Thursday, July 21, 2011

Something Old Something New Keepsake Box

Dress up a cigar box with flea market gems like an old strand of pearls and a swatch from a beaded gown.

When we are looking for creative inspiration, we just head to the flea market! On a recent trip, all it took was seeing a booth filled with scraps and appliques from old wedding dresses to get the ideas flowing. One cigar box, a broken necklace, and dozens of vintage beads later, we found ourselves creating a jewelry box featuring something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

Flea Market Materials
1 Wooden cigar box
1 Dupioni wedding dress scrap
1 Beaded lace wedding veil scrap
44 Pearl beads from broken necklace
1 Broken necklace (Ours had pearls and chain.)
1 Murano glass heart charm, white and silver
4 15mm Resin beads, peach
5 6mm Vintage faceted beads, blue and gold
8 5mm Faceted glass beads, peach

8½ in. x 11 in. Heavy cardstock
10 Straight pins
1/3 yd. 6 oz poly batting
1/3 yd. Silk dupioni, blue
1 yd. Rosebud trim, pink and blue
4 ft. Wrights velvet ribbon, 5/8 in. wide, celadon
4 ft. 1/8 in. Polyester ribbon, olive
40 5mm Freshwater pearl nugget beads, light blue
2 spools Thread, pink, celadon
20 in. 28-ga. Wire, copper
7 4mm Bicone crystals, peach
6 4mm Bicone crystals, crystal
60 Seed beads, gold
3 5½ in. x 5½ in. Gold leafing sheets
Gold leaf adhesive
Gold leaf sealer

Tools & Supplies
4¾ in. Flat head nails
Beacon Adhesives Quick Grip glue
4 Binder clips
Wire cutters
Chain-nose pliers
Scotch tape
X-Acto knife
Sewing needle (thin enough to go through the pearls)
Craft paintbrush

1. Start by making a pillow to line the jewelry box. To do this, cut a piece of the cardstock to fit inside the bottom of the box using the X-Acto knife and ruler. Use the scissors to cut a piece of poly batting the same size as the cardstock. Sandwich the batting between the wedding dress fabric and the cardstock. Cut the wedding dress fabric one inch larger on each side. Wrap the fabric up and around the batting and cardstock, folding the corners like a wrapped present. Use the Quick Grip glue to adhere the fabric to the cardstock. Set the pillow insert in the box.

2. To pad the lid, create a tufted pillow top on a piece of cardstock. Use the same technique as the pillow insert to cover the cardstock with batting and the blue silk dupioni (but don't glue yet). Lay the wedding veil scrap over the padded blue lid so the lace lies in an interesting way. Trim the lace 1½ inches larger on each side and fold the ends under. Secure the fabric and lace to the cardstock with a binder clip on each side.

3. To tuft the pillow top, draw a grid of nine equally spaced dots on the underside of the cardstock. Feed one bicone and one vintage gold bead onto a straight pin and, starting from the lace side of the pillow top and using the grid on the other side as a guide, push the pin through the padding into the center dot of the grid. Use the chain-nose pliers to grab the pointy end of the pin from the underside of the pillow top. Pull the beaded pinhead tight so the fabric tufts. Bend the pin 90 degrees flat against the underside of the pillow top and secure to the cardstock with tape. 

4. Repeat to tuft the four outer corners of the grid. For the four remaining dots of the grid, use the same technique, but feed one crystal bicone and one peach faceted bead onto each straight pin. Next, remove the binder clips from the pillow top and use the Quick Grip glue to adhere the fabric to the underside of the cardstock. Glue the tufted pillow top to the lid of the cigar box with a generous amount of Quick Grip. Hold in place for a few minutes while the glue dries. Glue a strip of thin olive ribbon under the tufted lid around the top of the box.

5. To gold leaf the sides of the box, paint them with the gold leaf adhesive and the craft paintbrush. Let the adhesive set for one hour. It will remain tacky. Apply the gold leaf sheets and brush away the excess with a dry paintbrush. If any spots remain uncovered, place a scrap of gold leaf sheet onto them and press, then brush away any excess. Finish it with a coat of gold leaf sealer. Let dry for 30 minutes.
6. To make feet for the jewelry box, use the hammer and nails to attach the four large peach resin beads to the bottom of the box at each corner.

7. To create the beaded ribbon embellishment, lay the rose bud trim over the celadon ribbon and pin one end into place. Using the pink thread and thin sewing needle, sew up through a rose on the trim, add one pearl, and then one gold seed bead. Go around the seed bead and sew back through the pearl, the rose, and the ribbon. When you come back up, go between the roses and add a blue freshwater nugget, then sew back through the ribbon. Repeat until you have beaded 24 inches of ribbon or enough to go around the cigar box. Glue the beaded ribbon around the box with the seam in the back.

8. Use the wire cutters to cut a piece of the broken pearl and chain necklace the length of the box plus 2 inches. Sew the ends to the beaded trim at the front corners of the box using the pink thread. Sew the center of the chain to the center of the ribbon to create swags. Use the chain-nose pliers to hook the heart charm through a center link in the chain between the swags.

9. To craft a white flower for the top of the jewelry box, lay the wedding dress scrap over the lace wedding veil scrap and cut them into a 5-inch diameter circle. To create the beaded stamens, cut an 8-inch piece of copper wire and fold it in half. Feed five gold seed beads onto the wire, then one peach faceted bead, one pearl, and one bicone bead. Bend the wire around the bicone and feed it back through the pearl, then snip the end. Repeat on the other end of the wire. Then make a second set of beaded stamens. Twist the folded ends together and place in the center of the layered fabric circle. Pinch the fabric around the wire to form a flower shape, then tie the pinched end tightly with a piece of thin olive ribbon. Tie a pretty bow with the velvet celadon ribbon around the pinched end. Finally, sew the flower onto the lid with the celadon thread.

Big Box Store: If you can't find the right cigar box at the flea market, try your local tobacconist. They usually sell empty boxes for a dollar or two. And they smell great!

Midas Touch: If a gold leafing kit is just outside your budget, use gold spray paint instead. Just do it as the first step.

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