FREE DOWNLOAD - It's Only Natural

The project that I have in mind is one that you can make on your own with a few straight cuts and some craft basswood. I’ll give you all the measurements. Alternatively, you can always order from us (the complete kit with pre-cut wood, to make these really cute little boxes and the little bits displayed inside) by clicking HERE. I’ll bet you might already have some really cute minis to set inside the packages. We’re going to cover them with brown kraft paper either from paper bags or you can buy paper sheets at your local craft store. A few strands of ribbon and string, some tiny dried cones, holly, berries, perhaps some moss or tiny leaves…I can’t wait to finish our project!
You will need:
A few sheets of 1/16” basswood (don’t get balsa wood by mistake) Sand the flat sides of the wood before cutting so that you can begin with a smooth surface.
An x-acto knife with a fresh blade or two
Fine sandpaper
Glue - I like Elmer’s Glue - the original not the school glue - or use the glue of your choice
Original Tacky for adding ribbons and trims
Paint - natural colors for the insides and edges of the boxes
Brown Kraft paper - paper bags or sheets - or you could use scrapbook paper in natural colors with some little prints on them
Ribbons, strings and lots of tiny bits of natural materials
A grouping of minis in all scales to fill the boxes

As my 4 year old great niece reminded me recently, while she was visiting and stacking the little boxes that I had readied for this project, “You always need a good foundation.”
The measurements of box #1, the foundation box, are:
    (2)  3 3/8” x 1 7/8”
    (2)  3 3/8” x 1”
    (2)  2” x 1”
These will be glued together to make a six sided solid box.

The measurements of box #2 are:
    (1)  1 7/8” x 1 7/8”
    (2)  1 7/8” x 1”
    (2)  2” x 1”
Glue these together to make a square, open box that is 2” x  2”.

The measurements of box #3 are:
    (1)  1 7/8” x 1 3/8”
    (2)  1 3/8” x 1”
    (2)  2” x 1”
Glue these together to make an open box that is 1 1/2” x 2”.

The measurements of box #4 are:
    (1)  1 3/8” x 1 3/8”
    (2)  1 3/8” x 3/4”
    (2)  1 1/2” x 3/4”
Glue these together to make an open box that is 1 1/2” square.

The measurements of box #5 are:
    (1)  1 1/8” x 7/8”
    (2)  1” x 1/2”
    (2)  1 1/8” x 1/2”
Glue these together to make a box measuring 1” x 1 1/4”.

You can make any amount of these boxes to create an interesting “stack”. I used two of box #5 as I liked the little size. One could be upright and one could be on it’s long side.

Sand the exteriors of all the boxes after the glue is dry to ensure clean, smooth corners and edges. Paint the interiors and the edges of each of the boxes. I used ivory, taupe, light gray, soft green, and a very light green. You can use anything you like. You could also wallpaper some of the boxes as you might like them set up as a tiny room. Either way, begin by painting first.

After you have painted, play with the arrangement. Use box #1 as your foundation, and stack the other boxes until you have them the way you best like. I decided to have most of the open parts on one side, so that the other side could look like a stack of special packages. That way, when you turn them around, a surprise!

With a pencil, make a number on the tops of the boxes to help remind you of their orientation. This is a great time to play with testing the minis you think you want to use in the boxes. Don’t be afraid to mix scales as it makes for a more interesting display.

Wrap the boxes. You can cut the paper you’re using to size and glue on each side or you can glue as you go, creating more of a “wrapped package” kind of look. Try to keep the painted edges trim and clean. “Wrap” all of the boxes including box #1, the foundation box. Play with the ribbons and strings you have chosen. One way to get them on the boxes so that they look like the real deal is to actually tie them on just as you would a package you are wrapping. Let the ribbons go right over the openings and tie and glue them in place. Use the Tacky glue for this but be sparing with it as you do not want it to ooze out and onto the kraft paper as it will show. Make sure the ribbons on the edges are glued in place and allow it to dry. Using an x-acto knife with a fresh blade, trim off the parts of the ribbons that cover the openings of the boxes. Stack the boxes as you had them and glue them all together. You may want to clamp to weight them as you go if the ribbons or trims have any thickness. Allow the arrangement to dry.

Use your stash of natural decorating materials to trim the “package” sides of the boxes. There may be some instances where a bow might be added or a little branch that might interact with the neighboring boxes. This is why I like to decorate after they are glued together. Allow all of your trims to dry.

Fill the boxes with your specially chosen miniatures, for a lovely, natural holiday decoration.