The countdown that you all have been waiting for is finally here!  Only 5 days until the latest stamp set debut at Papertrey Ink.  And I am so excited to kick-off this particular countdown!  I have SO many fun things in store for you!  Be sure to check in every day from now until the 15th for new projects!

Today’s project begins with a little stamped patterned paper.  There is just something so satisfying for me about taking an ordinary sheet of cardstock and turning it into a multi-colored masterpiece of pattern with just a little ink and some stamps!  I am always doing polka dots, so I thought today I would go for a fun plaid!

121007_pencil_linesI started by marking my cardstock with pencil in 1.75" increments.

121007_stitched_squareI then took the small stitched square from Borders & Corners Square and turned it at an angle.  By lining up the top and bottom points of the square, one point touching another point, all the way down the pencil lines, I ended up with a beautiful plaid.  Super easy (and somewhat therapeutic too!)

121007_double_squareI knew I wanted to add a little more detail, so I used the large triple solid border with rust ink to outline a few of the stitched squares.  I love the contrast it created!  I then erased all my pencil marks.

121007_box_templateI created this paper to be used for a special box I designed, inspired by my friend Mish and her Criss-Cross Cards. It is a super easy box to make, and it requires only one sheet of cardstock.  This is what your 8.5×11 sheet will look like after you have completed your scoring and trimming. I have created a template for you to download so you can create your very own Criss-Cross Boxes!  Here is a template for my Criss-Cross Box! 

Download crisscross_box_template.pdf

121007_first_foldTo begin assembling, you adhere the small side tabs to the long side tabs.

121007_second_foldThen you can flip the whole front portion back.

121007_third_foldFor your third step, you want to adhere the remaining sides to the first side tabs.

121007_fourth_foldFinally, you just need to adhere your criss-cross tabs in place.  First the right.

121007_finished_flap_boxAnd then the left. Viola!  An easy Criss-Cross Box!

121007_nuts_for_you_bandThe box needed a little something, so I decided to create a band for it.  Out came one of our upcoming new releases, a very un-traditional Valentine’s Day set!  And what could be more unique than heart shaped acorns and the sentiment "Nuts for you", (courtesy of "askagain" of SCS, winner #1 for our Punny Valentine contest!  I will be announcing the rest throughout the week.  The winners each receive a PT gift certificate!)  I love, LOVE, love the font for this particular set.  It translates so well into a stamp and has such a nice crispness to it. 

121007_finished_box_with_bandI added a scalloped edge to the band and adhered it to my box.

121007_nut_bag_in_boxNow that I had a box, I needed something to put inside of it.  What could be more appropriate than nuts?  I found that these clear bags were the perfect fit for this particular box.  I used the SU! tab punch as a fun closure for the bag, attaching it in place securely with a staple.

121007_nut_bag_aloneOn the front of the bag I added a little tag featuring one of the stars of the show for our new set, a perfectly perfect, modernized squirrel.  Isn’t he the cutest!  I just love the little guy!

121007_nuts_for_you_ensembleHere are both elements side-by-side.  This would be such a cute project for the boys/men in your life for Valentine’s Day!  It isn’t too girly or frilly, making it the perfect match!  You could even include chocolate covered nuts for a sweeter approach!

Many of you probably remember the Papertrey Apprentice contest that we held during our last release party.  This time we are doing something a bit different. 

I’m calling it the Papertrey Puzzler!

Here is how it is going to work.  Each day there will be a question asked at the end of my posts.  Research on our website and/or my blog to find the appropriate answer.  All answers will be numerical.  The final question will be asked at our release party on 12/14 at our Splitcoaststampers Forum.  Once you have the answer for that night, you will have a total of FIVE answers/numbers.  There will be a blog post begun here, the night of the 14th, entitled "Papertrey Puzzler".  In the body of the post, I will provide an equation.  It will read something like this:

example only (Day 5) – (Day 3) + (Day 2) x (Day 1) – (Day 4)=____

The first person to upload a comment containing the correct answer to the equation WINS the complete collection of our January release stamp sets!  They will receive their prize within a day or two of the January 15th release, making them one of the very FIRST people to get them!  Here is today’s question:

DAY 5: How many dies are there TOTAL in Papertrey’s Nestabilities Complete Collection?

Supplies for today’s project:

INK- Cognac & Burnt Umber Palette Ink Pads, Brushed Corduroy Distress Ink from Ranger


STAMPS- Papertrey Ink

OTHER- gingham ribbon from American Crafts, scalloped scissors from Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby), tab punch from SU!, clear bag from

Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

More posts by Nichole Heady

Join the discussion 80 Comments

  • 1
    Anonymous says:

    Nichole… Your criss-cross box is so clever and cute. Hats off to Mish for the inspiration! Can’t wait to see more. I’ll have to sharpen up my math skills for sure!

  • 2
    Jewels says:

    Oh How lovely is that made from scratch pattern paper. I love how you did that. I also have my m/c ready for the new set. That little squirrel drives me nutty!! I love the countdown and I am so glad its here. Can’t wait to see more!! WTG Nicole!!

  • 3
    Katie says:

    Wow! I was wondering how you were going to do punny Valentine’s Day stamps, and you do not disappoint! I sure wish my husband’s birthday wasn’t Friday night!!! With me being in the Mountain Time Zone, I’ll probably still be at the movies at 10. Bummer!!!

  • 4
    Nancy says:

    This looks like it will be a really cute set! I can’t wait to see more πŸ™‚

  • 5
    Beth says:

    I adore anything with squirrels and/or acorns! You made my night! The project is wonderful! I love the clever box design. I am totally bummed that I have to work 7pm-1am Friday night at our local ER so no contest for me. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that those sweet squirrels are still there for me a 1:30 am Central Time!

  • 6
    Karen says:

    I love what you have so far…this is soooo cute..also looking forward to what’s coming up. I’m already having fun playing the Papertrey treasure hunt. thank you!

  • 7
    Sue B says:

    You are amazing. Love the box (thank you for the template) and sneek peek of the new set. The squirrel is adorable.

  • 8
    MonicaB says:

    Super cool project and the stamps you used are adorable!! TFS

  • 9
    Heather J says:

    uh oh – another month of not saving $$$! I love the box as well, I’ll have to give it a try!

  • 10
    Lisa M says:

    DAY 5: How many dies are there TOTAL in Papertrey’s Nestabilities Complete Collection?

    Here’s my answer…. 92 dies (48 solid + 44 scalloped).

  • 11
    Judy Tuttle says:

    Very cute box! I love it! And as a math teacher I LOVE your new PUZZLE GAME! Can’t wait to get started!

  • 12

    What an awesome project. Love it!

  • 13
    Tessa says:

    This is just adorable!!! What a cute idea. I am so excited about this contest only I’m going to have to work really hard cause EEEK it’s Math related! I teach Kindergarten for a reason ya know!

  • 14
    Kelsey Forester says:

    Love the squirrel! I’ll reach my 12 sets in no time now! πŸ™‚
    Have a great day!

  • 15
    Aimee says:

    92 total dies in all

  • 16

    Oh my gosh! I love that little squirrel and the sentiment is PERFECT! Thanks for making something that is great for the guys too! πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to see more!!!

  • 17
    Becky says:

    So beautiful! I love how the bottom of the acorn resembles the ladybug body from little lady. SO nice. It is perfect. like always.

  • 18
    Julie Masse says:

    What a great project Nicole! That box is super cute and I LOVE the squirrel – how great!! Can’t wait to see the rest!

  • 19

    92 Dies… Gorgeous Project!

  • 20
    Michelle Wooderson says:

    Ohhhhhhhhh, you are SO good Nichole! Thank you for mentioning me today, how sweet! I’m glad I inspired you. The little squirrel and nuts saying are so cute. A must have I’m certain!

  • 21
    Ayesha Ekanayake says:

    Hey Nicole, as always.. the stamps and the project looks great !. The answer to your Day 1 question is 92 dies (48 solid + 44 scalloped)!

  • 22
    DeniseLynn says:

    Love the project today. I know the answer to today’s question but I am thinking that we are not to answer them aloud each day but to keep track of our answers then be the first to answer after all 5 days are done and all questions asked. is that right?

  • 23
    Otter says:

    That Mishy is something isn’t she!! Cute concept from the criss cross card!!! Thanks for the download also!! You are sooooo generous!!

  • 24
    Carolyn King says:

    What a wonderful project. Love that squirrel! and LOVE your puzzle game—how fun!
    Clever, clever!

  • 25
    Leslie Elvert says:

    What great not-so-girly images, love them! Thanks for sharing the box pattern. Can’t wait to see more!

  • 26
    Bee says:

    I just LOVE that little squirrel, he’s so cute. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this Valentines’day set! πŸ™‚
    I just ordered my 1st ever stamps from Papertrey (monograms and borders)and I can’t wait!!! πŸ˜›

  • 27
    Jana says:


    Beautiful project Nichole. I love that box.

  • 28
    Crystal LaDoux says:

    My answer to the question is 92 dies.


  • 29
    Beth M says:

    Wow, I am NUTS about this creation! I love the handmade patterned paper, the box, the little band and the squirrel on the pack of nuts with the cute little tab punch – amazing!

    But I don’t want to place an order for the stamp set as much as I’d like to place an order for your finished little creation!

    Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

  • 30
    Ida says:

    Just adorable! What a great squirrel and I love that criss cross box.

  • 31

    OH my gosh ok so I asked hubby for X-mas for a gift cert. for your store cause I have a lil list (ok maybe not so lil) for some of your stuff and I am drooling at this already.. Ok I’m going to try to play.. I am so bad at math.. OH man! lollol!! but for today I think I am safe! lol cause I’ve been trying to answer this question for myself since I want all the Nestabilities! lol so I say 92 πŸ™‚

  • 32
    Kris Tolman says:

    I Love how you did your patterned paper! Never would have thought of that…Cute project and cute idea for a valentines day treat! I am getting so excited for the release. How many sets are going to be released this month?

  • 33
    Kerry Fitzpatrick says:

    Thank you for all the clear and easy to follow directions to your adorable projects. I did the Snowman Soup and sent it to my friends in New England and they all called raving about how cute it was…you made me a STAR!!!!
    Thank you bunches…from Oklahoma

  • 34
    Pat Bustin says:

    Nicole, I love the project. VERY cute. I have a question about the Papertrey Puzzler. Will the equation that you will divulge at the release party follow the Mathematical Order of Operations? Or, Do we just caculate from left to right? (I’m a Math teacher) Thanks!

  • 35
    Geny says:

    Such a cute preview of what I am sure is a wonderful set! My hubby would love this little gift! Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 36

    Love the puzzler Nichole! Great idea. πŸ˜‰

    This sneak peak is super cute…love that box.

    Again with the Nestabilities! lol (I already showed them to DH.)

  • 37
    Juanita says:

    Wonderful project, thanks for the template.
    As always I’m psyched for the release!! My answer for today’s question is 92 total. TFS.

  • 38
    Lan says:

    Everything you make is so darn cute!

  • 39

    Nichole…..Such cute images and I love that font too!! can’t wait to see more, Girly!

  • 40
    Melanie W says:

    There are 92 dies (48 solid and 44 scalloped)

  • 41
    Melanie W says:

    There are 92 dies (48 solid and 44 scalloped)

  • 42
    Jennifer says:

    Another amazing and gorgeous project Nichole. LOVE the NEW set and the creative game to go with it.

    See you on the 14th,
    Jennifer πŸ™‚

  • 43

    OMW! That squirrel is just so flippin cute. WOW you even do perfect animals!
    I love it. I also love how you made your paper-genius! Cannot wait to see what else is in store for thr release πŸ˜€

  • 44

    You never cease to amaze me! Your projects are always fantastic, and you’re so kind to share the templates with us! Love the new images — they’re so much fun! Can’t wait to see the rest! πŸ™‚

  • 45

    Oh wow!
    This is so cute! Yes, this would be great for boys/men in my life!
    I think I am going to love the Punny Valentine phrases!

  • 46
    Carol Lee says:

    what a cute stamp set this is going to be!!! I love the criss-cross box you created with it! Ya know what? I’m nuts about you and this blog! LOL TFS πŸ™‚

  • 47
  • 48

    Hi Nichole,
    I think also 92 dies.
    44 scalloped plus 48 solid = 92 dies total.

    Best wishes Susanne

  • 49
    Shari says:

    This box is sooo cute!!! I can’t wait to see the new stamps this weekend!! Thank you for sharing your template for this box!

  • 50
    Granna on the Go says:

    Nichole, love that squirrel. Your box is terrific! Thank you for the template and exhilarating creativity.

  • 51
    Beth Silaika says:

    WELL, I see we are both in {heart} with Miss MISH!


  • 52
    Gwen says:

    Such a cute project with nuts! If I made these, there wouldn’t be any nuts left. LOL I love these countdowns with your fabulous creations showing what you can do! Thanks for the inspiration and sharing your creativity and imagination!

  • 53
    tammy b says:

    so how does one find/enter your forum at SCS? every time i click a link to it, i get a ‘you’re not allowed here’ type message. thanks!

  • 54
    Linsey says:

    oh boy-oh boy-oh boy! How fun and exciting!! The project for today is AWEsome…adore those stamps! Your Papertrey puzzler game sounds super fun! Can’t wait till the 14th!

  • 55
    Kar says:

    love it!! But then again I love all your creations!

  • 56
    Denise M. says:

    total of 92…saving my pennies for them too!

  • 57
    donna calamari says:

    You are so awesome!! I read your blog regarding idea theft and it must be hard for you to share your unique and fabulous ideas knowing that people do not respect your ownership of those ideas. We appreciate all the great ideas you give us. I count 92 dies.

  • 58
    Jennifer S says:

    what a great stamp set! and we have to wait HOW LONG until it comes out?!?! πŸ™‚ I think the little packet is just the cutest idea, and the way you stamped it is precious!!

    My oldest son may be 17, but he is ‘nuts’ over squirrels. So this set will be a definite for me!

  • 59
    Kim Lemear says:

    Nicole, I love the squirrel. My brother in law took up photography about a year ago, and takes alot of nature shots. For some reason her seems to be obsessed with squirrel photos. When my 3 year old sees a squirrel she says “There is uncle mark’s squirrel.” Have a feeling I will be needing this set. Kim

  • 60
    Colleen Kramer says:

    So very cool! Your style is so unique. And being the math teacher I am…I LOVE the idea of bringing in a little Algebra into your blog. Made my day!

  • 61
    Elaine says:

    This is so cute. You’ve inspired me to take a blank sheet of paper and make my own pattern! Love the tab at the top of the package. And the package fits into the box perfectly.

  • 62
    lindsey says:

    I love the precision in each of your projects. Each time I look at what you start with it looks like nothing much and transforms into something wonderful!

  • 63
    Victoria Copper says:

    There are 92 dies in the complete Nestabilities Die set.

    Entire Nestabilities Square Collection: 26
    Entire Nestabilities Rectangle Collection: 20
    Entire Nestabilities Circle Collection: 26
    Entire Nestabilities Oval Collection: 20


    I just ordered some stamps for you and I cannot wait to receive them. I love the ideas that you post and how original and creative that they are. I especially thank you for always posting your patterns that you use to make the different items. I cannot wait to see all of the new arrivals!

  • 64
    Melissa says:

    How did you get those square borders to stay square when you pulled them off the sheet and put them on the block?? I keep getting lopsided squares, so I just use the circle borders…

    Cute squirrel! Looking forward to the next great sets.

  • 65
    cassandra says:

    I love that saying! Great project!

  • 66
    Mary Lane says:

    This is too beautiful. I want to use it for cute little Valentine’s day surprises. Yumm!

  • 67
    Marie says:

    I can’t believe I’d ever betray my beloved Stampin Up, but this is the most darling set I’ve ever seen in my life! The box is too cute, too, and I’m head over heels for this little squirrel and acorn. Oh my goodness! I love the font, the shapes, and love the colors you chose. Absolutely fabulous!

  • 68
  • 69
    patti moffett says:

    Hello nichole
    I almost hesitate to write however I feel I must apoligize for my frustrated, cranky email of last week. I was trying to leave a comment and couldn’t get through the anti robot checks. Anyway I still can’t seem to get through but keep returning to your website and finding new and wonderful stamps and ideas.
    Although I am not in a position to purchase any right now I really do enjoy the images and the creative ideas you showcase them with.
    So I do hope you will forgive a “cranky” yet appreciative fan…
    Also, wanted to let you know yours is the most referred to site on other blogs I visit. So in spite of the anti robot issue you must be doing something very special
    patti moffett

  • 70
    Rachel Taasaas says:

    Thank you so much for posting the criss cross box tutorial, I’ve seen it all over SCS and I can’t wait to make my own now! Thanks! The answer to your math problem is 0.

  • 71
    Stephanie says:

    I loved your little crisscross box soo much – that I just HAD to make one of my own!

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 72
    scrapnhi says:

    Where might I find a templet for a cupcake box?

  • 73
    Julie Mutch says:

    Hi Nichole,

    I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for sharing the template for your cute little Criss-Cross Gift Box. I made one like your’s and then I altered it to make it much larger to accommodate a gift set for a teacher’s gift. Here’s a link to the ones that I made.

    Thanks again for sharing all your amazing work! I love to stop by to see what you’re up to. Keep up the great work! πŸ™‚

  • 74
    linda says:

    ive tried several times to download your criss cross box and it wont allow me to?? can you tell what im doing wrong???

  • 75

    This should be FUN for a gathering idea….thanks!

  • 76
    ginger says:

    How clever you got this tutorial just right (love it!) great job my friend!
    hugs ginger

  • 77
    Maria says:

    For en helt nydelig boks, Γ₯ sΓ₯ kjempekult mΓΈnster. Skal ABSOLUTT prΓΈve dette selv ogsΓ₯, kanskje jeg finner pΓ₯ noe kult:)
    Takk for inspirasjonen:)

  • 78
    Alex says:

    Love this cute box filled with a packet of nuts πŸ™‚ Super cute.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Alex from England x

  • 79
    Buy Viagra says:

    I have testing to create unusual things, Some people think that is so difficult to get that ability and in the future I’m sure I could make some patterns like those.

  • 80
    Kim Score says:

    Awesome project! this will be on my inspiration blog post. thank you for sharing

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