Just before we broke for the holiday we had the opportunity to have a box-making workshop with Japanese friends Keiko and Shuhei of Box & Needle who were visiting Portland from Tokyo. It was a very serendipitous, last minute arrangement (less than 48 hours notice!) - one that we embraced fully! We shut the print room down for the afternoon, ordered pizza and made a party of it! It was fantastic to stop what we were doing, roll up our shirt sleeves and make something with our hands. And to learn something together!
Keiko and Shu taught us how to construct a small simple box using chipboard and a traditional Japanese natural glue called Nikawa (which they brought with them). The boxes were then covered in a thin fibrous paper made by their company. They sell soooo many pretty prints!!
We pre-cut the chipboard and the paper for ease of production. The glue was sticky! It needed to be heated up and thinned with water in a double boiler. Since we don't have a proper kitchen in the office, we made do with two stainless steel bowls, one nested in the other using hot water from our electric tea kettle. It was a pretty straightforward process: attaching the sides and top (or bottom) with tape, painting a long strip of paper (long enough to cover the 4 sides of the box) with glue, then rolling the box along the strip and folding the extra over the bottom (or top) edge. We then covered the bottom (or top) with a square piece of paper for the finish.
If you get a chance to visit Tokyo we highly recommend a visit to Box & Needle where you can take a box making workshop yourself and get all the supplies and pretty papers. You'll be inspired by all the shapes and sizes of boxes that can be made and all the gorgeous papers. They are wonderful for storage of jewelry and trinkets and make wonderful gifts. Egg Presser Emily said she used the one she made as a gift box for her husband's grandma. Inside they gave her a barrette that her husband cross stitched by hand. She loved it and now has the box on display.
Can't make it to Tokyo? You're in luck (especially if you read Japanese) because Box & Needle have a book!