Technique: Envelopes, Bows, Boxes

Welcome to my blog Paper Crafting With Rebecca!

I had a friend over and she was looking around in my craft room a few weeks ago and she stumbled across my American Crafts We R Memory Keepers 123 Punch Board and asked me to show her what I could do with it. She had never seen one, or seen how it worked, and she thought it was a delightful invention. I use my punch board all the time and I hadn't realized it might be a novelty to some people. So, on the off chance you haven't seen one, I am dedicating this blog posting to some of the fun things this crafty tool can do. (Note: I do NOT receive any sort of compensation from American Crafts W R Memory Keepers for this blog...  I simply enjoy the product and thought you might find this helpful.)

The American Crafts We R Memory Keepers 123 Punch Board has three main crafting functions: it is used to make envelopes, bows, and boxes. I most often use it to make envelopes, but I also appreciate the bows and boxes functions, too! This punch board also comes with instructions to make envelope liners, string tie boxes, coin envelopes, and file folder cards.

Envelopes: I find it handy that I can easily make envelopes of various sizes/textures/weights/colors using this tool. Sometimes, if my cards have a lot of embellishments or layers, I need a heavier envelope than what I can buy readymade. For purposes of our example here, let's make an A2 envelope (4.38" x 5.75") using cardstock.

I selected an 8.5" x 11" piece of light pink cardstock. Using my paper trimmer I trimmed the cardstock down to an 8.25" square. (Be sure to keep the leftover pieces of cardstock, they can be used in later projects.) I then looked on the easy reference chart on the inside flap of the punch board to see that my paper needs to be positioned on the 3 5/8 punch guide mark for the first punch and score

First open your score extender up (the flip out arm at the bottom of the punch board), position the cardstock/paper on the appropriate location on the punch guide (for this card that is at the 3 5/8 mark) and then score the cardstock/paper on envelope score line A using the included bone folder (which conveniently stores in the right edge of the punch board).

Now push the punch button before removing the cardstock/paper.

Next, turn the cardstock/paper counter clockwise a quarter turn and position the scored line along the envelope score groove. This second score does not require the punch guide measurement, just the envelope score groove.

Once again, score the cardstock/paper along the envelope score line A, then punch.

Turn the cardstock/paper a quarter turn clockwise and position the cardstock/paper, for this A2 card, on the 3 5/8 mark again. Score along the envelope score line A, then punch.

Now, time for the last score line and punch! Turn the cardstock/paper counter clockwise a quarter turn and position the scored line along the envelope score groove and score the cardstock/paper along the envelope score line A, then punch.

Next we want to round the corners. Look at the top of the punch board and you will see an arrow telling you there is a corner rounder there... it isn't real obvious. Slide your cardstock/paper corner snuggly into the corner rounder and punch. Do this with all four corners.

All that is left is to fold and adhere! It's that simple.

Bows: Making bows is fun because you can get very creative with bows. For instance, you can use different colors, different textures, patterns, etc., for each part of the bow. I also enjoy making bows with double-sided cardstock because they show off the dimensionality so nicely. Of course you can always use scrap pieces of paper from your stash, too. This punch board makes six different sizes of bows: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL.

For this posting I will make an XL bow by repurposing an old envelope so you can easily see it in the photos.

For an XL bow the cardstock/paper needs to be trimmed to 1.5"wide and then cut into three different lengths: 8", 4.25", and 3/8". So open up that envelope and start trimming...

Next, using the chart on the punch board as reference, I lined the edge of the 8" strip up to the 4 on the punch guide and punched the paper. Flip the paper over and repeat.

Using the bow guide on the center of the punch board, punch all four corners off this long strip.

Then take the 4.25" strip and line it up to the 2 1/8 mark on the punch guide and punch. Flip the cardstock/paper and punch the opposite side.

Now rotate the cardstock/paper so it is straight up and down and punch, repeat for the other end.

Now time to use some adhesive and assemble as shown.

That was easy and turned out pretty.

Boxes: Small gift boxes can be custom made to the size that best fits the gift or project you need the box for. The largest box this punch board makes (4" x 4" x 4") requires a 12" x 12" sheet of cardstock/paper. This is a nice size box to put a handmade ornament in to give as a gift. It is fun to make the gift box and the ornament using color coordinating supplies. It is also fun to decorate/stamp/watercolor/etc. these boxes in order to personalize them for the recipient. For purposes of this blog today, let's simply make a box using decorative cardstock, but keep in mind that you can have a lot of fun making fancy boxes to meet your gift giving needs.

Because I am going to make the largest box, so you can see the folds better in the pictures, I don't need to trim my 12" x 12" cardstock/paper. If you were making a smaller box there is a paper size guide located on the inside flap of the punch board. This guide lists the box size and the size of cardstock/paper you would start out with.

I start off by lining my paper edge to the correct box start line (which in this case is the XL line).

Make a punch and then score along the A, B, and C box score line guides.

Next I rotate the cardstock/paper and repeat. I do this until all four sides are completed.

Now I flip my cardstock/paper over and line the edge of the paper up to the original box start line (which in this case is the XL line again) and push the punch button. Do this for all four edges.

If you look opposite of the corner rounder, you will see the corner slitter. (I didn't know this existed until I made my first box!) You need to slit all four corners of the cardstock/paper.

The next step is to use the bone folder and make some creases along the scored lines. The first creases are in the tic-tac-toe pattern in the center of the cardstock/paper. (I placed paintbrushes on the scored lines in the photo so you could better see the pattern since the scored lines are difficult to see in a photo.)

The next set of creases is isolating the four corners.

Finally you will want to pinch and crease the score lines that cause the box to form.

Now simply connect the slits opposite of each other (no adhesive necessary) and you have an adorable little gift box to decorate, personalize, or simply fill and give away!

These are three simple examples using the American Crafts We R Memory Keepers 123 Punch Board  using only three types of paper/cardstock. There are so many more possibilities when you factor in various papers, sizes, shapes, etc.

If you've never seen or used a punch board, I hope this blog was helpful and fun for you. Be sure to leave any questions or comments below. If you have a punch board then leave me a comment below telling me what you like to make the most using yours. It is alway great to hear new ideas and uses for our tools.

Happy Paper Crafting!


  1. Wow, that *is* a neat tool! Thanks for demonstrating how to use it! I especially love the box.


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