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Hello crafters, Dawny P here and welcome to this month’s Designer Choice step by step tutorial. This month, our Designer Choice is the awesome Back To School Drinks Carton. This is a verso set and has a mammoth 34 dies!

The main die enables you to make the cutest carton ever – these are so popular at the moment. It takes less than 1 sheet of A4 card to create the main carton and there is no measuring or scoring because all the work has been done for you. It really could not be easier - no pain no gain definitely does NOT apply here. You can also make this carton taller or shorter and I’ll show you in a second how easy that is to do.

So what’s in the set then?

Well apart from the base shape, there are dies to help you make shaped layers, there are rectangles, a square and some triangles, plus 3 circular dies to make a tag. The largest rectangle and most of the triangles have a verso inside edge so that you can add pretty patterns to the carton if you wish, or even cut the patterns directly into the carton. Or you could use the outside edge shapes with your patterned paper. There are 3 sentiments as well and 5 of the cutest fruit dies which you can use on all sorts of cards and projects. There’s an apple, a strawberry, a lemon, a melon slice and cherries. As I’m typing this, I am just thinking that these could be used to make a get well card or for somebody in hospital. Or you could use the lemon slice for one of those ‘if life gives you lemons’ cards. And how appropriate would that be at this moment in time!!

Also, with Halloween and Christmas approaching, you could use the base to make treat holders or to house gifts. They would add instant value to the most inexpensive items. You can use the main die to create a base card and again I’ll pop this onto a video which you’ll find at the end.

In summary, you are getting a really versatile and very useful and attractive set of dies with heaps of potential and suitable for lots of different occasions.

So what did we do here? Well I went with a strawberry theme and I also used the inside edge verso die as a stencil. More of that as we go along, so let’s get cracking. I’ll show you how to assemble the basic carton first, then I’ll show you how to change the height. And finally I’ll show you how I made the strawberry carton at the top of the page.


Basic Carton Construction

Cut 2 of the main die and add double sided tape as shown. If you prefer to use glue, skip this step.

TIP – just add the tape strips straight down the tabs and cut out the ‘v’ shaped notches afterwards.

Cut 1 using the square die. If you want to line the inside of the carton then cut 2 squares.

Using a bone folder, reinforce all of the debossed score lines as shown.

Remove the tape from one side and join both sides together as shown. If you are using glue, then add it to the glue tabs on one side and join together with the other piece.

Turn over and fold one end into the centre.

Remove the tape from the other side or add glue if you are using that and bring the other side in to meet. The pieces are now joined together. Press down firmly.

Add wet glue to the base of the carton as shown. TIP – I find that wet glue is better here because you can wiggle the base around so that it fits nicely.

Add the square die cut and press down. TIP – just add one side to start with and once that is lined up and has grabbed, press the rest of the square in place.

Pinch on the top as shown. Your carton is done.

So that’s the basic construction.

It’s very easy to make the carton shorter or taller. In theory there is no limit as to how tall you could make it. The trick is that if you look at your basic die cut shape, as long as the top and the bottom look the same on the altered pieces, this will work. It really doesn’t matter what goes on in the middle as you’ll see.


To Shorten

Cut out the 2 main pieces. Decide how short you want the carton to be and cut across both pieces (I’ve only shown one piece here – you will end up with 4 bits and not 2).

Now add glue or tape to the top section and stick the bottom section on top. You must make sure that you don’t go past that horizontal score line in the middle when you’re sticking the bits together.

Now add glue or tape to the tabs. The top and the bottom of these pieces look exactly the same shape as the un-altered piece.

Now finish construction as per the basic size.


To Lengthen

To lengthen you will need to cut 4 of the main die, and again I’ve only shown one side here. Leaving 2 of the die cuts as they are, cut off the top section from the other 2 die cuts.

Now on the uncut pieces. add tape or glue to the bottom glue tabs as shown and join the pieces together. If you want this taller again, just cut more base pieces and repeat these steps and keep adding sections until you get the height you want. If you are adding more pieces, you should cut off the bottom glue tabs on all but the top and bottom pieces.

This is what they should look like. Now add your tape or glue to the side and bottom glue tabs. Once again the top and the bottom of these pieces look exactly the same shape as the un-altered piece.

Now finish construction as per the basic size.

Please note that when you lengthen the height, you will have join lines across the centre. You can always cover them up with patterned paper or a band of different coloured card, lace, ribbon etc.

So that’s the construction, and now let’s make something pretty. I’ve made this in the unaltered size.


To cut

Cut 2 of the main piece in red.

Cut 2 triangles in black.

Cut 2 smaller rectangles in white.

Cut 4 of the largest rectangles in black and 5 more in white.

Cut 2 small rectangles in black and then cut the ‘goodies’ verso die into them as shown.

Cut 2 strawberries in red and cut 2 in green. To save your green card you only need the top leafy bit. I am so MEAN with card!!

Take one of the large white rectangles and using this die, place it as shown and cut.

Take one of the large white rectangles and using this die, place it as shown and cut. Then line up the 2 curved edges and trim across the bottom straight edge. I trimmed mine to 2cm from the bottom edge to the top of the curve on the shortest side but you can vary this to whatever you want.

Cut the largest verso inside edge die into a scrap piece of card. This will be your stencil.

Taking one of the white rectangle die cuts, lay the verso die cut over the top (line it up at the back) and add the colour. I used a Tonic Studios blending sponge and Dried Oregano ink as shown.

This is what it will look like. Trim a small amount from each side so that it will mat onto the black rectangle die cuts.

Repeat for the other 3 white rectangles and the 2 smaller rectangles as shown.

Using a black fine liner, add faux stitching to the stencilled pieces and also the 2 curved pieces as shown here.

Take the 2 main pieces and reinforce the creases. If you don’t do this now, when we add the handle die at the next step, you will lose some of the definition in the creases.

Place the handle die on the border and run through the machine. Do this for both pieces.

They should look like this. Do this for both pieces and then re-crease. This will make it easier when you come to assembly.

Mat the stencilled rectangles onto the black rectangles. TIP make sure your pattern is running the same way. Am I speaking from bitter experience? Yes I am!!!

Glue the ‘goodies die cuts onto both of the curved die cuts as shown then add dimensional pads onto the back.

Take the strawberry pieces. Trim the green leaves and glue onto the red strawbs as shown.

Glue them onto a piece of black card and trim. This is what they will look like from the front and back.

Now take your 2 main pieces, glue together on one side and add the detail as per the pic. Once done, complete as per the instructions at the top.

Finally (and you knew this was coming), add some gingham ribbon round the handles to hold it shut.


So that’s it all done.

Don’t forget to check out the video as well for another idea for using the set – this time to make a base card.

Happy crafting, Dawny


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