Altering boxes is great fun but quite time-consuming. The box I want to show you today - along with a veeeery long and detailed how to - took two days in its making due to a lot of drying time inbetween the single steps. (I often work on another project simultaneously with which I can proceed while my other project dries).
I combined Steampunk with a slight touch of "lady-like" and some script stamping, as this box is meant to keep letters. Here comes the How-To and the materials list:
Materials I used were:
- a box to alter
- black, white and beige manila cardstock
- two pins or short nails
- DecoArt Traditions Acrylic paints "Raw Umber", "Transparent Red Iron Oxide", "Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide", "Burnt Siena"
- DecoArt Texture Medium
- DecoArt "Weathered Wood" Crackle Medium
- DecoArt Metallic Lustre "Black Shimmer", "Gold Rush" and "Copper Kettle"
- Sizzix dies for the book plate and the flourish (you can of course also die cut your gears yourself using the TimHoltz Sizzix dies for example)
- Chipboard gears
- Stamps from flonzcraft and Marianne Design
- self adhesive half pearls
- a bristle brush, a palette, scissors, ruler, pencil, a stencil (I used one with cogs and gears), an embossing folder and a Sizzix or similar, glue, some ribbon, archival stamping ink "sepia", crackle medium (Distress clear rock candy crackle paint)
And here we go:
1. Glue some gears and the half pearls to the box.
2. Give the box two layers of DecoArt Traditions "Raw Umber" acrylic paint. Try to stipple the colour onto the surface instead of brushing to avoid strokes that will be visible after the dry brushing that is to follow a bit later. Let dry.
Your box should look like this now:
3. Using a stencil, a bristle brush and DecoArt Texture Medium, apply some gears and cogs to a corner of your box. Let dry.
Cover this area with Raw Umber acrylic paint after the medium has dried. (You could of course have done this step before giving the whole box the two coats with paint, but I changed my mind a bit late, so I did it this way round ;).
4. Apply DecoArt "Weathered Wood" Crackle Medium to some other areas of your box and let dry. (these are the shiny areas on the lid of the box):
5. Apply an acrylic colour of your liking onto these areas and let it crackle (which happens by itself while the colour dries). I used DecoArt Traditions "Quinacridone Gold" mixed with some "Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide"). Water the colour down around the edges of the painted areas to get a soft transition to the base colour of your box. You can also take off too much paint with a soft cloth if necessary.
Dry brush some other areas with DecoArt Traditions "Red Iron Oxide" and "Burnt Siena" until you have the desired look. I recommend trying one of Andy Skinner's Timeworn techniques for an aged and rusty look.
The dry brushing highlights the raised areas of the glued on and stenciled cogs and gears and makes them more visible.
6. Stamp your central image onto a piece of manila card and let dry. In the meantime die cut the book plate from heavy black card. Then glue the book plate onto the manila card, having your stamped image in the centre and rub some DecoArt "Metallic Lustre" onto the frame.
Give the image a coat of Distress clear rock candy crackle paint and let dry. Rub in some watered down acrylic paint or Distress ink and wipe off the excess.
7. Stamp some images of your choice onto some beige manila cardstock, cut out, distress and blend the edges of your ephemera with Distress inks of your choice. I used "rusty hinge" and "vintage photo". Die cut some flourishes or other embellishments for your lid's design from heavy black card and rub on some DecoArt "Metallic Lustre".
Collage all of your desired parts to the lid of your box. Fix the book plate with two large pins (I used pins which are normally used for upholstering. If your pins are too long, cut off the ends from underneath using cutting pliers).
My letter box looked like this after I had a long time playing around with all my elements I wanted to use:
To add some more depth I partially stamped a script stamp onto the lid, heat embossing some of it using Ranger "copper" and "walnut stain" embossing powder. The light script was stamped using beige chalk ink.
8. For the sides of your box cut for strips of black card. Measure the length and height about three to four millimetres smaller than the sides of your box are.
10. Dry brush the strips in three steps, from darkest to lightest colour. I used some warm Earth tone DecoArt Traditions colour tones for this as I wanted to achieve a rusty look.
11. Glue them to the four sides of your box after they have dried. Then finish your box with a rub of DecoArt "Metallic Lustre" "Copper Kettle" around all the edges of your box. This will build a kind of "frame" around your embossed and dry brushed strips of card and look more interesting than leaving all the edges just "dark".
You're done! Well, almost...*lol.
12. The inside of your box may need some treatment too. I covered the lid's inside with a piece of paper from a Tim Holtz paper stash and painted the inside of the box using DecoArt Traditions "Transparent Red Iron Oxide", but you can design your insides any way you like of course. :)
But NOW you are really done! ;)
I hope you have enjoyed this how to and will make your own altered box soon! Have fun and thank you so much for reading this far!
I enter SimonSaysStamp's "Pin it" challenge with this box, as I have used two upholstering pins for fixing the book plate.
I also enter SimonSaysStampandShow's "A little Stamping" challenge with it, as I only did a little stamping but a lot more of painting on this project.
Then I enter "Anything But A Card's "Steampunk" Challenge (of course ;), Fashionable Stamping Challenges "Mail Time" challenge and The Artistic Stamper's "Ladies Day" challenge with it, as I have used some lovely ladies' images on my box.
I hope you like it, leave you with some close-ups and wish you all a happy time crafting! (Please, click on images to enlarge).
die amelie x
More Mixed Media and Altered Art Tutorials from some very talented fellow crafters and artists can be found over here.