Monday, December 12, 2016

DIY Painted Gift Box with Paper Lining + Tips for Decoupage

I've had this cute little paper box forever, always intending to pretty it up but never seeming to get around to it in my stash. Remember my post about my craft stash problem? Sigh... The pretty paper bow meant that it would be next to impossible to fully decoupage, so this project combines painting, decoupage, and a few other sneaky little tricks for problem areas, like my pet peeve of having an impossible to remove label on paper craft supplies. Arrgh!  Here's how:

To create you own reusable gift/treasure box like the one shown, you will a kraft/papier mache box (or an empty cardboard box for upcycling), paint, painting supplies, patterned paper, mod podge, a ruler, scissors, a craft utility knife, felt, and glue.  I opted for a jewel-toned metallic paint, which really transforms the basic paper box into something special, and combined it with a paper lining in a matching colour combo for extra pizazz. The finishing touch is a matching felt pad on the base, which makes this treasure box soft on surfaces and takes care of that pesky sticker problem area.

  • Paint the exterior of your box, ensuring that your paint extends into the box just below the interior edge and onto the exterior bottom so that there will be no bare spots when you add the lining and felt.
Tip: If your box has built-in embellishments, like my ribbon and bow, start by painting these sections first.  It will be next to impossible to thoroughly paint something fiddly like my fancy bow without getting paint on the rest of the box.
  • Allow your paint to dry thoroughly before proceeding with your paper and felt work.  
  • Carefully measure the internal dimensions of your box and cut your lining paper.  You want to cover the bottom completely and the insides from bottom to just below the upper edge. Check, check, and recheck before you start to glue anything into place.
Tips: Pattern alignment adds polish but can be tricky and you may need to compromise due to box dimensions and/or pattern design .  Take some time looking at your box shape and patterns(s) to pick a paper and layout that you'd like to work with. Picking an easier-to-mate part of the pattern can help. For example, at best case, my linear chevron pattern can only only match on two of the four sides. I opted to have the bottom edge hit the corner mid "wave" so that there is a relatively straight edge of blue to meet up with my side pattern instead of trying to mate precisely.
  • Working from bottom to top, starting with the bottom and then progressing to your sides, carefully glue your paper into place with Modge Podge.
Tips: There are all kind of Mod Podge tools available if you are keen to do more decoupage in the future.  A small round tool, like the side of a paintbrush or pen, can be helpful in small work areas especially for tricky slightly rounded corners. A little pin prick can help if you trap an air bubble in there - so tricky on those corners! If I need an extra hand at any point, clothespins are my go-to handy little pincers. Check out the handy tips from Mod Podge Rocks for extra decoupage advice.
  • Allow your Mod Podge to dry for 15-20 minutes, and then add a top coat (or dry and repeat for multiple protective top coats, if you wish).  
  • Cut a small piece of felt to just a teeny tiny bit smaller than your box bottom. Glue into place and allow to dry thoroughly before use.

We're on a special holiday posting schedule this month, with a Christmas share for you ever weekday between now and the start of our offline holidays, with DIY decorations, wrapping, treats, and more.  Yay! Stay tuned for more!

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