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"Turn a Ugly Box Into a Pretty Keepsake Box"

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This is a box a cake came in last Christmas, I was going to paint a couple of coats of red on it to store my smaller craft items, but never got back to it last year. I had a couple of rusted flower pins that belonged to my mom and a pretty wallpaper border. I gathered things with similar colors to go with them to make a mixed media collage box with special meaning for me to store my craft items.
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling
I started by applying texture to the box with a palette knife, leaving the lid on so the sides wouldn't become too thick for the lid to fit on the box. After getting it all covered, I used food handler gloves to dab it all over. Saran wrap or something similar would also work.
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling
After it dried, I painted on a Valspar sample paint called Garnet Dust. I have several of these Valspar samples, they are inexpensive and come in fun colors. Love the names too. :) When it was dry, I tore pieces of tissue paper and randomly decoupaged them on.
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling
I painted a few paper dollies with a Valspar sample paint called Morning Glow. After they dried, I cut them up and decoupaged them on also. I cut out a piece of the wallpaper border for the lid and some wallpaper hearts and decoupaged them on. I cut a ribbon to make x's and cut out circles from the wallpaper and decoupaged them on for the hugs & kisses symbol.
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling
I wanted my box to have a little more dimension, so I cut off a piece of a mesh bottle sleeve to use as a stencil and applied texture in a few areas. When it was dry, I painted them with a Valspar sample called March breeze. Then I lightly painted over it with the Garnet dust, and then used a silver paint pen to fill the cracks and outline the hearts.
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling
I glued on the jewelry and a few old loose pearls to define the hugs and kisses symbol. I used an ink pad and letter stamps to add words of inspiration for me.
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling
My mom collected antiques, refinished furniture, crafted all the time, and was a devoted diy'er. Hmm, no wonder I don't feel complete unless I'm creating! I can't help it, it's good for my soul! :) I love mixed media art, there are no rules, it's just fun! I hope I've inspired you to make your own mixed media art collage box that has special meaning for you! A couple of close up pic's.
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling
  • turn a ugly box into a pretty keepsake box, crafts, decoupage, repurposing upcycling

Got a question about this project?

  • Nonni
    Nonni Clearwater Beach, FL

    I love taking old container boxes and redesigning as well. You did a fabulous job. Your ideas and blending of different media made this box a treasure. Well done!

  • Laura Walters Fields

    Very creative! Great job!

  • Tommie Lemke
    Tommie Lemke Sun City, AZ

    Never saw a box like that.

    • Vicki Rogers
      Vicki Rogers Splendora, TX

      @Tommie Lemke It is different, lol. Thanks for looking!

  • Susan Key Brown
    Susan Key Brown Houston, TX

    Love it! Especially since it reminds you of your Mother.

  • Tammy
    Tammy Cumming, GA

    I love it!!! Your artistic talent is really showing through with this piece. This is reminiscent of the work that is featured in 'heArt' magazine. Maybe you should submit your art to them.

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!