From Trash to Treasure

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I love boxes.  I collect boxes of all sorts.  Some of them are pretty vintage trinket boxes, some are carved wood, bone, shell, glass, paper etc.  I love them!  I also like to save and reuse boxes or containers from food, medicine, and packaging from anything.  I have always reused stuff but never really knew how to dress it up and make it look nice.  I have tried a few things in the past but it didn’t really hold up because I didn’t have the right materials so it would stay.  I’ve been learning though.  I recently joined a group on facebook called The Craft Hole  and they have some very talented members!   After seeing some of the stuff they make in that group I was a bit intimidated!  I joined a challenge they had called “Trash to Treasure” and had a great idea for something I wanted to do.  I like all the things I make to be practical and useful.  I had a great idea but I just didn’t know how to get started.  I finally shared my idea with them and some members nudged me in the right direction.  All I really needed was the proper terms to look up on youtube and I found a wealth of great videos and tutorials.  I watched a bunch of videos and got lots of ideas.  I didn’t have the same materials they were using but I got the idea of what they were doing.

Here’s my box.  Both of my teen-aged sons got wallets for Christmas and two of these awesome boxes were going into the trash.  They are covered in some sort of faux leather or something with stitching around the edging.

Dockers wallet box

I really liked how one side was sloped.  I realized it would be perfect for keeping my stitch markers in for crochet/knitting.  I have terrible nails so I keep them cut short and then I have the hardest time picking up the stitch markers.  I could just slide one up the side of this box!  I also have this travel Pepto Bismol To-Go tablet container that I’ve been using to keep my darning needles in.  That was especially handy because it has a child proof cap so if any children are around they can’t get to the needles.  I peeled the label off of that pink plastic tube and just wrapped some pink patterned washi tape around it to make it look nicer.  That container slips perfectly into that little cubbie hole in the box.  It is just snug enough to keep it from falling out.

I wanted to paint the bottom part of the box a light cream color so I had to over up all that orange.  Did I get the job done?  I gesso. har har

IMG_1862[1]

It took a lot of it to hide all of that orange.  Then I mixed up some acrylic paint to paint it a nice vintage shade of cream.  It was kind of funny because it’s been a while since I’ve mixed paint, especially thicker paint like acrylic.  I kinda struggle sometimes with knowing what colors to mix to get what I want but I just glopped out some paint and mixed it all up and it exactly matched the ribbon I bought to put on this box.  I didn’t even have to add a little move of this color…. and that color…. no, a little more yellow….. a little more red….. etc.  It was just perfect, right out of the gate (or tube).

Here you can see some of the goodies I bought to decorate the box.

Supplies

So then I printed up some graphics from a blog I found.

 
If you subscribe to their newsletter they always attach a freebie!  This is the last one and I fell in love with it right away.  I just love these colors.  When I printed the sheet I didn’t have the page orientation set right so it printed small but that was perfect because the images worked great on my box.

Docker box reborn

Here’s where I got stuck and really didn’t know what to do.  I knew I wanted a vintage looking box and some members of the group mentioned above suggested I look on youtube.com for distressing tutorials.  I watched a ton.  Some of them weren’t even in English but I still got the idea.  I don’t really have any one video that helped the most.  I didn’t have the same stuff they used in any of those videos so I just pulled out what I had.  I mixed up some more colors of acrylic paint and did a little dry brushing.  Sometimes I’d take a damp paper towel wipe it off (pretty much like what they were doing with stain in the videos).  I pretty much just played and had fun making my box look old.  I used some scapbooking stickers of coins and stamps and some other paper elements.  I had fun altering the images, which is another thing I learned.  I sanded the edges, tore, wrinkled up and added a little colored chalk.  I even used a little paint on a q-tip to add some shading to the coins.  For some reason, I never thought about making these adjustments to things before.

Finished inside

The little piece of ribbon at the bottom there is for pulling the box open.  The top fits over the bottom section pretty snug.  It was hard to open before I painted.  I used some good quality glue so hopefully it will never come off.

The bottom

I even added my name and the date.  It is a piece of art after all.

I really had fun when I started working on the top.  I had all of these different elements that I wanted to use but didn’t really have a clear idea in mind.  I started fumbling around with the ribbon and finally realized it was just too nice.  I bullied it around a bit until it looked like what I wanted.  I wanted it to have some frayed areas and pulled and distorted the weave of the fabric.  Finally I wrinkled it up and then started shaping it into a base for my centerpiece.  I brushed some decoupage medium over an image to seal it and then added a wooden, laser-cut frame and some butterflies.  I even took one of the images, some the awesome freebie set mentioned above, and layered it over the large butterfly and then just tore the paper along the edge of the butterfly.  I added some decoupage glue and slide the paper to get some wrinkles and I wanted a little bit of the light color of the wooden butterfly to show at the edge.  I really like the way it turned out!

The top

Oh, and I found that shell on the beach at St. George Island in Florida this past summer and I found that button in my mom’s things.  I will always be reminded of some good times whenever I used my *new* box.

My awesome box in use

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One response »

  1. I absolutely love this box Donna! That was a very clever use of the printables, so thanks so much for sharing. I love how you embellished the cover too, you can still see so much of the ‘leather’ and yet it has a dainty, feminine look to it now. Simply gorgeous! Thanks for the shoutout too 🙂

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