How To: Make a DIY Cardbox

Oh the cardbox. This was a project that I left to the absolute last second. I was gluing and hammering this together about four days before our wedding.

Now I don’t think you need anything fancy to put cards in – one of my friends had a lovely birdcage, a simple custom made box, and I’ve been to plenty of weddings where you just throw a card on a table and that’s that.

My city-savvy (NYC born and raised) mother-in-law told me that I needed to have something to put cards in so “people wouldn’t steal them.” The sad truth is, this happens. So I added “card box” to my list of DIY projects.

The great thing about the card box I pulled together was the fact that I had everything already except some floral moss, which cost maybe $3.00 (always save your Joann’s, Michaels, and AC Moore coupons!). I think if you take a look around your kitchen, pantry, apartment, house, etc, you’ll be able to come up with something quick and useful!

Jam and I were the lucky recipients of a “Spicy Wedding” gift crate from Penzey’s Spices (and just to take a moment here – 1. This was one of our most awesome shower gifts, 2. Make spice gift crates your new go-to gift for your cooking friends, they will LOVE you for it, 3. Penzey’s is awesome in general and they ship sooooo quickly). Because I keep everything, I kept the crate, thinking that I’d have a use for it one day. Four days before the wedding, I realized this would be a perfect card box:

The Penzey's Wedding Crate

I wanted to have a lid on the box, but didn’t want guests to have to take the lid off to throw cards in. I have only basic tools in the apartment, and while I know my dad would have lovingly sawed a slit in the lid, I didn’t want to haul over to my parent’s house with yet another project (they were already doing sooo much), so I decided to take two nails and hammer them halfway down into each corner at the front of the crate. This way, the lid was propped open in the front, but rested on the back of the crate. Here’s a cropped picture of what it looked like:

You can see the nails propping the front of the lid up

The crate looked nice like this, but as you can see from the above picture, it came with some stamps and stickers on it. This was fine, except you had to rip the red sticker off the top to get the crate open, and the leftover bits were ugly. Hummm, what to do…then I remembered I had these:

Owls from Etsy!

I had bought these off Etsy shortly after I started wedding planning. I have a thing for birds and owls and thought they’d make a great cake topper…until we picked out our cake and realized these wouldn’t look quite right. They had been hanging out in a desk drawer. Since we had a casual bird theme happening, I figured we could put these little owls to use on the top of the card box.

I still had to deal with covering the box. I decided to go with floral moss. My dream was to find this kind of moss:

squishy, pretty, cushion-y moss

You know, that pretty moss-like stuff that’s all cushion-y and pretty and green…well…IT DOES NOT EXIST…just kidding, I’m sure it exists, but four days before your wedding on the south shore of Massachusetts? It just wasn’t happening. While there were many moss alternatives on the interwebs (like this adorable moss made of yarn!) we were dealing with major time constraints. My local JoAnn’s Fabrics provided this:

Sheet Moss - literally dried moss in a sheet the size of a piece of paper

but beggars can’t be choosers..plus it was cheap and prettier than reindeer moss…well more or less, because it was kind of ugly and bald in spots, but WHATEVER.

I bought it, brought it home, cut it to size. I had to cut two different pieces to get full box coverage. I glue gunned the sh*t out of it and got it to stick to the crate lid. I threw the two owls on top. It.looked.dumb. In a moment of inspiration (or maybe sheer desperation) I ran outside, found a stick that was just big enough and bent enough, sewed my owls onto said stick with clear sewing thread, and glue gunned the stick to the crate lid. A printed sign completed the look.

We had a card box:

DIY Card Box!

Was it the prettiest card box ever? Uh NO. The type-A crafter part of me thought that it even looked a little bit sad. But again, you kind of let things slide when you’re in desperation mode, and it was what we had to work with, so in the car it went with the rest of the wedding decor. I kept in mind two things I have learned as a crafter: 1. other crafters will think that it is cute and even if they see flaws they will appreciate all the DIY you’ve done and let it go and 2. non-crafters will think you are an effing genius for coming up with it. Yes. It’s true.

On the wedding day, our brilliant day-of coordinator, Angie, put the card box on a table with our other bird-themed decor and it DID look cute. Not sad and sloppy homemade, cute and whimsical homemade:

Success!

See? DIY doesn’t have to be over the top and perfect with straight lines and hand-sewn layers of tulle or whatever. It can be as simple as some found objects, a JoAnn’s coupon and a loaded glue gun. With a little DIY-skillage and some soft lighting, you can pull almost anything off.

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