How to Build a Mixed Media Story Box

Use found objects to tell a story with this mixed media story box.

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Materials and Tools:

generic wooden box with hinges
picture-frame molding
plastic toy rabbit
old watch face
old wooden ruler
small old spoon
grapevine
3 wooden stars
brown acrylic paint
small, round metal case with lid
wire
old faux pearls
scrap wood
blue painter's tape
nails
hammer
paintbrush
awl or dental instrument
2-part epoxy glue
white glue
patina-green antiquing solution
iron paint (metal paint)
text from an old newspaper or words typed on a computer and printed out
heat gun (optional)

Steps:

1. Cut a piece of scrap wood for a shelf to fit inside the wood box. Mix two-part epoxy glue and glue the shelf in the box about a third of the way from one end. Let dry.

2. Glue three wooden stars to the inside back of the box above the shelf. Let dry.

3. Miter the ends of two pieces of picture-frame molding the length of each end of the box and epoxy them to the front top and bottom. Secure the molding with finishing nails.

4. Paint the entire box with brown acrylic paint, inside and outside. Don't paint the molding. Let dry.

5. Paint the surface with iron paint. Apply the iron paint to the molding as well.

6. Paint the toy rabbit and let dry.

7. Attach painter's tape to the dried surface in a stripe pattern across the front and sides of the box. Apply the tape to the top and bottom of the box so the stripes are positioned from front to back.

8. Repaint the box several times with iron paint, painting right over the tape, and let dry. 

9. Apply the patina solution over the iron paint and let dry. You cab speed up the drying process with a heat gun.

10. Pull off the tape and touch up as needed.

11. Cut an old ruler to the width of the box and glue it to the back of the box above the shelf.

12. Wrap wire around the rabbit's neck and add a pearl.

13. Make a hole in the rabbit's belly with an awl or dental instrument and apply glue. Make a hole in the side of the round metal case and drive in a nail, wedging the case to the hole in the belly. Let dry.

14. Glue text from an old newspaper or text printed from the computer to the face of the watch. Glue a small piece of wood to the back of the face to use as a spacer. Let dry.

15. Put the watch face inside the round case. Glue a few pearls around the bottom of the watch face. Attach the watch face to the case.

16. Epoxy the rabbit and the watch case to the back of the box above the shelf.

17. Hammer small nails in a row on the shelf on either side of the watch case.

18. Bend an old spoon and wrap a little wire around it with a pearl. Wedge it into place in the bottom half of the box.

19. Add grapevine around the spoon.

20. Touch up any visible areas of the piece that need "aging" with iron paint.

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