Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Project - Slip a Tiny Love Note Inside a Decorative Matchbox

For this Valentine's Day, tell a significant other how much you care by creating a miniature accordion-fold card nestled inside a romantic matchbox. Write your own sentiments on the hand-made insert or collage it with rubber stamps and paper scraps. Slip a tiny square of wrapped chocolate inside or tell a story with tiny photos.

Secret Lover Matchbox Valentine
Secret Lover Matchbox Valentine (click to enlarge)

Materials & Tools
· Empty cardboard matchbox, small pocket size
· Shimmering Metallic Acrylic Paint in Rose Pearl, by Plaid/FolkArt
· Small Foam Paint Brushes
· 2-inch square of gold metallic sticker paper
· Armada Corner Punch Set, scalloped with tiny heart punch
· 2-inch piece of Gold Metallic Fancy Ribbon, 1/8" Wide
· Craft knife
· Terrifically Tacky Tape, by Provo Craft
· Black solvent inkpad, like Jet Black by StazOn
· Scrap of gold metallic card stock
· Bone folder
· Good pair of comfortable, teflon-like coated scissors, like Velvet Touch Scissors by Armada
· Metal ruler or straight edge
· Two toned paper shopping bag from your Victoria's Secret purchase
· Face Set Rubber Stamp Set, Stamp #1, by Hampton Art Stamps
· Stampin' Words Rubber Stamp Set, Item #333 (Hold/Kiss/Thrill) by Rubber Stampede
· Heart shaped Rubber Stamp
· Scraps from paper sewing pattern
· White paper glue

The Steps
(Click to enlarge images. Click back button to return to article.)

1. Using the rose acrylic paint and a foam sponge brush, paint both the inside and outside of an empty cardboard matchbox. Let it air dry.

2. Cut a 2-inch square out of gold metallic paper. I used left-over sticker paper, but you can use any gold paper you like, including decorative paper or foil.

3. Using the corner heart punch, punch three corners of the gold paper. Save the small hearts. Cut one corner off (about 1.5 inch piece) Apply the gold paper at an angle to the top of the matchbox, pushing the loose ends under and inside. Apply two of the saved hearts, aligned underneath the heart cut-out.

4. Using a craft knife, cut a 1/8-inch slit in one end of the matchbox tray. Now fold the gold ribbon in half and push it through the slot from the inside. I used a coffee stirrer to push my ribbon through the tiny slit. Hold the ribbon in place on the matchbox tray bottom using tacky tape. Now put your index finger inside the looped ribbon to create a handle of sorts -- if your ribbon has a wire edge, it will hold its shape.

5. Using the black solvent ink, rubber stamp a face onto a small piece of gold card stock. You can emboss the image with clear embossing powder if you like to add some dimension. After the image dries, cut around it until the cardstock is about 1.25 x 1.75 inches. Adhere the stamped image inside the matchbox bottom using tacky tape.

6. After you shop at your favorite Victoria's Secret store, save the paper shopping bag. Cut a strip from the bag that measures 1.25 x 9 inches -- you'll use this as the base for your accordion fold insert. By the way, you can use any paper for the insert -- I like to recycle all kinds of paper and the VS bag seemed like the perfect fit.

7. Fold one end of the strip to create a 1/2-inch or less tab to fit inside the matchbox tray. Now fold the remaining bag scrap back and forth to create an accordion-style insert. Use a bone folder to crease the folds for best results. Finish off the card base using the heart corner punch.

8. Flip the accordion insert over and start decorating. On my insert, I stamped words and a heart in black ink. To create a light collage effect, I applied torn scraps of left-over sewing pattern paper on top of the words using white paper glue. If you collage, let it dry overnight. You might also consider writing a love note on the insert, using gel or calligraphy pens.

9. Attach a small piece of tacky tape to the short accordion tab and affix it inside the matchbox tray. Now slip the accordion inside the matchbox tray and slide the tray into the cover. Happy Valentine's Day!

Product Resource Guide
· Most project photos taken with a 5.0 MP resolution KODAK EASYSHARE DX4530 Zoom Digital Camera
· Metallic Acrylic Paint in Rose Pearl
· Small Foam Paint Brushes
· Small piece of gold metallic edged ribbon
· Bone folder
· Tacky tape
· Staz-On Ink Pad in Jet Black
· Browse for Paper Crafts Books at Amazon.com

Article Description: For this Valentine's Day, tell a significant other how much you care by creating a miniature accordion-fold card nestled inside a romantic matchbox.

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