Sunday 29 April 2018

2018 Topic 8: Boxes {Intro and Challenge Links}

 2018 Topic 8: Boxes

Well hello everyone, Darcy here bringing you our new blog topic. This time we are looking at making and decorating boxes. whether you use them as ornaments, storage or for giving gifts, we can all agree that we couldn't manage without boxes. There are so many on our homes, so why not make them beautiful to look at. 

Before we start, let's see who won the Topic 7: Kraft card...

The winner is: Monika from Mistletoe Home Designs

Email Darcy to claim your prize.

Boxes, chests, caskets, trunks; they have been around for centuries. Used for storage and made from wood or metal, they have been large and heavy, some plain and some statement pieces. Modern boxes are generally made from cardboard, and we don't display them in our homes. Think about when people had 'hope chests'  and 'trunks' for travelling. They were dedicated boxes, and a lot of thought when into their construction, but also into how they looked. Jewellery boxes were another stunning piece of art in their own right. It is time to get back to making storage pretty, perhaps not as large as a hope chest though!

Here is a modern take on a jewellery box. 

Stewart Jones
Cardboard of course is a go-to substrate, whether that is thin card, mount board or heavy duty card with a corrugated centre, there are lots of opportunities to recycle with this topic. Look in your recycling box; amazon boxes, cereal boxes, backboards from sketchbooks, shoe boxes, etc, they can all be reused. Of course there are also some plain wooden boxes available in hobby shops, ready for you to decorate, these can be painted, stamped, decoupaged or like the example above they can have designs burnt into them using a pyrography tool. 

You could of course not decorate at all, just go big! really big! This giant box installation is by Zimoun, in Bucharest. It is made from 2000 pieces of cardboard. 

Zimoun + Hannes Zweifel at Mnac, Bucharest
Another installation here, this one could be done on a much smaller scale, and would be so much fun to do with children. I see summer holiday fun in these. I quite fancy making some myself and I don't even have the excuse of having children around!

Cartons, cardboard cutout installation Musee d’art Moderne de Ceret © Julien Gardair 2002
Julien Gardair
If faces aren't your thing, how about houses, again I think this would be a great project for children to let their imaginations run wild and get them off their electronic devices. 

branca rotelli: Favela chic
Annalise Rees
Switching to wood for a moment, these seem to be old packing crates or wine boxes, though this is quite large, it would make a stunning feature against one wall. As they are individual dioramas you could always just have one as a statement piece. 

Artist: Allison May Kiphuth                                                                                                                                                     More
Allison May Kiphuth
Back to cardboard, you can make a much smaller version of the above installation. You can buy configuration boxes, or better still make your own. Fill them with oddities, or pop them into a draw and use them as storage. Wouldn't this make a great drawer tidy, for stationery, or jewellery! Follow the link to see how this drawer divider set was made from cereal boxes. 

IHeart Organizing: DIY Cereal Box Drawer Dividers
Jennifer Jones
What can you display on a box? well it seems, anything and everything! A veritable feast of oddities can be crammed into tiny spaces. It probably doesn't come much smaller than matchbox art. 

By cocostyle blog
Of course all kinds of strange little oddities can be displayed in boxes. 

Mano Kellner

These matchbox dolls are some of the cutest things I have ever seen, how much fun! Just look at their little stick legs!

Merve Gizem Sincik
Books and boxes are a great combination, how about a teeny, tiny accordion book in a box!

accordion box photo craft idea
Sugar Bee Crafts

What about these 'comfort' boxes, fill with happy images and an uplifting phrase or message and give them out to your friends. This would definitely make me smile. 

ok lovely concept_would be amazing as cig match box idea
Kim Welling

Another book in a box, Oh be still my beating heart, how gorgeous is this, what tiny secrets and things could you write about in here. 

Kate Bowles Books - matchbox size -- Oh my! I LOVE this
Kate Bowles

Boxes are fantastic for presenting gifts and bulky cards, I am sure most of us have made a card with just one too many flowers on it, only to find it would not fit in an envelope. But how about making the box a part of the card. Pop up box cards are such fun, you can cram in so many details. 

Tatty Twinkles Pop Up Box Card |
Claire Boelema
This leads us nicely into exploding boxes, at one time they were so popular and everyone was making them. They involve a lot of work but they are worth it. 


Let's look at gift boxes, these give you an opportunity to take your design outside of the card or gift, they can be simple of elaborate. They can also be made in almost any shape, these wonderful triangle boxes really caught my eye. 

50 triangle boxes are a whole lot of boxes.
Candy Wooding

Pillow boxes are another unusual shape, but so easy to make. Look at these Halloween pillow boxes, a great way to give out treats in October. 

Maybe fabric is your thing, I went through a period where I loved making fabric boxes as gifts. I have a lovely book called Embroidered Boxes by Janet Edmonds that is worth looking at. 

Here is an embroidered fabric box,made to look like a house, so much work but stunning. 

Janice MacDougall
How about this for a sensory overload, a see through, perhaps walk through? box with no sides! 
This is so pretty, could this be done on a small scale, maybe construction as a hanging mobile in a window? Don't forget just because the original is a huge installation does not mean that you can't take something from that, scale it down, make it work for you. 

Ebony Bizys

A quirky one to finish with, how about this for an aquarium! I think this is the weirdest use of a telephone box that I have ever seen, it was created by students in Japan. 


Have fun over the next 2 weeks and show us what you can do with a box, let those creative juices go wild and then link up your fantastic creations. 

Don't forget to follow Darcy and Leandra's Pinterest boards if this topic pushes your buttons, you will see plenty more examples to whet your appetite there! I am really looking forward to seeing what you create over the next 2 weeks!

~ Darcy

We always hope that you  learn something interesting from our blog

Our creative team love to read your comments so much, so please take time to let them know you've been inspired!  

You must complete step 1 AND 2 to be entered into the draw. 

To join our challenge:
1. Leave a comment on the Topic Introduction Post and go in the draw to win a PaperArtsy Apron. 
2. Make something arty relevant to the topic, and link your creation from any social URL (eg. Instagram, Pinterest, Blog Post etc) sharing your original make to this challenge page.

The current topic link Topic 8: Boxes will close 17:00 (London Time) Sunday, 13th May 2018, and the winner will be announced 2 hours later at 19:00.

All links go in the draw to win a PaperArtsy creative apron. Please make sure we can contact you as a prize winner - it helps if you share your contact info from the platform you opt to use.

Good Luck! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!


Miriam said...

ooh - great topic. I love the inspiration.

Helen said...

well done Monika. Interesting subject...

Lemon Creation said...

Nice one! I just bought a box to alter, will try to make it on time:)Asia

Monika Gulyas said...

Great new theme!!! And YAY, I'm so happy!!! I won :-)

grandmad1ana said...

Loved all those boxes, and I may try a few. One of my friends is really into boxes, so this has been really inspiring! I may have to make one for her, but hard to choose. Thanks for posting these pictures.

ann barnes said...

What a great topic, so inspired to try my own take on a box seeing all these fabulous works!

Unknown said...

Always liked doing boxes. The Steampunk styled one shown was one of my early efforts.

ionabunny said...

Cool. I'm off to find some matchboxes. Love those ideas, especially the inspiring ones. Hugz

Gerrina said...

I'm not so into boxes but the varied range here has my fingers get ichy to try...hope I'll find some time to make one!

Etsuko said...

Well done Monika. Great topic 'Boxes' and especially huge gold fish box!! xx

Julia said...

The matchbox art is amazing. Some of the ideas are so creative.
Well done Monika on your win.

Anonymous said...

Wow, so much fantastic inspiration, as usual! Now I just want to make loads of boxes...... :D

sally said...

Some beautiful pieces here to inspire us all! I love making boxes so I'm sharing one from a few years ago on my blog (

Paper and Stuff said...

The embroidered fabric box is off the charts! What a fun theme and hope to take part. x

Alison Horne said...

Great inspiration-and have always wanted to snaffle one of your aprons!

Paper Wishes said...

I love the tower of box/houses and all the matchbox ideas. So many ideas on offer, I just have to make up my mind on which wonderful idea to follow through. Thanks for the deadline!

Unknown said...

I have so many boxes its hard to choose which one to alter!!! The inspiration from the intro and design team are absolutely brilliant, as always. Its surprising what a box can do! xx

Paper Wishes said...

I love boxes and you put up some great examples to get us going. Just made it with mine but fun challenge all the way. Thanks for keeping us inspired

Unknown said...

very interesting, puts me in mind of being at School, (a very long time ago ! ) when we had class competitions to see who could get the most items in a 'matchbox', all the same size of course, the box that is. I am now a retired engineer and your boxes gave me a thought to make tiny machines to go in a box, just a lot of small engineering bits to look like a machine, not necessarily a working machine, perhaps a little handle inside which turns a few watch gears or similar, what do you think? should I have a try and send you one? best regards, Kevin Hutchinson, Scarborough, East Yorkshire, U.K.