* You will need a finish coat. I like to use the Modge Podge – its both a sealant and a glue and it works well to both glue the felt down and protect the box.
Now is where it gets fun – you have a few choices – you can paint your box or you can decoupage it. I did both – they both look great – so its a matter of personal choice.
* 1-3 bottles of craft Paint – depending on what you chose for your design.
* 1 Sponge Brush ( looks like this: Sponge Brush – you will use this to apply both the base coats of paint as well as your sealant.
* 1-2 paint brushes in different sizes depending on what you dcided to paint
* Design – make sure you have a design in mind
I like celestial themes – so my first box was done in blues and golds. I did the top and bottom of the box in solid gold paint and the sides in blue. I used blue felt for inside – it was a simple design and it looks good to this day.
* Designs – you can use special decoupage paper you can get at the craft store, or really any image you want – you can even print it from your printer or get it from a magazine! Another idea is to use scrapbooking items – there are so many gorgeous items for scrapbooks that would look great on a box!
* Decoupage glue – you will need this from the craft store if you decided to use decoupage paper from the craft store since it is so thin and you need a gentle sealant to keep it from tearing. If you decided to print a design from a magazine or from your PC onto your box or even a scrapbook design, you can use the Modge Podge.
* 1 bottle of craft Paint – This is nice to give a base coat to your box before you start to glue.
* 1 Sponge Brush ( looks like this: Sponge Brush – you will need this to glue your designs to the box, apply base coats of paint and apply your sealant.
This is the part where you can go crazy. I did 2 of these boxes – one in a celestial theme again, with decoupage paper I bought at the store just glued all over the box. Be careful with this paper because it is very very thing and rips easily. Make sure you measure the sheets before you cut them and know how you want to cover your box before you apply it. I did a celetial theme box with glued pictures of suns moons and stars all around and inside with blue felt on the inside. I used a dark blue base coat of paint.
The second one I did was in a dragonfly theme – for my runes. I painted the box in a tan color, and I found several pictures of dragonflies that I liked. Once the paint was dry, I glued the dragonfly pictures on the box making little designs. I used brown felt on the inside of this box.
The process for all boxes
1) Get ready: once you decide what you want to do, get your designs and materials together. I always like to use a base coat of paint on the box first regardless of what you are doing to it. Make sure the base coat matches your design.
Tip: Use clear tape over the hinges and clasps so they don’t get painted over – this makes clean up much easier!
Remember there is no need to paint the inside of the box – if you plan to use the felt. I generally use felt on the bottom inside and the bottom outside (so it won’t damage furniture) but paint the inside top of the box.
2) Go crazy with creativity – create your design on the outside of the box. If you are painting and your first attempt doesn’t look exactly like you like you want, paint over it and try again. You can even decide to change from paint to decoupage later and just glue the designs to your box after you re-coated it.
3) Seal it – once your box is painted, its important to seal it so it doesn’t get damaged. You can buy a normal sealant – like an acrylic sealant but I like to use Modge Podge – it has a lot of different uses so its a handy thing to keep around anyway. Apply your sealant, let it dry and apply again. Also don’t forget inside edges – as these will need to be done after the outside is done.
4) Finishing touches – if you decided not to use any felt you are probably done. If like me, you like to use the felt to protect things – this is a bit tricky.
For the oustide bottom: This is easy – just measure a piece of felt that matches the outside of your box. You want the felt to be a bit smaller than the bottom of the box so it doesn’t stick out. I just apply the Modge Podge to the whole bottom, press the felt in and then let it dry.
For the inside bottom: This is tricky as you will need to get 4 pieces of felt – they will need to be measured as close to perfect as you can get. You will need to measure each side of the box on the inside and the bottom. I generally like to glue the bottom part in first, the same way you did the outside. Let it dry, then glue one side at a time and let it dy in between. Once this is done, I put a thin coat of Modge Podge on the top outside edges to seal the felt in – so it doesn’t start to peel later.
And Voila – box is done! I have also done several altar boxes out of paper mache this way. The problem with the paper mache boxes is you need to make sure they are REALLY dry before you close them or they will tend to stick.