Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday Thinking – Little Boxes

I’m having a hard time thinking of anything else but these boxes (posted below) because I had planned to post this on Monday as a memory.  When that didn't happen I thought Tuesday as an anything goes post.  When that didn't happen then I thought Wednesday as a homemaking tip.  But, as you can see, that didn't happen either, so it's all I can think of today and it's Thursday.  

In high school we had to take the scholastic aptitude tests in the auditorium.  Not that it matters, but we had feathered hair, thick handled combs in our back pockets, and wore down-filled vests.  Oh.  Except some of us, I didn’t keep a comb in my back pocket.  I kept it in my sock.  We wore knee highs with strong elastic at the top and they were long pockets just waiting to be filled, so I kept a comb, couple pieces of gum, lunch money – everything I might need in my sock.  (By night, my legs had fossil-like marks all over them.)

I liked taking the auditorium tests, except for the ones that included box folding.  Those were hard for me.  The box folding questions consisted of a pattern of a box laid flat.  All the tabs of the box were labeled a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i – these were complicated boxes mind you with lots of tabs and extensions.  We were supposed to assemble the box pattern in our brain and choose the correct picture of a box from the several folded box shapes from the right column.  Man, I struggled with those boxes.  I learned to look at the pattern, make a guess, and save my brain for the other questions.    

When my scholastic aptitude test came back with “shoemaker” in the suggestion box, I thought, “Noooooo, don’t you understand?  Shoes are like boxes, you have to fold them in to a shape.  I don’t have the right imagination to fold cardboard OR leather."  Then later, "I am so glad I don’t live in Russia or China because they would make me be a shoemaker and I don’t want to be a shoemaker.  I want to be a teacher . . . a teacher that doesn't teach how to fold boxes.” 

Thirty years later and I've had time to think about those tests.  I think:
  • a) that scholastic aptitude test was on to something.  I really do love folding boxes
  • b) my brain kept subconsciously working on those box-folding problems long after I quit taking tests and finally figured them out
  • c) I am a lucky guesser
  • d) I just needed box-folding questions that only required four folds
Multiple choice, you pick.  

No matter the reason, here is a cute three sided box pattern.  You can make them out of Christmas cards, or note cards, or cardstock – it’s up to you.  You can make them big or small.  You can make them short or tall.  Sam, you can make them here or there, you can make them anywhere.  

 They're fun and easy to fill: a chapstick, McDonald's gift card, dollar piece, Christmas candy, hair bands, nail polish, bracelet . . . what the little box will hold is your limit.

A good size of card or paper to start with is 5 inches by 8 1/2 inches.  You can trim a Christmas card or cut paper to that size.  

Fold the paper in half (if it isn't a card with a center fold already).  Mark the center of the paper on the top and bottom edges.  Score a line from the top center to the center folds.  Do the same with the bottom center.  (I drew a line to show you where to score.)

Fold and crease on score lines.

 Gather all the corners to the top.

Pinch the box closed and punch holes through all the layers at once so the holes match up.  

Fill the box with surprises, and close again.

Tie shut with ribbon, twine, or string.

 These little boxes kind of remind me of a song sung by the Womenfolk in the 70's:

Little boxes all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one.
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.

And while the Womenfolk's song was about American homes in the suburb it fits these little boxes, too.

Did you have feathered hair?
Did you plaster your hair with hair spray, or keep a comb in your pocket or sock?
Any more ideas for gifts inside the box?  I'd love to hear them.
Were your aptitude tests right?
Do you remember the Womenfolk?
So many questions.  So many questions.


Jill said...

I'm not very good at box folding. I've always thought I had spatial relations issues.

I took a career-placement type test at BYU hoping it would give me some direction and the only 2 (i.e., most scarring) suggestions were Funeral Home Director and Bus Driver. All I can think is that it had something to do with being good with people, but really it still haunts me.

Cali said...


Those are so cute. I know you've been thinking about them all week because you've been telling me about them all week. They look kind of hard though.


Ande Payne said...

Oh...Those are cute! I'll be making some too! I get a kick out of thinking of you making those en mass for everyone.

michelle said...

Those are so cute! They don't look hard at all. I can already think of lots of people who will be getting them...

I did carry a comb in my back pocket! Funny, I had forgotten all about that until Lucas was in Grease. A cast member brought little black combs for all of the boys, and Lucas got a real kick out of that. I got a kick out of imagining all the things you kept in your long socks!

I don't remember taking any aptitude tests. Hmm. Love your reaction to "shoemaker."

Deidra said...

Those boxes look a little complicated for being so simple! Maybe I need to spend some time looking at the pictures more. I've been folding origami boxes like crazy. The other day my fingers were getting raw from all the folding-- and after my sixth or so box I had this complete blank about how to do it. I think I was over-thinking it, instead of just letting my fingers go to work.

I wish feathered hair would come back. My thin, fine hair would rock the wispy look.

I think my aptitude test said I should be a lawyer or politician. I ignored it and started in chemistry. Bad fit! Life was so much better once I changed my major to political science. There's something to be said for working with what you're good at instead of fighting it.

Anonymous said...

My placement test said I should be a mechanic. Russ hates it when I tell him there's something wrong with the car! Your boxes are great!

Brenda Goodrich said...

I loved the box-folding questions the most, probably because I'm good at doing anything that I can visualize. Obviously, I failed at other aptitude tests. I can't remember what I was supposed to chose as a career---probably forgot to picture myself doing it:). Marshall's suggested career path was funny, though. He is supposed to be a beer-maker. Thirty years after my box-folding success, I've finally realized that aptitude tests are fallible. You would be a fabulous shoe maker.