The Christmas after the Big One turned one, I started a collection of little plastic animals. It started with an African Elephant actually, by Safari Ltd. He loved his Elephant, and well, I love collecting things, so the collection then grew to include a lion and giraffe, and then… an Okapi and a Yak. I started getting him Schleich animals too. I’ve lost count of how many animals we have, and the the Big One played with them until he was in First Grade. He then moved on the Schleich knights, and I packed all of his animals up into a banker’s box and put them away. It was a very full banker’s box. Right before Christmas, I got the box out of storage, and showed the animals to the Monkey, and he was intrigued. I was thrilled to get to have someone to share the collection with again, and even the the Big One played with them. However, we really needed a better storage option, so I decided to make a special Beware of the Animals Toy Storage Container.
Now I had been thinking about what kind of box would work, and I found this cute box at Target (our home-away-from-home). Target had this collection of multicolored boxes that I think were part of their colorful Christmas display, but I thought they would be great for the boys.
I am not always great about estimating sizes though. It looked about like a banker’s box, but it’s actually a bit smaller. I was really worried that all of the animals wouldn’t fit when I got home with the box. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a larger box with this colorful palette, otherwise I probably would have gotten it. When I got home, I was pleased with how the colors fit in, but I realized that this box would look even better with some colorful vinyl on the outside.
The first thing that I did to start decorating the box was browse the Silhouette online store to find some cute animals to use. I knew that I was going to need to layer the vinyl much as I did for the Super Hero teacher mugs. However, I needed a lot more animals, and a larger number of colors for this particular project.
The first thing I did after finding the animal cut files that I wanted to use, was begin to separate them out by vinyl color. This requires a bit of organization when you are trying to make a dozen or so animals. The best way to do this is to open multiple silhouette project files, and start to split the animals up by color. I think that I ended up having about seven different files labeled “Black Animal Box,” “Blue Animal Box,” “Pink Animal Box,” etc. Here’s a sample of what it looked like while I was working:
I cut the black vinyl first as I needed to get the words on first. After I had put the “Beware of Animals” on the front of the box, I started to separate the animal parts out, so all of the zebra pieces were together, and all of the elephant pieces were together, etc. With each cut of the different colored vinyl, I added to my piles of animal pieces.
Here’s an example of what it looked like once I gathered all of the tiger vinyl pieces together. I weeded them all, and was very careful about removing the sections where the itty-bitty eyes and noses were located. (This was the most challenging part, I believe. Those eyes were really, REALLY small!) Next, I, very carefully, layered the second color on top of the base color. I found that this works best with a piece of transfer paper that is slightly smaller than the vinyl, so you can actually have a piece of the second layer of vinyl (in the case of the tiger, white) to position onto the bottom layer (in the case of the tiger, black). I then added the third color of vinyl (in the case of the tiger, orange) on top of the second color of vinyl.
Once the animals were finished, I left them on the bottom layer of the vinyl backing until I was ready to place all of them around the box. I then used a piece of transfer paper and used the scraper tool to make sure that all of the layers were thoroughly pressed into the transfer paper. I put the animal into place, and again used the scraper tool make sure that every layer was securely attached to the plastic box.
This was probably the most time-consuming project that I’ve done with a cutting machine to day, but I’m so happy with how the project turned out! And the best part is: All of the animals fit, just barely, but they all made it into the box.
Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?
My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!
- DIY Window Shutter Mail Organizer by Weekend Craft
- Kids’ Art Wall by Tried & True
- Organizing Silhouette and Craft Supplies by The Happier Homemaker
- Simple Recipe Organization by It’s Always Craft Time
- Put a Label on it! Herb Names for Plant Stakes by Get Silvered
- Super Simple Linen Closet Labels by Two Purple Couches
- Is right here at My Mom Made That!!
- Child desk accessories by Architecture of a Mom
- Organizing & the Important of Labels by The Turquoise Home
- Index Card Organizer for Easier Meal Planning by Chicken Scratch NY
- Create Craft Room Labels by Dragonfly & Lilypads
- Simple Storage Solution for your Christmas Ornaments by Vintage News Junkie
- Organize this: DIY Planner Covers, Tags & Dividers (made with Cereal Boxes) by Black and White Obsession
- How to Make a Cut File into a Print & Cut by Create & Babble
- Simple Chest Freezer Organizational Board by Nearly Handmade
- Vinyl Your Kitchen Canisters! by From Wine to Whine
- Nursery Closet Dividers & Silhouette Cut File by Creative Ramblings
- Make Custom Box Templates with a Silhouette for Drawer Organization by One Dog Woof
- Organizing the Craft Room by What’s Next Ma
- Vinyl Wall Calendar by Crafts Cakes and Cats
- Personalized Toy Storage Bins by Lil’ Mrs. Tori
- Personalized Routine Chart by Work in Progress
- Blog Planner Sheet Dividers + Free Cut Files by TitiCrafty by Camila
- Simple Project Calendar by Little Blue’s Room
- Dry Erase Photo Frame Menu Board + Free Cut File by Essentially Eclectic
- Receipt Organization with Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet
- Cute and Easy Labels by Life After Laundry
- “What’s For Dinner?” Menu Planning Board by unOriginal Mom
- Mixing Organization and Function: An Easy Conversion Chart by My Paper Craze
- Why do my cookies taste so bad? A lesson in baking. by The Life and Times of a TAP
- Custom Drawer Dividers by Please Excuse My Craftermath…
- The evolution of my labeling system by feto soap
- Ikea Drawer labels by McCall Manor
- Glass Etched Vinegar & Oil bottles by Terri Johnson Creates
- Organize It: Bathroom Closet by The House on Hillbrook
- Ombre Butterfly Magnet Board by Sowdering About