Monday, September 23, 2013

Halloween Countdown Cascade Boxes Tutorial

Available soon for purchase and download
from SnapDragon Snippets through the
Silhouette America online store
is this cut file design for a
Halloween Countdown project.
Thirty-one small, on-piece, easy to assemble boxes
are labeled with the October day numbers.
A decorative finial on top carries the "31" number and holds box,
and a bottom finial holds the #1 box.
At the center top and bottom of each box is a threading hole
so that a cluster of decorative ribbons can be strung together,
then hung with the top look from a peg or hook.
Place a small treat, note, activity idea, etc. inside each box,
then have the youngsters in your family help open each as they
anxiously count off the days until Halloween.

Step 1. Cut the box pieces, finial pieces, numbers for the project as shown on the cut file screen when you download and open the file. Note that boxes for #1 and #31 are modified to have a narrower trap door to fit inside the finial front window. On the cutting mat here you can see the regular box shape on the left and the modified box on the right with it's "fangs" lower box front edges near the lower edge of the image. If using the Cameo and 12x12 cardstock, you can fit two boxes on a sheet.

Step 2. Fold the box shape on all the perforations as "mountain" folds. Also fold the box front flange and finger tab half circle shapes so that tab extends away from box front. In this image, the lower box front tab is on the far left, and the upper box front flap or flange is on the right end.

Step 3. Apply glue to the short tabs at the box center short side. Fold the tab behind the adjacent short box side edge, align tab perforations with box edge and hold in place until gluing is secure. Repeat for the opposite side tab.

Step 4. Apply glue to the lower side flanges (or flaps), then . . .

. . . slide flanges into upper box until bottom edges touch and stop at upper bottom surface. Then ....

. . . apply pressure by reaching fingers inside and applying pressure between fingers and thumbs, etc., on inside and outside of box.

Step 5. To close box, fold upper front flap downward into place . . .

. . . and fold and tuck tab into slot.

Step 6. Assemble the modified boxes for #1 and #31 in a similar fashion, except insert this extra step before closing the box:

Fold upper side "fangs" down into place on box front and glue to side flanges, then fold lower side "fangs" upward into place and glue over previously glued fangs.

To close box, fold trap door upward and tuck tab into slot.

Step 7. Assemble the top finial. Align, overlap and glue the ends (non-scalloped ends) to make one continuous finial strip.

Step 8. Position the reinforcing top double scalloped shape behind the front and back (at the ends of the continuous strip) scalloped sections, aligning scalloped edges. Apply glue thoroughly to the between surfaces, leaving tabs free of glue. Align and apply pressure and make adjustments as necessary until glue is secure. Complete one end first, then align and complete the other end.

Step 9. Fold finial front and back hole flanges over and glue in place at the top of the reinforcing shape.

Step 10. Assemble, glue decorative oval layers, numbers and halloween word shapes to finial front (above window cutout).

Step 11. Apply glue to the #31 box bottom and slide into place at the bottom of the finial. Box bottom should attach to inside finial surface. Make sure that box's trap door will open freely, make adjustments as necessary before glue sets.

Step 12. Fold side flanges inward, apply glue to under surface of top layer flange, overlap the two completely and exactly, and apply pressure until glue is secure. 

Your completed top finial should look something like this. Note that there is a space in between front and back of finial which will allow for ribbon cluster threading from box to top hole.

Step 13. Assemble the bottom finial by applying adhesive to edges that will touch, then wrapping the shape around the #1 box, with the scalloped flanges extending from the bottom of the box (remember that front trap door folds up to close with finger tab at the top). 

(Please note that this version of the bottom finial was changed for the final download version. The hole extension has been removed.)

Make sure the trap door will open, and make adjustments if needed so that it will.

 Step 14. Glue numbers in place on each box. If you have selected alternate colors for your boxes, take care to order them as you attach numbers.

Step 15. Prepare the ribbon cluster by aligning ends at the bottom and tying an overhand knot approx. 3-4" from the ends.
Ribbon lengths should be 54" long.

Step 16. Straighten the ribbons cluster to take out slack, the align top ends. Wrap a length of masking tape tightly around the ends to form a sort of "needle" of the ends. Make sure this is narrow enough to fit through end holes. 

 Step 17. Thread end through bottom finial box holes and pull the ribbon length through until the knot stops at the box surface.

 . . . then through successive boxes in order from bottom to top. Adjust and pull ribbons through one by one as necessary to make sure there is no slack between boxes. 

 After box #30, thread the end up through the top finial's box, then between the finial front and back and through the top finial hole. 
Step 18. Tie an overhand knot above the top finial edge. Then create a hanging loop by folding ribbon ends and tying an overhand knot with loop.

(Note, my ribbons were only 48" long, so I simply tied a second overhand knot without the loop, then separated the ribbons to form the hanging loop.)

FINISHING: The final step is to open the boxes 
and put in the treats, notes, activities, etc., then re-close. 
Hang it where it can be part of the daily October fun.

1 comment:

  1. I love this file!! I just finished stringing mine about an hour ago... I need to find some treats to pack inside. Thanks so much. :)