Christmas is coming, and in our home, we make hand made gifts for each other. Sometimes we draw names, and make a special gift for that one person. A few years ago, my daughter drew my name and made an altered book for me, after taking an altered book class with me. It is a treasure and even more meaningful because we got to share the experience of learning together. It's usually a flurry of activity at the last minute, because we are a family of procrastinators. (Not ME, though, of course!)
I bought her a special pair of hand made (by another artist) earrings for a gift for Christmas. When the store owner asked if I wanted a box, I declined, knowing the box would have to be special, too. Here is the box I made for her earrings--a gift to house the gift.
I started by grabbing everything out of my stash...box- I have lots of these paper mache boxes in lots of shapes in my hoard-check; designer paper- check; card stock- check; Mod Podge- check; Perfect Paper Adhesive--check; ribbon-check; embellishments-check, check!
I painted my star shaped box with gesso, dried, then with white acrylic paint and dried again. Once completely dried, I spritzed the inside of the box and lid with Perfect Pearls Mist (Bubblegum). If you look closely, you can see the pretty sheen inside--I assure you--much better in person.
Meanwhile I worked on the embellishments. A white pearl, tiny white pearls on a strand and a lace applique were all altered with Distress stains and alcohol inks and allowed to dry.
I made the flowers using (white card stock which I inked up with Distress Inks) Tim's Pinecone die. I inked the edges of the die cut cardstock ever-so-slightly with Vintage Photo before twisting them up into a small rose and two tiny rosebuds, and then again, on the very tips, after assembling.
I cut and glued designer paper (I don't know the name--it's all just thrown in together by color or theme) for the lid and the sides and bottom of the box. (I used Perfect Paper Adhesive for this and it does the best job.) Once glued and dried, I took a bone folder to smooth all the edges, glue down anything I missed. I inked the bottom of the box with Distress inks to give it a vintage feel and the lid as well (this paper started as pink dots on a white background--I never think to take before pictures!)
Lastly I glued ribbon around the edge of the lid and added my embellishments, flowers, and a piece of tulle from an old petticoat.
I think Lauren will love her gift(s)!
While the mess was out, I decided to make another...and another...and a few more!
This is one I made for my son, Ethan. A little more masculine, but still Christmas-y. I'm not sure what this will hold, but possibly a check or a note to find something else. Sometimes a gift is too big to wrap, and we have to hide it. Or a key to a new car! HA! HA! Just KIDDING! I just have no clue what to get a 16 year old boy! But he'll get a hand made box, that's for sure!
The box was prepared as above, using different colors and paper, obviously. Christmas-y fiber and Tinsel Trim around the edge of the lid.
I used Tim's Pine Cone die again, but this time for the foliage, painted with Paint Dabbers. Chipboard was covered in paper I copied from a Christmas Hymn book, die cut with Tim's Reindeer Flight die, and distressed with Distress inks. All pieces were treated to a sprinkle of Diamond Dust.
Tinsel twine was used for the wreath around the deer's neck with two tiny bells attached on a jump ring.
(I forgot to take a photo of the back, but I chose the portion of the paper that had Santa and his reindeer flying across the sky. This is beautiful paper, and wish I had more!)
I hope Ethan will like this enough to overlook the fact there is no key in it!
While I was at it, I made these other boxes for little Christmas gifts of jewelry, gift cards, etc. I won't go into detail about each box, but each was prepared as the first one except I did not spray with Perfect Pearls. I chose various papers from my stash and decorated each in a unique way...all stuff from my crafty little hoard! These jewels were a real challenge to place on the tree--so tiny! And since they were so old they had lost their stickyness, so each had to be glued on!
Next up is this simple little tree adorned with a rosette cut with Tim's Mini Paper Rosettes Decorative Strip die. The flower is from my stash--Recollections, I think, straight from the package--no altering done. Finished with Stickles dots and ribbon from my stash. Getting the paper right on these trees is the real challenge and let's just say, there were many cutting mistakes!
Next to Lauren's, the next box is my favorite. Sister gift here...she raises and sells poinsettias at her nursery--Hilltop Farms outside of Springfield, MO.
I used Tim's Poinsettia die and Texture Fade for this, using the smaller two poinsettias for the flower and the larger one for the leaves. I cut this from water color paper, which makes the inking just gorgeous (Distress Inks, of course!) and shaping easy-peasy. Stickles for the center. Sprinkled with lots of Diamond Dust--a crafter's best friend from Halloween through New Years! Again, a few cutting errors with this paper!
|That line on the left is part of the design on the paper, not an inking error on my part!|
Now, I'm a little ahead of the game, thanks to the challenges over at Craft Hoarders Anonymous and Frilly and Funkie. Craft Hoarders Anonymous challenges us to use our hoard and decorate a box--any kind of box. Frilly and Funkie wants to see what kinds of gifts we are making. These are truly gifts made from my heart.
I would like to enter this into the following inspiring, fun challenges. I hope you are inspired to link one of your creations up to one or all of these challenges:
Craft Hoarders Anonymous Challenge #20 "Box It Up!"
Frilly and Funkie "A Gift From the Heart"
Art With Heart Challenge November: "Favorite Recipes" I don't have any of the kitchen dies, but I did use a creative "recipe" over and over again to create my boxes, just added different "ingredients"!
Inspiration Journal "Happy Holidays!"
Rhedd's Creative Spirit November Challenge "Anything Goes" (as long as it's altered art) I altered these paper mache boxes! And lot's of dies, papers, and other stuff was altered in the process!
The Artistic Stamper Creative Team November's Creative Challenge "Christmas is Coming" Yes! There is rubber stamping on my postage stamp on the flamingo box! I hope you didn't miss it! (I don't have the maker--it was one of those loose random stamps in the drawer with all the other postage rubber stamps.)
It's All About the Vintage and Beauty #80 Home Made Embellishments I made my own roses, poinsettias, rosette, postage stamp, reindeer and foliage, and reindeer jingle-bell wreath collar.
The Mirror Cracked From Side to Side #3 Christmas Decorations