My coworker is getting married in June, and when she showed me the card box she wanted to rent for the wedding, I insisted I could make her one instead. It was a long and daunting process because I had never tried something like this before, but I’m glad to see that it’s finally finished! This is a fairly long tutorial because it includes a lot of small details, but they are all important for making the project a little easier for you.
To do this project, you’ll need:
- At least two layers of thick cardboard boxes, such as hat boxes
- Fabric, stretchy is best
- Spray adhesive – I recommend Elmer’s Craft Bond brand
- Cutting tool and scissors
- Glue gun
First, measure your fabric by placing the side of the box on the fabric and cutting one to two inches from the edge. It is always better to have too much leftover fabric than not enough because you can easily cut off the excess. Most likely your boxes will have tops like mine do. To measure fabric for the tops, lay the top flat on the fabric and cut a large circle around it, leaving at least one to two inches of space from the edge of the top. Set aside for now.
If using only two tiers, place the smaller tier on top of the larger tier. It should be centered in the middle. Using a pencil, trace the outline of the smaller box onto the top of the larger box. This will give you an idea of how large of a hole to cut between the boxes.
Using your cutting tool, cut approximately one inch into this outline on the larger box top. Cut a circle as best you can. The boxes are made of a heavy paper mache-like cardboard, so they are not easy to cut. The circle doesn’t have to be pretty because you’re going to cover it. Be sure to leave at least one inch all the way around so that your smaller box will have space to rest around the hole in the large box.
Based on the size of the hole you just created, you need to create a similar hole in the bottom of the smaller box that is at least one to two inches from the edge. If it helps, use a ruler to measure about one inch into the box to begin cutting a role or use any additional smaller tiers to measure the size. Remember that the holes in your boxes need to be large enough for an average envelope to fall through them, but you need to leave enough space for the boxes to fit together on top of the holes.
Next, use the cutting tool to cut a five inch slit centered in the top of the smaller box. This will be where people drop their cards. Try to open it up to approximately 5 inches by half an inch so an average card will easily slide through.
When everything is cut, you can begin gluing on the fabric. I tried at least three different kinds of spray adhesive doing this project and learned that Elmer’s Craft Bond works the best by far. It’s easy to find at Michael’s (and it’s coupon-eligible!). Also an important tip – wear gloves when doing a project like this with spray adhesive. It takes days to scrub off otherwise!
Take off the tops – you will cover these separately. Lightly cover the surface with spray adhesive and slowly attach the fabric, leaving the extra fabric hanging over the top and bottom. Next, you’re going to glue the fabric into the inside of the box and to the bottom. Using your scissors, make small slits from the edge of the fabric into where the fabric meets the box about one inch apart. Do this for both the top and bottom. Even if the fabric is stretchy, gluing down the edges is difficult without these slits. Spray the adhesive into top, inside edge of the box all the way around and smooth the slitted pieces of fabric down onto the adhesive. Use the same technique for the bottom.
Repeat for all tiers.
Next, you’ll need to use your scissors to cut holes where the holes in your boxes are – the large hole in one and the long slit in the other. Leave space for the excess fabric to fold inside like you did with the other edges. For the edges of the tops, use the same technique as before, cutting slits to glue it inside. You will likely notice that the fabric bunches up around the edges, regardless of this slit-and-glue technique. This is pretty unavoidable for a round top. After everything is finished, you can add embellishments to the sides to cover up this imperfection.
When everything is glued down and glued to the insides, you can use a glue gun (the heavier duty, the better) to glue the smaller tier to the larger tier, ensuring that is centered. It will stick but can come apart if you pull on it too much, so be careful when moving it.
Then you can start adding embellishments! I used a piece of tulle to tie around the middle into a knot, cut the ends and added a broach to the center of it. My coworker also found this great rhinestone ribbon that you can easily cut to be the correct size, so we sprayed it with adhesive and placed it around the edges of the tops and around the slit in the top to hide any imperfections.
And with that, it’s finished! She was really happy with the outcome, and this tutorial allows you to simply take the top off to get the cards out, making things a little easier. It’s fragile but reusable for many years to come!