The other day I went to a department store by the city centre, and found some beautiful jewellery cases. They were tiny, cute, slim, and well-organised on the inside. Alas, they were really REALLY pricey. The cheapest one was £7.99! No way I could ever buy one.
Later, while munching on the contents of my Graze box, I noticed the Graze box itself looked a lot like the jewellery cases. They fitted perfectly inside my bedside table, they could be stacked one on top of the other, and they even had plastic compartments inside. They were cute already, but they had a lot of potential to be cuter.
That’s when I said “no way I’m spending £7.99 for something I can do at home almost for free!”
The box on the left was my first Graze box jewellery case, but I will teach you from scratch with a new one. Mind you, the new Graze box I used for this tutorial was a bit stained in a corner because I put it in the fridge near humid stuff. I started planning this tutorial around the first time British weather was trolling us around being actually SUNNY and HOT. Now it’s like “LOL JK NO WAY I CAN STAY LIEK DAT 4EVER, IM BRITISH YANNO!”, but it might be different by the time this posts sees daylight.
If there’s any daylight, that is.
This is what the boxes look like when you open them. I didn’t feel like decorating the first one on the inside because
I was lazy I was just experimenting then. The second one was revamped inside and outside, for your crafty delight. The containers were still full of stuff and in the fridge. It was hot, remember? I vaguely do. It’s like it was so many moons ago.
We will need ALL kinds of paper. Anything you have. Magazines, newspapers, samples, old diaries, leaflets, anything you think is pretty or artsy or full of colours and textures. You will also need drawing and decorating materials, if you feel more adventurous. Colouring pencils, pens, tippex, markers… feel free! The only things that you cannot do without will be scissors and glue. They are essential to cut, paste and protect your creation.
Open and unfold your Graze box. Once unfolded, it will be easier to decorate everything. When I say “unfold”, I mean “unfold it completely”, so it looks like a sheet of cardboard rather than a box. Get the dividing cardboard thing outside and keep it apart, as we will work on it later.
To save you glue and materials, cross the faces that will not be seen when the box is fully armed. These areas don’t need any covering, so you can use all the nice stuff on the areas that will be seen.
Select all the colours, images and textures that you like the most. For this, I am using a free magazine and putting apart the pages that catch my eye and could work on the project. Don’t limit yourself to pretty adverts or photos. Sometimes articles themselves can have nice colours or textures. For the first box I made, I used an interview with Vanessa Paradis. I couldn’t care less about her (or her ex – there! I’ve said it!), but I adored the salmon colour they used for the background. And some items of her clothing had attractive textures, so I used them for the cardboard division.
Glue your favourite one on the top face.
Tip: straighten the paper with a ruler as you paste it, to avoid bubbles and accidents. Paste with glue stick, because liquid glue can make you tear the paper apart as you press with the ruler. I know what I’m saying.
For this box, I used a feature about old people for the same reasons I used that interview on the first box: purdyyyyy. In this case, tho, it leaves space to play around with a concept. I liked that phrase “This is what it looks like to be 101”, as it talks about someone who is old, wise, and beautiful inside and outside.
Repeat the same procedure on the inner top face.
Mind you: do the inner top face first (and the outer top face, for that matter) and then the side bits separately. If you paste the same sheet of paper all over the face and sides, it might break or wrinkle once you try assembling the box again. Another alternative could be to fold very well the paper exactly in the areas where the cardboard will fold.
The inner bottom face is usually very nice, with grass texture and everything. However, you can decorate it so it matches with the rest of the box. Here I’m using some flowery patterns from a Charlie and Lola colouring and sticking set. No, I didn’t buy it for my cousins. Yes, I’m a big kid.
Don’t worry if it’s not too even. It will be covered by the division cardboard, the plastic compartments, and whatever you put inside them. Think of it as the bottom of a fish tank.
(That’s an idea for you! Cover the bottom with a fish pattern, or precious fishtank stones pattern! ;))
When you’re done with this side of your cardboard sheet (the inner top and bottom faces), apply a thin layer of liquid glue and let it dry overnight.
The morning after, turn it around and decorate the bottom sides.
Remember I told you not to cover the sides that will not be seen once the box is reassembled? Well, you can do the flaps that come out on the other side, as the cardboard colour might be a bit shocking amidst the outer bottom sides.
Cover all the bottom outer face, except the bit that says “turn me over before you open (or you’ll make a mess)”. The same thing can happen to your precious things if you open it the wrong way!
Apply the thin layer of liquid glue to the outer top, bottom and sides of the cardboard, and let it dry all day long.
Once it’s dry, reassemble your cardboard box.
Keep decorating the top face if you want to. I’ve added the picture of a girl from the same featured article, and some colours I really liked from an advert. “Subject to availability”, because we don’t know if we will be able to reach 101 years old! I also used the skin of the old lady as a texture of gorgeous tones and wrinkles in full colours to counteract the black and white picture of the girl. Another thing I did was a kind of frame with aqua marker and corrector pen, with flowers to sort of match the Charlie and Lola pattern. Once again, protect with liquid glue and let it dry.
This is what the box looks like on the inside. Yes, I know the fridge stain has gone through the paper. I’m sorry. I tried to correct it later, to no avail. Oh, well. The rest is pretty, tho.
Another tip: to prevent incidents like this from happening, empty your Graze box as soon as you get it. If you have to put things in the fridge, put the plastic containers rather than the whole box. If not, put the plastic containers in the kitchen anyway. Or in the lounge. Or eat everything RIGHT NOW. Anyway, keep the box empty. It will not only prevent stains, but weird smells. Trust me, the first box smelled like red onion chutney for days. I like the smell of red onion chutney, but not on my earrings!
If you want to, following the previous steps, you can decorate the division cardboard.
I used parts of that light blue advert – because the models were wearing something flowery that could match the inner bottom face – and parts of that feature on old people. I also used corrector pen for tiny frame details around the holes where the plastic compartments are.
Add more decoration to your box if you want to. I used my nail varnishes to colour-paint the picture and to glitter up some areas.
I added some glitter varnish to the inner top face as well, and some light blue varnish to try concealing the fridge stain. Well, at least now I can distract you with glitter.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand here they are!
Pretty and cheap. And I can make it even cheaper for you!
The Graze box – yummy contents included – is about £3.75, but if you go to their website and use this code NZX5L8MC, you can get one for free. So you can get free healthy and nutritious food, aaaaaaaaaand a free potential jewellery case you can transform with materials you already own (or can steal from your children ;)).