Jo’s Altered Postage Box

Hi everyone! Maggi here to share a terrific altered box from Alchemist Jo!

mixed media altered box

Jo tells us:

I took a plain wooden box bought AGES ago from a charity (thrift) shop. This box is used as my postage stamp box (postage stamps from round the world to use in artwork rather than for sticking on letters). I tore strips of paper from the Foreign Text Paper Kit – I particularly liked using the foreign language text because the stamps are also from all around the world, and stuck them to the outside of the box with Mod Podge. Once dry, I then smeared gesso over the top, wiping away the excess. I lightly sanded the edges to give even more of a distressed look, and it also ensures any inks ‘take’ really well where the gesso has been sanded off.

Altered Art Collage Box

I dragged Distress Ink (Forest Moss and Pumice Stone) over the edges of the box, smearing it with kitchen towel to soften any hard edges. I took a piece of Punchinella, and stuck it to the lid with Mod Podge. Once thoroughly dry I smeared this with gesso – I did this to dull the shine. This left quite an uneven look but I’m cool with that. I used a gold acrylic paint dabber over an area on the Punchinella, and extending slightly beyond the punchinella. I took one of the napkins (with a bird design) from the Paper Napkin Art Kit, and peeled the top thin layer of paper away from the white lining paper. I cut out the bird, not worrying about fussy cutting, just leaving a small margin around the image. I stuck this over the punchinella with Mod Podge. I chose a few mixed foreign stamps and stuck them on the opposite side to the bird, giving them a light smearing of gesso to soften their colours.

(The next technique I learned from Carmen) For the quote – part of a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson – I printed this out onto tissue paper, cut out each line and then stuck this to the lid. For my fussy printer, I have to lightly spray a piece of A4 printing paper with repositional adhesive spray and then smooth another piece of paper over it a couple of times to take away the excess stickiness. THEN put plain white tissue paper on the printing paper, smooth it with your hands and trim to size. The tissue should quite easily be removed from the paper once printed. I drew around the edges of poem with charcoal pencil.

I dragged the gold acrylic dabber round the box, particularly at the edges. Finally, for the box, I smudged charcoal pencil around the edges.

For the clasp hook:
I took a precut rinchie (round inchie) and stuck another piece of napkin from the Paper Napkin Art Kit as a background, then cut out another bird’s head from the same napkin. I edged the rinchie with the gold dabber and also painted the back of the rinchie with it. I stuck the ‘stamps’ word onto the circle. I used a big bite to make the hole at the top and attached a metal round thing (I can’t remember what it’s called!!) and twisted some rusted metal to make a hook which fits through the clasp.

Fantastic work Jo! I love the idea of having a dedicated (and altered!) box for stamps to keep handy for projects!

Now go glue something awesome onto some awesome something!

Maggi 😀

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6 Responses

  1. Stunning … I need to keep poping back to take in this work of art … I love it …and all the techniques mesh so well.

  2. I need a box like this for MY stamps! Just stunning Jo absolutely gorgeous! Am I mistaken or is that your blended paper technique? I must be off and try it – though I may need to finally succumb and buy some Mod Podge!

    You are kind mentioning me – I love that technique, blimey though your printer is even fussier than mine. Didn’t think that was possible. I just use masking tape to stick a bit of tissue paper to some A4 paper and whisper nice promises and veiled threats at my printer as it goes through.

  3. Wow Jo this is SUPER! I love it and I learned a lot – off to the thrift shop to find me a box LOL…

  4. This is gorgeous Jo! I just learned that tissue paper trick myself and love the sheer look to it! You’ve made me want to go thrift store shopping too!

  5. LOVE what you did here! The textures and tones you are getting on this project are AMAZING! Love what the strips on newsprint are doing on the sides of the box- I really nee to try something like this!

  6. I love the way you have aged this and used Punchinella for texture. yay Jo!!

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