Creating a Belly Band

After you have made all the boxes and they have come out, simply gorgeous :-), you need to have some way of keeping the lid on.  A Belly Band is an excellent way to add a decorative touch as well as it being functional.

Belly Band

Belly Band

Use the scraps you have from making the boxes.  Even if you’ve only made two or three you will have scraps left over from cutting down the 12 x 12 paper to make your boxes.

There is a small amount of Math involved in this process.  Mainly this is to determine if you will be using 12 x 12 scraps or if you can get away with smaller pieces for the Belly Band of a small box.  I will need to use the 12 x 12 scrap pieces.

Use your scraps

Use your scraps

To figure out the length of the Belly Band the first thing you do is measure the width of your box.

Measure the width of your box

Measure the width of your box

Next, measure the height of your box.

Measure the height of your box

Measure the height of your box

Write these measurements down somewhere.  The figures you have just determined will EACH need to be multiplied by two (2).  You have a top and a bottom so the width is twice.  You have two sides so the height is twice.

Multiply your measurements by 2

Multiply your measurements by 2

If you were to create  a paper strip measuring 17-1/4″ the ends would meet in the  middle.  You would have a noticeable gap that could be unsightly and require something to hide it.

Add 1-1/2″ to your final measurements.  This will allow your ends to be attached, give the Belly Band a smidgen of room so it will slide off and slide back on again.

Measurements plus 1-1/2"

Measurements plus 1-1/2"

Your Math part is finished.  Done, caput, over, finis.  I now know that one strip of 12 x 12 scrap is not going to be long enough.

I’ve cut a scrap that measures a little over 3″ by 12″ into two 1-1/2″ strips.  These pieces for the Belly Band now measure 1-1/2″ x 12.

HEADS UP!  If you have textured card stock you will need to have one piece with the back side facing up and the other piece to have the textured side facing up.  This will ensure that you don’t say “Crapazoid” or something a bit more stronger when you find the mix up after it has been taped.

Once you  have your strips going the correct way.  Lay them out in front of you.  Either draw a line one inch from each end with a ruler or line them up on grid paper at the 1″ mark.  I’m using my fabric cutting mat for the next step.  Put a strip of “Red Liner” tape at the 1″ position on both pieces.

Red Liner tape attached 1" from the end of each piece

Red Liner tape attached 1" from the end of each piece

To save a small amount of time, lay your strips side by side.  Line them up with the 1″ mark and run a piece of Red Liner tape across both strips at the 1″ mark.  Fold the strips over at the center and snip the Red Liner tape at the center.  Both pieces are taped and separated.

Lay your strips out in front of you with the tape side facing up.

Line up the taped ends

Line up the taped ends

You can remove the red liner from one strip of tape and adhere the two strips together, then peel the second liner off and secure the strips together.  Or you can stand the strips on end and eyeball the placement.  Stick them together after removing the liners from both strips.

Attach the end of the strips together

Attach the end of the strips together

Your strip will now look like this.

Strips adhered together

Strips adhered together

Slide the strip under your box at or near center.  You will move the strip further up the box for the next segment of this process.

Slide strip under box

Slide strip under box

Center strip under box

Center strip under box

Carefully raise one of the strips.  You will need to hold the box still to keep it from moving away from you as you raise the strip.  You are going to make a crease where the Belly Band begins its first bend around the box.

Raise the strip up the side of the box

Raise the strip up the side of the box

Fold the strip around the side of the box and bring it over the top of the box.

Fold the strip around the box

Fold the strip around the box

Now do the same for the other side of the box.

Fold the other side around the box

Fold the other side around the box

Remove the strip from the box and clear your work space.  The strip will now look like this….

Strip with bends

Strip with bends

Next you will use your bone folder or your fingernail to put a permanent crease in the paper at the bends you just made.  Make sure to line the edges of the strips together before you make your sharp creases.  This will ensure you have creases in the proper place.

After you do several of these, the stuff you just went through won’t be so critical because you will be able to line the paper up at the crease you made.  Even if you had the strip a bit wonky under the box.  You can straighten the strip before you make the hard crease.

Hard crease at the bend

Hard crease at the bend

Do this same thing to the other three crease lines.

Hard crease all fold lines

Hard crease all fold lines

One one side of the long strip, doesn’t matter which one you choose, measure from the hard crease to the outside edge a length of 4″.  This is for the boxes that will hold the Post-It-Note Holders.  If you are making smaller boxes you will need to adjust your measurements.

Measure 4" from crease to strip edge

Measure 4" from crease to strip edge

Make sure to mark the paper with a pencil tick or draw a line.  Do the very same thing to the other side of the strip.

Do the same thing to the other side

Do the same thing to the other side

Cut the excess paper off at the pencil mark you made.  Then measure in 1/2″ from the cut ends.  This is where you will add more Red Liner tape.

Cut off excess paper

Cut off excess paper

Just like we did when we attached the two long strips together, we will do the same to these strips.  Only at the 1/2″ mark instead of 1″.  One piece of Red Liner tape on the top side of one strip and Red Liner tape at the underside of the other strip.

Add tape

Add tape

Line your tick marks up.  Slide one side back just a smidge then adhere the end together.  By sliding one strip end back just a smidge you leave yourself a way to get the Belly Band off just in case you forgot to put something in the box.

Adhere ends

Adhere ends

Now your Belly Band is complete and ready to be slid onto your box.  If you want to add a decorative strip of paper to the Belly Band…

Adding a decorative strip

Adding a decorative strip

You will go through this entire process all over again.

Do it all again

Do it all again

Add a strip of decorative paper to the creased piece you have made.  The addition can be added after you begin attaching the decorative strip to the Belly Band you just made.  When you get to the section to add more paper, just line the new strip up with the piece you are adhering.  Secure the new strip below the old one and continue adhering until you get to the other side.  Give yourself about 1/2″ and tuck the extra under the strip you are meeting up with.

All that is left to do is to hide the intersection of the papers on the top of the box.  Make an embellishment large enough to cover the joint.

Hide the joint with an embellishment

Hide the joint with an embellishment

Going through this process will put a smile on your face as you see the boxes and Belly Bands you made.  They look so good just as they are.  You can give your gift with pride 😀

Boxes with Belly Bands

Boxes with Belly Bands

A lot of work to go through in this process but you will feel the pride of seeing “Professional” looking boxes.  Just make sure you are not close by when the recipient opens the box.  Most people tear off the Belly Band.  Tear it in half, wrangle with it to get it off, torture and twist it.  You really don’t want to watch.

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gardenpinks
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 15:52:31

    All those boxes look wonderful and the extra touch of the belly band just adds to the whole effect. I sure hope your friend appreciates what you have done.
    So is junque journal time now??????? 🙂

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Dec 20, 2011 @ 19:13:40

      Thank you, thank you, thank you 😀 I was pretty danged proud of myself when I saw all those boxes tucked neatly in that big box. All the bright colors, neat precise corners, and the Belly Bands 😀 I was in “Pat myself on the back” heaven 😀

      Junque Journal? I’m going to have to revisit your blog to see what you’ve done and spend a few hours trolling YouTube to see what all goes in them.

      Tim has requested an additional five Post-It-Note Holders for some poker friends of his. That means a trip to a store to find poker chips. I have playing cards from a casino from 2006 we were visiting. When the Pit Boss came and changed out the card deck I asked if I could have one 🙂

      Love you – Leslie

      Reply

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