Saturday, 8 May 2010

Boxing Clever

Every now and then I come across a challenge that really inspires me and one such this week was the Project Tuesday challenge to make an altered box or tin.  I love boxes - I used to make them, boxes for books, for photographs, for albums, for storage - and, in fact, a large wardrobe-style leather covered jewellery box, complete with inserts, pewter door panels and mahogany knobs (all made by me) for my mother's 60th birthday, a few years ago.  (If I can find photographs, I'll post them - it's awesome!)

So I was delighted to have a go at this challenge and here's the result:

Papers: October Afternoon

Other: Small wooden box; 7 Gypsies measuring tape self-adhesive ribbon; buttons, pins, etc., from stash

I started off this project by trying to decide what I would put in the box.  My last box had been a small gardening-related project and I didn't want to repeat the theme.  So I decided that this one would be a sewing box, for the essential sewing kit, perhaps for Daughter to have in her room at university. 

I began with a small wooden box, similar to this one (because I forgot to take 'before' pictures!!!).  My version has a clever little magnetic catch on the inside lips at the front of the lid and base and, therefore, there's no bulky catch to worry about - much easier to cover. I gave the box a light sanding all over to make sure that it was smooth and then coloured all the edges, the inside lips of the top and base and a thin band around the outside top of the base, using a black Copic marker, chisel end. 

I chose co-ordinating papers from the October Afternoon 'Thrift Shop' collection and teamed it with punchy red for a good contrast.

And then I just let myself do whatever felt right - I can honestly say that there was no real plan for the decoration. 

However, when I considered the inside of the box, I thought it might be nice to incorporate a pin cushion into the lid.  So I drew a template by drawing around the outside of the lid onto plain card and cutting it out.  Then I took my compass and pencil and, using them a bit like calipers, measured the lip of the lid.  I placed the pencil of the compass on to the card and the needle of the compass tight against the edge of the template and gently ran around the whole template, trying to make sure always to maintain the needle at 90o to the template, until I had marked an even amount around the edge of the template.  I then cut off the strip I had marked out, leaving me with a template that (mostly) fitted inside the lid of the box.  I was able to use this, then, to cut out a piece of foam, which I covered in black felt and stuck (snugly) inside the lid.  The photograph above shows the inside of the box (with the lid resting on the table top) and the pin cushion nestled inside the lid.

And this is the pin cushion in the lid with the box open in the proper position.  I intend to fill the box with basic sewing stuff and hope that Daughter will like it as much as I do!

So, it's late (again) and we've had a long day.  Picked my parents up from the airport today, as they've arrived home after their month-long trip to Australia, looking very well and very relaxed!  Needless to say, there was lots of news to exchange so we stayed for dinner and then it was suddenly 9.00 p.m., time to come home and get everything ready to post.  I'm pooped and off to be, where I shall be sleeping in in the morning, with no alarm to wake me!  Bliss!

Happy crafting.


  1. Clever is the right word for this. Then awesome, fantastic, stupendous and on and on. I love how you think outside the box and how uninhibited you are when you design. When I grow up, I want to be like you - lol.

  2. Love, love, love everything about your altered box!!!! Awesome job!!! Thanks for playing along with us at Project Tuesday!!!

  3. Gorgeous project Peri!
    I just want to make one like that too.

  4. This is absolutely AWESOME and ADORABLE!!! I love it! The pin cushion addition is great! Thanks for sharing!~

  5. OMGoodness Peri! This is amazing.. what a fab idea and such talent from those little fingers!! Hugs, Peggy x

  6. WOW - this is a FANTASTIC project - I love boxes AND sewing - I wish my mum would make ME one - LOL!

  7. WOW!!! i am speechless (and that is rare!) thanks for playing on PT :)

  8. Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing it with us, what an inspiration.

  9. I just have to say, this is STUNNING!! Wow...amazing and wonderful job. Thanks for joining us at PT last're featured this week!!

  10. This is really stunning! So nice!
    Hugs Ingrid

  11. I love this box and i really like the bright red that brings it all together yummy!

  12. This is amazing Peri, so so clever, congrats on making featured designer. :)


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