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Portrait Sculpture Box

Dara Brown embellishes this portrait sculpture box with miniature floral lights.

Materials and Tools:

wooden box
foam board
craft knife
two-part resin, disposable cups and stir stick
white, dark blue, black, light blue and peach acrylic paint
blue iridescent glitter
luminescent paints
gold tempera paint
handmade stencil
various size paintbrushes
matte varnish
twigs, synthetic leaves, miniature floral lights
string, wire
ceramic heart
sheer fabric
broken mirror pieces
broken glass pieces
instant glue, epoxy glue, glue gun and hot glue sticks


1. Paint the outside of the wooden box with an assortment of black, white, dark blue and light blue latex paint.

2. Apply matte varnish in a random pattern and sprinkle glitter onto the portrait box.

3. Create stars (dots) on the outside of the box with white and luminescent paints and a tiny paintbrush.

4. Paint the interior of the box with white and peach paint.

5. Attach a handmade stencil to the inside bottom of the box with gold paint.

6. Mount a photograph onto foam board with instant glue. Cut the mounted photo into four pieces with a craft knife and ruler.

7. Glue the four sections of the mounted photo to the back of the inside of the box using instant glue. Leave a 1/8-inch around each piece to give the appearance of ceramic tiles.

8. Mix the two-part resin in disposable cups according to manufacturer's directions using a stir stick and pour it over the photograph sections. The resin will fill in the spaces like grout.

9. Allow the resin to harden overnight.

10. Glue miniature floral lights to the inside of the box.

11. Hot-glue synthetic leaves around the battery pack to camouflage the battery pack.

12. Hot-glue broken mirror and glass pieces on one interior wall of the box.

13. Cut sheer fabric and hot glue it over the mosaic like a curtain. Pull back the curtain and tie it with string to expose the mirror and glass pieces.

14. Cut twigs slightly larger than the box and wedge them from top to bottom on the inside of the box. The pressure will hold the twigs in place.

15. Wrap the miniature floral lights around the twigs and other objects in the box.

16. Make a miniature birdcage out of wire and hang it from the top interior of the box. Place a ceramic heart in the cage.

17. Display the portrait sculpture box with the miniature lights turned-on.

Portrait Sculpture Box by Dara Brown

Dara Brown of Baltimore, Md., considers her pregnancy with her son, Victor, to be one of the most treasured experiences of her lifetime. After she gave birth, she decided that she needed a way to capture that moment in time with more than just a photo of Victor. The result from this youth coordinator/artist/mother was a portrait sculpture box similar to the one featured here.


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