Don't forget to poke the photos to enlarge!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cartonnage et Compagnie...

That's a French blog that I follow quite closely. It has nothing to do with miniatures. Cartonnage is the French art of fancy box making. I have tried my hand at it in real life size and really enjoy it. It is done with bookbinder's board and either covered with beautiful papers or with fabric and sometimes embroidery. If you go to that blog you will see wonderful examples of work and in the archives there are lots of patterns for boxes of all different shapes and sizes.

Tessie is posing with a bunch of the ones that I have done over the years. The black and white
ABC box, the two checkerboard boxes down in the front row, The needle book and the little oval thimble keeper are all from scratch. I cheated on the rest. That is the box was already built. I just decorated them. I still used some of the techniques. The red and white embordery will be the top of a button box when I get a chance to build it. No. I didn't spell bouton wrong. That's French!

This morning I got the harebrained idea to try it in miniature....Tessie wanted one of the embroidery boxes that I make, like the ABC box. Fool that I am, I decided to try it.

I pulled out a piece of cardboard, in more or less in the right scale, and went to work. These boxes are what I refer to as "book boxes. They have a spine and two covers as a book would have.

In order for the covers to open properly, there must be a space between the spine and covers the width of the cardboard.

I spread the outside with glue and laid it in place on the fabric. Then I trimmed all around, leaving enough to turn to the inside. I clipped the corners and then glued it in place. This makes the outside look finished.

I then spread glue over the inside and down the spaces between the cover and spine. Starting in the center on the spine, I laid down another piece of the fabric I smoothed it on the spine and then forced it into the creases with another piece of cardboard. Next I smoothed it over the covers and let it dry.

Then with a small pair of sharp scissors I trimmed the edges flush with the cardboard.

I took some of card stock and cut a strip just a hair smaller than the 1/8" spine. I put glue on one side of the strip and pressed it to the fabric. Then I trimmed off one side of the fabric even with the strip. I spread glue on the other side of the card stock and folded the other edge tightly over it. Then I flipped it over and trimmed the remaining edge of fabric even with the card.

I made a square outer box edge just by bending the strip(in front of photo) Then I glued it in place on the bottom and back of the box cover.

After that I cut short pieces of the strip and glued them in as dividers.

Basically that is it if you want to leave the box open. If you want to close it, you have to put ribbon or thread between the lining and cover both on the top and bottom so that you can tie it shut. I opted to leave it open so that what was inside could be seen.

Here's Tessie with the finished box, sitting inside the larger version.

You can't really see it, but I have started cutting tiny 1/8" squares and winding single strands of embroidery floss around each one.(poke the Photo to see) There are four in the box so far......This may take a while.

What Tessie wants, Tessie gets. With a bit of practice, I may get better at it. Not too bad for a first try.

See you tomorrow.


Dawn said...

The thread boxes turned out great, both large and mini! Can't wait to see the mini one filled.

I don't suppose you know where to find a folding fan, mini sized? Or how to make one? I thought maybe I could find a metal finding for the spokes. It wouldn't fold, but...

Caseymini said...

Dawn, I did a tutorial on a fan a couple of months ago....It looks like a folding fan and has pleats, but doesn't fold. Sorry.

MiniKat said...

Wow Casey! That little box is so cool! I really REALLY want to make one now... but of course half of my craft room is packed already.

I think I'm going to have to treat myself to a slow crawl through your blog (and a few others) after we're settled and make a list of all the things I want to try once I have space and time again.

Caseymini said...

Kat, all you need is a couple of tiny scraps of fabric, some cardboard from something like a cereal box(I used my cat food box dividers),an index card(cardstock), glue and sharp scissors. It would be a good quick project for you to do between packing boxes...Yes indeed. A tiny box to take your mind off of the big ones!LOL

Irene said...

That's really impressive and there's not an awful lot to it. It's a fab idea.

DollMum said...

Tessie's new box is brilliant. I've made up boxes covered with material in the past (one a hexagonal box with a padded lid, and the other a triangular box for my daughter's little keepsakes. But those weren't in miniature, though they are quite small. Repeating the exercise in miniature and so effectively is quite a feat.

Susan@minicrochetmad said...

What a delightful project Casey! I just love it.

miniacollection said...

You don't only make beautiful things in miniatures but also in real size.
The mini box is great, like others I am looking forward to seeing filled.

Dawn said...

I've tried searching for your tutorial on fans, but couldn't find it. You wouldn't happen to know where I could find it would you? It doesn't matter if the fan doesn't fold to me.

Caseymini said...

Dawn, you had me wondering if my search window is working. I put the word "fans" it there and it took me right to the entry. If all else fails, put a key word in there. Here's the URL Have fun!

Dawn said...

Thanks, sorry to be a pain. I tried fan and got *lots* of fancy and fang entries. I didn't think of fans.

I'm off to look at the tutorial.