edges of the nice thick chipboard kirsty used to pack the kit; when it came to the rounded corners, i had a bit more difficulty...UNTIL...i discovered our stout kitchen shears were perfectly suited to this task!

for the album's front cover i made a little collage from the pink paislee "school days" paper, including the title from the tear strip; a bit of torn calico from the kit; and my trusty dymo labeler. the girls' paperie alphabet tiles looked to me like the flashcards from which we all learned to write our letters, so i couldn't resist adding a little stitching to the top and bottom to resemble the lined paper of primary school! i confess the chipboard button is an "outside" item...but for some reason it was in the box which held my bookrings ...and was irresistable to me; i attached it using the fabulous baker's twine from the kit.

my youngest niece madeline, the supermodel for this project, is only in first grade, which limited the number of pages i could COMPLETE in my page-per-year album, but i wanted to make it easy and fun for her to add future photos on her own, so i made a little mat to fit the standard-sized 2.5 x 3.5" school pictures she will receive each year. finally i formatted a few lines of basic information for her to fill in on each page: "my school", "my teacher", "my favorite subject" and "my best friend" seemed like cool things to record, and by writing them in herself each year, the book will also show how her handwriting matures as she grows up!

the last step of this project was to decorate the "lunchbox" container. i discovered that while the latch and lid-hinge were riveted on, the handle was actually only attached with bent-metal tabs and thus i could easily remove it, cover the entire circumfrence of the box with paper, and re-attach.

my final embellishment is a flower made from layers of diecut calico and paper and one crocheted prima flower from the december kit, sewn together with a tim holtz button and tied with more baker's twine.

the "ribbons" adorning the box's handle are more torn strips of calico, which i frayed...i think they make a fabulously fun and vintage-style alternative to ribbon!

and now i cannot wait to present this to my favorite schoolgirl, so she can add the very best part: her own personality!

Kirsty's Note -
That is just BRILLIANT + BRILLIANT + BRILLIANT!!! Love it, and I am working on a mini for Clare, so she could take it with her to college! Thanks for the inspiration Pixie Lauren!!!!!

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  1. What a fantastic idea! No wonder you are on the design team!! You really have a great imagination... and talent! I have neat ideas going through my head because of you. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. This is so cute! I love this idea. I see these types of boxes, different sizes all the time, when looking for stuff for my grandson. I suppose that they could be covered and make the same type of thing in just different sizes. Very creative.

  3. Lauren, this is a wonderful re-purposing of the tin. (Kudos to you, Kirsty, for your genius in going to the right gal for a project like this one!)

    Maddie will love this; of course now the other nieces will want one too!

  4. lovely... very beautiful project :D

  5. What a wonderful giftie....such thee keepsake project!

  6. Hi Kirsty, what a cool idea. I loved this
    thanks for visit my blog, i´m gld to be here

  7. Your little lunchbox album is precious! The different papers are all so pretty and keeping these sweet memories all in one little container will definitely protect them.
    Thank you for sharing! :)

  8. Gorgeous. Love this beautiful project. :)