Design team member of Alpha Stamps, lover of ephemera and junk.

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Tinsel Rain Christmas, with mini tutorial

I'll admit it: I have a love for vintage packaging, and vintage Christmas ornament boxes hold a special place in my heart. Maybe you remember the dioramas a friend and I did a couple of years ago?

You may not have access to a vintage ornament box, but here's how you can get the the same look of one with some supplies from Alpha Stamps: a Tiny Diorama Box and "A Very Merry Christmas" paper pad. I used paper from the pad for both the inside and outside of the box, fussy cutting elements of some of the paper to create logos and box design. In the photo below, the two boxes in back are vintage; the one in the front is a fake.

Stack 'em up! I used a nice golden brown ink pad to dirty up the imposter a bit.

The diorama box I used is cardboard, so even though it's a one piece box, I left the bottom "as is", and only glued the decorated sides at the corners so it looks like a box with a lid. (Check out those staples; I love that little detail. More about those later.)

The interior of the box features a wee little elf admiring the decorated Christmas tree.

There's plenty of room for Christmas fun in this box!

Here's how it was done: glue the paper on the top of the box, and cut out the opening. The paper in the pad I used was not big enough to cover the four sides of the box, so I used red stripey paper around the bottom edge of each side. Glue in your patterned background paper. Glue beads and a star onto a bottle brush tree, and make a cardboard ledge to raise up the floor of the display area so the elf and tree are easily visible. The tree I used was a little too tall, so I cut a hole in this new false floor to sit the wooden base of the tree into.

Use Snow-tex to create "snow" for the bottom. Once the snow is good and dry, glue the elf in place and set the tree down into its hole.

Glue the cardboard base to the back of the wall, and put a line of glue on its front cardboard flap to adhere it to the box front when the box is closed. My floor is slightly tilted toward the front, so you can see the elf a little better. *Plan ahead! If you want some tinsel around the opening, now's the time to glue that in. Trust me, it's not easy to add tinsel if your box is already sealed. My problem: it wasn't until my box was "finished" that I felt adding the tinsel was necessary.* Now would be a good time to put the wreath up, too. Once your interior is finished, tuck the flap of the box lid on the inside the of box, leaving the decorative paper outside, and glue the flap in place.

I was so happy how real my little box was looking, that I just had to add staples on the ends just like my two actual vintage boxes had. I used a sewing needle to punch holes in the box, and pushed the staples in with my fingers.

The front of the box was decorated with elements cut out from the paper pad. I used a silver Sharpie to add the dots of snow to the plain green paper. Oh my, look how tiny and cute!

For a complete list of supplies, click here.


  1. Vintage + mini + staples = you've stolen my heart.

  2. Your attention to detail and vision always impress me, these look so vintage! Thanks for sharing, so sweet.

  3. So cute! Reminds me of when I was a kid.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial Kristin!
    I have the same elf and many more- huge collector of vintage Christmas! The only thing lacking are those boxes so this is perfect that you shared this at this time! Bravo!
    Jackie xo

  5. Kristin, you are always so clever with the details! This box is just magical! I'm ordering the supplies right now... ~ Heather

  6. These are darling! Brilliant detail regarding how to add the staple detail.... I would have been trying to "staple" the box haha. Definitely have to make these. Merry mini Christmas!


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