I’m Kathy, a new Hybrid Chick, and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to be here today to share my first project with you!
Everyone’s gearing up for Easter — the bunny, the egg hunts, the adorable little children in their “Easter best”— but I wanted to remind all of you that there’s another really important holiday coming up shortly after. Does anyone know what it is? Anyone? Anyone…?
That’s right! It’s Administrative Professionals Day on April 27!
Let me explain why this is such an important day to me. Nowadays I spend all my time making paper crafts. But only a few years back, I was an administrative assistant at a university. And let me tell you, it can be about one of the most thankless jobs you can imagine. A lot of people don’t give you the respect you deserve for running the show (which is basically what admin do), your pay usually isn’t anything to write home about, and you don’t hear a lot of thank you’s since a lot of people don’t think about how much time and effort (and knowledge) goes in to doing your job well. Add that to the fact that you end up shouldering the blame whenever anything goes wrong and, well… don’t get me started! So even though I’m no longer an admin, I can still very much relate and I make sure to make a big deal out of it this time of year.
I stay at home, so I don’t have an admin of my own, but my husband works at a university and has five admins. (yes, five!) I came up with this gift for him to give his admins to show them that he cares about and appreciates all the work they do for him.
Pretty cheery, right? And who doesn’t love a super spring-y gift of flowers?
So let me give you a quick tutorial on how this all came together.
- Fresh Cut — The Collection Boutique Collab Kit
- White Luxe text paper, by Paper-Source
- Chipboard coasters
- Thin adhesive-backed cork (you can find this in the shelf-liner section of home improvement stores)
- Wooden skewer
- Terracotta flower pot
- Acrylic paint
- Other: Adhesive of your choice, Scissors, Sanding Block, Ink, Foam paintbrush, Hole puncher, thin cardboard, embellishments of your choice
This was my first time ever downloading items from the digichick store and it went really smoothly. I chose to print the digi files on my home inkjet printer on a textured text-weight paper which was plenty thick for my purposes. Because I printed them at home and used a slightly off-white, textured paper, the colors came out a little softer and mottled than the online images. I actually really liked the feel this gave my project — so experiment with different papers and printers to see what you love!
After I printed my papers, I got to work. To begin, we’ll make the box for the flower pot to sit in.
Begin by adhering your designer papers to the front and back of 5 coasters (these will eventually be the sides and bottom of a gift box). You can do this by either tracing your coaster shape on the back of your paper, cutting it out and pasting it down. Or, you can take a shortcut and just paste the paper directly to the coaster and then cut around the coaster to have the edges match exactly.
Next, I sanded the the edges of each coaster with a sanding block to give them a bit more of a distressed look and to fix any slight cutting imperfections I may have made. Here they are all covered and distressed. Note: for what was to be the inside bottom of my box, I covered the coaster with thin adhesive-backed cork to make sure it stood up to the flower pot rubbing against it and any other kind of wear and tear it might have (I’m thinking the box could later be used as a box to hold pencils or other supplies on the admin’s desk).
Next, you’ll want to decorate the four sides of the coasters that will be the outside of your box as you see fit. I printed out a bunch of digi embellishments from the digi kit and added a bit more flair with some torn paper scraps and some buttons that I had lying around. Use your imagination. This is the fun part.
Once your coasters are decorated to your liking, it’s time to punch holes in them so that you have a way to connect all the sides. For the BOTTOM of the box, you’ll want to punch two holes in each corner of your bottom coaster. The size of the holes is up to you. Just chose something that will allow your ribbon/twine/etc. to pass through easily.
For the other coasters, you’ll want to punch pairs of holes going up two opposite sides of each coaster. It doesn’t matter how many holes you punch (it’s a personal preference), but you want to make sure that your holes roughly line up on all coasters, so that when you put your box together, it won’t be crooked. Here’s a pic illustrating how all the coasters were punched. See how all the holes match up with the coaster next to it? That’s what you want.
Once all your holes are punched, it’s time to assemble the box! Start by cutting a length of ribbon or twine long enough that you can thread it up the sides of two adjoining coasters and still have enough left over to tie a knot or a bow. Thread the two opposite ends up through the base of the bottom coaster so that when you’re done, you have two free ends on top.
Then lace one end of twine through the bottom hole on the edge of one coaster and the other end of the twine through the bottom hole on another coaster, like this:
Already, the box is taking shape! Then, all you have to do is lace the rest of the holes like you’re lacing a pair of shoes. Overlap your twine in a criss-cross pattern until you reach the top. When you finish one side, you can either tie it in a knot or a bow (your choice!). I chose a simple knot since I figured the rest of the box already had enough going on.
Do this process for all four sides until you have a finished box that stands on its own!
Next, you’ll want to make a matching plant pot for your gift. This part is super easy (and adds such a pretty touch.)!
To begin, take a normal terracotta pot (I used a 4 1/2″ pot and matching base) and paint it with acrylic paints. Depending on how old your paint is (i.e. if it’s nice and thick or not!), this may take a few coats. Be sure to let each coat dry before adding another or your new coat will rub off the old coat (I learned this the hard way!).
Once your pot has had a chance to fully dry, it’s time to decorate it. To do this, I printed some digi flowers from the kit on to normal printer paper. You might be tempted to use the high-quality good stuff for this, but it’s not necessary. The thinner the paper, the better, actually, since we’ll be doing some decoupaging.
If you haven’t decoupaged before, it’s so easy! Cut out whatever embellishments you want on the outside of your flower pot. Apply a thin but even layer of Mod Podge on your pot, and immediately set down your cut out image. Then immediately apply more Mod Podge on top to set the image in to place and add a protective layer to it.
Don’t worry — all that white goop will dry completely clear! Continue adding images to your pot until you’re happy with how it all looks. Then apply one or two more full coats of Mod Podge to make sure everything is glued down well and is super protected.
Here’s my pot all finished.
The final step to this little gift set is to make a cute tag to stick in the planter.
You can make your tag out of anything, but I wanted mine to be really whimsical. I chose a cloud frame from the digi kit and printed it out along with the alpha set from the kit. After it was cut out, I traced and cut out a matching piece of thin cardboard so I could glue it to the back of my cut out to give it a little stability.
I glued that piece to the back and then got out a bit more of my adhesive-backed cork. To add the plant stick (a wooden kabob skewer I had in my kitchen!), I stuck it to my adhesive-backed cork and then stuck my printed tag to the front of that, pushing down well to make sure it was all adhered.
Then I carefully cut around the edges (being particularly careful not to cut the stick!). Once it was all cut out, I finished “dolling it up” by adding some cut out letters and a printed flower from the digi kit, a button and some ribbon.
Here’s a close-up of it all done.
And here are a couple pics of the whole set all put together!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little tutorial and that you’ll consider making it for your favorite admin. And if you don’t get around to putting something elaborate together, I hear they like chocolate and gift cards, too!
Enjoy your day and have fun!