Notes by Gill Humphrey


One of the joys of creating is that you can make your own presents for those we love - customising according to their tastes. For my blog this week I have taken the notelet box that was designed by Jo Channon and altered it for someone who likes the more vintage look.

The box is super easy to construct using the Multi Purpose Glue Pen as this allows for precise application of the glue. You can add the lid in as you make it however if you are going to do this especially if you are going to cover with papers I would advise you draw round the edges and cut it out before assembling. Once the glue had set I then primed the MDF surface with Acrylic Primer before painting the box  inside and out (but NOT the outside top) with Chestnut Brown Multi Surface paint. Once the base layer had dried I coated the outside of the base of the box (again not the lid) with Crackle Glaze and left it to dry naturally before adding a layer of Sandstone paint. To add the top layer I use a sponge and dab it on being careful not to go over areas as this disrupts the process. 

For the top of the box I took two sheets of rice paper from the Scripts and Numbers Set and collaged them over the surface. I started by cutting out the bigger elements of the postcards from one of the papers and laid them bottom left and top right and then filled in with elements from the paer with writings on. Only once I was happy with the placement did I then glue the pieces in place layering the edges over and under each other. My glue of choice is Pentart Decoupage Glue and Varnish - Matte. I added glue both underneath and over the top of my rice papers so that they were completely sealed in place - vital if you are going to add mediums over the top and then wipe back the surface. For safety it is best to add two layers to the top surface allowing each to dry fully before adding the next.

I wanted to add some decorative elements to the top of my box and to do this chose to use the Calligraphy Ink and Labels mould and Amazing Casting Resin. Once the resin was set I primed the surfaces with Pentart Bonding Primer as this allows you to add paints easily to non-porous surfaces (its completely different to the acrylic primer). The Bonding Primer does take a while to dry and it is worth taking the time to let it do so naturally. The resin pieces were then painted with Sandstone paint. To bring out the details in the moulds I used an antqiue paste in Umbra but you can use Vintage Antiquing Paste if you don't mind the smell of oil based products or alternatively the water based Brown Antiquing Gel. Simply apply either product and then wipe back the surface as much as you want to reveal the details as the mediums settle in the recesses. Once ready I then glued the pieces in place using Matte Heavy Body Gel. To add some shadows around the pieces and where the rice paper elements over lap I used an angled brush dipping just the tip of the longest edge in the antiquing medium of my choice and then worked it on scrap paper so that the medium spread gradually over the width of the brush - this way the medium fades out in intensity before you then just use the brush long edges towards the resin pieces to  paint around the edge of the resin pieces and along the side of the rice paper you want to appear on the top. Don't stress as you can wipe it back if you add too much or don't like it because of the layers of decoupage varnish and glue added when you put the rice papers on. I also added some of the medium around the edge of the lid to frame the top.


The boxes are really versatile so here is another one made in an entirely different style.

I hope you have found this tutorial useful and look forward to seeing how you use Jo's fabulous box design.

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