When my friend Amber was nearing the final stages of wedding planning, she sent me a link and shared a beautiful card box she was thinking about buying online. It was 2 tiers, purple, and just lovely...but I couldn't help thinking I could make it for her for a fraction of the cost. I asked if I could and she was very trusting considering I hadn't done this before. When all was said and done, I think it turned out great! I will say, it took a lot of time, measuring, and hot glue- but I will also say that it only cost me less than $40 to make, and who knows? Maybe Amber will be able to pass it along to another purple-loving bride! So here's how I did it. Feeling bold? You can DIY, too!Step 1. I looked online to find out how big it should be and how long to make the card slot. Most cards can fit through a 6" slot, so I made it 7", to be safe. I made a list of things I would need: boxes, an X-acto knife, my hot glue gun, lots of hot glue & tacky glue (maybe even fabric glue), rhinestones for around the card slot, thick white ribbon for the 2nd tier, a white silk flower, thin white ribbon to hang down from the flower, good scissors and purple fabric. I thought that the boxes should be about 10x10" and 12x12", if there were 2 tiers.
Step 2. I knew she had initially liked the 2-tiered version, but was also open to 3 tiers. I got 3 different-sized square boxes, and sent her pictures so she could pick. On the left (above) is the medium and small size, in the middle is the medium and large size, and on the right, you can see all 3- which we decided looked best!
Step 3. I went shopping! I found both types of ribbon and the flower at Michaels, as well as the little stick-on grey pearls you see below. The pearls were a last-minute addition (found on clearance for $.99) that could easily be removed if Amber didn't like them. The flower had a weird center, so I ended up cutting it out, and adding a pretty, sparkly brooch pin to the middle (also found at Michaels). While browsing at AC Moore, I grabbed an X-acto knife and hot glue. I looked at a few fabric options at Walmart, but ended up with a winner at JoAnn Fabric, plus I found a coupon on RetailMeNot (btw, you should get this app on your phone and check it before you check out ANYWHERE!) for 50% off, so the fabric was the most expensive part at about $24.00, but I got 3 yards of it,which was plenty for the boxes and for backing 6 little framed signs for around the reception.
Step 4. I got to work! If you see the pictures above, you'll notice that initially, these 3 boxes' lids did not cover the same amount of the box, and I wanted it to look even, so I undid the lids, cut them down, glued them back together and stuck them back on. Warning: If you do this, be sure the lid fits with a little room to spare before adding fabric! You don't want to finish covering a box and lid only to find that the lid won't go on.
I did all of my cutting before adding fabric to any of the layers. This included the slot on top, which was 7"x.5"and centered on top. Another option is to put the slot on the front, but I checked with the bride and she preferred the top. It also included cutting holes between the layers so the cards drop straight down. I left about an inch border around the base of the top and middle boxes, and cut the same size square out of the lid of the layer beneath.
I should also mention here that the boxes I got were sort of flimsy, so I cut up a cardbox box and glued it to some of the panels on the inside for some extra support. This may not have been a necessary step, but I didn't want to finish and have the bottom or middle layer caving in.
Step 5. I covered it in fabric! I think this was the most time-consuming part, but I grabbed a box or a lid and covered it while watching TV or listening to music, then did another or waited for another day. I didn't want this to become a pain or too tedious, so I gave myself about 2 weeks and did a little every day or two. If I were to do it again, I think I could do it in a week or less :) Anyway, this step took some figuring out and a LOT of hot glue- I actually had to run out for more at one point. Oh, and I did try the fabric glue, and Tacky Glue here, but it didn't work so well for me. Hot glue ended up being the best option.
Step 6. Safeguarding the Box- I wanted to make it so that it was difficult to open, but not to the point that we had to rip it apart when the bride & groom were ready to remove the cards. I used a dry sticky adhesive (found at JoAnn Fabric) around the tops of each box, then stuck the lids on.Step 7. Decorating! This was the most fun and rewarding step, hands down! The rhinestones that I found for the slot at Michaels were actually a strip of adhesive with bling attached, which made it SO easy to go along the perimeter. I used the glue gun to overlap the thick ribbon right where the flower would go, then glued the thin ribbon on before gluing the flower. I played with the option of adding the pearls to the base layer, and it worked!
Step 8. Getting it to the Wedding- When I gave the box to Amber about a week before the wedding, we decided that the slot was better closer to the front on top, so we turned the lid around with ease. I stored it in a (clean) large garbage bag for transportation, and it held up perfectly. We also stored a few of the signs and extra ribbon/rhinestones (just in case) inside the base layer in case anything needed to be fixed up during set-up at the venue. It was large enough for all of the cards that the couple received, which meant nobody ever had to worry about emptying it during the night, and the fact that it was so big meant if anyone tried to move it, it was noticeable- which is a good thing when you're planning for gift, card box and wedding security (PS have you checked out that post yet?).
This project took some time and planning, and was definitely a work of heart, but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I think I'm making one for my Mom in September, too! Plus, if this post helps you save some money and create a card box for your big event (or for a loved one, like I did), then it was totally worth it!