Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hybrid Project - Altered Tissue Box Cover

I made a couple of these altered tissue boxes last year at a church activity and thought they were so cute! I wanted to try and use some of the papers I have in my digital stash to create another one. I wasn't sure how it would turn out with printed papers, so I decided to give it a try. It worked great! You can pick up these box covers at most craft stores. I've done both papier mache and wood boxes, and both work well, so go with the kind you prefer.

Here's what you'll need:
-printed digital papers (I prefer getting prints from a laser printer)
-cardstock or solid digital papers
-Mod Podge (I used Matte Finish)
-a foam brush
-a pencil
-one wood or papier mache tissue box cover
-scissors and a paper cutter
-any embellishments you plan to use

-Optional items:
-brayer or bone folder
-dye based ink

Step one:
-Choose which patterned paper(s) you wish to use. For this project, I used patterned paper from Celeste's Silver Lining: Part 1 kit to decorate my cover. Cut them in half width wise, so that they measure approximately 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches. Once all the pieces are cut, turn them upside down so that the pattern is face down on your work surface, and the white underside of your paper is facing up.  
Designate one piece of paper to cover the top of your box cover. Take your cover and place it upside down on the paper. Trace the cover opening, and then the around the outer edges of the sides. For each remaining face of the the box, trace around each side on another piece of paper. I usually assign each side a number to each face of the cover, and then write that corresponding number on the piece of paper I traced to glue on later. 


Step two:
-Cut each piece of paper along the cutting lines you traced. You can either embellish the sides of the papers now, or you can wait until step three. I inked the edges of all my paper pieces at this time. Apply a coat of Mod Podge to the patterned side of your papers. Allow to dry. 

Step three:
-If you haven't already, create the embellishments for the sides of your cover. I chose to cut out a couple of flower embellishments that I'd printed out. I then inked the edges, mounted them onto white cardstock, and then mounted it again onto charcoal gray cardstock. I put a coat of Mod Podge on those and let them dry. They bubbled and buckled a bit, but dried mostly flat. 

Step four:
Take your cover and apply thick coat of Mod Podge to one of the wood or papier mache surfaces (not shown here). Place the corresponding piece of paper that you cut out earlier and adhere it down. Press down firmly to ensure that the paper stays put. Repeat this process with all the other sides of the cover. You can use a brayer or bone folder to burnish the paper once it is in place. This reduces bubbling and helps the paper go on smoothly. Expect there to be some bubbling and don't worry too much about it. It's part of the look of this project.
Once the papers are mostly dry, add your embellishments and top with another coat of Mod Podge. I chose to embellish just two sides, but you could definitely do all four. 


Step five:
Add your final touches and fix any problem areas. Even with my tracing and numbering the papers, I still had some edges that weren't exactly flush with the edges of the cover. I cut edges that were too high, re-inked them, added some gems, and then added another coating of the Mod Podge (you can skip this step if you prefer). As a final touch, I added some ribbon (when everything was dry). This is a fun little detail if you are giving it as a gift. 


Some final pointers:
-I will remove the ribbon once my tissue box cover finds its permanent home. These do get a little dusty, and I have to wipe mine off from time to time, and the ribbon gets in the way.
-Remember that this project will look a bit imperfect, so just go with it! Inking the edges hides a lot of mistakes and draws attention away from bubbled areas.
-Thinner papers tend to work better than thicker ones. I preferred my printed papers to the cardstocks when it came to ease of use.
-The drying time is the only part of the process that takes some time.  Maybe do some digital scrapping while each coat of Mod Podge dries...;)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and will try it out sometime.

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