Sunday, December 10, 2017

Free and Discounted Cozy Reads Today Only and a Cool DIY Project

It was love at first sight when I caught a glimpse of this oversized botanical print in a gold frame. There’s something so cool about vintage looks, and I’ve always been a sucker for ferns with their delicate fronds. Once it was up in my bathroom, I realized how silly the extra toilet paper rolls looked on the back of the toilet tank.

But as stupid as they looked, I’m a big believer in having a home that works for me. I think your dwelling should be as stress-free as possible, and that means having what you need close at hand.

I could have gone online and bought a basket. A simple solution, right? However, I’ve been in a real DIY mood, and I recalled several videos I’d seen on YouTube where people transformed cardboard into smart containers. Since our place is littered in nice packing boxes from Home Depot, I decided to give the project a whirl.

First I used two rolls of toilet paper to measure out the space needed. I added a bit extra for convenience as I hated the thought of having to wrestle jammed rolls out of the container. Next I measured the height to my framed picture. Using these measurements, I cut out four pieces of card. Two pieces were sides plus the end piece that when folded became an “L” shape. One piece was the bottom, and a matching piece was the top.

I taped all the pieces together except for the lid. I double-checked to see that my measurements had been accurate and that my finished product would fit on the toilet lid. After making sure I was correc, I used a hot glue gun and reinforced all the seams.

Duct tape became the hinge for lid. I put a strip on the inside of the box and on the outside, hoping to reinforce the hinge.

Next I used brown kraft paper to cover the box. For this I chose a glue stick, running it over each surface of the box. I started with the two ends, folding the excess paper under. After those were done, I could wrap a single piece around the front, bottom, back, and lid. I decided that the lid would get the most wear and tear, so I added a second piece of kraft paper to it. Once everything was covered, I “painted” the box with matte Mod Podge.

As it dried, I tried to figure out what would make an appropriate embellishment. I didn’t want to go over the top, because the framed fern is the major accent. I didn’t want to look too matchy-matchy by covering the box with more ferns. But I did want to keep the same vibe going.

On Google, I found various prints of vintage ferns. I printed out a color copy of one that I liked. However, the fern would get lost by itself. I needed a frame. So, I cut apart a plastic container of cherry tomatoes, taking care to preserve the oval plastic opening. I used the oval as a pattern to cut out a section of the fern print. I mounted the fern print piece on a piece of light cardstock. I covered it with a layer of Mod Podge and let it dry.

I painted the plastic oval with gesso, a product used by artists. Gesso creates “tooth” or grip. When it was dry, I painted the oval a second time, using metallic gold acrylic paint. When that dried, I also added a layer of gold nail polish. Tip: The sequence of gesso, acrylic paint, and nail polish is the most economical way to get good coverage. While all that dried, I glued burlap ribbon around the lid to make a cool embellishment. It looks a little wonky in the photos, but it’s perfect in real life.

Once the oval was dry, I glue it over the fern on cardstock. I trimmed off the excess cardstock. A small ring of twine around the fern added a touch of texture.

What do you think of my project? Have you ever made anything from cardboard boxes?
Today Only (12-10-2017)
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