Altering a box is a labour-intensive job. Even if it's just decoupaging with patterned paper. And it is even more time-consuming if you want to get "fancy"...you know, upcycle existing materials and incorporate your "found" objects to make it a one-of-a-kind project....the kind of stuff I like.:)
Since it is going to be a labour of love, I would suggest going for a sturdy box. So that it can withstand the altering process and have a decent lifespan as a pretty box.
My fave boxes are mooncake boxes [from the Mid-Autumn Festivals]. Now apparently a LOT of people like to pass their mooncakes boxes to me [sans the mooncake!] but I'm fussy about what I alter. I like to be challenged creatively but if I have to reinforce the box before I start work on it, it fails the sturdy test and goes straight into the recycle bin.
Yep, a box collector with standards. *LOL*
I started by covering the box with wrapping tissue [from packaging] and matte gel medium.
Then I applied gesso all over. Gesso is hard on paintbrushes so I like to use a sponge.
And then covered it with silver paint.
The next step was to apply some stencil design on the box. I wanted to use my white opaque flakes because it was one of those neglected mediums.
I loved the stenciled design when it dried and also "rediscovered" why I hardly used the white opaque flakes. It was looked very pretty but the rough texture wasn't pleasant to the touch. It was "pokey". Now who wants to "cut" themselves every time they open a box right? *winks*
The "pokey" box lay in plain sight amongst my stash, mocking at me every day...
"Have you found a solution? Are you going to make me pretty? Why are you ignoring me?"
For two whole weeks, it tormented me. [dramatic music plays in background].
Until last Saturday. When I rummaged through my stash and found a piece of remnant vintage curtain which reduced the roughness of the texture and still allowed the stencilled design to be seen. Progress!
There was also the challenge of adhering the fabric around a circular box. I decided to add "gathers" and added pearls and buttons to distract. [Okay, I was watching Amazing Wedding Cakes while doing this....*LOL*]
I kept the embellishment clusters on the cover simple so that it showed off more of the texture I spent so much time on. And gives me the option to add a personalized sentiment or name for when I actually give the box away.
So now you know friends, altering a box is no easy task. There will be an extremely "ugly" stage when you question yourself on why you even started the project in the first place. But there's a great sense of satisfaction when it's done. :)