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Norwich Bulletin - 3/29/2009

How To Make a Memory Box

Scrapbooking is a great way to keep the memories of your pet and showcase their life in a safe and beautiful way. For those of you who would like to go one step further, there is the exploding box. Based on the Victorian sewing boxes, these boxes are simple to make from cardstock and paper and can be a lot of fun, whether you make them for yourself or as a gift.

The instructions that I am providing should enable you to complete the box within a few hours, but I understand once you make one, you will be hooked. So if that is true, any of my readers who ends up loving this craft, please feel free to send your less than crafty columnist one! I look longingly at these boxes knowing that I have neither the talent nor patience to put one together. But for those of you who do, the exploding box can be filled with your pet's pictures, poems quotes and can showcase your cherished animal companion. It is a great surprise to people when they remove the lid of the box and find all the pictures inside.

To make your box you will need four sheets of cardstock, either all the same color or in matching colors, your choice. Three of the sheets will be used for the box and one will be used for the lid. They do not all have to be 12 x 12. The lid and the smallest of the squares can be made from smaller sheets if you prefer. You will need at least two sheets of patterned paper. Collect a maximum of twenty small photographs and whatever ribbons or anything else you want to use as garnish. You can have a poem, a quote or whatever reminds you of your pet.

Be careful with your measuring. Make sure they are three graduated sizes. Then score them using either a trimmer with a scoring blade or a scoring tool. Cut one square of cardstock measuring 9" x 9". Score at 3" intervals to make 9 squares and then fold the score lines backwards and forwards so they move quite freely and easily. Cut one square 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" and score at slightly over 2 3/4" making nine squares. Cut one square at 8" x 8" and score at approximately 2 5/8".

Remove the four corner squares from each of the scored sections and keep to one side to use as photo mounts. This will give you 12 small leftover squares. Round the corners of each side of the box. Cut rectangles from patterned papers and then stick the inserts to all of the flaps of the box. You get a smoother finish by doing each piece separately. You can ink your pieces of patterned paper before sticking them on to give a little more definition.

Cut a square of just over 5" for the lid, using either the same colored cardstock or a coordinating cardstock. Score only the corners of the lid and pinch the corners. Using a strong double sided tape, adhere them together. Then over onto the lip of the box. Add pictures of anything else to the box. Round the corners of the box and mounting and then add embellishments to the pictures. Decorate the lid with scraps of paper, ribbons, and create a centerpiece to finish off the box. Add a centerpiece to the inside of the box.

Stick the smallest center square onto the medium central squares using a strong double sided tape. Stick the two squares onto the large central square using double sided tape. Voila! You have an exploding memory box. If you need more detailed directions, log onto http://stampspaperscissors.typepad.com/stamps_paper_scissors/.

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