Lux Little Boxes (Part 1)

Confession time. I am obsessed with tiny boxes. Like I have more boxes than things to put in them. But I don’t let that imbalance stop me from holding on to every one that comes my way. Size-wise, I like the smallest chocolate samplers or the boxes that some jewelry comes in. Preferably the lid comes all the way off (as opposed to engagement-ring-style hinged boxes) and preferably I can decorate them. The decorating part is especially important, because I’m starting a series on making little boxes look lux!

We’re going to start with an easy decoupage tutorial, so you’ll have a lovely box like the one below, for stashing jewelry or other treasures!Image

If you want to make something pretty and functional like the beauty above, you’ll need a few simple supplies.

  1. A small box. The one I used is a chocolate box, approximately 3.5″ x 2.5″ x 1″, but you can use whatever you have on hand
  2. A magazine or other source of images. I like magazines ’cause the ink tends not to smear, unlike newsprint or printed pictures
  3. ModPodge or similar product. Choose whichever finish you like best.
  4. Scissors
  5. Paintbrush (which you’ll be dipping in ModPodge, so maybe not a high quality one…)

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    I often use Birds and Blooms magazine; so many pretty florals!

Directions:

  1. Browse your magazines and decide on an image/images. I’ve made some boxes that are single pictures, a few images mixed together, mosaic-style, and text-pictures juxtapositions, which is what I’m demoing going forward. Here are some ideas!

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    from left to right: text and image, two images, mosaic of images

  2. Cut out your pieces. If you’re doing a background (like the text I used), cut a piece that is the area of the top surface, and then sticks out on each side, as seen below.

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    To make this super simple, I just traced the sides! If you look closely, you can see the pencil markings.

  3. Plan your layout. You’ll have to glue down layer by layer, so it’s a good idea to know your placement in advance.

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    I ended up adding two more blossoms.

  4. Start assembling. Coat your box with ModPodge and carefully lay your background piece down, gently smoothing out any wrinkles. You might need extra ModPodge around the corners so the joints are smooth.

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    You can’t really tell from the picture, but there’s an extra coat of ModPodge on that corner!

  5. Now you ModPodge on your next piece, working from the lowest layer on up. You can either paint the ModPodge onto the area where you’ll stick the image, or paint it onto the picture and then put the image in place.

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    I glued on the big top rose first, then the one on the side, and finally the bud. You’ll also notice there are some non-smooth bits. I went back and carefully smoothed all the pieces down.

  6. Once all the images are glued down, let the whole thing dry for at least half an hour – more if you’re heavy handed with the ModPodge. Once it’s dried, give the whole decoupaged surface once last coat of ModPodge.
  7. Once it’s dried completely, use and enjoy!

Other ideas:

  1. Use old books for text and illustrations
  2. Use a bigger box, like a shoebox!
  3. Embellish with paint or glitter
Here's one last box, complete with ground squirrel!

Here’s one last box, complete with ground squirrel!

I hope you add pretty boxes into your life! Join me next week for a tutorial about embroidering boxes!

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Signs of Spring!

1. The first daffodils are blooming! While they are lovely outside, I took three for my room so I spring up the moment I wake up.002

2. The maples are starting to flower! It was only a few years ago that I realized all trees bloom, and that red maples are among the first in my area. If you’re not watching for it, the small subtle blossoms are easily missed, but once you train your eye, you’ll see the blossoms everywhere!015

3. Luna stays outdoors overnight. It’s rural enough that this isn’t a concern, and it’s a major sign of warming weather. Also, Lucy, my dear timid calico, is thinking about letting a whisker through the doorjam…

Such a handsome boy!

Such a handsome boy!

4. Bird song! It’s getting loud enough to hear through my closed windows, and when I walk out to my car to head to work, the chirping wakes me up and lifts my spirit like nothing else.

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Okay, blue jays aren’t the sweetest singers, but he was very obliging for the photo…

5. Bright, swingy skirts! I know in my last post, I wrote about knitting that last wool hat, but J0-Ann’s had some lovely remnants in spring/summer fabric and I couldn’t resist!

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Here are the two fabrics…

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And here’s the skirt I made!

So those are my top 5 signs of spring, and they are completely filling up my soul like a clear water after a trek through a desert. (In this case, the antarctic desert of winter…)

What signs of spring are you seeing?

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