We all love to make stuff but is that always the best option? That's what build or buy is all about! Is it better to build or buy a Christmas eve box? I look at the cost and time involved and share a way you can decorate them.
Lets quickly compare the costs involved with building vs buying.
The cost of the wood to make the box will be a big variant. You could use free wood people giveaway as fire wood or you could go to town and use expensive exotic hardwoods
so I'll leave this blank. Small hinges are quite hard for me to find in my local hardware stores so online was my best bet and prices really do vary. Buying in bulk could bring the cost down to £0.20 a pair but if you're just making the one box then they're £1.99 including delivery. Very similar situation for the catch too. Buying in bulk helps to bring the cost down but individually you're looking at £1.99 including delivery. The finish you choose can vary quite a lot but I use a spray lacquer which costs me £14 including delivery. I can spray 4 boxes for that price so that's a cost of £3.50 per box. So the running total not including wood is £4.20 if you're making multiples. Of course you are looking at a good few hours of work to make the box too.
Now looking at the buy option, the box I bought was £5.24 including prime delivery from Amazon. It measures 20cm x 14cm x 8cm. Buy it here: https://amzn.to/2AhsFsL
Of course its unfinished so we have the same finishing costs but we don't have any where near
the same amount of working time invested. Yes the box isnt the best quality, its not going
to last generations but I think it's more than good enough for a simple Christmas Eve Box.
The box is a little rough and ready so spend a couple of minutes sanding the edges and make it smooth to the touch. There are many different options to decorate it. I decided to burn a design onto it. I printed a design to act a as guide. I left a blank space so I can add a name later
Now I'm using the iron transfer technique because I have a laser printer but you can always just trace if you wish to follow a design. The toner from a laser printer can be transferred from the paper to wood when heat is applied.
The wood burner I have is basically a soldering iron, they're really cheap but not great. They get the job done though. Here is one on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2OWe637
This is really to just give you an idea of what can be done in terms of decorating the box.
Use paint, marker pens, ribbon, glitter etc. You can really go town and decorate it how ever you like. Get the kids involved too! The box is a blank canvas.