unique papercrafting graphic 45

November 14, 2013

My Father the Hero - Gift Ideas with a Personal Touch

Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 03-imp

Hello Crafters!

Today on the Graphic 45 blog we're celebrating dads! We have two fantastic projects that are perfect for gifts and commemorating precious memories of our fathers. We begin with an amazing and heartfelt Typography memory box creation by Denise Hahn that profoundly commemorates the memory of her father. Then we will share Annette Green's beautiful Bird Song Matchbook Box Gift Set and tutorial. Together your imagination will be delighted with visual stimulation, great tips, and easy to follow step by step directions for a gift perfect for any loved one. 

Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 01-imp

"This is by far the most personal project I have ever created. I was not intending to create a Memory Box of my Dad. I was intending to make a Typography Project. When I looked at Typography, it made me think of a Library, so I started looking for images of Vintage Librarians. I started noticing a common thread, almost every “vintage Librarian” wore glasses. For those of us who wear glasses, and I mean us “can’t see without them” types, they are very much a part of us, our personalities and who we are. When my Dad passed away from lung cancer 21 years ago he was only 49. He wore glasses, and so after he died, thats what I took. Those two pairs of glasses were sitting in a plain dusty shadow box on the shelf in my craft room. They deserved so much better. Not only did I have a hard time starting this project- I had a harder time finishing it, so It is actually not finished. It has become a place for me to stash more trinkets that bring back the memory of this man I loved so much. I am so grateful to Diane for creating the papers that inspired this project and hope it also inspires you to create a memory box of a loved one. A box that never is finished.

Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 02-imp

On the spine I used a piece of velvet fabric-then stamped his name in muslin and sewed it on before I attached it using Tacky Glue


Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 03-imp


My Dad love to play Bingo- he took my Grandma Ann twice a week sometimes. How convenient for me that vintage bingo cards are a popular theme! The box is a Faux Book box that was originally covered with a flora design. I used Typography “Journey” on the cover.  I also used the Typography Tags- don’t be afraid to cut them in half if you need to as I did here.

Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 04-imp

Love these Petaloo Botanicals in creme- Dad wasn’t into flowers much- but I have to look at this right- he wouldn’t mind he was easy going like that.

Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 05-imp


I added the clasp on for practical reasons, but love how it looks.

Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 06-imp


Every item in here has special meaning to me. I chose objects that were an obvious reference and some that were more ambiguous-choose objects that speak to you.

Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 07-imp

The glasses were my focal point-they went in first- I covered a piece of chipboard with Typography “Inscribe” then wired the glasses to the board and glued inside the box.

Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 09-imp

My Dad loved pets and he inherited my sisters Parakeet “Gucci Bird” ironically Gucci Bird passed away a week after my Dad did- he just couldn’t live without him, we understood.

imp9-Another memento of my Dads pets- His Schnauzer named Giorgio ( I guess he was into designers or something lol) and two Race Horses! Heisamore and Tolly Bogel. Then I found this old pinball- my dad sold pinball machines at some point and we had our own in the house. Do you recognize the Horse picture? Yep that’s from Graphic 45’s A Proper Gentleman.

Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 10-imp


Oh my I can go on and on about the meaning of all of these trinkets, but I think I will let them speak for themselves.

Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 11-imp


Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 12-imp


Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 14-imp

This is another rescued memento- My dad bought me this necklace for Valentines day when I was like 10 years old. It is the one piece of jewelry I have had the longest and it was sitting in the bottom of my junk jewelry jar- now it has an amazing home.

Denise_Hahn_Graphic_45_Typography_memory_box - 15-imp


Thanks for letting me share this work in progress with you today. What important mementos do you have tucked away? Time to get them out and share them with your love of crafting and art." - Denise Hahn



Typography: Journey, Inscribe and Dream

Typography Stickers

Typography Tags and Pockets

Petaloo Cream Botanicals

Xyron Glue Stick

Little Yellow Bicycle Naturals Burlap Stickers

The Paper Studio Brass Closure

Tacky Glue

Provo Craft letter stamp Circa 18pt.

Ink: Colorbox Roan Chestnut

The Board Dudes™ 4' x 18' Adhesive Backed Cork Roll


Next up we have Annette's Gift Box and Layout Display.  This project not only is beautiful, thoughtful, but also comes fully loaded with delightful gifts ideal for that someone special in your life.   Take it away Annette.  



















Bird Song Dad’s Large Matchbox Gift Set Tutorial




Graphic 45 12 x 12 Matchbox

 Core'dinations Signature Series cardstock (darks)

Graphic 45 metal keys

Graphic 45 Geometric Metal Doorplate & Knob

Graphic 45 Antique Metal Door Pull

Graphic 45 Staples, Alphabet Stickers

Bird Song 12 x 12 paper pack

Bird Song Cardstock Stickers

Bird Song Chipboard Tags 1 and 2

Imaginarium Designs chipboard clock

Tim Holtz “Tick Tock” Alterations die

Black acrylic paint, Ribbon, Twine

Foam Core, Sticky Back Canvas

Clear Transparency Film







1. Cut a piece of black foam core the same size at the matchbox.




2. Create a hinged panel by adhering the foam core to the left edge of the matchbox using wide tape or sticky-back canvas, leaving an eighth inch of space between the panel and the box to allow room for the panel to open and close freely.




3. When closed, the panel will create a “door.” Adhere 1/4-inch black grosgrain ribbon along the spine for a clean edge.




4. Paint black acrylic paint 1/2 inch in from all edges of the matchbox front including the taped area. This will allow for 12 x 12 paper to have a black background since the box is 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches.




5. Select a 12 x 12 paper and cut a window in the center measuring 7 3/4” x 7 3/4”. Adhere a piece of clear transparency to the back side of the paper to create a protective window then adhere this unit to the window portion of the matchbox.




6. Paint black acrylic paint 1/2 inch in, on all interior & exterior portions of the slider box (which fits inside the matchbox).




7. Adhere strips of pattern paper to the front and back ends of the slider box. No paper is necessary on the sides. Add a metal drawer pull to the front portion.




8. Adhere a 12 x 12 piece of pattern paper into the bottom of the slider box, and four strips of paper for the inner walls. (2 x 12 inches each.) Decide what will go into your slider box first, arranging the gifts how you like them. Then create partitions using sturdy mat board and tacky glue to secure them.




9. Decorate the window portion of the matchbox by cutting strips and mitering the corners to create a border. Add accents and more border strips as desired.




10. Decorate the front of the panel flap with cardstock and pattern papers leaving a quarter inch of black showing all the way around.




11. Embellish the panel flap with door knob, chipboard, stickers, and keys.




12. Create a 12 x 12 layout and adhere to the inside of the flap panel.  Viola, you have just created your own personalized masterpiece perfect to be given as a gift for a friend or yourself.  

 Now a big round of applause to the talented G45 DT members, Denise and Annette for sharing these touching works of art.  As always we hope to inspire your next creation, we'll be looking out for your memory boxes and your creations with our Altered Matchboxes.  Please share your latest Graphic 45 project with us on our Facebook page to join in the fun.  Take care and stay crafty! 


Happy Papercrafting! 


Team Graphic 45


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference My Father the Hero - Gift Ideas with a Personal Touch:


What a beautiful and meaningful tribute to Denise's dad . . . creative and heartfelt . . . love it.

Two marvelous ideas and great creations! LOVE them both! WOW!!

A beautiful project!

I love these memory boxes. Great detail.
Will be high on my project list.

Wonderful projects!

Loving today. My dad is the only one I've got Christmas figured out for. I'm making him and my uncle matching albums with all their childhood photos. I spent weeks scanning in all the photos before grandma died. I knew with a family the size of ours we'd never see them again. I was right, but now I have them and I can print them off anytime I want. Love these projects.

Lovely boxes. These are very thoughtful gifts.. thank you for sharing and for the inspiration.

What lovely tributes. These projects made me think of my own dad who passed away in 2007. He was my biggest cheerleader and always encouraged me in my art. Well done ladies!

what a wonderful tribute and thank you for the tutorial


Amazing tributes... my thoughts are now with my dad who passed away in 1990... and I'm still missing him so much...

What beautiful boxes for dad. Very nice.

Great Dad's gifts.

Denise, your book and memories bring tears to my eyes and an ache to my heart. My dad was such a huge part of my life and I miss him every day. Thanks for sharing such heartfelt, meaningful thoughts.

Denise, your project and story had me in tears, what a beautiful box and thanks for sharing your story, God bless you.

Special DADS honored with these two stunning projects. Thanks for sharing them with us.

This blog continues to AMAZE me Daily!

Beautiful heartwarming treasures...thank you for sharing.

I love these tributes..I lost my father 10 years ago and this inspired me to make a memory box with his personals..Thank You!

Making memories last, I love both boxes. Thank you for sharing, both of you.

I just got ready for work and opened the Graphic 45 blog! YIKES - the tears streaming down my face took my makeup with them. Gotta redo my face! What an awesome tribute to an obviously fabulous Dad! Terrific memory box!

Beautiful tributes and beautiful work. This was an emotional post today!

Beautiful heartfelt tributes .. love them!

Stunning tributes to Dad. Love both ideas. Gorgeous work and great tutorials. thanks for sharing.

Annette, what a super project, love the colors & the details.
Denise, thank you for sharing your fantastic creation, love the colors & the details. I can see your love in each item & detail that symbolizes your Dad. Your box touched my heart.

beautiful work and a wonderful way to keep memories alive!

OMG I love the Shadow Box filled with goodies! Such a creative idea!

Both projects are a great tribute to the respective Dads. I found Denise's post very moving (I lost my own Dad 6 years ago). I'd love to make something like this to keep my memories of him. Thank you for the inspiration.

Denise~Your story of your father had me in tears! He sounds like he was an amazing and loving father. Your altered memory box is a beautiful tribute to him an his life! He is looking down and smiling proudly that you made this to honor him.
Annette~Your gift box is awesome! What a great way to give a gift that can last a lifetime!
Thanks to both off you for sharing!

These are SO heartfelt and gorgeous. Thank you for sharing inspiring stories and designs. I want to make one of these.

Wonderful projects and tutorials. Love the ideas and papers used.

Dad is a lucky guy.

What great projects, thanks for sharing.

What a wonderful way to remember your fathers. Beautiful!

Thank you for featuring projects that reflect the men in our lives. I love your paper collections...please reprint Proper Gentleman, or design another one for men. In the meantime, onto 12 Days of Christmas!

Fabulous memory and keepsake boxes! Really lovely!

fantastic projects!

What AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL tributes!!!!!!!! Not to mention completely inspiring!!!!!! I am soooooo glad that these where shared. Thank you!!!!! Thank you so much.

what an amazing tribute to your dad

Both are beautiful and intriguing.

What beautiful, loving and touching tributes today - thanks so much for sharing them, and making me stop and consider how I might do something like this..

Newer Comments

The comments to this entry are closed.