How to Make a Floral Wedding Dress Flight or Storage Box
We are getting married abroad later this year so I have been looking for a box of some sort so that I can take my wedding dress onto the plane as hand luggage (definitely not letting it out of my sight!). I was disappointed to learn that it's not as simple as I'd first hoped and you can't just buy a bog standard 'wedding dress flight box'.
Firstly, there are multiple sized boxes you can buy depending on the size or shape of your dress and the hand luggage allowance set out by your chosen airline. Our airline's maximum size for hand luggage is 55 x 40 x 20 cm but they do vary. You can usually find this information via a quick Google search though if it isn’t immediately obvious. There are also various fabrics you can buy these boxes in. The most common options seem to be a hard shell box made from cardboard with either a plastic or a leather handle, such as these, or soft breathable fabric option, such as these. The prices of either option seem to range quite a bit so it’s worth shopping around.
For this blog post I'm going to be using the cardboard box hard shell option. If you’d prefer to buy a soft breathable option you could always try adding a heat transfer vinyl (HTV) design instead. If you're new to HTV have a read of this previous blog post I've written to get you started: An Introduction to Heat Transfer Vinyl.
What you will need:
Cardboard flight box. After quite a bit of shopping around, I purchased this one from a company called Reldas. They were by far the cheapest I found and they have a leather strap upgrade option which I liked. The delivery was also reasonable (in terms of both price and time-frame). My box was delivered fully assembled and although the outer delivery box was a little battered the contents was fine.
Adhesive vinyl. I purchased 2 rolls of this pink rose vinyl. Each roll is 45cm x 2m and I had enough to cover all the visible outer edges of my box with some left over.
Ribbon (Optional). If you want to add a bow. Alternatively you might wish to add some extra vinyl in the form of text ‘Bride’ or your wedding date or even an image.
Step one - Applying the Vinyl to the Sides
Before you begin, make sure you have a large area where you can lay out your box completely flat. In the absence of a large enough table I set my box out across the lounge floor. Make sure your box is rotated so that the outer side is facing upwards.
To start you’ll want to apply the vinyl to the two sides, including the side flaps, and then work on the smaller sections later. Roll out your vinyl across the full length of one of the sides (including the flaps on either edge). Leave approximately 1cm excess vinyl overhanging each edge and cut your vinyl off the roll.
Tip: You might find it useful to roll your cut vinyl sheet back on itself to counter the curl it will naturally have after it's been stored on the the roll. This will help it to lay flat and will help you with applying it to your box.
Starting at one edge, begin to peel back away the backing sheet and press the first section of peeled vinyl down onto the cardboard, starting at the edge. Make sure your vinyl is positioned straight as it runs across the whole length of the box and don't forget to leave the 1cm excess overhanging the edge of the box (you'll need this in the next step).
Slowly peel away the backing sheet from under the vinyl. Use your other hand to gently smooth down the vinyl as you go, smoothing out any potential bubbles and making sure there are no crinkles in the vinyl as it sticks down to the cardboard.
If you find there are some crinkles or bubbles, carefully and slowly peel up the vinyl to remove the bubble and reapply it, rubbing along the full length of the vinyl to ensure no additional bubbles are added.
Continue in this way across the whole width of the box until the backing sheet has been completely removed. You then need to flip your box over so that the inner side is facing upwards.
To finish off this section of vinyl you’ll need to trim and fold over the edges so they are neatly hidden on the inside of the box. This will prevent the vinyl from getting caught when you open and close the box.
To do this, I cut small triangles out of each corner section to create flaps which could be folded over. On the curved edges (the top of the box), I cut away the excess vinyl to leave approximately 1cm extra vinyl all the way around the edge. I then made small cuts all the way along this section and folder each of these small sections over one by one.
Repeat the above steps to measure, peel and apply the vinyl on the opposite side of the box.
With the back of the box, you’ll find that the vinyl sheet has covered sections which need to fold. Carefully use the point of your open scissors to trace these bend lines. The vinyl material is very thin so your scissor blade will easily pierce through it to separate these areas. Work slowly but try to do this in one smooth motion to avoid potentially creating jagged edges from multiple cuts.
Tip: It doesn't matter if you have excess vinyl which folds onto the top or bottom of the side sections. This cross over will help to ensure that there is full coverage on these sections when you apply the vinyl there over the top.
Hopefully you now have a box which looks like the below:
Step Two - Applying the Vinyl to the Base
For the base of the box, you'll need to measure a section of your vinyl which is long enough to cover the length plus an extra cm on either end, as before. I'd recommend roughly cutting your section to the right width. Remember that a larger piece is always better than one that is too small!
The width of my vinyl wasn't long enough to cover the length of my box so I cut my vinyl length ways. This meant I had one edge which was perfectly straight (the outer edge of the roll) and the other which was slightly wiggly because I'm not so great at cutting a straight line freehand (even if there is a grid pattern to follow...).
When you apply this section, be sure to line the perfectly straight edge up with one of the edges of the base of your box. Apply the vinyl using the same method as before, peeling the backing sheet away with one hand and using the other to flatten down the vinyl and ensure there are no bubbles or creases. Once you’ve applied this section, you'll potentially have some excess vinyl. Use your scissors to trim away any overhanging parts. You might find folding the box helps you to see where the excess vinyl is and to trim it accordingly.
Step Three - Applying the Vinyl to the Top
For the top of the box, I covered both the outer section and the section where the handle attaches (which is folded beneath) as both were visible when the box was assembled. You’ll need to remove the hand to do this.
The method for applying the vinyl sheet is the same as for the base however this section has a few tricky parts.
For the small holes where the handle pokes through you'll need to cut away the excess vinyl. Unfortunately these holes are too small to enable the vinyl to be neatly folder over. Instead, I used the point of my scissors to score the outlines and cut the excess away, in the same way that I did with the flaps which needed to be folded on the side of the box.
For the larger hole on the outer top portion of the box, I was able to cut the vinyl into small pieces and fold it over using the same method for the curves as with the flaps on the sides.
Hopefully you've now got a fully decorated box which looks something like the images below. I think I'm going to leave my box as it is as the patterned vinyl I chose is already quite loud. If you fancy adding a bit of extra decoration though you could always add some ribbon to hold the box shut or a bow either on the handle or on one of the sides. You could also add some additional vinyl such as an image or some text.
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