Cricut Tutorial: Mother’s Day Gift Box

April 23, 2020

Is This Not the Most Adorable Gift Box You've Ever Seen?

In this Cricut tutorial, I will show you how to make a few adjustments to turn a Cricut file for a sweets box, into this Mother’s Day spa gift box!  You could really adjust this design to any number of purposes, but I have some bath bombs that Spencer and I made in this video, and they needed a gift box.  

I’m layering the specialness of homemade bath bombs with a homemade gift box…and it feels GOOD.

A Before and After Look at the Cricut File

Original Sweet Tooth Gift Box Design
This is the original file in Cricut Design Space. I assume it was a goodie box for sweets.
Mother's Day Spa Gift Box
This is the finished design after a few file alterations!

I know, I know…the design is pretty cute all by itself, and I probably could have just done nothing and had a perfectly lovely gift box…but I had visions of a tiny spa dancing in my head, and the changes were pretty easy.

Come on, I’ll show ya!

Manipulate the Original Cricut Gift Box File

I started by selecting the file and taking a look at the components.  There’s not a lot to the structure, but I was immediately turned off by the dozens of tiny flowers, and knew pretty immediately that I wanted them to disappear…but first things first.

  1. I began by making a few rectangles that will fit over the window holes so I could put acetate in them.  I made 2 of those, one for each window.
Rectangle for window acetate

2. Then I started working on the spa sign for the roof.  I went into images and searched for something Mother’s Day-ish.  I finally settled on this image.

Selected image

3. To make the sign, I grabbed another rectangle to put under the image, and used the text feature to write the word “spa”.

Adding spa to sign

4. I selected all of the pieces of the image (mother’s day message, rectangle, and spa) and flattened them into a single printable image.  Then I grabbed another rectangle to put behind it as a border (which I cut out of patterned paper).

Up close spa sign and background

5. Finally, we deal with the irritating flowers.  I deleted those…

Deleted flowers from original design

6. Back in images, I found cut then print flowers I thought would work better, and duplicated and sized them for the bushes.

Then cut it all out!

Replacement flower images

Assemble Your Gift Box Base

Fold along the score lines of you two main box base pieces. It’s also a good time to attach the acetate to the inside of the windows (which I neglected to do before I closed up the box…so don’t make my mistake.

If you use some acetate, make sure you check to make sure you’ve removed the protective film on the outside.

Remove film on acetate
Installed window acetate

I started assembly thinking it would be a piece of cake.  Turns out, there is a WEIRD box bottom on this project.  I tried to fit it together every which way I could, but eventually decided it needed to be glued shut.  Maybe if you were putting something light inside it would matter (although I kind of doubt it), but knowing I had heavy bath bombs to go in, I needed a sturdy bottom.

Bizarre box bottom

I recorded the struggle in the video tutorial, so maybe that will be an easier way to visualize the struggle.  Regardless, this solution worked in the end!

Add Embellishments to the Outside of Your Gift Box

You are ready to add the embellishments to the outside of your gift box. You should start with the windows first, and then the shrubs.

You’ll notice here that the door sits on top of the shrubs, and the shrubs sit on top of the window.  So, windows, shrubs, door, and then flowers is the best order.

You can also add the triangular pieces to the underside of the roof, but DO NOT add the roof yet!

Side of gift box

Fill Your Gift Box with Goodies, and THEN Seal It Up!

It’s important to keep in mind that this design is kind of like a little milk carton.  The “handle” at the top of the gift box is going to be sealed before you put the roof on, so you must get your goodies inside the gift box before you close it and add the roof.

When you glue the top closed, make sure to hold it for a little longer than you think you should.  It wants to pop open and it will take it’s chance if you let it!  I think I did it for a solid 2 minutes, which feels like an eternity.  Put on a YouTube tutorial to play in the background to kill the time. 🙂 

Add goodies to gift box before sealing
Glue top of gift box shut

Put the Roof on, and Your Gift Box is Finished (and Super Cute)

There is a slit in the top of the roof piece where you can gently squeeze the top into place.  Do this gently, and slowly.  There isn’t a lot of space between the slit and the edge of the paper, so your opportunity to tear it is abundant.

Once you’ve got the roof in place, glue down both sides of the roof.

Insert roof on top of gift box

Finish off your gift box with your Mother’s Day sign.  I used some foam squares to pop it out a little.  

I’m in love.

Mother's Day Spa Gift Box

If you’d like to save yourself the changing-the-file bit and go straight to playing with glue (I hear you), I have a link to the Cricut file as I have adjusted it.  All I ask in return is for you to sign up for my email list so I can grow my circle of friends here.  You can unsubscribe anytime you like, I respect your privacy.

Once you fill in your email address, you will be emailed a link to the file which will open in Cricut automatically for you.  If you have Access, everything should be free!  If you don’t have Access yet, here is a link for you.  If you don’t know what Access is, start with this post!

Here’s a link to the video tutorial:

Materials used for this project are listed below.  Some links in this post are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  If you do, thank you in advance for your support of this blog.
 
 
Cricut cardstock used for windows, doors and shrubs
110lb kraft cardstock I used 110lb cardstock from Michael’s, but can’t find it on their website.  This link is for Amazon instead.  I’ve used this brand in heavyweight 12 by 12 paper and it was great.
 
Links to favorite glue and Cricut supplies are on my blog resources page here.

Love, Amanda

Cricut Tutorial: Paper Tealight Holder (Free SVG!)

April 17, 2020

Perfect for Mother's Day: A Handmade Gift Using a FREE SVG File From Dreaming Tree!

I would say most Mom’s appreciate a homemade gift, generally speaking, but if there is ever a year not to go out shopping for Mother’s Day gifts, it’s this one.  Instead, I offer you this tealight holder tutorial, so you can make one with your Cricut, just a few pieces of paper from your craft stash, and a free SVG file courtesy of Dreaming Tree!

"But Amanda, It Looks Like There is Vellum In This Project, and I Don't Have Vellum in My Stash Right Now."

It’s okay, neither did I.  I gotchu.

Know what that lovely, white, moderately see-through paper on the petals of the daffodils is?  PARCHMENT PAPER FROM MY KITCHEN DRAWER.  I was trying to figure out what might be a good on-hand kind of substitute, so I thought I’d give it a try.  It worked!

I have some generic parchment paper variety from Sam’s Club, but I imagine they are all mostly the same, with the exception of perhaps Reynolds parchment paper, which (I think) has it’s name written all over it.  So maybe try some wax paper if I’m right about the Reynolds writing…

In the end, I think the parchment paper had just enough translucency that the candle flame really showed through well.  I left this picture kind of dim so you could see the soft glow.  Don’t you think your Mom would like this softly lit, handmade, paper tealight holder next to a nice warm bubble bath?  

YES.  On behalf of Mom’s everywhere, the answer is yes.

My Cricut Can Cut Parchment Paper?

The answer to this question is also apparently “yes”. 🙂 

The setting I used to get a successful cut from my Cricut, was the dot between “iron-on” and “light cardstock”.  I used the blue light-tack Cricut mat (a relatively new one, so it was pretty sticky), and it cut like a charm.

Okay, the first few settings were a hot effing mess, but THIS setting worked like a charm, so use this one. 🙂

Cricut setting for parchment paper

Dreaming Tree SVG File

The SVG file for this paper tealight holder is a FREEBIE from Dreaming Tree.  On the resources tab of this blog, you will see a square with links to my favorite SVG sites, of which Dreaming Tree is one.  Here is a link to the file.

The file link is an affiliate link…an affiliate link to a free file, so you can do the math on that one.  BUT, it’s a great introduction to Dreaming Tree if you aren’t already a fan.  They haven’t been around for very long, just a few years, but they’ve been cranking out quite the body of work.  My first few projects of theirs were freebie files, and then I got some of the more complicated files once I was comfortable.  I posted a picture of my Dreaming Tree bunny from last Easter just a few days ago.  It was pretty advanced, but I worked my way up to it, and you can too!

Paper Tealight Holder = Excellent Beginner Cricut Project!

Finally, I would just like to offer that this paper tealight holder is a great beginner Cricut project.  It LOOKS impressively complex, but it’s really just a few pieces, and basically 2 boxes.  It went together easily and quickly and I think it’s just lovely.

Paper tealight

I have a full video tutorial below, but here are the basic steps for construction:

Glue button panels onto front of tealight holder
Glue bottom panels onto FRONT of main piece
Glue top panels (parchment paper) to FRONT of main piece
Glue top panels (parchment paper) onto FRONT of main piece
Glue pattern cover pieces on TOP of panels you just applied
Glue pattern cover pieces on TOP of panels you just applied
Fold score lines and close up box
Fold score lines and close up box
Glue down the bottom flap
Glue down the bottom flap
Glue cover panel into the inside to hide the seams and provide stability
Glue cover panel to the bottom of the inside, to hide the seams and provide stability
Fold score lines on tealight base
Fold score lines on tealight holder base
Glue sides and bottom of base
Glue sides and bottom of tealight holder base to form a small box
Glue bottom of tealight holder to base
Glue the bottom of the tealight holder to the top of the tealight base

Some Assembly Tips

I learned a couple of things during the construction of this project:

1. Even a small amount of glue will make your parchment paper look all wiggly and weird.  This is okay. Once the covering panel is down, you can’t tell at all.

parchment paper and glue
Thin line of glue example

2. Work quickly with super thin lines of glue so it doesn’t squish out onto your thin panels, and so the glue you applied at the top of your panel isn’t dry by the time you’re done applying to the bottom of the panel.

Materials used for this project are listed below.  Some links are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  If you do, thank you in advance for your support of this blog.

 

 

Main piece paper is Cricut paper in teal-green
Patterned paper for side panels, as well as the green paper used for the base: Natalie Maran Little Terrace pack from Cricut
Cricut light green paper used for leaf panels instead of vellum: Light green from the pastel pearl paper sample pack
Favorite glue, and papercraft recommendations are on my blog resources page here!

 

And finally, a link to the video tutorial!

For this post, I teamed up with some fellow bloggers.  Why not go check out some other creative Mother’s Day gift ideas?

Group post, Mother's Day gift ideas

Cupcake Liner Carnations – Manda Panda Projects

4-in-1 Mother’s Day Gift – Thirty Minute Maker

Gifts Mom Will Love – Victori’s Creations

How to Make a Mother’s Day Card on Cricut – Pocket Wonders

Love, Amanda

Cricut Tutorial: Bunny Treat Box

April 6, 2020

Bunny Treat Box, How Sweet!

I love putting together little treat boxes for Easter for each of the kids that join us for our celebration.  I put a treat box out at the table setting of each kid.  This year’s bunny box is the sweetest thing, and this Cricut tutorial is a breeze.  Let me walk you through where to get this file, how to adjust it a little, and finally, a super-easy assembly tutorial.  The assembly for this is only about 5 minutes, it’s an impressively simple design! 

Easter Treat Boxes Past...

This is the first Easter that I’ve had my blog, so let me catch you up on a couple of prior treat boxes (which also happen to both be bunnies!)

Last Year

Last year, the bunny treat box was complicated.  Like, really really complicated.  Ultimately I decided it was so cute, it was worth it.  It was a file from Dreaming Tree, which is one of the trusted resources on my resources tab.  The link to the file from last year is here. (This is an affiliate link).

Look at the back of the bunny at the one across the table!  A small bow and dimensional tail.  Could you die??  You lift off his whole head to get to the goodies inside.  If this interests you, there is a great tutorial on the Dreaming Tree site attached to the file.  It’s the tutorial I used last year when I was putting these together.  

Dreaming Tree Bunny Box

Two Years Ago

The year before that, I made little faux chocolate bunny boxes from Lori Whitlock’s shop https://shop.loriwhitlock.com/3d-chocolate-bunny-box/ (not an affiliate link).  Not nearly as complex, but still very impactful.  I made them nice and large and crammed them full of toys and candy.  I think each bunny half was cut from a full sheet of 8.5×11 paper…

and...Present Day

The file for this year’s bunny treat box is also from the Lori Whitlock shop.  I have an entire step by step video dedicated to how to get Lori Whitlock’s files into Cricut Design Space, so the best thing to do is to watch that video first (or refresh your memory if you’ve already seen it?) so we start the tutorial with the design uploaded into design space. 

I made a couple of minor adjustments to the file, which I walk through in the bunny treat box video tutorial below.  The first adjustment is that I changed the score lines to be solid.  It’s just a pet peev of mine…when the score lines are little dashes, which is common in some designer’s files, it drives me nuts.  It’s an easy fix.  Basically, I replace the square score dash marks with a solid square shape and turn it into a score line instead of a cut line.

Next, I got the file as large as I could before it wouldn’t fit on a single mat.  I knew I had lots of treats, and I was worried that this design might not be big enough (it wasn’t, so I ended up resizing it and using a few mats to cut it, but that’ll be an upcoming post!).

There’s a trick to making things fit on mats in Design Space.  If your design is just a little too large for your mat, sometimes if you just rotate the design on an angle, it’ll fit!  #Cricuthack!

 

Once the file was as large as I could get it, I cut out the pieces and went to the assembly table.  This project literally went together in about 5 minutes.  It would be a terrific project if you needed to make multiples!

Fold on score lines
Attach patterned bunny halves
Fold inside flaps
Slide together the outside flaps

And just like that, you’re done!  I mention in the video that the largest I am able to get this box by using a single piece of paper, is a box about 4 by 4 inches on the bottom, so you’ll need smallish treats.

I hope you enjoy the video!  Happy bunny boxing!

Supply list is below.  Some of these links are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  If you do, thank you in advance for your support of this blog.

 

The paper used for the bunny is from the Echo Park Celebrate Easter set, which I can no longer find online. However, there is a digital download of this paper pack for just a few bucks on this website, which I use often. Digital paper is a great way to increase your paper stash without having to buy or store a ton of different paper packs!

 If you would like a physical product, there are some other Echo Park options on Amazon: https: https://amzn.to/34jfciv 

Paper used for the box: https://amzn.to/3dVJiNx 

My favorite glue and tiny refillable bottles are both listed in my resources tab here: https://amandatoryactivity.com/papercraft-supplies/

Love,
Amanda

Make FREE 3-D Paper Easter Decorations

April 1, 2020

Need to Add Some Pizazz to Your Easter Decor? Make Some Paper Easter Decorations for Free!

If you have been following my blog or YouTube channel, you will have seen the growing selection of free paper animals I’ve been making.  These are done with the free designs on the Canon Creative Park website. The site is packed full of fun projects, and I stumbled upon this design they call “Easter set”.  So, not only can you make adorable critters, you can make Easter decorations with paper too!

Finished paper Easter decorations project

My first thought was “those eggs look like they would be a nightmare”.  And then I thought “how do you make it completely enclosed without a hole in the top or bottom?”  “Where do you put your fingers while you are putting it together?” “How do you get them out?”  

Eventually, I had so many “I wonder” questions, I decided I had to try it for myself.  The eggs are a little bit of a nightmare, but really just the first one.  Once you do one, the others are easy.

 

Easter Prep During Covid-19

I have tried hard not to focus blog posts on the current state of things, and to instead provide a respite and distraction for you.  The only way I am going to get through it, is if I can escape and play every now and then.   

Even though I did a significant amount of very early Easter planning, and got some goodies in advance, I feel a need to make things a little extra special this year.  It’s obviously just going to be my household for Easter this year, but in my mind and in my heart, I want to make it that much more special.  

Basically, Easter is going to suck, and I want to make it less sucky.

Going for Normal

While you are visiting my blog over the next couple of weeks, you’ll see a bunch of Easter projects, and cookies, that are intended to make things feel normal around here.  I think I’m even going to make placecards just for the three of us…because that’s “normal” for me too.  Also, there’s a design I’ve had my heart set on, and typically there’s no turning back once I get there.  Knowwhaddimean?

It’s not going to be the lovely Easter with a dozen and a half friends and family and a giant Easter egg hunt for all the kids, but the “things” will be the same.  The food will be familiar, and gosh darnit, there WILL be decorations!  

Paper Decorations Are Beautiful!

I think this free Easter decoration project is lovely!  Putting this together, and  the little black and white dutch bunny in the beginning of the video (and pictured above), really helped get me in the mood.  

So if you don’t want to sit around with your shaving cream and food coloring this weekend, but still want some fun decorated “eggs”, this is a great option.  I leaned into the camera as close as possible to make it easy to follow along.

The file is located here: Canon Creative Park Easter Set

To make these paper Easter decorations, you literally just need to print it out, grab your scissors and some glue and follow along.  I hope you enjoy and feel proud and a little more normal when you’re done!

While you’re at it, why not hit the subscribe button on my YouTube channel?  I have a TON of Easter projects that I just need to edit and upload, which I hope to do in the next couple of days.  There are also a few Easter cookie videos already up…I’m aggregating them all into a single blog post, so they made it to YouTube first.  Click the bell notification and you’ll get a little notification when there’s a new one. 

Until then, thanks for stopping by! 

Love, Amanda

Make FREE Paper Animals With Your Home Printer

March 24, 2020

Need a Fun Project While You're Stuck at Home? Make FREE Paper Animals With Your Home Printer!

I’m at home.  You’re at home. The KIDS are at home.  This feels like a test….how much do I love my spouse/children? We’re going to get through it, we will, but if you’re like me, you need some distractions.  Let me show you how to make free paper animals at home with little more than your printer!

There are not a lot of ways to make things feel normal right now, and one of the things we’ve done over here is develop some new habits.  Eventually, those habits start to feel like something normal and familiar.  We downloaded Disney+, so in the evenings we now watch The Mandalorian together.  In the afternoons, my husband I make bubble tea.  We walk in the neighborhood as a family, which feels like a luxury we never used to have.

But in addition to finding your new normal, I personally need some distractions too.  I get caught up in my head, imagining the worst, questioning every cough or touch of asthma I may feel.   It’s too easy to go down that spiral…so, distractions it is!  Straight-up down time for my brain.  

You want in? 

Let Me Introduce You to the Canon Creative Park

There’s a website I found when I was just starting to tinker with papercrafts.  It has a wide range of paper projects available, from super-simple to uber-complicated.  Here’s an example:

This is the Canon Creative Park website, and it’s chock full of fun ideas. The first one I made was, in hindsight, probably a mistake, because it was complicated…but it did allow me to learn a lot quickly and so now here I am, making tutorials on how to put together the Canon Creative Park paper animals. 🙂   

Here was my first project, from about 4 years ago (he’s seen better days and got played with a lot before I took him back for posterity.

Endless Possibilities for Paper Animals and More

At the time of writing this post, I have made and filmed 5 critters (plus the Easter basket and eggs you can see in the top pic…but it’ll go up separately since it’s not an animal). 🙂   

I’m trying to do as many as I can, because: 

  • Distraction
  • Craft projects you can do at home with virtually no craft supplies
  • Kids might enjoy it (although I think I dramatically overestimated the degree to which my 8 year old boy would like it!)
  • You end up with a bunch of toys that you didn’t have to pay for

I know my perception of what you guys want to do at home right now is probably different than your actual desires, but if you have older kids at home, I encourage you to give this a try.  I used cardstock for the 5 videos I have posted so far on YouTube (if you follow me on YouTube you will have already seen them. If you don’t follow me on YouTube and only follow the blog, then this is news!)  but if you don’t have cardstock, that’s okay too. The owl was made with just printer paper, so go ahead and give it a whirl.

 

A Playlist of Paper Animal Video Tutorials

In each of the videos below, I’ve included the link to that file.  Just open the video and you’ll see the description link.  

Go ahead and subscribe on YouTube and ring the bell and you’ll get a notification whenever I post a new one.  I’m aggregating them all into a playlist called “paper animals” (duh) on my channel, so they’ll be easy to find.  

I’ll link them all for you below, but I won’t be writing another blog post about them, so if you want more paper critters, please subscribe to YouTube and you’ll get them there! 

Stay well and stay sane, my friends,

Love,
Amanda

I'm Amanda, and I put the AMANDA in A MANDAtory Activity (and I like a good bad pun). This blog is a focused on baking and crafting for gatherings and gifts! I LOVE making things a little extra special and I love sharing those ideas with you. Have a look around, or read more here.

Amanda

Affiliate Link Disclosure

Some links on my site are affiliate links.  If you make purchases through affiliate links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

The Best Machine for DIY Projects
Grow and Make

Happy Crafter

happy-crafters-vinyl
Browse here!
×