December 22, 2014

Noel Vignette Box

Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season - it is my pleasure to share with you detailed finished photographs and instructions for a piece featured in this years Somerset Holidays and Celebrations, one of my favorites:

For many years I have been a miniature enthusiast so the concept of combining small "left over" boxes from Tim Holtz Configurations (thank you Paula Cheney!) appealed to me and could be used in any themed project, filled with whatever your hearts desire, even saved memorabilia pieces from past celebrations, then displayed as home decoration, framed as a art piece or given as a wonderful memories gift to family and friends.

This vignette uses a diecut frame on the top along with the Noel diecut greeting, filled with a handmade cabin, trees, gifts and diecut village in the background.  I chose blue as my holiday color since I live in Florida, but pick your pleasure, let your imagination soar and enjoy!

To secure the small boxes, I use Ranger Multi Medium Matte brushed onto the box sides, hold them together with small binder clips, then wrap a large rubber band around to keep them straight as they dry. There are many combinations - remember these can be art framed in shadow boxes if desired rather than chipboard framed as shown.  This example is not the one I used but shows you the process.  Set aside to dry before decorating.
After assembled boxes are dried together, measure and cut papers to cover the sides and back, adhere with Multi Medium.  I used coordinating papers from Tim Holtz "Seasonal" paper stash.

In this project, a heavy chipboard frame is cut to fit over the boxes, the one used is a book cover with trimmed ends (shown in photo below).  You could easily create your own by measuring the outside of the boxes and adding however many inches you want the top width to be then depending on the size, hand trim a decorative top with craft knife OR diecut using a Sizzix On The Edge pattern. Measure to cut the inside of the frame with at least a 1/8" overlap onto the top edge of the boxes - the frame has to have something to sit on and be glued to.  When the frame is completely cut inside and out, cover with a medium to heavy coat of Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint - Clear Rock Candy and set aside to dry.  After completely dry, use Broken China and Tumbled Glass Distress Paints to colorize crackle. Please refer to instructions in CC3C Challenge 14 (below in this blog) and Tim's Compendium of Curiosities Volume III on how to paint and complete the crackle finish frame.

Now you want to cover the inside of the boxes - measure and cut papers to fit - glue in with Multi Medium - cover edges with tissue tape.  I do not like to reinvent the wheel and there are multiple instructions and measurements available on these boxes - use either Tim Holtz or Paula Cheney blogs for details, YouTube also has videos.  TIP - if tissue tape is not stuck down after drying, brush on more Multi Medium under and over to secure - dry.  Broken China Distress Ink was used to color over all tissue tape edges.

All boxes have a "piece" of the Sizzix On The Edge - Townscape diecut in the background - cut out of chipboard - Distress Paint with Broken China - dry - ink edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink - glue a small piece of yellow paper to the back to give appearance of lighted windows - create a shadow in the windows using Frayed Burlap Distress Marker - set aside to add snow later with other pieces then "elevate" with foam dots and glue into back of box before adding other elements.

The left side box has a small idea-ology Woodlands tree, colored with Evergreen Bough Distress Stain - again, please see Tim Holtz blog or YouTube video for this process - dry - add snow (instructions below) then glue on bead ornaments and top with a small Mirrored Stars.  Small gift packages can be made or found in store miniatures departments or online.

The center box has a handmade chipboard cabin - draw and cut to size for fit.  I used Brushed Corduroy Distress Paint on cabin, roof and chimney, woodgrain detail and stone chimney with Walnut Stain paint, wreath and garland with Peeled Paint - highlights in Antique Linen paint.   Add a painted wood look frame around a square yellow piece of paper for front window.  Cut the top off another Woodlands tree (it is smaller) then spray stain and decorate for the side.  NOTE - after snow has been added and cabin glued into place, add a bit of "smoke" coming out of the chimney with fibers from a cotton ball - pinch a small amount of fiber from a cotton ball and glue into the chimney - dry - add a tiny bit of glossy accent to the inside top of the box and pull the fibers to the top to glue - dry.

The right side box has several branches of Tim's NEW Pine Twine Garland inserted into the box side by punching a small hole with a Tonic craft pick or awe - add a drop of glossy accents - insert branch wire into the box side - dry.  The wire will allow you to shape after dry. Ornaments were cut from a matching small paper print, then coordinating Stickle glitter was used and finally glossy accents used to secure ornaments to branches.  Gifts are from same package as on left side box.

IMPORTANT ASSEMBLY NOTE - the following directions are for two types of snow - your choice - which HAS TO BE ADDED to houses & trees before they are glued permanently into place AND before the "groundwork" snow is added.

SNOW - two types were used on the original box - Spackle snow from a jar was applied with a palette knife (you could use a disposable craft stick) to the roofs on the background Townscape, the cabin roof, smokestack and patted on the dry stained trees - dry. NOTE - do not add snowy "groundwork" to boxes until houses and trees are glued securely in place and completely dry.  The original "groundwork" snow in each box was made using a piece of crumpled white tissue paper - patted and glued into and around the bottom, then more glue was added on top of tissue and dry snow flakes were patted into the tissue to clump and stick.
NEW METHOD of making SNOW - using Tim Holtz/Ranger Distress Stickles Dry Glitter - Clear Rock Candy and glossy accents in an approximate ratio of  3 glitter to 1 glossy - mix together in a small plastic cup with a wood craft stick - if it is too liquefied, ADD more glitter, it should be a fluffy consistency - if it is not sticking together at all, add more glossy accents - after mixing use the craft stick to pat into place in and around areas to be snow covered - dry thoroughly.  After dry - boxes were gently tapped from the back over a trash can to remove any loose flakes, spackle or glitter.

Cut TWO "Noel" diecuts and paint with Adirondack Silver metallic paint - dry - cover ONE with Distress Silver glitter - dry.  Position and glue the glittered diecut to the top of frame - dry.  The second diecut is optional, however, it will hopefully keep the Noel piece from breaking off since it has many openings and details.  Position the second diecut from the back and pencil mark and cut to match the top of the frame, then glue to the back of the first diecut (photo below, this reinforces the glitter diecut and thickens it to the width of the frame - touch-up paint in silver if needed.

To create the window, use either Bazzill "Plastic Paper" OR heavy laminate sheet OR a piece of packaging, measure box top size to include 1/4" overlap on edges - in other words, you want the plastic to be larger than the hole you cut out of the chipboard frame or it will fall through.  I used Glossy Accents to glue plastic top to boxes - dry flat - then glue the frame on top of the plastic - dry flat.

Since this box was made, Tim Holtz released rub-on snowflakes to use and finish!

Thanks for stopping by, please leave comments and come back soon - K

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