If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a reusable tissue box to match your room then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.
This episode is subtitled: ‘Ground, please swallow me up…’
‘That’s great, Sandra. Well done,’ said Kim, congratulating the manager of the chemist for getting her head office on board with our protest.
Meanwhile, Jaz had her head in a flower arrangement she was making and there was a faint rhythmic murmuring coming from her direction, ‘Yaaay to independents. Nooo to multinationals. Yaaay to independents…’ I don’t think she was conscious she was doing it.
She didn’t want the Skolkensson supermarket to open up opposite us any more than we did and it seemed we’d managed to convince everyone except Old George to join the campaign.
Sandra looked pleased with herself. ‘Roland – who’s none other than the assistant to the deputy chief executive of the whole company – was very impressed I’d rung to explain the situation to him. He’s even coming down for the public meeting this evening. Naturally he wants to meet with me first but I’m sure our conference will be over in time.’ She was giddy with her achievements and bustled out of the shop to prepare for her meeting, shouting over her shoulder, ‘See you at seven!’
As the trading day came to an end I looked up from my paper work and saw that the sun had disappeared and the sky looked heavy. ‘I might just get Blue walked and dropped off at home before the rain sets in. See you back here at quarter to seven.’
‘Could you make it twenty-to?’ asked Kim, ‘I’d like us to get a seat at the front.’
‘Okay, see you later,’ I called and Blue and I stepped outside.
It was less than five minutes before the heavens opened but Blue was happy to be outside and even happier when we reached a footpath and I could take off his lead. He scampered around in the undergrowth, chasing goodness knows what, getting more and more wet in the luscious spring growth.
Then he emerged with something in his mouth. ‘Blue,’ I said in a tone that meant put that down you don’t know where it’s been. But when I saw that it was a wallet I let him bring it to me. It was stuffed full of money and bank cards. Oh dear, Mr David Jones was probably very worried about where it was. I checked my watch – just time to take it to the police station if I cut blue’s walk short. So off we trotted.
There was a queue when we got there so we sat and waited. I’d tucked Blue under the seat and hoped he wouldn’t make a sound because I was sure this was one of those places that dogs weren’t really allowed.
I kept looking at my watch. I even tried to jump in and just hand it over but the desk sergeant was having none of it and asked me to wait my turn. And then Kim rang to find out where I was. ‘You’re never going to make it back in time! I’ll come and pick you up.’
I’d just finished filling in the form – name, address, item, where found etc etc when Kim arrived. ‘Blimey what happened to you?’ she said looking at my bedraggled hair. She had changed into a fresh summer dress and was wearing sunglasses. Evidently it had stopped raining.
We did a quick stop at my house to drop Blue off – no time to towel either of us down – and headed back towards Linnet Row for the meeting. It was a good turn out but people had shied away from the front row so Kim headed straight there for the prime spot she’d wanted. I duly followed, embarrassed by my dishevelled appearance. We were just in time to see the local councillor from the planning committee stand up and invite the representative from Skolkensson to say a few words.
Kim jabbed me in the ribs, nodded her head towards the councillor and whispered, ‘That’s thingy from school, isn’t it?’
I slid down in my seat as if I had somewhere to hide, but I hadn’t. ‘Yes,’ I croaked, ‘That’s Shaun McArthur.’ ◊
How to Make a Reusable Tissue Box to Match Your Room
I go through lots of tissues every day. Usually it’s due to a runny nose but that night at the planning meeting I just wanted to cry. I buy inexpensive ones from a discount shop and the quality is fine but I can’t always get the colour of box I want so I thought I’d make my own (obviously!).
I know this is a new box so not, technically, salvaged yet. But it will get used time and time again. I thought it would be easier to paint if it was still sealed but after making two others from used boxes I found it didn’t really make any difference.
Start by choosing the colour you’d like it to be. I used acrylic paint but I’m sure left over emulsion paint from your room would work well.
I opened up one end. This will be the end used to insert the new wad of tissues. It’s easier to get the paint and varnish on these surfaces if you open it up at the start. Just cut away any excess debris that gets stuck from the other side.
It’s then easy to paint and varnish. You can see from the photograph below that one coat isn’t quite enough. I did a couple of thin layers of paint then used Mod Podge with a gloss finish. Each of the coats dries in minutes so it’s quite a quick process.
I used a craft knife to cut away the top but next time I’d carefully tear if off before I paint because the paint just re-strengthens the perforations. I didn’t bother varnishing the top I was going to discard. You may just be able to see the difference the varnish makes – from chalky to shiny.
I had some curtain material left so I chose that for the design on this box. It looks abstract when cut into circles but when it’s whole, it is a lovely magnolia design. I used my milk top template for the circles but you can do whatever design you like. The photograph also includes a circle with a press-stud. This was my first elaborate attempt at making a fastener for the box but it wasn’t great.
The shapes were glued on and varnished over with the Mod Podge to stop them from fraying. This is also useful because there’s no need to worry if you get glue on the right side of the fabric.
Here’s attempt number 2 for the fastening. I used Velcro which should have been okay but it didn’t stay attached to the cardboard for me. Ho hum.
So for all three boxes, I resorted to my old faithful magnets. I glued them with my glue gun and covered the evidence with fabric.
What a dream those magnets are.
Here is a shot of all three boxes showing the end that’s fastened by the magnet. Not bad, eh?
Now, when I finish the the tissues I just have to open up the end of a new box, remove the wad of tissues and insert it into my fancy box via the end with the magnet fastening.
- Use your imagination – you don’t have to decorate with fabric.
- The magnets are strong so I chose to have at least one layer of the box between the metal discs. This reduces the chance of them being pulled off the cardboard when you’re opening it.
- Tissue box
- Fabric scraps
How will you decorate yours?
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