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How to Embellish a Craft Box with Resin

Sink buttons and found objects into resin to embellish this painted box.

Although Anike Robinson of Silver Spring, Md., always loved arts and crafts, she never considered herself an artist. That is, until she made friends with one in college who told her quite simply, "You can draw if you want to." Well, evidently she wanted to and before she knew it, she was drawing enough greeting cards to reach full artist status. But as we'll see, she didn't stop there. Once she discovered craft boxes and resin, she took her cards to a whole new level.

Materials and Tools:

unfinished wooden box
small screwdriver
wood glue
glue gun and hot glue
red, black and gold acrylic paint
paper cutter
embossing pad and powder (metallic colors work best)
embossing heat gun
professional laminator or laminating sheets
photographs, graphic design, decorative paper or a color copy of an image
paintbrushes and foam brushes
bowling-alley wax or wax for wood
rubber stamps
found objects: buttons, shells, earrings, etc.
large bead, pull or other found object to be used as opener*
small drill or small nails
steel wool
two-part resin solution
container for mixing and pouring resin
plastic knife or fork
canned air duster (office supply store)
*The original clasp can be left on the box.


1. Assemble a collage by gluing pictures, graphics or decorative papers onto heavy cardstock.

2. Have a color copy of the image made at a copy center sized to the top of the box.

3. Have the resized image laminated at the copy center or laminate the image with laminating sheets.

4. Trim the laminated image so it fits snuggly in the in-set portion of the box.

5. Remove the clasp from the wooden box using a small screwdriver.

6. Paint the entire box (inside and out) red and allow it to dry completely.

7. Once the first coat is dry, paint over it with the black paint and allow to dry. Note: Guest usually leaves the bottom of the box red as her trademark.

8. Seal the top in-set portion of the box by applying hot glue to the inside border so the resin will not leak through. Let dry.

9. Once dry, gently rub the box with fine steel wool so that some of the red paint will be exposed giving the box an aged appearance. Continue until satisfied with the effect.

10. Hot glue the laminated image to the face of the box.

11. Mix the resin according to manufacturer's directions. Pour the resin in the in-set portion of the box. Start from the middle and circle your way around to the outer edges.

12. Pick up the box and tip it for the resin to cover. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes in a well-ventilated area.

13. Sink buttons or other found objects to the box top below the resin level using a plastic knife or fork to push the objects down.

14. After 10 minutes periodically check on the box for unwanted bubbles. To burst these little bubbles spray canned air (used to clean computer dust) onto the box. The airburst will move the resin, pop the bubbles, and the resin will ooze back into place. Again, after 10 minutes, check on the box for unwanted bubbles.

15. Drying time is about 12 hours. Once the resin has hardened add embellishments.

16. Stamp the resin box with the design(s) of your choice.

17. Sprinkle embossing powder over the stamped area. Shake off excess powder by picking up the box and tapping. Save the excess embossing powder to use again.

18. Emboss the powder using a heat gun until the image is raised.

19. Adhere a different pull for the box with a glue gun or hammer and nail.

20. Add gold dots on the resin on the top of the box with gold metallic paint and a paintbrush.

21. Place a coating of bowling-alley wax on the resin filled box following manufacturer's directions.

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