Introduction: Making Mini Christmas Presents

About: I have been an avid maker since I was 16 years old. That was over 45 years ago. I love woodworking, scratch model making, wood carving, designing and making jigs for the shop, and designing in CAD. My son enco…

This Instructable will walk you through the process of making a paper models of Christmas Presents. I had tried many methods of making presents before I landed on this solution. Wrapping small boxes with paper never looked right to me. The wrapping paper was always too heavy, in scale, to look right.

After doing some research I found a number of sights that offered free paper templates to make gift boxes. So I decided to make my own version.

There are hundreds of paper templates for gifts that are free to download. A little searching and you can also find ornament boxes, gift bags, gift boxes all in the 1:12 scale.

I have included a couple of links here:

The Festival Collection

TreeFeathers Miniatures

Jennifer's Free Dollhouse Printables

Dollhouse Printables For Christmas

Gift Bags from Pinterest

Christmas Mini Printables

Step 1: What You Will Need

Step 2: Printing the Templates

Print the files on 110 pound card stock bright white. Print at the highest quality settings for your printer. Print 2 sets in case there are any errors made in cutting or assembly you will have some backup pieces. The templates are made so you use your own texture fill for creating the pattern for gift wrap.

We are just making different sized small boxes. The construction process is the same but the sizes and patterns change. Cut out the patterns along the black lines as shown. On the dotted lines use the burnishing tool to create a crease in the card stock. This insures that the paper will fold perfectly along the line. It’s a great technique used in paper model making, which this is. We are making paper models of Christmas presents.

The illusion is very convincing as long as the graphics are sized accurately for the scale. In 1:12 scale approx. every .083” scale = 1” real world. Take a real world dimension and multiply it by .083 to get the scale size correct. For example a ¾” sheet of plywood can be substituted by mat board for scale. 110 pound card stock is similar to heavy cardboard or chipboard in real world.

Step 3: Cutting Out the Box Templates

We are making different sized small paper boxes. The construction process is the same for all sizes just the patterns change. Cut out the patterns along the black lines as shown. On the dotted lines use the burnishing tool to create a crease in the card stock. This insures that the paper will fold perfectly along the line. It's a great technique used in paper model making, which really this is! We are making paper models of Christmas presents.

Step 4: Pre-crease the Folding Lines

After you have taken the burnishing tool with a steel straight edge and pushed against the crease lines. It's like tracing the crease lines with a ballpoint pen but in this case there is no Ink. Take the steel straight edge and line it up with the crease lines. Take the burnishing tool and with firm pressure brought along the crease/fold lines.

Now it's time to fold up the gift box. By holding your thumb to the inside of the fold and using your other hand, fold up the tab or the corner. You want to pre-crease all the areas that you had just use the burnishing tool on. You'll see how easy it is to create these folds when you do this process.. Without the burnishing step the fold will never maintain the accuracy or positioning as well as control that burnishing these crease/fold lines provides.

Step 5: Coloring the Edges of the Paper

One of the challenges of paper model making is concealing the white line or edge of the paper. In order to maintain the appropriate illusion these white lines cannot be visible. If they are visible it becomes a distraction in the overall appearance. So it's always a good idea to use felt that markers to paint the edges. The goal here is to closely match the color on the surface but really more importantly is about concealing that white line.

I prepared two different Christmas present boxes one with painted edges
and one without. You can see that in image 20 on the next page. Note the one on the left has the painted edges where the one on the right does not. Notice how visible the white lines are on the box on the right as compared to the box on the last. Notice that the box with the painted edges is a more convincing illusion than the one that does not have was edges color.

I found these roles are 100 color felt that markers a number of years ago. I paid just under $10 for the set of have had it for six almost 7 years now and the markers are still work. You can buy them online through Amazon or a number of other sites I suggest. You can also just go down to the local office supply or arts and craft store and buy just the colors that you need however I strongly recommend that you have a assortment of colored felt that markers.

Step 6: Glue Up the Gift Box

Squeeze out a small blob of Aileen's fast grab glue on a scrap piece of paper. Use a round tapered end toothpick to add a thin layer to each flap. It is critically important that the glue comes right up to the edge of the fold. This is necessary to ensure a tight seem and eliminate any gaps between mating surfaces. These gaps, if present, again break the illusion. Couple this with white lines and they can look really bad. Sealing the seams, and coloring the edges are necessary to have a convincing illusion of a gift wrapped box.

Once the boxes are assembled there ready to have ribbon and bows added. Buying simple bows is far cheaper online than trying to make your own. However if you really want to have that creative flexibility and take the present’s appearance to the next level making the bows yourself makes sense. You can make them literally for pennies a piece and have them look like you spent a good deal more.

Go here for instructions on the Bow Making Jig and How to make the bows.

Step 7: Adding the Ribbon

Adding the ribbon, first measure the ribbon around the box a little bit longer as we need some spare. Wrap it around the box where overlap is and cut off at length. Use that piece to cut off another length as we will be wrapping in two directions as is typical with the present uses ribbon. Use the fast grab glue and were going to spin it on the toothpick and lay down a very in the about a half way through. Create a thin bead about 16th of an inch in diameter approximately a quarter of an inch long. We need to do is hold the corner, so with my index finger I hold the ribbon in place and I use my thumb to press the ribbon into the fast grab grab glue.

Continue the same process all the way around to box. The fast grab glue to holds the ribbon into position so it's not really an issue. Notice I'm not going overlap as if I knew I could have four layers of ribbon in the middle. What I do is cut it short to make sure I don't have any overlap in this area. It will be covered with the bow that we made using the bow making jig and if you're interested in seeing click on the link below to see the bow making jig. Simply make some final tweaks and get the ribbon into position. This glue is mostly transparent but can become visible if you use too much. You want to do is use it sparingly. This is not a case where more is better actually little less is better. Do a couple of experiments to get the feel for how much glue you need and then go all the way around and again were not adding the glue the entire length of the box, only adding in the corners.

You can see we had a really started to establish the illusion that in fact is a Christmas present.

Step 8: Finish It by Adding the Bow

Use the Loctite Go2 glue and add a fairly good dollop. This is I air cure urethane glue and has great holding power. It works excellent on nonporous surfaces like fabric. Grab the bow make and push it into the glue on top of the package. Get it in position that we want and now we have a completed Christmas present completed bowl ribbon all set to be put under the tree.

Step 9:

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