Some people have asked me how I make my boxes, and others have asked for a tutorial in the past few years, so I decided it was time. These boxes are really not hard to do at all, and when I break down the steps, you'll see just what I mean. The type of box I'm showing you is all collage--no painting involved, just some Faber-Castell pitt pens later for some added color.
So to start with--a box
I found this particular one at Michael's--you'll find these craft wooden boxes at any craft store. I also like to alter wood cigar boxes that I buy at my local tobacco store for a great price, and don't forget about garage sales too!--you can alter any box out there.
So next was the kind of paper that I wanted to use, and we'll call this part 3 of using my painted papers--because I have lots and lots of scraps of these laying around (literally)
When I know what color theme my box will be is when I choose the paint for the inside and bottom of it.
This time I went for a metallic paint--Metallic Bronze by Lumiere --I painted the inside lid to show you, but usually I don't, because I always collage something on it (which I did this time too), but you can always just paint it. I'll show you later what I did.
Next I just started cutting out my papers and piecing them on the box--like a mosaic to get some kind of pattern--but really, it's very random--just cut papers and start collaging--
So this was my first layer, but I never stop at one----but you could--no right or wrong--just your preference. What I use to adhere the papers is Liquitex matte gel medium. I found that the gel medium leaves less bubbles than Mod Podge or Matte medium for that matter. And the best tip I can say after you put each paper on and they're still wet is to use a brayer or old credit card to get the extra gel out, (kind of like applying wallpaper) and any little bubbles that may be in there. As far as the gel medium--it can be any brand--I personally like the Liquitex brand. And definitely coat the top of the papers with the gel medium too--it seals in the papers and coats them so you can add anything else on top of them (like paint, markers, etc), but won't soak in, in case you make a mistake and want to fix it--the paint or whatever you may be using will come right back off again (if you're not happy with it) until it dries. Just make sure before you do anything else with the box, that it's completely dry--usually an hour or so--or you can use a heat gun.
For my next layer, I got out some paper punches, and just little bits of paper, and very organically started adding them to the box--
...found a great butterfly from K & Co.--perfect for the top of the box
...and a peek at the back of the box--
The first layer on the back here were just strips of paper, and then I added the heart punch-out and more thin strips and some random scraps.
And yes, I added another layer--this time with Golden Light Molding Paste--one of my favorite techniques, and very popular these days with the all of the stencil rage going on.
You just take a palette knife and scrape the paste over the stencil and gently lift it up--it takes a while to dry--after a couple of hours it will be dry to the touch, but I like to usually wait overnight before I continue with it--except I did this type of stenciling on all 4 sides--just had to wait an hour or so between each side to make sure that the paste had set up before I went on. And as you can see, I don't clean my stencils, except when it comes to the modeling paste--it will ruin your stencil if you don't clean it immediately after using it this way.
Okay so what I did while I was waiting for all of this to dry was decide what type of feet I wanted to put on my box. I always feel that a box isn't complete without feet. I'm always trying to come up with different items to use as feet for my boxes, but this time I just used some craft wooden balls that you can find again at any craft store.
I decided on the Lumiere paint again--Metallic Olive Green, and I also went into my ABUNDANCE of old hardware that I have and painted that too--it will serve as my 'handle' for the box lid. I found that you can paint anything with any type of paint as long as you spray some kind of sealer over it when you're finished.
So now let me show you the finished box with the finishing touches--
Faber-Castell pitt pens (the big brush ones) and added bits of color, added some stamping, and of course--embellishments. The modeling paste flowers that I made I just colored in with the pitt pens. I love these pens so much--I'd call them markers actually. They're india ink (in every color of the rainbow and then some) and when you first apply them, you have a little bit of working time--you can 'paint' with them with a wet brush or smudge them with your finger--but they dry permanent, and the colors are very vibrant. I outlined the collaged papers with my favorite permanent pen from Christy Tomlinson's Scarlet Lime shop. It really defines everything and makes it pop.
And oh yeah, I went back and finished up the inside lid too--
A couple of more things I want to add--I attach the feet with wood screws and then paint over the screw heads on the inside of the box with the coordinating paint ( the bronze), and I always seal my boxes with a gloss varnish--you could use satin or matte. The gloss is my preference--it seems to bring out the colors even more. And if you don't know by now--I LOVE color!
So I hope I covered everything--but if you have any questions--just leave a comment or email me--my email is at the top of my side bar.
Needless to say--these boxes are very fun to make--start small and just play!!