Sunday, February 19, 2012

How to Turn Junk into Treasure

Once in a while, for reasons beyond my understanding, I have this urge to craft, to do a project, despite the fact that "now is not a good time." I mean, it's an almost physical compulsion to dive headfirst into a project even when the timing is COMPLETELY off.

Such an urge consumed me this weekend. I had remnants of Valentine's Day candy and cards, and before you could say, "Roses are red..." I was knee-deep making this "Love Box." (Partially inspired by Betty's awesome post about turning nothing into something.)

I started with an empty Truvia box. I love the slant of the lid. After I covered the box with paper, I glued ribbon around the top and on the inside lip. Finally, I gathered a piece of tulle from a bouquet of Valentine's Day roses, stuck a sparkly brad in the center and ta-da! I had my "Love Box." Only one problem: It was empty.

I decided to do a variation on a map-album, so called because it folds up like a road map. Using waste cardboard from packing, I cut out ten rectangles that would fit inside the box. Then I started working on "covers" or decorated rectangles that would fit over the brown, yucky side of the cardboard.

This pattern is called "Zin." To it, I added a simple blue heart, a sparkling foam flower, and a brad.
The plastic square was cut from packaging. I painted on a heart-shape with pink nail polish. Then I added sparkle/glitter and 3-dimensional clear glue to make the heart. A pink brad (bar shaped) attaches the heart to the "page."

This is the plastic covering for a bunch of flowers. At least, the rose portion was printed on plastic. Beneath the rose, which is transparent, is a Zentangle pattern called "Hurakan."

This is an overlay made, again, of clear packaging material. I colored it with alcohol inks. Beneath it is a Zentangle design. I have rotated the plastic here so you can see how it covers the tangle. Instead of a brad, I used a thumbtack in the center.

Once all the "covers" were finished, I sandwiched a long piece of blue ribbon (leftover from a gift, part of the packaging) between the "covers" and the cardstock to make "pages." When I finished, I had ten rectangles strung together. But you could flip these over and then you had ten rectangles on the REVERSE side, for a total of 20 "pages." I'll go back and add small photos and journaling to these "pages."

When "folded" up, the pages look like this. They all fit neatly inside the box.


It took me the better part of two days, but I also did some writing, cleaned house, and spent time with my husband. I'm pretty pleased with the final result.

How about you? Ever get the urge to create? Do you give in? Or lie down until it passes?


Victoria's Place said...

I love it! Sometimes I give in and create and other times I don't. I guess it depends on what is going on in my life.

Mollie Cox Bryan said...

I love it, Joanna! This weekend I cleaned, watched Downton Abbey, and caught up on my scrapbooking. (Well, not completely...but made an effort!) Sometimes you just have to give in to that urge.

Linda O. Johnston said...

Lovely, Joanna! My junk usually just remains junk.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I should have been writing, though, shouldn't I? Sigh. But I guess everyone needs a break now and again!

Janel said...

This is really beautiful! And to think, it's mostly recycled materials too. Great job!

I tend to crochet or knit when I have to do a project, but I also Zentangle and do beadwork. Whatever strikes my fancy is what I'll do when I get a creative urge.

Monica Ferris said...

I usually give in to the Great Idea I sometimes get when coming across an old, forgotten stash. Sometimes the result is great, sometimes I end up throwing the pieces away. Once in a while, I put the pieces away to be found at a later date.

suzie said...

This is beautiful, must look out for one of those boxes, what is Truvia? can we get it in the UK

I would love to make one and call it my Trivia box, to hold lots of little trivia

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Victoria, I just had to make room for this project.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Janel, I love taking stuff that would normally wind up in the trash and repurposing it. Feels very virtuous.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Suzie, Truvia is a sweetener. I think it's from the stevia plant. Any little box would do, and now you've got me thinking I need to use my next Truvia box for a Trivia Box! Great idea!

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Monica, there are a few rewards to not throwing out your bits and bobs, as the Brits say.

Ellen said...

For me, these projects start with wanting something. Then comes my stash, which tends to be filled with bits of metal, electronics, plastic, and wood. And something gets put together that does the job, though the bitty bits were never intended for that.

Never believe the label. It's only a suggestion. There are more interesting uses for the object in the box.

Betty Hechtman said...

Joanna, I am awed by what you made! I love anything with hearts.