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Monday, 12 March 2012


I was rooting around my altered art, laser cuts and Tim Holtz stuff the other day and kept finding bits in different drawers, so I figured I needed somewhere to keep it all together. So, like I did with my Promarker Storage Tower I sat down and had a think. I had lots of mountboard and this is what I came up with. I decided that I wanted two levels and separate compartments too. It is JUST a box and nothing special, but you may want to make one for yourselves. My box is quite large at 14" x 10" but obviously you can make your box any size you want. Next time, it won't be larger than 12 inches, then I won't have to join the papers!

Get out some of your stash and decide how big you want your box. If you want compartments, make sure one at least is big enough to take your largest item. Get out your mountboard or very strong card too.

Step 1.
When you've decided on the size of your box cut the base to this size. Decide how deep you want your box and cut 4 pieces of board the same length as each side and the depth you want.

Step 1a.
Do the same for the lid except that your side pieces will be much smaller in depth than the main box and the main piece will be just a little larger than your base to allow it to fit on.

Step 2.
Now, decide how many compartments you want on the base. Mine has 4, so I needed two strips of mountboard. The strips are the same length and width as the base. For the depth (if you want a second shelf) make sure that your separators are no deeper than half the depth of the sides. Where your slots are cut will depend on the size of your box and how big you want your compartments. Each slot is cut to half the height of the separator and then, just slotted together.

Step 2a.
Make sure that your separators are no longer than your base board.

Step 3.
If you're making a top tray you need to cut another base, this time make it a little smaller than your main box base then cut some sides and some separators. Your sides and separators must be just less than half the depth of the box sides, otherwise the lid won't fit on.

Step 3a.
Place your top tray on top of the bottom tray and rest a main box side against it to check that everything is the right depth and fits nicely.

Step 4.
Make sure you have all your pieces cut for your box, lid and tray.

Step 5.
Choose your papers and cut two pieces to fit each of the mountboard pieces (inside and outside). If you want to age them, use distress inks (or your own method). I used Walnut Stain and Brushed Corduroy.

Step 5a.
Cover ONLY the inside of the box at this stage - not the outside. I decided to paint my separators with a deep burgundy acrylic paint. When you have them all covered, protect each piece with a coat or two of mod podge or other sealant. This will not only enhance the colours of the inks and papers but it will also make the box more durable. Patience now while it dries completely. Don't worry if your paper bubbles slightly when the sealant goes on, as it dries, it will shrink back. Do the same for your tray. Cover only the inside and the separators. At this stage, I hadn't touched my lid as I was still deciding what I wanted.

Step 5b.
Now you have the insides covered, sealed and dry, you're ready to start putting it all together.

Step 6.
It can get a bit fiddly now as there is not much support so you may have to hold some pieces in place for a while. Just take your time and be patient. Start with your box base. Take your separators and run a strong glue (I use Crafters Pick) along the bottom edges. Place these on the base and hold in place until the glue grabs. By putting the separators in first, you will have something to help hold the sides on.

Step 7.
Now, take one of the side pieces, run some glue along the inside bottom edge and some glue down the edge of the separator and push the pieces together. It will attach to the outside of the base, not on the top surface. You will definitely have to hold this piece in place and push in along the bottom so it grabs to the box base. When you attach the second side piece, you will need glue down the edge that will meet the already attached side and along the bottom, plus the edge of the next separator. You can stick a bit of sellotape around the corner to help hold it in place. Do this for all four sides. When you're happy that it is all stuck together well, leave it aside to dry properly.

Step 8.
To add extra strength to the box (and possibly stop the bottom falling out, lol), add some strong tape over all the joins.

Step 9.
Do your tray in exactly the same way. Separators first.

Once all the joins are taped up you can cover the outside of the box and tray. Ink the edges again and don't forget to apply your sealant then more patience while it dries completely. Always best to be left overnight.

I had by now decided that I wanted a hinged lid, so I only needed 3 of the sides that I'd cut. I decided to paint the inside of the lid and use paper for the outsides. I then attached four hinges to the lid and the back of the box.

That is basically that. Now you can add whatever decoration and embellishments you want. I textured some letters with Tim Holtz Tea Die Embossing Powder and painted over them, then finished with crackle glaze. My lock was textured with salt, layers of paint and mod podge. I also covered the joins in my lid with lace because...ummm, I went and covered it before I'd taped it so my edges were a bit rough!! Doh!

I hope you like my finished box and will make one for yourselves. It can take quite some time, but I think it's worth it. You could tailor the design of your box to whatever you want to put in it. Enjoy.


xxxtglxxx said...

Wow!! This is amazing Lorraine! :)

It looks like it took absolutely ages and such a lot of beautiful details :)

Love the vintagey images, and gorgeous papers, its a work of art :)



May said...

O my word!! Fabulous, fantastic creation, great tutorial! This is Stunning love the vintage feel, amazing piece of work thank you so much for sharing, Hugs May x x x

Georgiegirl2012 said...

Fabulous - thanks for the inspiration and the tutorial x

Sylvia Anderson said...

This is stunning x

Karen said...

Amazing honey - so much time and effort for this and so very worth it too!! A fabulous tutorial too - superb!xx

Jan 23 said...

What a brilliant idea. You can use all the things that you cannot bare to part with.(which is most of our bits) I love it.

Andy Llewelyn-Brinsley said...

Think I will give this a try sis, but would go for a more contemporary design. I could do with somewhere to put all my Tilda's so this could be perfect. Brilliant idea and it is very pretty too x x

WeirdCat said...

Gobsmackingly amazing, awestruck at your talents

Tine said...

Fabulous vintage style box, Lorraine. As Alison says before me, work of art.
Tine :)

Rachel Brown said...

Wow, that's amazing!!! Looks so antique you wouldn't think it was only hours old and made from paper, card and embelishments!!!

jane stillman said...

oh my goodness, this is amazing! Thank you for sharing x

Unknown said...

Wow this is fabulous, love the vintage look, and great tutorial, thank you xxx

Karen said...

Beautiful box and a fab tutorial - I would never have had any idea of where to start when making this - you've broken it down beautifully hugs Karen

Karen said...

Goegeous Lorraine, it looks like something you've inherited from your granny, very nice.


Lisa Minckler said...

Lorraine! My gosh chica, this is amazing! I thought you did an altered art on an existing box but when I saw you made this...I about fell out of my chair. I absolutely LOVE, love, LoVe what you've created here. Hinges and locks and keys and vintage papers and cubbies and layers...OH MY!
Spectacular piece of artwork. WOW!!! What a treasure. :)
Hugs and have a great weekend.
Lisa xx

Jo Channon said...

Couldnt resist having a look how you did this so popped over and your details of the step by step are fabulous. When I can find some time !lol I am definately going to give this a go Thankyou for the fab project and inspiration Jo xx

Evethmoon Crafty Creations said...

I love that box you created, you are super talented. I am new to blogging and so happy to have found your site I can learn alot from you. Thanks for all your posts. I am your latest follower and would love it if you would visit my blog and become a follower. Hugs and God bless!

toni said...

Simply brilliant! x

Maxines Craft Room said...

Really beautiful, well done. Love Maxine. xxx

catherine said...

This is a fantastic project Lorrainne and just love how you have decorated it
x catherine

Annie said...

Hi Lorraine I am trying to catch up with followers today and I am so glad I popped by your blog. This is a fantastic box and thank you for the tutorial. I must have a go. Happy crafting......Annie x

Bree at "Bree's Way" said...

I found your blog through the blog train. I must say I absolutely love this tutorial, and the rest of your blog is really nice. You have some wonderful work :)


Anniebee said...

Holy moley, Lorraine! This box is fabulous!! Your tutorial make it look really easy but I'm sure it took quite some time to put the whole thing together. It turned out gorgeous and is definitely worth the effort! TFS!


Beverly said...

Hi Lorraine,

Thanks so much for "following" my blog! I LOVE your box. I have have a bunch of cigar boxes and I think you have inspired me to get going on them!

Wonderful blog...;-)

Jennifer said...

Absolutely gorgeous, Lorraine...a real work of art, and as well as being beautiful, it is useful! Congratulations.

Jennifer. x