Make a Collaged Box from Crafty Birds

Crafty Birds Put a bird on it. Here at CreateMixedMedia we love birds on art and so we are thrilled with the publication of Crafty Birds. Editor Kristy Conlin searched high and low through every North Light mixed-media book for the best projects featuring our avian friends. In this tutorial, originally from Altered Curiosities by Jane Ann Wynn, you'll create this beautiful collaged box. What will you put in it? This tutorial was previously published in the book Crafty Birds, edited by Kristy Conlin, copyright 2013; republished here courtesy of CreateMixedMedia.com. Here's what Jane Ann says about this box: There is something very intriguing and absurd about blending images of humans and animals together in different ways. This combination has piqued my interest since I was a child. It started with Beatrix Potter stories of little animals wearing clothes and talking. I fell in love with the idea of animal playmates. I used to look carefully at my cats and wait to hear them speak. I was convinced they  would talk to me one day. (I still am.) So, when I started looking into the art and history of anthropomorphic images, I realized I had tapped into a very common subject, dating back to Egyptian times and continuing up through modern-day advertising. Pants on pandas, suits on seagulls and cats in hats—all humorous and delightful. When I began to create my box, I knew I wanted to create a very dignified ladybird. I did a little research to help my efforts and discovered that there was an Egyptian god, Thoth, who was the god of the moon, magic and writing. He was usually depicted with the head of an ibis (bird) and the body of a man. I imagined his wife would have had a lovely jewelry box, so I decided to make a box in her honor. I took the image of a bird and one of an elegant lady, cut and pasted them together and created what I like to call Mrs. Thoth’s Jewelry Box. Materials Needed to Make a Collage Box Wood jewelry box Ivory acrylic paint Water Paper towel Gold metallic paint Paintbrush Patina solution and brush Clear sealer Paper images Découpage medium Pencil Decorative paper Drill and 3⁄16" (5mm) bit Two-part epoxy Craft stick Pearls Crystals
Step 1

1. APPLY PATINA TO THE BOX
Paint the entire box with ivory paint. When it’s dry, add gold metallic paint to the interior. Let dry, then brush a patina onto the interior as well. When the patina is dry, spray the interior with a clear sealer and then let that dry.

Step 2

2. DÉCOUPAGE THE IMAGES
Begin découpaging the outside of the box with your chosen images. Here I decided to morph a bird’s head on a woman’s body.

Step 3

3. WHITE-WASH THE IMAGES
Lightly brush a thin coat of ivory paint (mix with a small amount of water) over all of the imagery, then use a paper towel to immediately wipe off the paint over the areas you most want to remain visible.

Step 4

4. ADD SOME PENCIL
Redefine some areas with pencil. This can be as loose or as detailed as you like.

Step 5

5. APPLY PAPER TO THE BOX SIDES
Add some paper around the sides of the box. When you get to the area of the clasp, just tear the paper around it.

Step 6

6. PAINT IN THE DETAILS
Now go back and add some more paint for depth, including adding details like these cute little buttons. Let dry.

Step 7

7. CREATE DIVOTS
Carefully use a drill to make 3⁄16" (5mm) divots for the pearls. You want to carve out a little cup, but you don’t want to drill all of the way through the wood.

8 ADHERE THE PEARLSUse epoxy to glue the pearls in the drilled divots. Let dry.

8. ADHERE THE PEARLS
Use epoxy to glue the pearls in the drilled divots. Let dry.

Step 9

9. APPLY THE SPRAY SEALER
Cover the box with two coats of clear sealer, allowing drying time between coats.

Step 10

10. ADD THE CRYSTALS AND FINAL TOUCHES
Using epoxy, adhere tiny crystals around the perimeter of the head, setting each crystal by pushing it into the epoxy and letting it ooze out around it a little bit. Give the “clean” white areas a little smudge with a dry paintbrush and gold paint before spraying the entire box with a final coat of sealer.

Adobe Photoshop PDFFrom Crafty Birds edited by Kristy Conlin, 2013; courtesy of CreateMixedMedia.com. To learn more about or purchase Crafty Birds, click here.   Learn more about the contributors of Crafty Birds here and for a free bonus bird project.   MORE RESOURCES FOR MIXED MEDIA ARTISTSImprove your mixed media art with books, DVDs, downloads & from the North Light ShopSign up for your FREE Create Mixed Media email newsletter for great tips, projects & moreGet unlimited access to mixed media art instruction ebooksDownload free mixed media desktop wallpapers

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