Wednesday, 2 June 2010

May upcycle challenge, feels like cheating

Lynne at The Altered Element sent a huge and heavy parcel full of DT goodies for May, and here's the reason why....

The upcycle challenge item was this wooden jewellery box, and she also sent all these other goodies.
It is worth ordering from The Altered Element for the added delight of opening the beautifully wrapped parcels. Items are usually in individual brown paper bags taped down so you have to peel them open carefully, like at Christmas, to save the nice paper for later. There is lilac tissue in the box too to pad out any space. I'd put this on the side thinking I'd save it for a project but before inspiration struck the hamster beat me to it. He now has a pretty, cosy lilac nest.

After the fun of unwrapping and time spent stroking the goodies I started my upcycle project. I always find it a little difficult to get going when I have something that is in good condition to start with. It goes against some in-built instinct to make the first move and spoil the exisiting article. I have the same trouble with altering books and try to find tatty ones to make starting easier.

Once I'd taken it apart, removed the lid, legs and handles and sanded the external surfaces it became much easier. All scruffied up there was no going back. I used the Eco Green acrylic paint (over two textured coats of gesso) to start with. Lynne had sent me Green Patina which was very pearlised and pretty but wasn't quite what I had in mind. I was aiming for a distressed, worn finish that looked completely different from the polished box I started with, so I wiped over it with some Adirondak paint dabber which has a matte finish and took some of the shine away.

As well as changing the look of the box I decided it needed a new use - as a mini sewing box to hold enough things for an individual project at a time. I made a pin cushion top for the lid using printed canvas and layers of wadding. See my blog from last month for details of the Golden Mix More Media products for printing on canvas.

I took out the insides of the box to leave plain compartments and added a canvas and elastic holder inside the lid to cover the space where a mirror had been.

I used some Adirondak Metallic Mixative in pearl colour with a drop of lettuce alcohol ink to colour the handles before putting the box pack together without feet. I'm sure they'll be really useful for something else later.

Still feels like cheating to get a box and upcycle it into another box but it looks and feels quite different.

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