This is an archived posting from my previous website “Chips Antidotal Wanderings” – a personal blog about family, creative moments, and pain management activities in my life. That blog was active from 2004-2011.

Altered Boxes for Fun

I finally had a bit of energy for straightening up the house so I decided to put away a few boxes that had taken up residency in the hallway.  That’s when a design thought jumped out of my wee little brain and bit me.

One of the boxes was from the Kindle reader I was lucky enough to get for my birthday back in March. (Yes – that’s how long the box had been laying there waiting to be put away.) On the inside of the box it came in, letters were printed in a random trail of movement. It was this little design element on the inside that inspired me to do something more with the box than simply trashing it. Instead I decided to alter it into a pretty little something to sit on my desk and hold greeting cards waiting to be sent.

And if I stopped right then and there to follow my creative thought… I could put off the house cleaning a few minutes more.  So of course my muse won that debate!

The Creative Process

After choosing a designer paper that would match the room this would live in, I simply cut it into pieces slightly smaller than each side of the box. I opted to do this rather than wrap all the sides because I wanted to make sure it still opened and closed properly. I inked all the edges of the papers and the box so the project would have a cohesive look to it along with a bit of a distressed flavor. I simply used double-sided tape to attach the papers.

I did cut off the flap on the box that actually hinged it closed and added a ribbon for a closure instead.  I thought the little dragon flies and butterflies on this ribbon coordinated well with the flourish pattern on my paper.  By the way – these black flourishes are ‘felted’.  So they add a classy textural element to the box.

Then I made up some tags and collaged a few items  on top to give the box a 3-D, touchable design to it. The paper element on front that has the big “A” on it is actually the front of a note card from a boxed set I picked up at the dollar store. Since our last name begins with “A” I figured the set of 12 cards for $1 would get used some time or another for crafting or actual gifting.  I bought them about a year ago and this is the first thing I finally used them on.  (Much like the boxes living in my hallway – some things sit around a long time waiting for me to act on them.)

You know how I am about stamping and doodling.  So of course I had to do a bit of that here too.

Inside the Box

On the inside of the box I added a little pocket to hold stamps, envelopes, or maybe a list of names and addresses.  Would you believe this little Kindle box holds about 20 or so cards in it?  And do you see those “trailing letters” printed on the inside cover?  That’s what my inspiration was for this project.  I just couldn’t see that little design element get tossed into the trash.  Today I’m blaming Amazon for empowering me to play instead of clean house.  LOL

Box Addictions

My dear Greg seems to think I have a strange addiction to boxes as I can hardly throw one out to save my neck.  I have a closet with a stack of them in it.  I just find it hard to pay for a box to ship something in when I can simply recycle one that has arrived on my doorstep sometime or another.  And if I can turn a cardboard box into something fun to decorate with…. hey- why not?  I figure it’s better than adding such things to the landfills!

Today the energy I had was well spent because even after creating this project I still had a bit left over for….. yeah – straightening up the house. 🙂

I hope this little project inspires you to take a second look at your boxes too.  Go green and add a bit of flair to your house decor at the same time!

~Cindy

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