Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Craft Offering: Turning a used book and two altoid tins into a jewelry box

Here it is! After the crafty ladies potluck, I had to wait a month or so to post this because it was a gift for my sister, who lives in Washington D.C.

two Altoids tins
paint, and/or any decorative paper or images you like
two dresser knobs
Mod Podge
box cutter
old book
spray polyurethane
hot glue


1. First make sure the book you have is thick enough for the tins to fit.

2. Paint the drawers and/or line them with fabric. Paint your knobs if they look a little boring, and hot glue them to the tins.

3. Measure the book and make a mark at the midpoint Mark the mid-points of the left half and the right half. Now mark the mid-points on your tins (I used a silver Sharpie). Take a look at where they are situated and make sure that's where you want them to end up.

4. You'll make two pockets in the book using your box cutter. Trace around the tins and mark how deep you want the drawers to go (the length of the tin, plus about a quarter-inch). Draw a line straight across the book so that both drawers will stop at the same place.

5. Start slicing the pages, using your ruler to guide your knife. Cut a little outside what you traced to allow the drawers to slide in and out smoothly. Keep cutting until you have two rectangular notches. You don't need to go all the way to the back cover.

6. Try it out and make sure it sits inside nicely. Carve away any more pages as needed.

7. I used decorative hand-made paper I like and Modge Podge to decorate the cover and painted the pages. There are lots of possibilities for decorating the cover using paint, clay, glitter, silk flowers, etc. I even used the name of the book on its side because it was meaningful in this situation. I cut it out of the title page in the book and modge podged it to the spine.

8. Next, clamp your book firmly and spray the whole thing with polyurethane. It may need two coats to keep it completely sealed and the cover attached.

TIPS:• Follow the directions on the polyurethane can (I actually used liquid polyurethane)• I prefer using a box cutter as opposed to an X-acto because the dull blades can be snapped off• Sit the book at the edge of the table to avoid nicking the table when cutting the pages• Watch your fingers!• When spraying your book, clamping is a must for it to stay sealed. I ended up piling heavy things on top of it, and it definitely wasn't nearly as sealed as it would have been.

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