My memory box was inspired by my two daughters, the idea was to make something very special to remind me of our times together. Most of the summer we worked with several different materials. Most of which varied in texture and color. To name a few we used pom poms, chenille stems, and glitter. For this project I decided to factor in one more material that will be used again in the near future, and that is felt. Felt is by definition a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting condensing and pressing woolen fibers. It can be made in any shape and color, and either very dense or very soft. For more detailed information about felt please go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felt.
Felt material can be purchased at any arts and crafts store. It usually comes in sheets approximately 9 inch x 12 inches. They vary in rich bright colors, and cost very little. They typically retail four sheets for one dollar making them very affordable. They also make felt sheets with an adhesive side, or with glitter, these sheets will end up costing a little more per sheet. For our project I decided to use three colors (shocking pink, light blue, and fire engine red).
In addition to the felt material, for this project I purchased my premade paper mache box, from the arts and crafts store which retailed 1.99. The approximate dimensions are 3 inch x 3 inch x 2.5 inch, of course the boxes can be purchased at larger sizes depending on the goal of the project. I thought, even with a little I could do a lot. Finally, from my supplies at home I decided to use a pair of scissors, sobo craft glue, low to medium quality acrylic paint brushes, and a tube of Liquitex soft body cadmium red paint.
For the memory box I chose a special picture of my two daughters and I made sure that it was a picture that I could easily reprint if I needed to. I find that higher resolution digital images are very easy to reprint either through online services or photo printers from your home.
I also wanted to make use of some Loteria cards that my sister bought just for the sole purpose of using the imagery for a project that she was working on. ( Loteria is a very popular Mexican card game. It is played much like Bingo but instead of numbers imagery is used. Loteria sets can be purchased at any local Mexican food markets and cost about three dollars a set, prices may vary. Since I made use of materials I had on hand I used the cards for the purposes of having a variety of imagery, however any kind of colorful paper can be used for a project like this.
For this project there was no side of the box or the lid that was left without decoration. I started with the lid and worked my way down to the box itself. There was no real rhyme or reason except that in the process of making the box I allowed one idea to influence another. I only used the supplies that I had originally started out with and by doing so there was a visual flow and balance for the entire box.
Since the image of the girls was the focal point of the project, I decided to place the picture at the top of the box. I took the lid and flipped it over so that I could measure and outline the square shape of the lid over the picture to have that exact shape on the picture. Then I cut it out and glued it with Sobo to the top of the lid. I cut off any paper that might be hanging off the edge.
I decided that two of the sides of the lid (opposite of each other )would have a piece of the Loteria paper glued to each side. I cut out a piece of the Loteria card to fit the side and glued it on. When I chose the imagery for the lid I was sure not to cut into too much of the white border around the image in order to utilize the colors. I also cut the image at an angle to make it more interesting visually. After gluing and cleaning the edges I added the mini pom poms over the white areas of the card to start giving the lid dimension.
For the other two sides I decided I would add a piece of red and pink felt as the background. On the red felt side I decided to leave alone, and the other side (pink side) I decided to add a few things to it. For example, I rolled up a blue chenille stem to resemble a rosette and then glued it on. Then I cut out random shapes of red felt and glued them on. The tricky part of this was to use enough glue. I noticed that the felt that I used for the background absorbed the glue like a sponge so I had to be very generous with the sobo.
Making every part of this box was a lot of fun, because each side gave me a new opportunity to be creative. When I moved onto the box itself I had to take into consideration that I had to be able to decorate the box and still fit the lid back on. Because I was working with felt I decided to put the lid on and mark a line where the lid ended so that I would not cover that area with the material. This was helpful in allowing me to see how much space I had to work with the felt, and figuring out how I would decorate that particular side.
As I measured earlier with the picture on the lid, I measured and cut out a piece of pink felt for my background color. I made sure that the material stayed right at the line and any material hanging over the outer edges could easily be cut off with the scissors. I used a generous amount of sobo and glued it on. Then I took a piece of red felt and cut it down to the shape of a flower and glued it on top of the pink background. Then for the center of the flower I cut another piece of felt into a small circle. Finally for the finishing touch I added five mini pom poms to the center, always using generous amounts of sobo.
On the opposite side of the flower, I decided to glue larger pom poms in rows accross, on the entire side. Since the box itself is fairly small in size the pom poms that I used weren’t too much bigger.
For the remaining two sides, I came up with the idea to use imagery that represents my children, so for one side I decided to use the moon and for the other side I decided to use the sun. So I cut out the sun and moon images from the cards and glued them as close to the center as possible below the lid line. Then I decided to surround the images with felt. I had an idea of what patterns I wanted to see on the box, but I was pretty open to anything. The fun part of the project for me was not really having a plan and letting the creativity flow.
So I started with a piece of red felt that covered the entire side of the box. I glued only one side to hold into place. Then I carefully cut the felt so that the image was showing through. I cut out a little at a time so that the felt fit around the image perfectly. After cutting the felt, I glued the rest of the felt onto the box. Then I filled the empty space with pieces of felt that fit almost like a puzzle.
To complete the sides I wanted to cover the area that would be underneath the lid so that when the lid is taken off there would be a visual image there. So I cut another strip of the loteria card and glued it to the small space that was exposed.
To finish the outside of the box, I took a piece of red felt and measured it to fit the bottom. After gluing it on I took my scissors and cut off any excess felt to get the perfect fit.
Inside of the Box
This part of the project was fairly easy. I took a small plastic cup and filled it with the red paint. Then I applied two coats of paint to the inside of the box and the lid. After the paint was dry I was ready to put together my box and see it all together in one piece.
Of course I couldn’t wait to see the box finished. But knowing how I think I could easily get carried away and find more things to do with it.
In the meantime, I was very pleased with the end result! If you try this project have fun with it! I did!!!
Come look at my original art at www.luciaperez.info, and follow the links on my blog if you are interested in purchasing a print of my artwork.