Monday, July 25, 2011

Guest Blogger - Altered Artworks - Decopauged and Embellished Case

Hello Someday Crafts fans. As Michelle takes time to enjoy her new son, it is my turn--and my privilege--to ignite your creative juices.

My name is Doreen, and I blog on Altered Artworks. This is my virtual haven where I share my passion for altered art.
Several years ago, I started an in-home business called "Coffee, Tea or Me Pots." I painted terra cotta pots and decoupaged them with different designs. It was fun searching for perfect items to fit various themes, creating great ready-to-go-gifts, complete with cellophane wrap, ribbon and coordinating tags.
However, my current creative passion is Altered Art "transforming the mundane, one embellishment at a time." This has become a wonderful time sucker hobby. Roaming through the bric 'n' brac aisles of local thrift shops, looking for that one lonely and somewhat out-of-place mail holder, is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon. Is it weird that I get goose bumps when it's "50% off green tagged items" day?
Here are before-and-after photos of my favorite transformations:

vintage mailbox





shutter -turned-everything holder



I also love creating special occasion canvas wall art. I use graduation announcements, wedding and bar/bat mitzvah invitations as well as photos to help create long-lasting memories. Here is a canvas I created for my Mom using two photos, the first of her holding ME just after I was born (circa 1956) and the bottom photo of me with my two daughters (circa 2010).

Although I just opened my first Etsy shop, I prefer inviting friends over so they can create their own altered art. Everyone brings snacks and I provide the craft supplies. These workshops have become more than crafting--it is Creative Therapy.

I also volunteer at a local senior home helping seniors create something special for them. It's great for their self-esteem and their fine motor skills. It's so fulfilling to see their faces light up when they are able to tie a ribbon or glue tiny rhinestones onto a photo frame.
Today I would like to share a fun, simple and inexpensive idea using a mundane plastic pencil box that I bought for less than $1 (both Staples and Michael's sell these).

Mundane pencil box screaming for embellishments

Here is an easy tutorial on how to transform this box into a "campy" gift, ready to sneak into your child's duffel bag before he/she goes off to summer camp.
Gather together an assortment of scrapbook paper and coordinating ribbon, rub-ons, stickers, buttons, a metal label holder, and anything else you would like to use to embellish the box.

Ribbon, rub-ons, rhinestones, buttons, etc.

Measure the front of your box, and cut two pieces of coordinating paper using the exact dimensions. This box measures 7-3/4" x 2-7/8". Edge the paper with liquid chalk.

A little edging to emphasize the border

Punch a hole in one of the papers for the snap closure. Using Mod Podge, coat the top of the box and the wrong side of the paper, and adhere paper to box. Smooth out any bubbles. When dry, apply a second coat of Mod Podge.

Bring on the Mod Podge

Then add ribbon, buttons, and any other embellishments. 

Standing on end to dry

 I embellished the side of the box with a rub-on that reads, "Life's Better with Chocolate."

"Life's Better with Chocolate"

 Slide out the inside tray, and Mod Podge coordinating paper to it.

Mod Podge the interior

Now add other embellishments to the top. I used buttons, a metal label holder, and personalized the box using my vintage Dymo label maker. I also glued a flower button to the top of the snap closure.

When completely dry, add "ingredients" including a pack of gum, band-aids, chapstick, mini suntan lotion, postage stamps, playing cards, and a mini note from home!

This fun box can be easily adapted for a back-to-school gift. Add new pencils, pens, erasers, sharpener, and a 6" ruler for a great first day of school surprise. Taking it one step further, I created a coordinating note holder (from a wooden clothespin) and a tile coaster to place a water bottle on. There's something about a coordinating ensemble that just oozes fun!

If you would like to see more transformations, I hope you will visit me at Altered Artworks. Please leave a comment that you stopped by from Someday Crafts. And if you like what you see, I hope you become a new follower.

Michelle, thank you so much for this opportunity to share my passion for altered art with your readers. And congratulations on your new baby!

THANKS, DOREEN! You definitely have the skill of turning ugly, old things into something beautiful! I have some knicks and knacks you can work your magic on!!!!!

Visit Altered Artwork to see more of Doreen's beautiful creations!


  1. Woo hoo! So cool to see your awesome talent on display here!

  2. Super cute project, Mom. Turned out lovely!

  3. Love the pencil box idea, great gift for those going off to college, or even for an "emergency" kit in the car (bandaids, asprin, etc).

  4. The pencil case is simple and adorable, I like it very much!


Thanks for leaving a comment. I always like to know what you think of the projects I highlight!

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