Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Toothpaste box turned into a pen box

Some pens and markers for scrapping and papercrafting really should be stored flat. Markers or pens with two tips, one on each end, are the main example--storing them flat allows the ink to stay evenly distributed so that both ends keep some ink. Others, such as Sakura glaze pens, should be stored flat because storing them upright can allow air to enter the pen (through the thicker ink, maybe?) and cause it not to write as well.

I am a weird person. (Knowing me only a little bit would seem to make this sentence coming out of my mouth absolutely redundant, but stay with me for a second...) I am notoriously unorganized about pretty much everything, but my craft space is almost always meticulously kept. Virtually everything has a place and when used, an item goes back into its place. I can't stand to have my pens mixed, for instance. I like for all pens of a certain type to be separate from pens of another type so that when I'm reaching for them, I can find them. Throwing the pens and markers that need to be stored flat into a drawer in a big jumble is just not an option for me. I also hate the idea of buying some super expensive organizing tool in a scrapbook store.

Enter this toothpaste box, which I saw last night as I was replacing an empty tube of toothpaste in our master bathroom. I thought... "I wonder if that's long enough to store my glaze pens?..." It was.


1. Cut the flaps off of one end of the box. Sand the box, especially the corners, then age the box with some kind of dye ink.

2. Make a lid for the box. Measure the end piece (in this case, it was 1.25"x1.5") and add 1/2" to each end. Cut a piece of cardstock to match the measurement. Score at the two 1/2" marks to create a lid type shape. Round the corners. Cut each 1/2" section at a slight angle, starting from the middle rectangle piece and going into each rounded corner. You should end up with a roughly rectangular shape with tapering ends. This allows the lid to fit better into the box.

3. For added stability, cut a second piece of cardstock to fit on the underside of the lid. Cut it either 1/8" smaller than the inner rectangle (for 1/16" borders) or 1/4" smaller (for 1/8" angles).

4. Measure the box and cut pieces to fit the sides and bottom. Glue one of the flaps of the lid to the outside of the box, then glue all of the sides in place, gluing one side over the adhered flap of the lid.

5. Decorate as desired. Label as necessary.

Here's my finished box:


I like it a lot! Even I have a hard time believing that it started life as a humble toothpaste box. I made the entire thing using BasicGrey paper and accessories from the Periphery collection. I used Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo and Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive as my glue.

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