Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Now showing at a craft table near you...

...Paper Towns Nightlight Drawers (Part One)

Just one of wonderful things about the folks at the Robin's Nest (and believe me, there are many) is that they are always coming up with fun themes for the Robin's Nest Design Team. This year they suggested we create projects that coincide with summertime movie releases.

John Green's Paper Towns hit theaters earlier this week. Although, I'm not particularly interested in this flick (my teen daughter has informed me we will be going to see it), the title of the movie caught my eye. Paper Towns--could a more perfect title for a crafter exist?

The project, which began as a leftover gift box and some foam core, evolved into a three drawer nightlight unit. It features rows of simple white paper houses--a paper town.

Part One of Two-Part Tutorial to make Paper Towns Three Drawer Nightlight Unit

Good stuff I used

Black Cardstock
Leather buttons
Decorative black tape
White acrylic paint
Duct tape
Assorted adhesives
Five battery-powered tea lights

Step 1 Find a elongated sturdy box. It should be at least as sturdy as and slightly longer than a shoe box.

Step 2 To make your drawer dividers, measure the height and depth of your box. Cut two pieces of chipboard that fit these dimensions. Slide the dividers temporarily into place to ensure you have a good fit. Then measure the length of the box, divide by thirds and slide the dividers into place at the 1/3 mark. Secure using a strong glue and duct tape. 

Making the drawers

Step 3 Measure the length of your box and subtract 3/4 of an inch. Divide that segment equally into thirds. This will be the width of your drawers. Cut six pieces of chipboard using this width times the depth of the box. Mark three pieces as the front of the drawers and three pieces as the back of the drawers. When you assemble your drawers you will be glad you marked each piece because the next set of pieces look pretty similar.

Step 4 Cut six pieces of chipboard that have an area that is the height of the box times the depth of the box. Mark these pieces as the sides. 

Step 5 Assemble each drawer using adhesive and strong duct tape. Insert all drawers into the box to ensure a good fit. 

Step 6 Paint the inside of the drawers with white acrylic paint. Let dry.

Step 7 Cover the outside front and sides of the drawers with Weddings Cut-Outs Cardstock. Trim the edges with a decorative black tape.

Step 8 Warning this includes a very technical term--Drill a hole in the center of a drawer front. Line the hole with a strong adhesive. Insert the knobby-thing-a-ma-jiggity that is on the back of a black leather button (don't say I didn't warn you) into the hole. Repeat for the other two drawers.

Channeling my inner father

There's an interesting side note about this project. Although he never said so directly, it was clear my Dad was not a fan of my art. Endless layers, textures, ephemera and more are the exact opposite of his style. A purist architect, who had once worked for the famed Eero Saarinen, my dad believed that "more did not make better".

Due to both my journalism and graphic design backgrounds, I appreciated, understood and applied this approach in my professional work. However, crafting is my escape from rigid rules and precise measurements. As a result, most of my art has lots of "more".

He suggested more than once that I design sympathy cards because there were none simple enough for his liking. I gave him a couple of samples containing a line art flower surrounded by lots of white space, yet those were still too ornate. At some point I gave up. Honestly though, I think the only card that would have pleased him would have been one teeny, terse phrase written in Helvetica All Caps:

It is safe to say he was a no nonsense man.

My dad passed away in June. As I was working on Paper Towns, my sister noticed it and chuckled, "You are channeling your inner father." She was right. I finally made some art he would have liked.

So, Dad, this one's for you. Thank you for being my night light and unwavering beacon of safety.

Robin's Nest regulars know by now that my posts tend to get a wee bit more detailed. As a result, we are splitting the tutorial up over two days. So stay tuned and come back tomorrow to see how to complete your Paper Towns Three Drawer Nightlight Unit!


Colleen said...

What a great idea, love the end result.

The Robins Nest OCrowley said...

Your inner father turned out great! Love this idea! And I am sorry for your loss.

Tonya said...

Sometimes simple says it all. So sorry for your loss. Also your paper town is wonderful!

Cindy Brown said...

wow love it

Daliuska Takken said...

Oh my... Great project!!!

frezja said...

great idea :)

Peggie Sue @ Maxx and Boo said...

This could make a wonderful advent type calendar!

Bev Code said...

brilliant creation

Bev Code said...

brilliant creation

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