Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Experimental Exploding Flower Garen Box

As I mentioned in my last post, I've had this idea floating around in my head for an exploding box that has flowers as the centerpiece.  When I first conceived the idea, my thought was to use a cardboard tube that has been cut down to size as the container for the flowers.  I figured I'd cover the outside with some pretty paper or something to make it more attractive and less, well, like a toilet paper tube.  Then I was browsing at Michaels the other week, and I stumbled upon some tiny clay plant pots that are the PERFECT size for this!  With a coupon, they weren't too expensive, so even though I'm just experimenting at this point, I sprang for them.

Anyway, let me back up.  Last year, for the Spring Etsy Team sale, I made an exploding box with a paper rose as the centerpiece.  I never got a picture of it because I made it at the last minute, and ended up selling it at the sale.  I always wanted to do more, but my method of making those paper roses was a bit of a pain.  I used a large flower punch that I had to cut sections out of and use several layers to create a 3-D flower.  I had seen that Sizzix and Spellbinders both had 3-D rose dies, and I finally decided to break down and get the Sizzix one.  Unfortunately, when I got it home, I found that the roses that it makes are tiny- much smaller than I had originally thought.  The largest size is maybe the size of a quarter in diameter, the smaller size is more like a nickel.  So I ended up getting the Spellbinder die, because that one is a bit larger.  But once I made some of those smaller roses, I started thinking of ways I could use them, and that's when I came up with the flower garden idea. I have lots of other flower punches and dies, so figured I have a variety of flower types I could use.  And then there was this idea: floating butterflies.  I cannot take credit for this idea at all, because I shamelessly stole it from my BFF Kendra.  Last year, she made an exploding box and used some thin strips of clear acetate to have "floating" objects in it.  I was thinking it was the graduation box for her nephew, but when I went back to look at the pictures she sent me, that wasn't it, so now I'm not sure which one it was.  In any case, I thought that was a very cool idea, and when I started thinking about a flower garden exploding box, the thought came to me to use that same floating object idea with butterflies.  I was able to find a roll of acetate at work, and "borrowed" some for my experiment.

So, here is the lid:

 The flower on top is the Spellbinder 3-D rose die.  I cut it out in an off-white card stock and inked it with 2 shades of purple ink and a sponge.  The leaves are cut with a Martha Stewart rose leaf punch.  The lacy squares are a new Spellbinder die, and they are perfect for exploding boxes- the largest one is 4 inches square, which is exactly what the boxes are.  I got it with the intention of using it for the sides of exploding boxes in the future, though on this box, I only used them on the lid.

I got a DCW paper pad a few weeks ago that I really like- it has lots of purples, greens and yellows, with some blues as well.  I really liked the paper I used on the sides, like you are looking head-on at a flower garden.

Above is a view of the box when it has been opened.  The outer layer is embellished with a layer of floral paper under some purple panels that have been dry embossed. This embossing folder is really cool- the craft store where I bought it had some sample cards that had been made with it, and I liked that you can emboss it with either side.  I actually used both here- in this picture the top and bottom panels have just the edges of the flowers raised, while the left and right panels have the petals themselves raised, and the edges depressed.  The middle layer is embellished with some flowers that I cut out with punches and used jewels for the centers.  The inside layer has the same paper that is on the outside.  Then, there is the center.
There's that adorable little clay pot I was talking about- isn't it cute?!  So, let me talk about the flowers for a minute.  There are two roses- the purple one in the front, which you can see the top of, and the yellow one behind it, which you can see from the side. These are the two Sizzix 3-D roses.  In the middle is a daisy that I made using a daisy punch. I used 3 layers and glued a tiny pompon in the center, which I colored yellow with some yellow stamp ink.  The purple daisy was cut out with a larger daisy punch, and I used a yellow button for its center.  The flowers are attached to pieces of green floral wire with the use of a hot glue gun.  Leaves were punched using two different MS punches and adhered to the flower stems.  The stems (wire) are stuck into a piece of Styrofoam that is in the pot, and covered with some crumpled green tissue paper.  I also put some tissue on the bottom of the box, surrounding the pot.  Then there is the butterfly, as well as a dragonfly, that seem to float above the flowers, on thin strips of clear acetate.  This part was challenging- I added these pieces last, and I really should have figured out where to put them before gluing down the plant pot.  Next time, I will make the flowers a bit shorter, so that the butterflies will be more prominent- as it is, they kind of blend in and aren't that noticeable.  My daughter, Meredith, thinks I should only have put one, but I kind of like having both of them there!

So, there it is- my vision finally brought to life!  There are things I will do differently in the future, and that's why it's good to make a few test products before finalizing the design and process.  I still need to work on my 3-D flowers- I don't entirely have the hang of making those roses yet, and need to come up with some different things to use for flower centers.  I am not all that fond of the button on that purple daisy, but was at a loss for something else to use.  The pompons I have are too small for that size, but perhaps the next size up will work.

Anyway, I like it, and I hope to do more with this concept!  I have more ideas for color schemes and designs, so it will be fun to see if they look as good outside of my head as they do inside it!

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