Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Some Assembly Required: St. Patty's 4-leaf clover box

Y'all may remember when last month I put a fun little paper-craft up on google-docs for Valentine's Day.  (for free)  I seem to recall getting some good feedback on that, so I figured; why not do it again.  Today I'm offering a free print out to create your own St. Patrick's Day 4-Leaf Clover gift box.  And I'll even show y'all how to put it together if you keep reading.

St. Patty's Day has always been a fun one for me.  I'm not a real big drinker of green beer or Guinness (regular old Tecate, Miller, or Honeyweiss for me thanks.), but joining people in celebration of their heritage (whether they're always Irish, or just Irish for the day), is pretty cool to me.

Now, let me back-track a moment to point out that for me, St. Patty's large focus on drinking is more as how the holiday is customarily celebrated in our time - not a reflection on how all Irish people are drunkards.  Because obviously they're not.  If you got any kind of "really? stereotypes are not accurate?" epiphany out of that last sentence, you're probably reading the wrong blog.

Ahem.  I have a lot more to say on this matter, btu it occurs to me that some of you are just waiting for me to get to that aforementioned box download.  If you're curious, hop on down to #2 in the RANDOM SECTION TIME.

Firstly, here's what you're going to need:
  • Access to a printer and paper.  Cardstock is best, but you can do with regular printer paper.
  • A pen to add your personal message to your intended recipient
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • A ruler
  • Some way to color the thing in
  • A knitting needle, or a butter knife, or something that has a pointed, but blunt edge.
  • If you have one, a Claddagh ring to add to the authenticity of the moment.
  • This link, which will take you to the file
1.  Download and print the file.  Duh.

2.  In the little Celtic knot box on the right-hand side of the page, enter a message to your box's intended recipient.  It could be a simple "To: / From:" combo, or a silly rhyme about luck, or you could go my route and put in an Irish proverb that you find appropriate. 

"as you slide down the banisters of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way."

3.  Color!  Keeping in mind that while I'm all about artistic freedom, the box makes the most sense when fully assembled if you make the little hearts at the top of the box green.  Don't color the tabs marked "glue", it'll mess with the strength of the box's seam.

4.  Using your ruler to keep the lines straight, push your blunt pointed object (aka knitting needle) into the paper along all of the DOTTED lines.  You might want to put a magazine under the paper while you do this to avoid scratching your table.  Push hard enough to make a groove in the paper, but not to rip it.

 5.  Cut out the box along the THICK SOLID lines.

6.  Carefully crease the box at each of the dotted lines.  First the sides...

...then the top and bottom seams...

 ...and then crease the top edges as if you were folding the little green hearts upon each other, covering the words up as you go.

7.  Put glue or tape  on the tabs marked... oddly enough, glue... and stick the sides of the box together.  You may want to secure the tabbies in place while you wait for the glue to dry.  Bobby pins work pretty well for this.

 8.  I'm not going to try and describe to you how to stick the bottom tabs together in words.  Lookit the pictures, follow along.

If you aren't using a thicker paper like cardstock, you're going to want to secure the bottom further with a piece of tape or more glue.

9. Since you've scored and pre-creased the top of the box correctly, by gently pushing the sides of the top in toward the center, the hearts should fold in on themselves...

...and finish off your box with a four-leaf clover!

10.  Now reopen the box top and fill with whatever little treat you'd like to bestow upon your recipient. Holiday appropriate suggestions include Skittles, M&Ms, those little gold foil covered chocolate coins, or maybe even actual money with some glitter on top for fun.  I'm doing something a little more personally catered to the recipient, but since Fiance reads this blog from time to time, I'm not going to spoil it here.

If you make your own 4-Leaf Clover Box, let us know in the comments!  
And let us know what you put in it!  
I'd love to see a picture obviously, but more important is knowing that it's being 
used so I can start thinking of the next paper craft if appropriate.


1.  The Dreaded 29 Update: -9, 20 to go!  I seem to remember some readers saying they'd be working on their own dreaded numbers along with me - how is that going for each of you?

2.  Continued thoughts on heritage and being Irish:  I've long held a fascination with my own heritage.  I am a bit Irish, yes, but I'm also Swedish, Bohemian, English, and German (I feel like I might be missing one... French? But I've hit the bigger percentages of my bloodline).  These are cultures that I consider myself a part of - not so much in the sense that I'd travel to any of them and be all "HELLO MY PEOPLE."  More that I know the way I was brought up reflects bits of each of these customs.

To me this background is a vital part of who I am, but I've noticed this is something that many Americans take no notice of.  That they might say "I'm white," and take no account of how many different cultures are natively caucasian, or just how different those cultures really are.  I suppose you could very much say the same thing for black Americans or Native Americans, but that's not an experience I can speak about.

I can't say which way to consider yourself, your "ethnicity" is right or wrong obviously, but I personally think it adds a lot more weight to the goal of a society where people are not just tolerated, but accepted for what they bring to the table.  Getting a sense for how many different parts make up your own whole gets us closer the realization of that melting pot that we were taught about in history class.

Anyway, I say all that from my little soap box because I am a bit Irish, yes, but as of right now, I'm rocking a Swedish surname.  Come October, when Fiance evolves to a level 54 Husband (special new moves include "put a ring on it" and "joint benefits"), I officially get a "Mc" last name. And I'm kind of pumped about that.  I think that gives a little bit more weight to having a bit of fun on St. Patty's day to me - yes, I know I will not physically gain more Irish blood, but I think mentally I am gaining some more Celtic Cred.  Which is pretty damn cool.

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