Friday, December 28, 2012

Make-Up Cosmetics Organizer Made from 1.5 mm thick Cardboard/Chipboard

This project really made my heart pound and temperature rise to the sky.  I had been thinking about this design for 3 months already.  This design actually made me want to start learning the art of box making.  I just couldn't find or, yeah, afford the organizer that I had in mind so I just needed to make me one.

This is my first and so far latest original design.  It took me 3 weeks to complete this project because, again, not sure what to do next and how to do it and just how to proceed.  I just finished it last week and so far, my friends and family loved it so much that I wanted to share it as well.  You see, I was inspired by a lot of people from the books and YouTube that maybe I can be an inspiration too.  My sister told me that these could make lovely gifts for a bride.  She couldn't be more right.

My YouTube heroes are Jennings644, Jim, thegentlemancrafter and xannero1.  Jennings644 for her attitude in crafting.  From her, I learned to just do it.  Just do it.  Just do it.  Just do it.  Use whatever you have and do whatever you can.  Just do it.  And I did.  I did it.

Jim, thegentlemancrafter, for the polished look of his work.  It's not just about the beauty of being simple, but also the usefulness of his projects.  His projects are clean, useful, polished and durable.  He's a professional and the projects that he makes are out of this world.  Who can make paper work like a machine?   I actually learned how to make the small caddy from him.  Thanks to +Jim Ragon Hankins.

Xannero1 is another lady that I admire.  She also loved working with chipboards.  Making boxes is what I am interested in and chipboards are the only material that I can actually work with.  I guess chipboards found me and because of that I came accross xannero1.  Aaaargh, her projects are just beautiful.  Just amazingly beautiful.

I exhausted all of their videos to help me complete this project.

As usual, I used the very beautiful Graphic 45's A Ladies' Diary Paper.  I had some leftovers from my desktop caddy project.  But, those weren't enough so I purchased additional 8 more of the 12 x 12 sheets.  I was really stretching this paper out.  I love it so much.  The leftovers will probably make it to yet another project.  

Make-up Organizer (Storage) made from 1.5 mm ChipBoard using A Ladies' Diary paper

I used 3 layers of chipboard for added strength.  I tried to build it to hopefully last a lifetime.  I used 2 layers of chipboard for the top lid and cabinet doors.  The front panel of the drawer has 6 layers of chipboard.  It grew to 6 layers because I wanted my drawer to do 3 things.  First, it should open easily.  Secondly, the gap on top should be covered.  Lastly, the drawer should lock into place when closed.  It shouldn't dance from side to side.  Maybe next time I can do less than 6 layers.  If you have any idea how, please do let me know by leaving a comment below.

Project In process.  The hinges were taped, the chipboards were not yet covered,  Sections we not yet glued to each other.  The stand was painted with white gesso.

Top Lid.  The lid is heavy enough to stay shut.   The top compartment is 1 inch deep.  It can probably store  everyday jewelries or electronics.  If for jewelries, it is easy to just line with velvet.
The hinges were bought from the local hardware shop for 15 cents each.  The knobs were actually wooden finial covers easily bought from any craft shop.    I had to look at the dictionary to know what finial is, haha.  I used Renaissance Gold to paint the knob and hinges.  I bought this gold paint because I really wanted the cabinet to have a feel of rose pink look from afar and this fit the bill (It looks pinkish gold).  I didn't want the hardware to grab all the attention.
Right Cabinet door.  The design are cutouts from vairous paper.  Mostly from A Ladies' Diary Collection.

Left cabinet Door with handmade tassel.
Drawer with Antique Pull painted with Renaissance Gold Leaf paint

Inside Look.  Top Shelf is removable.  It was measured to keep Lipsticks or small tubes.

Inside Right Cabinet Door.  Mirror with paper cutouts.
I made 2 independent storage units that can perfectly fit inside the middle portion of the main organizer.  These can be used independently or side by side with the main storage unit.  All the paper used to cover compliments each other so it will look as good when placed side by side.  One is a small caddy and the other, a small display unit with storage compartment.

Small Caddy - Front View

Small Caddy - Side View.  Made to store brushes, bottles and small make-up palettes.
Sometimes, I have small objects that gets lost in my make-up bag that I need to use all the time.  Example, eyebrow shaper or lip balm.  I made this small display shelf to with these two in mind.  The front panel opens up to reveal a storage unit for those extra make-up that I don't need to see.

Display Unit with storage

Display unit with storage

Top Lid - Open.  Just a simple paper cut-outs.

Left inside door is magnetic to hold light objects like Bobby pins or small tweezer.  Example of how the unit can be used.
Notice the top of the display unit.  I made it in that size so the top can also double as a display unit.  
There are some things that we need to see all the time to remind us of a special event.  I made the display/storage unit in that size so the top can double as memorabilia stage.  I put several Juicy Couture charms because these reminds me of a special event in my life.  It may hold the box of an engagement ring or movie tickets.  Anything.  I just love to be reminded of happy events.  It helps me feel grateful everyday.  I try to put reminder things on places for my everyday routine like putting on make-up or brushing my teeth.

Desktop Storage/Organizer made from 1.5mm Cardboard using G45 A Ladies' Diary Paper
Ok.  I learned tons of things in these projects.  But there are certainly room for improvements.

Continuous Improvement Areas:
1.  Tassels -  I didn't realize how a tassel can make a project extra lovely.  My tassel needs improvement.  I will definitely experiment with other materials as my tassel doesn't dance around.  It's so stiff and bunch into one piece only.

2. Use of magnets.  I put magnets on the cabinet doors so it will stay shut.  But, the magnets I put are totally useless.  Good thing the cabinet stays shut because of the design and the heavyness of the chipboard.  After I covered the magnets with one layer of cardstock.  There's only a little bit of magnetic force that you can feel. I may get a stronger magnet or learn how to use them properly.

3.  More creative use of paper and paint finishes.  I would definitely try to make some paint finishes on my next project.

4.  Hinges and doors.  I really had the hardest time figuring out how to add the hinges and make the door look balanced.

I would love to hear from you and let me know what you think or how I can improve on my projects.  Thank you for visiting and have a blessed new year ahead.

Desktop Caddy Using G45 A Ladies' Diary

As I got more confident after finishing the hinge box, I decided to try and attempt again for a more complicated project.  At least for me, everything is still complicated.

For my very first real project, I was inspired by one of the pictures in the the book by the Hollanders (details of the book in my second blog entry).  It was a desk caddy.  The form and look of it is so unique.  More about it later.

First, I needed to get me a real nice paper to cover it.  There's one paper stack that really caught my eye while searching in the internet.  It's the Graphic 45 A Ladies' Diary Collection.  It was so beautiful and feminine.  I wish I lived in that era where ladies wear long dresses, boots, hats with feather and always carry an umbrella and a handkerchief.  Not to mention the small purses with tassels.  Oh, that's me daydreaming again.  Sorry. 

Anyways, I'm not so sure how I'm going to find it here in Singapore.  Sometimes I refuse to check the stores because those Made in USA stuff are sold here double or sometimes triple the original retail price.  Yeah, yeah, there's shipping and handling and tax and so on.  Anyways, after going through all the paper shops I know of (5 shops), I found it in one of the stores in Novena.  I bought me just 5 sheets of the paper (because I still needed to buy Glue, Sealer, Stain, Scissors - almost all from the USA so you can just imagine how the prices add up exponentially).  Buying the paper was the happiest day of my young crafting life. It's THAT beautiful.

I got all that I needed so I was good to go.  My husband lovingly bought for me 10 3'x2.5' chipboard.  These can last me a long time.  Here's the caddy that I made.  The dimensions are 18" x 12" x 5".

Desk Caddy using G45 A Ladies' Diary Collection

Desk Caddy - Detailed View

As usual, I used 2 layers of chipboard for strength and durability.  Since I only have 5 sheets of G45 paper, I used a different paper collection for the sides and bottom. Then, I used a plain black cardstock for the back.
The keyhole seen on the bottom left side was a cutout from a different paper stack.  I cut it out and adhered it to a piece of chipboard.  Then I put dimensional glue on the surface to make it look more 3D.

Desk Caddy - Side View
The sides are triangular in shape and the shelves gradually deepens as you go down.

Below is how it can be used (A mish-mash of things).  As art supplies, office supplies, perfume display unit or maybe make-up organizer.  I think it can also be lovely to display small stuffed animals or memorable trinkets.

Desk Caddy
How I might use the caddy.  It can be used for office supplies, art  supplies or as make-up organizer.
I didn't use much of the G45 paper collection as I was saving it for my next project.   There's not so much creative use of the paper in this project as well.  Well, there's always room for improvement.

This desk caddy took me 2 days to complete.  I stopped once in a while because I didn't know what to do next and not so sure about the sequence of things.  Maybe if you ask me to do this again, I can do this in just a couple of  hours. 


Thursday, December 27, 2012

I Needed Help with my Crafting - My Second Attempt

I remembered being crafty and artsy 15 years ago.  But, I guess, I was past my prime, hahaha.

Ok, I'm not gonna accomplish anything without help.  When in need of procedures and directions, where do we go?  Yes, I went to YouTube.  I watched countless videos.  But, most crafters have their fancy tools.  I don't.  They have die-cut machines, punches, rotary cutters and all the embellishments, ribbons, buttons and supplies, etc, etc.  I only have my cutter and small cutting pad (12x12 inch cutting mat).  I cannot justify buying all the tools so that I can try and see if I can make more presentable projects.

I did however invest on something.  I bought myself a metal ruler and a T-ruler (looks like a T but I'm not so sure what it's called).

Then, I borrowed tons of books from the library for inspiration.  I came across this wonderful book.  The title couldn't be more perfect.  Constructing and Covering Boxes by Tom & Cindy Hollander.  I followed one instruction from start to finish.  It was great.  I didn't need to think about the measurements and anything else. The purpose was to learn the technique.  

Books that Inspired and gave me the much needed Help

I guess I did learn the technique.  Below are the pictures of my finished hinge box.  I remembered having 3 of these types while I was very, very young.  I treasured those boxes more than the things I put inside.  Don't you just love to be reminded with all the wonderful things and events that has happened when we were younger?

Now, I know what those boxes are called.  They are actually called hinge boxes because the top lid is attached to the tray through a hinge.

Hinge Box - closed.  Constructed from 2 layers of 1.5 mm thick chipboard

Hinge Box - Open
How I did it?  I cut according to the measurements from the book and made a few adjustments on the thickness.  My chipboard was not thick enough, so I adhered two layers together making the thickness to 3 mm.

I was literally jumping for joy for this small box.  Well, it was sturdy and perfect.  It looked professionally done.  The lid is heavy enough that it will stay shut when closed. The technique to cover the box from the book couldn't be more perfect. 

Wow, all these trouble for one small box!!!!  Well, this helped me learn the basics.  I felt that I can do better projects now.

My First Attempt - Storage Unit for Art Supplies

I had a lot of time to spare so I decided to organize my things.  I wanted to create a storage unit for my little growing collection of arts and crafts supplies.  

How hard can it be, right?  Wrong!! I was very wrong.  I thought there's no science to making a few boxes and a unit to hold the boxes.  Even though I think everything was going wrong, I still tried my hardest to finish the project. 

Ok, here's how I did it.  I went to Spotlight, Papermarket (Plaza Singapura) and Popular (Singapore) and got me some supplies.  I bought a chipboard (1.5mm thick cardboard) and 6x6 Once Upon a Time Paper stack.  I also got me a decoupage glue.  I was feeling very confident.  Geez, how hard can it be? really?

Well, it was a challenge for me.  I started with the measurements.  I roughly knew how tall I wanted it to be, but the rest, was a nightmare.  I needed to account for the thickness of boards, give some allowance for the paper covering, etc.  I didn't do those.  I just went ahead and cut by instinct.  I covered the drawers and the unit that holds the drawers with the paper stack and decoupaged the surface.  

Well, it was a failure.  Below is the picture of what I managed to accomplish.  It looks fine but please don't be deceived.  The unit cannot stand on its own.  I had to put 2 tall and thin bookends on both sides for support.  The drawers are very difficult to open because of the size.  The 2 drawers below, are not even drawers.  They are just covers that won't open.  I intended to make them as doors but I just didn't know how to put the hinges.  You can't even remove the covers because the weight of the above drawers are putting pressure on it.

First Attempt
Storage Unit using Illustartion Boards and 6x6 Once Upon A Time Paper stack

The one most unforgiveable mistake I did, I guess, is that I used a wrong decoupage glue.  The name of the glue I bought is "Decoupage Glue," so I thought I can use it to seal the surfaces.  I used that glue and applied a thin layer of it along the surface of my first project.  What's most amazing is until now, after 2 months, the surface is still sticky.  I cannot put things on top because it will stick to it. 

To summarize, my first attempt is a failure.  The drawers won't close and open.  There's an unsightly and uneven gap between the drawers and the unit that holds them.  The doors are permanent (permanently shut).  The surface is still sticky.  The unit won't stand on its own.  The good thing about it?  I can only think of one, and that is that the paper stack is quite beautiful.  I'm going to keep this unit as a reminder of all the fun I had while making it.  I was hopeful that I will improve.