This box started as a small, premade wooden box at Michael's. It's original price was one dollar, but being that the mesh covering the open hole in the top was ripped, I purchased it for only twenty five cents.
|Original box and Connie Crystals|
1) Remove the mesh from the top of the box. If you push down hard on the screen, it is a great way to initially break it out of the frame. You can also cut it with wire cutters. The most important part, though, is to make sure that you remove all of the wires from the frame of the lid by pulling them out with jewelry pliers. You need to leave the wooden frame intact while completely removing the wire.
2) Paint the entire box silver. I used the Tim Holtz paint, but any acrylic paint should do the trick. The silver on the inside of the box will reflect a little light and make the crystals sparkle a little more. On the outside, it will show silver through any of the mistakes you make with the metal, making them less obvious. Don't paint the hardware. Leave the box open to dry.
|Top showing "tile" sections, crystal units and placement|
6) Flip aluminum back over and place on a hard smooth surface, like an acrylic stamping block. Define the edges of those "tiles" by using the Mercart Teflon Tool to flatten the areas around them.
|Machine embossed metal on back|
8) Using your manual die cut machine and the appropriate "sandwich" run Dreamweaver Mosaic Swirls Stencil LJ901 with Blue Coated Aluminum twice. You will want to deboss the insides of the tile like shapes, so make sure that the center of the "sandwich" is stencil, metal (blue side up) and soft embossing mat. I use a Cuttlebug, so my layers go: A plate, B plate, stencil, metal, Dreamweaver Details Embossing Mat and B plate.
9) Using 22 Gauge blue wire and Connie Crystals in square and in blue, create the crystal inserts. Make a "hook" with the wire and put it through the square crystal. Then, twist the end around for one side. On the other, do the same thing, then add the blue crystal. Make a small loop and then pass the wire end through, creating a "knot". For both sides, leave a sizable tail, maybe about 1/2" of wire. Make 3 units.
10) Bend the tail of the crystal units. Stay close to the wrapped ends. Bend the two different sides in opposite directions. Place the crystal into the frame and push the tail wire into the groove in the wood. Once you have placed all three units, use a small drop of glue to seal it into place. I used my favorite Art Institute Designer Dries Clear.
11) Go back to the metal. Sand all three pieces. Sometimes it is easier to put the metal embossed pieces back on the stencil before sanding.
12) Place the embossed pieces up against the box to measure and cut around them. Cut around each side of the box seperately. You should have plenty of embossed metal for this portion. Then, place the metal against the side with the box opened and cut along the opening. You should have 9 pieces of metal total (one for the lid).
13) Select random "wells" in your tiled areas and fill them with Gloss Glastique by Globecraft Memories. Then throw on some Art Glitter Ultrafine Transparent in 270 Chesapeake. Use the same process to fill wells with Ultrafine Transparent 100 Sea Shell. To create this effect, you must use transparent glitter. It will reflect the background color and beautifully modulate the color. Do this to all the metal pieces. Let dry.
14) Glue your metal pieces where they belong. I used just a little of the Art Glitter Designer Dries Clear. It takes a little while to dry on metal, so press the metal down and be patient. This is admittedly not my strong suit.
So, you are done. I know it looks like a lot of steps, but it really isn't too difficult. It also wasn't very expensive, because Connie Crystals are reasonably priced. This box is pretty, shiney, and yet not too feminine. Best of all, it really shines. Sparkle on folks, and enjoy your day!