Memory Box Tutorial

July 4, 2016

What you need:

– Gesso
– Gel Medium (glossy works best)
– Small Hand Towel
– Paper Maiche Box
– Paintbrush
– Iridescent Acylic Medium (optional)
– White Tissue Paper

Step 1

Begin by ‘painting’ gesso over the box, and add small strips of the tissue paper to create texture, as seen below. Paint with more gesso over the tissue paper strips to seal the texture, and to get rid of any air bubbles. Cover the entire outside of the box with this texture. If you would like the same texture on the inside, you can do the inside the same way as well.

Step 2

Create the text on a computer program (Word, Paint, GIMP, Photoshop, etc) and print the mirrored image on a laser printer. Printing the images/ words on an inkjet printer will not work. You can access a laser printer at your local printer usually, or… workplace 😉 I didn’t just tell you that though. Be sure to print out the right size, for the box size you chose.

Step 3

Cut out the words/ text you want to apply to your box, as close to the wording as possible. Once the gesso has completely dried, begin generously spreading gel medium over the area where the text will go on the box. Place the paper with text, (text facing the box) above the gel medium immediately – as seen above. Press down when the paper with text is positioned the way you want it, and press out any air bubbles.

Step 4

Once the gel medium has completely dried, take a spray bottle, generously spray over a small area of the dried up paper and take a small hand cloth and begin rubbing it off. This will take of mostly the paper, but it will take off some of the printed text, depending on how much gel medium that area got. If not too much text is removed this only enhances the vintage feel of the box (just my opinion 🙂

Rub until all the white paper is gone.

Step 5

This next step is optional. If you do not want a pearl/ iridescent coating you can use the gel medium as a sealer, and be sure to cover the box completely in it, let it dry and enjoy your box.

Take a chunk of the iridescent coating with a small art spatula (or plastic spoon) and smudge small chunks throughout the cover of the box. Take your small cloth (it’s okay that it will be a little wet, this moisture will help distribute the iridescent coating), and spread the coating all over until the whole box is covered in a light shimmer, as seen on right.

Let dry, and enjoy the box!

Some ways you can change things up…

– use different color tissue paper

– add photos instead of or in addition to text

– use strips of music sheets or newspaper instead of tissue paper

If you decide to try this, please share with us!

  • Franchesca Cox

    Franchesca Cox is the founder and Editor of Still Standing Magazine. She is currently seeking her Master's in Occupational Therapy, a yogi and author of Celebrating Pregnancy Again and Facets of Grief, a creative workbook for grieving mothers. Learn more about her heartwork on her website.

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