Monday, November 5, 2012

Decorated Shipping Boxes

Lately I have been doing a lot of shipping. It seems like I am always standing in line at either the Post Office or the UPS store holding a package. I always made sure the contents of the package were attractively wrapped and made a nice presentation but I never thought about the shipping box itself. I always shipped in a plain brown box. I was reading the latest issue of Somerset Studio and there was a call for decorated envelopes and shipping boxes. The magazine staff liked getting letters and art submissions in creatively decorated envelopes and boxes.

I started thinking about it and thought, why not? My philosophy has always been why does something have to be boring and mundane just because it's functional? I was getting ready to send a package of sugar cookies off to Brittany, so why not send them in a decorated box? I could just imagine the look on her face as she saw one of my artistic creations sitting on her doorstep.

I had just finished reading, the recently published, Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals by Carla Sonheim. I drew my rendition of a cat that was featured in the book. I was pleased with the way that the cat turned out and decided to use him to decorate my shipping box. I planned to ship through UPS and they do not allow the outer shipping box to be wrapped so I decided to decorate one side of the box. UPS accepted my decorated box with no problem.

My rendition of the Cat on Page 9.

Work in progress.
Close up of colored cat drawing.

Finished box.

Directions for Decorated Shipping Box:

Brown shipping box
Grey, light purple and dark purple card stock
K&Company Jubilee Printed Paper Pad- dark purple print
Martha Stewart Butterfly paper punch and Tulip paper punch
Cricut Beyond Birthdays cartridge
Stickles Glitter Glue- blue
Decorative edge scissors
Pearlescent chalk
Picture or drawing
Colored Pencils- I used Derwent Studio Colored Pencils

1.  Scan in your drawing or picture. I opened the picture with Microsoft Picture Manager and increased the contrast and the brightness to lighten the pencil shading of the drawing.

2.  Once you are satisfied with the picture, print it on white card stock. I used the wallet size option on a photo printer.

3.  Use colored pencils to color in the image. I chose two shades of blue for the cat and added dark purple for the shading and pupils and lavender for the eye itself. Once you are satisfied with the colors, trim away the excess white card stock.

4.  Cut a piece of dark purple print card stock approximately 1/4 inch larger, on all sides, than the drawing. Glue the drawing to the card stock.

5.  Cut a piece of light grey card stock slighter smaller than the box. Glue the card stock to the box. Glue the drawing to the center of the grey card stock.

6.  Use the Cricut cartridge to cut out "Thinking of You" at 1 inch out of medium blue card stock.  Glue it to the bottom of the drawing.

7.  Punch three dark purple and three light purple butterflies out of card stock, using the Martha Stewart butterfly paper punch. Position the butterflies randomly on each side of the drawing (3 on each side) and glue in place.

8.  Use the decorative scissors to make an edging out of light purple card stock. Apply this edging to the left and right edges of the grey card stock.

9.  Using scraps of card stock and the Martha Stewart Tulip paper punch, punch a green tulip and a lavender tulip. Cut the top of the lavender tulip off and glue it over the top of the green tulip. Glue the tulip that you just made, to the lower left of the "Thinking of You" phrase.

10.  Apply the chalk to the grey card stock panel. Randomly apply blue-violet around the panel. Next apply dark purple and then light purple highlights to the panel.

11.  Apply dots of glitter glue to the butterfly"s body and wings and to the decorative border on the sides of the panel. Let the glitter glue dry completely.

You may want to seal your design to prevent damage. I sealed mine with clear shipping tape.

Update: The UPS driver liked the box and said that it brightened his day. He mentioned that it was nice to see something besides plain shipping boxes.