My whole life is an experiment . . . sometimes I get surprising results. - C Erdmann

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Distressed Boxes At My House!

I had fun with some boxes and paint on the weekend.
While starting work on an order for a friend, I decided it would be a good idea to keep going and use up the paint I'd squirted out on my palette and do some extra boxes for myself for future use.
I enjoyed this simple technique so much I thought I could share it here just in case any of you lovely readers would like to try it for yourselves, if you haven't already done something similar. and also if you do like the very aged and distressed look!  :)
I had a lot of help with a technique within a pattern I had bought from Dee Duncan, who does some really lovely primitive craft. 

You'll need some object you can paint, that you want to look distressed. I used small cardboard boxes here.
Acrylic/craft paint in a colour you like.
Sandpaper or block.
Distress Ink or Burnt Umber acrylic paint.

You first need to put two coats of paint onto your chosen object.  Then when they're dry, sand them all over making sure that some of the raw box is showing through.
Above is how one of my boxes looked after I sanded. I even peeled a little of the cardboard off to make it look more aged. Pay special attention to the edges and corners.

Then you take your ink pad (at other times I've even used burnt umber acrylic paint for this step), and here I used a Tim Holz Distress Ink in vintage photo shade.
This is where I deviated a bit from Dee's instructions. She says to use the stamp pad like a sanding block and wipe it all over your item and let it dry thoroughly.
But I thought this a bit too dark and grungy for my tastes and used a tissue (you could probably use a small sponge?) to wipe the ink off/in until I got the "darkness" I liked.
I imagine after a bit of practice you would be able to know how much to put on in the first place so you're not wasting too much ink or paint.

The two pics above show the lid after I've done my "thing" to it, and the ink after I've wiped it over the base and edges of the box.

Above is two boxes in close up after everything is done on them.

This is what I ended up with when I'd finished everthing. I loved doing them all and will definitely do some more things later on.
Btw, the larger wooden box, top left corner of the pic, was done in the same way as the the others, but instead of the ink in the last stage, I used dark brown shoe polish (the stuff in the tins?), to rub into the sanded finish and then buffed it a bit.
It's hard to see it properly here sorry, but I love the variegated and polished look of it. You can just see the original colour of the box, on the inside.
Also, the red box had a coat of black and then another of red put on it, instead of two coats of one colour. These three little boxes are the order for the friend. So thanks Danni, coz if I hadn't been going to do you an order, I wouldn't have had my fun paint day!  :))

Now if you think I've left anything out, or you just have a question, then please leave me a comment or email me.

Have fun!!!!   :)

Oh yes! If you'd like to see what's going on at other peeps houses or to join in and show us what's going on at your house, then pop over to Lou's place.


  1. fun! sounds like a great project and so many pretty things to put other things in! Which I LOVE

  2. They look like lots of fun to make. Thanks for joining in again this week. Lou.

  3. They look good...I like the red one best :) Happy crafting, Jenny

  4. the way....I love the new background :)

  5. Incredible! Great job distressing. We used to sell boxes like these in our home furnishings/country store and they were always a big hit. I wish I had known, at the time, how to make them myself!

  6. They all look really great Pam! Once again the creative juices are flowing....

  7. I'm into little boxes now, too and this technique is very interesting. Thanks for sharing it. I'm working on a variety of different boxes and I would like to incorporate this look, too! I like the look of shabby and lace--two opposites. I'll post mine when I get done. Thanks again for posting this!


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~~"Dare to Dream"

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