Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Past Project: Christmas 2007 Amigurumi Dolls and Photo Collage Boxes

I was going through my digital photo albums today and found pictures from my 2007 Christmas projects.  Every fall I find projects that I belive will be meaningful, thoughtful gifts for Christmas. And every December, I am scrambling to get everything done.  Each year seems to get more and more elaborate.  Last year was a magnet shop, turning out over 300 magnets, as well as snow flake ornament factory, a candle factory and few other projects.  In 2007, I had two main projects: the Amigurumi dolls, pictured above, and (behind them in the picture) photo collage boxes.  Considering last year's goals, 2007 was a light year, though I was still scrambling at the end.

The amigurumi dolls were crocheted from patterns I found at Lions Brand (boy pattern here and girl pattern here), but I changed the colors to suite the recipients. I love to crochet because I can pretty much do it anywhere - on the bus, at work, in front of the TV.  And these dolls were pretty easy to make.

The photo collage boxes were a lot more work because I went through hundreds of digital pictures as well as scanned dozens of older pictures from my in-laws.  I can't remember what exactly inspired this box, but I did not use a how to, just winged it. 

The basic design is fairly simple:

1) Get a photo archival box (as it would acid free and the recipients could store pictures in it if they choose).  I got 3 boxes of $10 or so at a photo store that has since closed.

2) Measure the dimensions of the area to be covered for both the top and the body of the box.  I have to admit that I did not cover the bottom of the box.

3) Choose the pictures you want and print on acid free paper.***

4) I used Mod Podge to glue it to the box. 

5) Once dry, spray with clear gloss to protect - I used some Krylon product with a matte finish.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, in my anal desire to make everything fit just right, I used Photoshop to make 1:1 digital templates of the surface that needed to be covered. Then I took the pictures I wanted put on the box (tailored to the recipient) and arranged them on the template to make sure important areas of the pictures were not cut off.  I resized pictures as necessary.  On the band of the cover, you'll notice that pictures fit the height of the band almost perfectly.  In Photoshop, each picture was a separate layer. After I got everything arranged just the way I wanted, I copied each picture and pasted them onto 8 x 11.5 templates, so I could fit as many pictures on each page.  I had my husband print them from a laser printer on acid free paper (he was smart and made 3 copies of each page).  I cut the pictures out and using my original template as a guide, I mod podged the pictures to the box.


 I don't know if I conveyed the amount of work it took to make these boxes, but what I thought would be an easy project turned out not to be.  It's probably because I am a perfectionist at heart and when I make personalized gifts like these I agonize of each aspect, such as which pictures to use, which pictures to "feature", i.e. make a little larger, where to put each picture...  I don't remember how many hours I spent just arranging the pictures, but I imagine it was a ton.

But, this is potentially a very easy project, if you don't sweat the small stuff like I did.  And in the end, I was very, very pleased with the results.  My only disappointment was that I chose not to cover the bottom of the boxes, and that is a minor disappointment.

Thanks for going down craft memory lane with me.

Happy Crafting everyone!

Linking this to:


Iron Violet Designs

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