Gift Bag Room Box Instructions

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These instructions were taken from one of the MSAT lists (thank you!) and thought I would share.  Sorry, no photos are available at this time.

 HELPFUL HINTS

 These are GENERIC instructions. You can use them for any size and shape of a bag. The procedure is the same, only the measurements of the pieces will be different.

 RULE NUMBER 1  MEASURE TWICE AND CUT ONCE.

 Make a Bristol board template (a pattern) for your pieces. Label each cut piece marking the top and bottom, as well. This will ensure a good fit of all your pieces. (Poster board can be substituted for Bristol)

 Use a mechanical pencil for accurate measuring.

 Rely on a carpenter's square to make the pieces square.

 Use a cork-backed ruler which should be longer than the item you are cutting.

 Use a very sharp new blade in your x-acto knife. Change the blades often.

 Hold your blade straight up and down, and pressed against the metal ruler.

The first cut is always just a score. Apply slightly more pressure on each pass, taking 3-4 passes to cut through the gator board.

 Use a sanding block to smooth out each edge.

 Use a Plexiglas cutting knife to cut the Plexiglas in the same manner as you would cut the gator board, except that after five passes, you place the part that you want to cut off overhanging a sharp table edge, OR resting on a 1 inch dowel, and snap the piece off at the cutting line. This should give you a very smooth edge.

 You only need a miter on the molding ends that meet at the inside wall corners.

 In order for the least amount of warp-age to occur, prepare your walls and immediately install them into the bag, or alternatively, allow wallpapered or painted walls to dry under weights overnight.

 PREPARING YOUR BAG:

Glue the top of the bag that is folded inside by running a line of tacky glue close to the cut edge, in between the two layers of the bag. Masking tape will hold it in place while the glue is drying.

 MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR BAG WINDOW:

While you are working on the inside of the bag, you should be deciding on the shape and size of your opening. This will all depend on what you are planning to put into the room, as well as the outside printed design of your bag and your own personal preference. Here are some ideas for a bag window:

- a square or a rectangular window

- picture frames glued around the window

- ribbon, lace or Bunka glued around the window

- irregular shaped opening by cutting out around the shapes of the print or image on the bag

- straight edges on opening, but cut out shapes are glued around the window

 MEASURE AND CUT THE INSIDE SHELL IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER.

 IT IS IMPORTANT TO CREATE A TIGHT FIT OF THE INSIDE SHELL BY PLACING EACH

PIECE INSIDE THE BOX BEFORE MEASURING AND CUTTING THE NEXT PIECE.

 - FRONT BRISTOL BOARD STABILIZER

 - PLEXIGLAS WINDOW

 - FLOOR, RIGHT WALL, LEFT WALL & CEILING (All four pieces are the same size!)

 - BACK WALL

 - FRONT WINDOW

 MAKING THE INSIDE SHELL:

 1. FRONT BRISTOL BOARD STABILIZER:

 Measure and cut the Bristol board to fit the front of the bag. It should be almost as tall as the bag handles. Folding up the bag helps to get the size correct.

 2. PLEXIGLAS WINDOW:

 Use the Bristol board as a template for the Plexiglas. Draw your cutting lines onto the paper protector and cut the Plexiglas through the paper with a Plexiglas cutter. Place the Bristol board and then the Plexiglas into the bag. IT WEAKENS THE BAG TO CUT OUT THE WINDOW NOW, THEREFORE ONLY AFTER ALL OF THE PIECES ARE CUT, YOU WILL CUT OUT THE FRONT WINDOW!

 3. FLOOR, RIGHT & LEFT SIDE WALLS & CEILING:

 Measure and cut the Bristol board to fit the bottom of the bag snugly. Use this template to cut four pieces of gator board all the same size. Sand the edges smoothly and label each piece, including which way is Up . There will be a smaller piece left over, which can be placed into the bag, underneath the floor, to raise the floor. It is helpful to round the corners of the floor piece slightly, so that it goes in and out of the bag easily without tearing the gift bag. Put the floor pieces and side walls in the bag.

 OPTIONAL CEILING:

 Use the floor template to cut a piece of Plexiglas for the ceiling if you are not installing a light. You can buy clear plastic tissue paper which you can glue onto the Plexiglas . . . OR leave the ceiling off completely.

 4. BACK WALL:

 Use the floor template to get the correct height for the back wall, and measure the space between the walls, so that the back wall will fit in between, very snugly. Cut the back wall template from Bristol board. Use the template to cut the back wall out of gator board. Sand the edges and label which way is up .

 5. FRONT WINDOW:

 Empty the bag and fold it up. Use the width of your ruler to measure and cut out the opening for your window on the Bristol board piece from instruction #1. The opening should have a border which is at least 1" wide from the edges of the bag. The bag should be slightly bigger that the Bristol board, so that the edges of the Bristol board can't be seen from the outside.

 To get a smooth front cut, slide a cutting mat (or the back wall) into the bag and use it as a hard surface. Draw your cutting line with a pencil, and use your x-acto knife to cut the straight lines. Cut the curved lines with scissors. Use a glue stick to glue the Bristol board to the front opening.

You can outline the Bristol board edges with marker or paint if they show.

 DO NOT GLUE THE PLEXIGLAS to the bag. IT SHOULD SLIDE IN AND OUT EASILY, AND BE REMOVABLE SO THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO GET INSIDE THE BAG FROM EITHER THE CEILING OR THE FRONT WINDOW.

OPTIONS FOR THE WINDOW:

You can use the shapes from the piece of the bag that you've just cut out. Glue them around the edges with a glue stick.

Or you can plan ahead and cut around certain shapes.

 If you have made a rectangular or square opening, you can frame your window with a picture frame, or miniature framing wood. You can even use lace or Bunka to trim the edges. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE LIMITLESS.

 6. CEILING:

 If your ceiling piece is clean, no paint is necessary. Install your track light or other source of lighting with double-sided tape and leave the ceiling unglued so that you can decorate the interior. You may have to make cuts on either side wall so that the track lighting fits in between the walls.

 7. PREPARING YOUR WALLS:

 Wallpaper or paint your walls, add chair rails & baseboard moldings. GLUE YOUR WALLS INTO THE BAG USING WALLPAPER PASTE. Glue one wall at a time by laying the bag down, and with both hands inside, apply pressure to the wall for a few minutes to make sure that it is glued in well.

 8. TISSUE PAPER DECORATION:

 Even if this is not a gift, having tissue paper coming out of the bag creates a very pretty effect. Choose tissue paper in a coordinating color. Cut out about 20 - 25 pieces of tissue paper about 6 - 8" square. Run a line of glue on the top of the ceiling piece at the back. Pinch each square in the center and scrunch up slightly. Working from the back of the ceiling piece, forward to the front, run more glue lines and glue in the scrunched up tissue pieces, until the space is full of tissue.

 9. GIFT TAG AND HANDLES:

 Do not cut off the handles as they are very useful for transporting and moving your gift bag. If you are giving this as a gift, you can write your message inside the tag. Otherwise, write the title of your project and the date that you completed it.

 10. FLOOR IDEAS:

 Use the extra pieces of gator board to raise the floor and cover it with your choice of: prepared flooring paint plank flooring from Popsicle or craft sticks linoleum sheets from canvas-paper ceramic tiles from Fimo, Das, or canvas-paper wall-to-wall carpet, or an area rug over hardwood.

 11. BASEBOARD MOLDING:

 Sand one top edge of the long wood strip to round it. Measure and miter the inside corner edges. Paint or stain and set aside. This molding strip could also be used as a chair rail.

Voila! By Roz Weitzman 1998

 

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Last modified: September 25, 2001