May your Christmas be merry and bright

Day 8: Holiday memory box

Christmas Eve at our house means sitting around the table sharing our cards from various friends and family. It’s fun to see how kids have grown, or what new adventures our friends are having. It’s one of the highlights of the holiday season. So for day 8 we bring you this holiday memory box for all your treasured keepsakes.

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MATERIALS

This craft requires a Silhouette Cameo to print out the stencil. It will also take a few days for painting and drying time.

  • Wooden box
  • Red craft or acrylic paint
  • Gold craft or acrylic paint (optional)
  • Paint brushes (medium and small)
  • Medium to coarse sandpaper
  • Vinyl “Merry Christmas” template (see note below if you don’t have vinyl)
  • X-acto knife

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INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1:

We decided that we wanted to make this memory box a storage for all the wonderful Christmas cards we get in the mail each year. Michael’s Craft Stores had a few options to choose from, but we chose this one because it was large enough to fit most card sizes.

We decided we wanted a “retro” feel to our box, so we downloaded a retro styled “Merry Christmas” template from Silhouette. You could do any message you’d like, in any typeface you wanted, depending on your selection of fonts on your computer.

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Step 2:

Determine the width and height of the top of the box and size your template accordingly. Our box is 11.75″ x 9″ so we made the template 9.5″ x 4.5″. We added some stars to the template to add to the sides of the box. Print out your template on vinyl paper.

Remove the paper around the text and transfer your stencil to your box by hand, transfer paper, or painters tape. Make sure to center the “Merry Christmas” in the center of the lid.

(Note: If you don’t have vinyl paper you can print it on a 12″ x 12″ piece of card stock. To adhere the paper to your box use a Xyron or Light tack spray mount. DO NOT use permanent spray mount or you’ll be finding yourself removing each letter for a few hours. Take it from us, we learned the hard way. hint hint.)

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Step 3:

Once your stencil is ready, place it on the box and make sure it’s firmly secure. You can use the back of your hand or a brayer to adhere it to the box.

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Step 4:

Now you can begin painting it. We started by painting the inside of the box with gold paint. If you choose this route, leave the box open overnight to dry completely.

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Step 5:

Once the inside is dry, you can begin to paint the outside. We chose a deep red acrylic paint. The paint we picked out was a little thick for our liking. It didn’t go on too smooth, but as it dried overnight it started to look better.

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Step 6:

Before it’s completely dry, carefully peel off the template using an X-acto knife. This was the tricky part. If you find that the paint bled underneath the letters or you get some smudges it’s OK. You will be able to fix this in Step 7.

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Step 7:

Once the paint is dry take your sandpaper and begin to sand down each side, including the edges. This gives it more of a vintage and worn look. Once you have sanded down your box, wipe it down good with a dry paper towel. (Note: Do this step outside and don’t wear a white t-shirt. The red dust gets everywhere!)

Now you are ready to keep your holiday treasures! Merry Christmas!

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