I took a two week vacation to Florida at the end of February and while I was there I stuffed a large suitcase to bursting with all the art supplies I was missing so much when I moved to Canada.  Most of my stuff is still in the United States because we’re waiting for my work visa to come through, but having these art supplies is such a huge relief.

I admit, I have a bad habit of starting projects and then never finishing them.  So, one of the things I wanted to do while I was waiting for the work visa to come in was finish up some of my unfinished projects.  One of them was decorating a series of boxes.

I’m a big fan of Japanese tsumami kanzashi, or flowers folded from individual squares of silk to create hair accessories. I always thought they would look really great as decorations for boxes or maybe on shoes – although they probably wouldn’t last very long on a shoe if you wear them often.

I’ve had a series of little cardboard boxes that I picked up from Michael’s eons ago – since high school really.  I figured I’d get around to using them one day, and today is finally that day.

I started out with a hexagon shaped box.  I used inexpensive acrylic white paint – just the basic bottles you can get from any craft store.

The paint is pretty thin, so you need at least two coats in order to get decent coverage.  For the inside, I left it rough, but the outside I sanded down after the first two coats and added a few more before sanding it smooth again.  It’s not perfect and glossy, but it works for my purposes.

For the hexagon box I wrapped a spare piece of light aqua ribbon around the edge of the box top.  Then, I started gluing the flowers I had in my storage to the top of the box. I used nori paste – or rice based glue – which I bought from amazon.  It remains flexible for a good long while, which allows you to re-position things as needed.

Some of the flowers did not have any center pieces, so I added them in using E-6000 which has a much faster drying time.  I used bead caps with rhinestones, and faux pearls for the centerpieces – as well as a piece of silver metallic sparkle wire.  It’s easy to shape and lightweight compared to heavier jewelry wires.

There were also some blank areas where flowers wouldn’t fit. I filled those spaces up with faux stamens I got from Amazon.  For the smaller gaps, I glued in some rhinestones also using E-6000. You can get E-6000 from pretty much any craft store, but often times you see it in larger tubes.  Since I know that E-6000 can dry out over time, I like to buy mine in smaller tubes so that I don’t end up drying out a large tube of glue.

I also did a second oval shaped box, this one without the silk edging on the top of the box.  With so much going on on top of the box, I feel like the sides are kind of nice when left plain.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the inside of the boxes.  It would be easy enough to line the insides of the boxes with satin or turn them into ring boxes, but since I’m not sure what I’ll be using them for I’m just leaving them plain for now.  I also have three more boxes left – a circle, a square and a heart.  I don’t think I actually have enough flowers left to decorate all three with flowers, but I do have lots of other materials to work with and loads of silk squares already cut out so I could always make more if I need to.

The hexagon box became a late engagement gift for a friend.