Saturday, 26 October 2013

Altered book box (DecoArt makeover)....

I have taken step by step photos of the process for this box as people are always asking me for a tutorial. the thing is, i never know what i am going to be doing till i have done it so sometimes i jump back and do a step i could have done earlier but didnt know i was going to want to do it. so my gudes are not always in the absolute best order, but they are in the order i did it. this tutorial is not too bad as i think the steps went on in pretty much the right order.. so lots of photos ahead. best make a cuppa or something before starting ;)

So firstly i selected my colour palette as seen n the photo here. the two "traditions" acrylics are in "Aquamarine"  and "Blue Green light". the Americana is "Indian turquoise". I painted the box in patches of these colours insie and out in a random sort of manner.

when it was dry (you can hurry it by gently heating with your heatgun), i put a few splodges of petrolium jelly (Vasaline) in places and along some of the edes, then i gave the bo a coat of "weathered wood" crackle medium. I left the back of the box undone at this stage as you need a surface free to lay on the table.
 I let the weatherd wood medium dry for a while on its own then gave it a bit of a blow with the gentle setting of the heat gun as i am inpatient. then i gave the whole thing a coat of Americana "buttermilk".  I let that dry thoroughly then took a soft damp cloth over it. the patches where the Vasaline had been, just came off to show the nice turquoise shades underneath.

I gave it a coat of "Americana Gel stain" in "oak" just to age it a bit. the buttermilk was too clean and bright. i apled it with a baby wipe then used the clean part of the wipe to wipe it back a bit.

My next step was to use a stencil to add some "Crackle texture". this is a fabulous texture paste that crackles when it dries. its super for distressing as you can also flake bits off when its dry too. So i added that and let t dry (eventually going at it with a heat gun. But thats ok cus it works. some things just will not work if you rush them but this is not one of them :) .
 Here is a close up of the dried crackle texture.
I gave it another coat of the gel stain...

OK now the metallic lustres. i used these on the crackle texture without painting the texture or anything. it was neutral enough. I used iced espresso, gold rush and champagne ice.... i put them on with a damp cloth, dried them then gave them a buff up. i also added some highlights using treasure gold "aquamarine".

Next i started to think about embellishments. I made sure they toned in with my book by using the metallic lustres on some of them. I also had a couple of shiny bright gold coloured corner embellishments that were too new looking for my book so i gave them a makeover.

 I gave them a blue patina look. here is how i did it.

i used raw umber, Blue Green light and indian turquoise. First coat the piece completely in raw umber and dried it...
 Next i added some patches of the "blue green light" and used my finger to blend it in.

 When it had dried i did the same with the Indian turquoise....

Then i went over the raised bits again with the raw umber. dried it and lightly sanded over it (very lightly) just so a couple of wee patches showed through. you can seal it at this stage if you like.

glue all your bits on....

now all i have to do is think about what to do with the inside.......


  1. I love it. It's looks amazing. Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing, Johanne L.

  2. Great book box Zuzu and super step by step! Thank you!

  3. Thank you for sharing the step by step. It´s stunning.

  4. Hello Zuzu
    I can so identify with you regarding tutorials, even the best organised person will change the process when designing a project. You have provided a wonderful step by step however and it is very easy to follow, so thank you for that, your box cover looks amazing. The texture and embellishments are perfect.

  5. absolutely stunning - what a fabulous Christmas present this would make with a piece of home made jewellery inside

  6. OMG, there are many wonderful creations to see on your blog. I am happy that I have again a little time to visit my favorite blogs. I've really missed you. Have a nice Sunday, Louise!

  7. I love this! Thanks for the step by step and the vaseline tip!

  8. I love this too! Brilliant tutorial, love the colours you used.

  9. Thanks for the great tutorial, I love the turquoise stones and crackle just wonderful..
    Sandy :)

  10. Gorgeous, Thanks for the great tutorial.

  11. WOW! Thanks for the tutorial.

  12. I found you from Pinterest, really good job.
    Cheers from Italy.

  13. Fantastict ans thanks for share it with us!!
    Have I nice weekend.


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