Friday, January 24, 2014

A New Tutorial--An Altered Box

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--

  I  took  my  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!!

20 comments:

LoveVN said...

Изумительная фантазия! Красивая шкатулка!!! :-)))

Janie Husband said...

Love it soooo....

scrapwordsmom said...

Oh my gosh I LOVE this and am sooo inspired. I have two of these and knew I wanted to do something with them but had no idea. Thanks for sharing your process!!

Keith@ Vintage Crab Jewelry said...

This is a great tutorial and an absolutely gorgeous box! I love all the color and attention to detail.

clare said...

Fabulous project.

Heather B. said...

I love this! I so want to create one too. Better get working on increasing my gelli plate scap pile :)

Kia said...

This is beautiful. Love the variety and colours. What brand of sealer do you use?

Diane said...

Kia asked what brand sealer I use--it's Minwax clear gloss. It's a polycrylic sealer for easy clean up with soap and water--I love it!

Ophelia said...

Diane!!
This is just so amazing!! Oh how I loved watching it transform! Your pile of painted papers is eye candy in itself!! Love what you have created here. LOVE!!

Sue J said...

Thanks for sharing, Diane. Your boxes are always beautiful :)

Robin Johnson said...

So inspirational! Love it! TFS!

MeOfCourse said...

Thank you Diane for the tutorial. I'll definitely refer back to it when I start on a box. I have plenty of these type of boxes and cigar boxes but haven't done anything with them. Lovely box!

Bren Graham Thebeau said...

Brilliant! Thanks for sharing, appreciate all the little tips along the way.

CrimsonLeaves said...

Another beautiful piece!! I love the metallic green handle and feet too.

Kathy said...

Diane, you always make it look so easy. Thank you for the inspiration!

laurel said...

Beautiful!!

Lillian Connelly said...

I really enjoyed watching the transformation that occurred with each step. It's 11:03 pm where I am and all I want to do is run and get a box so I can try it!

tallulah1 said...

Loving it.... so inspiring, think I will look thru my bag of boxes - lol! Thanks so much for sharing.

MrsHalfpint said...

I am so intrigued with your beautiful boxes! I have made lots of cigar box purses, but now I want to try my hand at doing something like this. Thanks for the tutorial and all the tips - that helps tremendously. I love the intense, bright colors. I remember you said you use the Faber Castell Pitt Pens (I think?). But, I thought they were all black. I didn't know they made any with such bright beautiful colors? Where is the best place to buy them without spending lots of money? Or, if I'm wrong about wheat you used, please let me know. I love the flower that you did with the Liquitex and then colored it! I'm in awe of your boxes! Please show more sometime when you feel like it! Awesome job! Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful! Can you tell me where I purchase the beautiful paper to start this project thanks

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