Sunday, April 21, 2013

How I saved a cracker box from the trash

Do you often wonder what you could do with those cardboard boxes that seem to pile up in your recycle bin?  Here's one idea!

Materials from left:
5 in 1 (spreader)
Masking tape
Empty cardboard box (not corrugated)
Joint compound
Kraft paper used to cover my self healing mat

I had already taped the bottom and sides of this box when I realized I had grabbed the low tack tape.  However, I felt it would work fine, since it would soon be covered.

I began by trying to spread the joint compound as smooth as possible, then decided I preferred the texture better, so added more joint compound and "roughed" the piece up a bit.  I allowed the front, sides and back to dry, then added joint compound to the ends.

Next came the paint.  The Clark and Kensington paint was free from ACE Hardware.  They gave a quart away free one weekend earlier this year.  The other two paints were also free from my Household Hazardous Waste Swap and Shop.  I will never have to buy paint again, since I have such a great resource as my HHW Swap and Shop.

I covered everything but the back side using the Clark and Kensington paint, and before it dried,

I added Dusty Rose, a pale pink I thought would be darker.  I wasn't exactly thrilled with the outcome, but it was too late to stop now.  I allowed this mess paint to dry, then

painted the back using the first paint.  Those white spots are actually wet paint under the poor lighting in my basement studio.  I allowed this to dry for two days, because it was so cold and a bit damp in my basement studio.  Once dry, I brought it upstairs.

Upstairs in my main floor craft room, I sprayed some vintage sheet music with spray mists, including some pink I made on Day 1, then sewed the quote:
The heart wants what the heart wants.
~attributed to Woody Allen
I tipped the box so you could better see the piece, then decided, due to my really old camera, that position didn't show it as well as I hoped.

This position was a bit better, but the color was a bit dark.  You can tell the box stands on its own and could pass for one of my wood pieces.  I used one of Annette's (Voodoo Vixen) roses she sent me last year.  Odd that it would take so long to find a use for this beautiful handmade flower.

The color is all wrong here (and didn't respond well to anything I tried in Photoshop), but this shows the texture of the piece and the dimension of the flower.

Today is Day 21, and I recycled a cardboard box, used some free paint, colored and repurposed some vintage sheet music, and incorporated a beautiful flower I received as a gift.  I would call this a great art day!

8 thoughtful remarks:

Halle said...

That's really smart. I wouldn't have thought to "stiffen" a box like that to create a block.
So many possibilities.

Dianne said...

brilliant recycle project...the little box looked exactly like a chunky canvas after you put on the joint compound! great idea...and lovely art work!

Dandelion and Daisy said...

I thought I posted earlier but I don't see it so I'll try again. Just wanted to thank you for this series of great recycling ideas! This one is a wonderful gift idea.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

What a neat way to create a chunky canvas!

Marilyn Rock said...

Such a creative and textural piece! I love it! xxoo

Dawn said...

This is brilliant Elizabeth, what a beautiful way to repurpose a 'waste' box. Lol,you converted me ages ago, all my cardboard packaging gets repurposed either as journal pages or book covers and I keep some of the plastic packets to use for stamping with - some of them have fab patterns moulded into the plastic on the base!!.
Huge hugs to you both x x x x

Rita said...

I love to see recycling projects. And I always enjoy seeing all your steps, too. :)

Julia Dunnit said...

I would call it a gat art day too..what a result! Ive re used cereal boxes that ive covered with paper and never thought to use a base that could give texture and frankly, longevity. Ace as usual E! Hope you're keeping well dear gal.