Sunday, January 31, 2016

Up-cycled Valentine's Chocolate Box

Before my school let out for Christmas break, I was showered with gifts and candies of all sorts. Such sweet children and families I work for! Some of the gifts included several boxes of chocolate. Which I liked very much. 

Some of the boxes were just too nice to throw out, so I began thinking of possible projects to convert them into something useful and pretty. Those are my favorite kind of projects by the way. And with the looming holiday most famous for boxes of chocolate, I thought this was a good time to share a Photo-box DIY.

I started with an empty box of chocolates. (Let me know if you need help emptying yours...)

I removed the plastic and any papers that were inside. This particular one was square, but a rectangle or even heart shaped box would be very charming and usable.


You want to get a nice blank workable space to decorate. I used Gesso (available at most craft stores - got mine at the Hobby Lobby), but white paint would also do the trick. Acrylic, tempera, spray paint - whatever you have on hand. Just cover the box with a good coat or two of whatever you've got!


I do like the Gesso though. It gives very good coverage, especially on that red.

By the way, Gesso is a chalky paint mixture used by artists traditionally to cover canvases before starting a painting. BUT, it has so many very good uses. Worth having on hand I think.


I did two coats. Probably not all that necessary, but I did it anyway, ok? Good.


Get the edges of the bottom of the box too. It had a logo I wanted to cover up.


Dry time. The worst part of any project.


OK. So now to address the interior of the box. I wanted to cover up the chocolate 'map' or 'code' as we call it. You know the top part of the box that tells you which chocolates are which, so you don't accidentally eat a yucky one like nougat or something. Ick.


So, I glued in some scrapbook paper.



Basically, I traced the top of the box (lid) to get the right size and then trimmed it down to fit.



I used good old Elmer's. Mod Podege or glue sticks would probably work fine as well.

Helping hands are always around at my place. Thanks Ada!



I picked a cute black and white camera pattern, since I was converting it to a photo-box. See what I did there... ? 

I'm clever, I know, my mom tells me.

I wanted the color of the photo prints inside to shine, so I liked the idea of the inside being black and white.

I lined the bottom with paper as well.



Now comes the GOOD part. The messy, arty, fun part.

You can really let your creativity fly here. Whatever your favorite medium(s) is/are, use them!

Crayons, markers, watercolors, acrylics, mix and match a little of it all - the sky's the limit really.

A total blank slate.



Sometimes a total blank slate stops me in my tracks. The bareness stifles my creativity. Yup. It happens. Us creative people don't want to admit that sometimes, so for me, I've found that rolling on big splashes of color with a brayer help me get past that very first step. See here...

Just a little snippet of starting the messy, arty part. 


Also, here's how made this real fancy video... I own a tripod... sometimes you gotta even DIY the video set up.

Said brayer... 


I used a pencil eraser to make the dot pattern. You can LITERALLY use anything you have. 

You don't need fancy art supplies people! You can do this!



I added a scrapbook ephemera piece to the top and mod-podged it on real good.


Oooo. Aaaahhh.


Ok - time to make this beauty into a photo-box.

Le Hubbs got me a mini photo printer for Christmas. It has a fancy app that lets ya print pics right from my phone! I also love Postal Pix. Its an app that prints your Instagram photos. They're all cute and square. The quality is good too. So I have a combination of Postal Pix prints and some I did from home.



I wrote a little note on the back of each photo to remember what we were doing and the dates.


SQUEEE! I love when the final project starts to come together.


It makes for a pretty decorative and conversation piece in the living room. 
I've caught Ada looking through it a couple times already. And I like that. A lot.


Keep those chocolate boxes you get on LOVE DAY. You're gonna need them. Best wishes lovies.

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