Thursday, March 21, 2013

G45's Bird Song- An Altered Cigar Box

When Graphic 45's Bird Song collection was released, my boyfriend and I fell in love with it and wanted to use it to wallpaper our apartment.  This seemed like it might be both impractical and could possibly break our lease. So when I found cigar boxes for sale, I decided making an decorative altered box with Bird Song would be perfect.

 I started by measuring all the panels of the box, inside and out.I then made a simple diagram with the measurements to have a reference to follow. Having this information let me try to cut the paper so that it flowed smoothly from one panel to the next. When I started the box, one of my first steps was sealing it with decoupage medium. I used a quick speed decoupage and at first it looked like it was all bubbly and wrinkled when I saturated the paper. (I was so scared!) But after letting it dry thoroughly for 24 hours all the paper went back to flat and looked great. So don't stress like I did, just give it some time to dry and it should be ok.

I knew from the start I wanted to use the beige paper with the writing on it (Good Fortune) for the inside of the box. I cut the five pieces for the bottom and four internal sides tested that they all fit well before gluing it down.  For the inside of the lid I choose the dragon/text black and gold paper (Pearls of Wisdom.)  At this point I realized the lid would not close properly. The lid was so snug the thickness of the paper made it too tight. To fix this the edges of the lid were sanded carefully with a dremel tool.  After the adjustments were complete, I inked the exposed wood in a dark brown to match the original finish. I then proceeded to add the black pattern paper with the red circular pattern (Jasmine Dreams) to the outer sides of the box.

The top of the lid was covered with the 8x8 floral paper with the black background (Joy Luck.) To further decorate the sides of the box I fussy cut some of the birds and flowers from the  12x12 version of the floral paper and the page with tags on it (Tranquility). At this point I sealed the paper (including the fussy cuts) with decoupage.  After it dried I added the feet, which are round wood knobs about one and a quarter inches in diameter.  I dyed them with bround Chox and Tim Holtz distress stain in brass to try and give it a weathered, distressed look.

I decided to keep the sides simple and just added some Seven Gypsy metal photo corners in varying sizes to the upper corners. And small corner covers on the bottom corners.  For the top I started with a pair of vintage, enameled chopsticks and some bird printed ribbon.  I added a stamp from the matching G45 stamp set on the end of the ribbon in red On the front I added a pull to the lid with ribbon, a Prima embellishment of a bird and a jade colored bead.

Then I layered G45 Staples metal flowers with mother of pearl buttons and red beads. Also I put in some Recollections metal flowers and jade colored beads.  My final touch on the lid were some Asian coin shaped brads by Marah Johnson/Creative Imaginations.  I cut the pointy parts off as best I could and glued them at a slight angle.

I used the matching G45/Hampton Arts stamps with Color box chalk (Windsor blue) and G45 Decades inks (triumphant red, cashmere, photogenic) to stamp a cherry blossom filled fan and a twig of cherry blossoms. (I love the idea of the blank fan with the mix and match patterns.)  I added a small amount of yellow Stickles to the centers of the red cherry blossoms. I then fussy cut both stamped images out.  The fan was layered with one of the vintage painted ladies and two of the stickers from the Bird Song set. The fussy cut cherry blossoms were added to the top.  More metal flowers, mother of pearl buttons and beads were placed along the right side.  On the left I added another of the Asian coin brads. The last embellishment is my favorite, I tied dragon charm (from the DCWV booth at CHA) tied to a chipboard tag with a piece of maroon ribbon that I frayed.

This piece looks ah-maze-ing in our bedroom where it sits on a side table and holds the watch I gave my boyfriend and the necklace he bought me for Valentine's Day.

Materials used:

Papers: Graphic 45 Bird Song (12x12, 8x8, chipboard tags and stickers)
Inks/Glitters/Paints: Colorbox windsor blue chalk, Graphic 45 Decades Ink (triumphant red, cashmere, photogenic)
Other: Graphic 45 Staples metal flowers, Seven Gypsies metal corner covers and photo corners, Recollections metal roses, Marah Johnson/Creative Imaginations brads, Prima bird embellishment, DCWV dragon charm, ribbons, beads, vintage chopsticks

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