Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Secret Garden Specimen Box by Julie Dandy

We had computer problems on Saturday and Julie’s post didn’t go live until 10.00pm,
so here it is again for anyone that missed it.


Hi everyone, this is my fourth piece to share with you and I really enjoyed creating this one.

I love the depth and texture the paper clay has given this piece :D

What I used :
Patterned Paper - I used Graphic 45 Secret Garden 8 x 8 Paper Pad
Distress Stickles in Brushed Corduroy and Bundled Sage
Glue - I used Glossy Accents
Ranger Copper Tape
Ribbon, Lace, Buttons, Key and a Tim Holtz Keyhole
How to:
Mould your clay pieces and leave to one side to dry - I left mine 24 hours so they were completely dry. They just pop out of the mould when dry.

When completely dry and hard, colour with the Distress Markers and blend out with a damp brush. They do dry a lot paler than you think but you can always add more colour later. Don't over wet the clay shapes or they will go to soft and lose their definition.

Glue the three Tando frames together and when dry, add the copper tape to the insides of the frames, quite fiddley but worth it :D. Spray these with the Cosmic Shimmer mist to give a verdigris effect - I added lots of layers and dried in between with my heat gun - be careful as the copper gets hot! When dry, glue the frame to some patterned paper then cut out the appertures, sand the edges and ink, spray and generally grunge up.

Cover all the other chippie pieces with patterned paper then glue in to place. I coloured all the edges with Distress Paint in Victorian velvet.

Glue your clay pieces where you want them and use the Distress Markers to watercolour around the edges to age the paper - I scribble on to an acrylic block then picked up the ink with a waterbrush.

Stamp the images you want on to a piece of scrap paper and watercolour those with the Distress Markers.

Cut a piece of the Clearly For Art big enough to cover your frame and attach with the copper tape. Spritz again to age and smear on the Distress Stickles to highlight the frames and age the piece. 

Cut a piece of sticky backed canvas big enough to cover the spine of the cover and stick on to a piece of patterned paper face down - don't choose a piece with writing on, as it will appear reversed. Burnish it will with the back of a spoon, then soak it in warm water. Rub the paper off the canvas until you reveal the transferred image from the paper, then leave to dry out - don't worry too much about it being sticky or little bits of paper left on as the matte medium will sort this out ;-). Fray the edges and glue along the spine with the Matte Medium.

Tie a long piece of ribbon along the spine keeping the knot to the centre of the cover, this will then become your tie closure.

Glue on all your chosen embellies with the Matte Medium and when dry, spritz with the Cosmic Shimmer and mists made from the Distress re-inkers. Grunge everything up a bit more, with smeared on Distress Stickles.

When everything is dry, tie the ribbon in a bow to close your specimen box.


Hope you like this piece and it inspires you to get inky and grungy :D


Julie xx


  1. This looks fantastic, what a great project, love it!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  2. This looks fantastic, what a great project, love it!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  3. This is gorgeous Julie. Loads of fabulous detail and the colours are beautiful.
    Fliss xx

  4. Wow, that's fabulous, Julie!

  5. A stunning make and so clever. TFS this inspiring piece Julie

    Crafty hugs Annie x

  6. what a cool way to use the printer tray, it's lovely. x


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