Yay me! I’ve been given a neat little project to work on at DataPros – A.K.A the day job. Create a recipe box for coworkers to share their yummy recipes sampled during company BBQs and potlucks. The box needed to be expandable and made on a low budget. Lucky for DataPros I have a slew of scrapbooking supplies on hand.
Not having a clue about how I was going to accomplish this. Sophia and I hit the first Michaels we saw. We wandered around until we found a creative solution. We located a bare wood box specifically designed for recipes. Here’s the good part it was only $5 bucks- SOLD!
Then I thought to myself, self…This box is an empty canvas that you can virtually do anything with. You could paint it; cover it with pretty patterned paper, material or whatever else my creative brain comes up with. I opted for a combination of paper and paint – more on that later.
First, I tested out what I wanted to do to the outside of the box on spare piece of bare wood. I wasn’t sure how the Mod Podge was going to adhere to the wood and the paper-it worked perfectly! I also tested the paint treatment, again – perfect!
I removed the gold hardware to separate the box lid from the bottom of the box. Then I taped off the inside of the box with frog tape.
I sprayed one coat of Rust-Oleum® fast drying gray primer to the bottom of the box and to all the hardware (hinges and screws). In my first test I learned the bare wood used up way more paint than I wanted to use. Priming it first prevented using paint in excess. I like to conserve materials where I can for future projects.
Once the primer dried (20-30 minutes) I painted one coat of Martha Stewart’s Multi-Surface Acrylic Craft Paint to the bottom of the box with a foam brush. The color was Pool.
I wanted the texture of box to look worn, so I used a dry brush painting technique and applied streaks of Martha Stewart’s Multi-Surface Acrylic Craft Paint, color Summer Linen on top of the pool color. I applied Summer Linen paint to the tip of the brush and dabbed the excess off on a paper towel creating streak like strokes of paint. Keep applying the paint until you achieve the results you want – you can’t mess this up, but don’t go over it too much or your strokes will end up looking muddy or smeared.
Then I sanded the box all over to reveal some of the gray primer underneath. The gray peaking though added depth to the paint and gave it the appearance of worn wood. First I used the 120 sanding block then used went over it with 320 to smooth it out.
Now on to the lid of the box… I covered it with a natural looking material that is used for needle point according to my Mom. She gave it to me a while back. I like the texture of the material because it was stiff and easier to glue it to the wood without wrinkles in the material. The material has the consistency and weight of a canvas, but slightly stiffer.
I began by created a pattern out of a scrap piece of paper. I wrapped the box lid just like I was wrapping a present. I created folds and made modified cuts to eliminate excess paper. Then I traced the pattern to the back side of the material with an EZ Quilting WashOut Cloth Marker (traces more like pencil). I purchased a three pack at Wal-Mart, but I’m sure you can get them at any craft or fabric store.
I used a pair of sharp scissors to cut the traced pattern out of the material.
I glued the material to the lid with Beacon Adhesives Fabri-Tac™. While that dried, I started on making a tag for the outside of the box.
I created a tag to identify the box by giving it a title. I used Adobe Illustrator to layout the title, but you can use any page layout application or word processing program. I printed the title with my Epson inkjet printer onto turquoise scrapbook paper. To round the corners, I used a corner punch that I purchased from Joann Fabrics. To make the tag more 3 dimensional I glued scrapbook paper onto the die cut chip board shaped tag, but you could paint it if you wanted to. I used a red and turquoise polka dot patterned paper. I roughed up the edges with 320 sandpaper and later glued the custom title tag to it.
I threaded each of the buttons separately with gray thread to appear like they were sewn directly to the tag. The chip board is too thick to put a needle through. I used Glue Dots to I adhered the buttons to tag.
To finish it all off, I tightly tied a kaki shoelace around the outside of the box and trimmed the excess off. I wrapped the ends of the shoelace with a natural string fiber to keep edges from fraying.
he box comfortably fits recipe cards that are 6” x 4”. You can create your own recipe cards or you can purchase premade recipe cards and dividers that fit inside the box. I used scrapbook cardstock to create dividers and DYMO label maker to identify each section.
Total cost to build the box was under $10. Keeping in mind that I bought two bottles of paint, but didn’t use all the paint in the bottles there is plenty left over to use for other projects. If you are like me, and have an abundance of supplies on hand, this project will only end up costing you $5 for the recipe box.
Here’s a collection of all the supplies that I used for the project.