Saturday, 26 January 2013

Altered and upcycled box tutorial

Hello, everyone.  I do hope you are having a lovely weekend.

If you follow me from WOYWW you may have seen an altered box hiding at the back in various stages of altering.

Well, I finished it and thought I would do a tutorial.  Its a little photo heavy as I still cannot fathom why youtube takes so long to upload (hrs for a 3 minute video!!), but if you'd like to learn how I made some embellishments for pennies then read on.

 I started with an empty box.  It contained a natural sweetener and the box seemed too good to chuck so I thought I would alter it and turn it into a treasure chest.

This is the before

 This is the after.  It cost virtually pennies to make!

I painted the box with acrylics, a mix of brown, black and green.  I then dried it with a heat gun and added some gold, black and green wax to the edges, buffed it up and painted a satin water based acylic varnish over the box to seal it.

To make the embellishments I made some moulds from a metal cog and a skull and cross bones pendant.  

I used a hot glue gun to fill the moulds

 When dry, pop them out of the moulds, there may be some overspill but there is a real easy fix

Tidy up the embellishments with scissors.  I use my Tim Holtz scissors, they have amazing micro serrated blades and this means they are a great work horse.

 When they are all tidied up I covered them in black acrylic dabber and then rubbed gold wax over them and buffed them up.  I sealed them with the same acrylic  sealant and now they are ready to use.

 I glued them to the box with multi medium and added some hinges that I stamped with a paper artsy stamp onto grunge paper and cut out.  I coloured the hinges with copper distress stains and attached them with mini brads

I also made a lock with a paper artsy stamp on grunge paper and added a couple of larger brads at the front which I texturised by walloping with a hammer!!

So there you have it.  A treasure chest ready to fill with whatever you choose.  I was thinking scrunching up some brightly coloured tissue paper inside and filling the box with chocolates!!  

Either way, I think this is a great gift box, a one off and best of all its upcycled and cost pennies...whats not to like?

I'd love to know what you think.

Happy crafting



  1. This is terrific! I must try using hot glue in moulds!

    Lucy x

  2. Superb project with great ideas for the details. I love the technical terms... walloping!! Made me laugh!!!
    Jo x

  3. Wow! Superb tutorial and a great make. I've started to collect boxes with the plan to do the same so thanks for the inspiration. Take care Zo xx

  4. Wow, your box is fabulous and what an awesome idea to use hot glue in push molds! Why did I never think of that?!! :)


  5. This is wonderful Kyla! Love the funky look to it and great tip to use hot glue in moulds!

  6. This is fabulous- making a note of this one, I think my Grandchildren would love something like this. Thanks for the visit, Shaz xx

  7. Love your Altered box design, Its Fab x

  8. I've never thought of putting hot glue into a mould neat idea :)
    Love your finished box :)
    Von ♥


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