Monday, December 19, 2016

One special customer helped me designing this beautiful and functional box!

This year I was busy with my classes, online videos, preparing instructions, DIY kits, moving….. so, it was  a long time since I made one new project! And then, this Saturday I did…  and I got help to make it! It was a great project and working with this special customer ….. actually….my husband…..was a great additional to the project!  Take a look what we did!!

First, he loves coffee and decided to have a new coffee machine for our house! After searching he found the best choice would be the Nespresso  Vertuoline. He started making very good coffees, but the capsules were kind of big to fit in the boxes I already made, and for sure, I didn’t want to buy a new one, as I could have fun and make my own one by Cartonnage! But I didn’t want to make just “another box”, I want to make something functional and beautiful! But I didn’t have time for that….then, for the last two weeks, my countertop was a mess……literally….  Some weird boxes around, so difficult to find the coffee he wanted...

but I knew I had to have plenty of time to stop and make a new one! And last Saturday was snowing…..very cold outside in the morning, so,  perfect to be inside and I said, let’s do it….today I will solve this problem!

And to get started, I asked him (the customer!): What do you want? What kind of box do you want? How many capsules do you want to fit inside? Do you want closure?... And he just said he wants a box like the other ones I make, no closure, and then, he started helping me with the design…..we tried to figure out the best size for the box…..
So, I made some notes, cut some chipboard,  quickly build one temporarily box and we had our first test!

Decision: too big….. it would fit 25 capsules but would be a big box…. So, we play a little bit with it and decided that may be would be better have space for 20 capsules on top and one extra storage under that to keep more capsules as they come in the packages….. 

So,  a little bit more conversation and I made another temporarily box.

But…. this time, we thought that would be better if I add dividers to the top tray…. and then, more measures and I had to cut more chipboard for a box a little bigger….. and make another box and this time…..yeah…. all fit perfectly and it was starting to look like something functional !!

So, now it was my time to cover all pieces of paper with fabric and make the tray. 

And then…. the final test for the tray! Perfect! 20 capsules in perfect place!

Ok, then, it was time to make the box to put the tray inside and more space for storage underneath.  More math, cutting paper and build another temporarily box to check the dimensions…..

My first idea was to add some ribbon on the sides of the tray to remove it from the box, then I decided to make some holes in the sides of the box instead, and with those, we can easily remove the tray. All paper cut by hand and sanded when needed!

Looks like will fit everything….  At this time, I wasn’t sure yet how I would close the box….still thinking…..

Then I covered the pieces of chipboard with fabric and build the box. When finished my husband  figured out that if I had made a box just a little higher we could storage the packages, but then we decided to continue like that and keep our first idea, it will be easier to access the capsules without the package…. Glad we decided that!! 

So, we will have space for 4 or 5 of these things with capsules with 10 capsules each, plus 20 capsules on the top tray, so, at the end, the box will fit 60 or 70 capsules (because the espresso ones are smaller)… that’s a great storage  (we can buy more capsules each time with discount, free shipping and have space for them!!)

At this point the designing was finished! My husband went outside to play with the kids and I continued my work making the box……oh….so fun…. I love my craft time!!

Then, I decided about the lid, the fabrics, made the lid, covered the tray and box outside (because inside was already covered when I build the box).

 At some point, I also made a break and came outside to take some pictures and play a little bit with my family! We all love snow!

So, at the end of the day I was with the box ready, or at least almost! I knew my husband didn’t want a closure, but I thought that it is a beautiful box, that deserves something more….. so, my plan was for a closure and feet (but I didn’t tell him about that until he saw the final box in the next day!....)

You may know, may not, but in cartonnage, we use masking tape as part of the process and we need to wait some hours to remove it…..for sure….not easy time to pass …… I was so curious to see the final box…but, I put something heavy over and kept like that until next day, Sunday!

Then, on Sunday, I removed all the masking tape, and I can tell you that it is an exciting time….when you start seeing your project done….. 

and then, the final step, I added the metal feet! 

Finally, I was able to see the box ready!! 

OMG….. I loved so much!! I can’t believe I made it! I love Cartonnage so much! It is such a great craft!!

Then, it was time to give the box to my husband….. He also loved  (didn’t complain about the closure and feet!! Yeah…..)  and he was so happy with it! Now he can find the coffee so easily!

And I was also happy with the box and with the organization of my countertop! Yeah….. no more weird boxes on it!

So, that was my project for the weekend! I loved so much! I enjoyed designing with help of my husband! I loved the final box and I had so much fun making it……

I hope you liked as well! I would love to hear from you!

Making boxes out of paper, fabric and glue it’s called CARTONNAGE, it is so fun! If you want to learn more about it I have one basic FREE online course where you can start learning this craft with simple projects, and also I have other online courses where you can learn how to make fabric boxes, journal covers and one special treasure box! Local classes in Indiana and Michigan are available sometimes and you can check the calendar here.

I loved  this new box so much, that I am planning to make a similar one but a little smaller to be a jewelry box! I think will be a great idea! And then….. I will solve the organization of my daughter’s bedroom!!....And why not another one for my sewing notions?? ....But for now, I will take a break for the Holidays! I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!!

See you!!



  1. What a beauty! Love how you described the design process. And the cutouts on the sides to aid in lifting the tray look great. Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi Cheryl, thanks for your comment! Glad you liked it! It was a great and fun process making it! Merry Christmas for you and your family!

  2. This is lovely Claudia! I so enjoyed your class at Quilt Expressions. I'm hooked!

    1. Thanks MaryJo, it was great to meet you this year! Have fun with Cartonnage and have a Merry Christmas!!

  3. OMG Claudia - that is super nice!!! Great job!!!

    1. Glad you liked Jean! Thanks for letting me know!! It was a great project to make!

  4. Claudia, what a wonderful box! I have a Nespresso too, and truly, the capsules are out of control. I will have to work on a box soon- a little smaller as my kitchen is tiny. Thanks for sharing! Wishing you the best!

    1. Hi Roberta! Yes, these boxes are so functional, can fit a lot of capsules and solve our problem...... have fun making yours!! Have a Merry Christmas!!

  5. Que linda caixa Claudia!!! Estava pensando em fazer uma caixa de maquiagem para minha filha e gostaria de comprar um pe tipo esse que vc colocou nessa sua caixa... Aonde posso encontrar esse tipo de ferragens: pe, fechadura, dobradica, etc??!! Obrigada pelos belos trabalhos...

    1. Oi Adriana, obrigada. Se voce estiver no Brasil eu recomendo as ferragens que a Heloisa Gimenes vende na Sao esses que eu uso, ja procurei algo por aqui mas ainda prefiro os dela. Grande abraco, Feliz Natal!

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