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Upcyced box using Tropical Underworld & Tropical Oceans clear stamps from Polkadoodles

It's a new month which means another new challenge over at Love 2 Create Challenges  where anything 'creative/mixed media goes' and I decided to alter a box - which I have had for eons, which also lived in a box waiting to be altered. Can you see a pattern here ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now this is a long post, with lots of stages, so please bare with me ....

The box originally housed a phone and was really sturdy so I knew it would withstand lots of crafty abusive with mediums etc and it totally lived up to expectations ...

Beginning by using Stitched Circles and Scenic Landscape dies - in different sizes and using various scraps of textured white card - adding to the box, covering everything with a good dose of gesso. The goal was to create areas than I could put my images in to and also waves/currents under water.

Once dry, out came the pan pastels and colouring the box began. I choose blues, greens, a hint of orange and grey, making sure all worked seamlessly together using my colourless blender.

After a good liberal dose of hairspray, to seal the pan pastel, I stamped lots of different images from the Tropical Underworld stamp set, adding colour using distress inks & a blending tool before sticking them to the box.

At this point, I felt that everything look disjointed, simply just 'plonked' on to the box and was becoming frustrated, nearly throwing the box back in to the box it originally came from ... however my crafty angel came to my rescue. Before I knew it, out came some stencils and white acrylic paint ...

Whilst adding this layer definitely improved the look I was after, by adding a further depth, something still felt as if it was missing. Okay I'm the first to admit that a lot of my projects are multi-layered, with oodles of elements added and sometimes, okay quite a few times, I do need to remind myself of the Coco Channel quote "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”  however this project wasn't going to be that day! In fact, I believed my project needed something adding. Being an underwater theme, I began to jot down images etc linked to the theme and suddenly a eureka moment ... portholes!

With the circle dies and metallic card, I created my portholes. I added faux screws using a hole punch and adding detail with a black micron pen. Next came 'aging' the portholes with pan pastels.

I added my portholes so that you could see through them, to ocean creatures, and added a layer of Maimeri glassy gel to add to the effect. The rest of the box was covered with Maimeri matt gel. Now I felt that the box and the underwater  theme were finally complete! Okay brace yourself, here come the finished photos ...

Top view (lid):

Side views:


Close up's of the portholes:

I thoroughly enjoyed making my box and I think what made it so enjoyable was by breaking it down in to stages, going back to it every so often, which meant I became engrossed in each stage? Do you do that with your mixed media or altering projects? Would love to know how you tackle a big project, so please leave a comment so I can pop over to your blog to see the results etc.

As I look out the window this morning, I am seriously questioning if we even had snow, or I had imagined it all in a dream. At least, it will make getting out and about a little easier, as mundane chores beckon ...

Have a great day whatever you choose to do,

x x x


I’m listing the products I used below to create my project. Click on the shop link/logo/photo to go directly to the product. Where available, I use compensated affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase via one of my links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for your support.

Papercrafters Link Party - anything goes
Altered Electics - anything goes  
Crafter's Cafe - recycling
Crafting Circle - anything goes
Create & Inspire - anything goes
Love to craft - anything goes
Mix It Up - anything goes + make your own background

#tropicalunderworld #tropicaloceans #polkadoodles #polkadoodlesclearstamps #stamping #upcycling #panpastels #upcyclingideas


Ellibelle said…
Such wonderful details here, loving the colors and textures. And what a great idea to re purpose the box!
Thanks so much for linking up at my Papercrafters Linky party this week!!
Unknown said…
What a fabulous project Lou, so much detail and the end result is awesome. Cathy x
Anonymous said…
Ahaa, its nice conversation about this article at this
place at this blog, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting here.
cass said…
Fabulous project and tutorial. thanks for joining as at The Crafter's Cafe for our Recycle challenge.
flossbite said…
Stunning project! So creative. Thanks for sharing with us at The Crafter's Cafe. Good Luck!
Carol said…
Great project love your colours and design Have a great weekend xx
Sandra Wright. said…
Oh wow..I love this box. I love how you have altered it and with great step by step instructions too..
Thank you for joining in with the challenge at Altered Eclectics this month...

Dt at
Owner/Designer at
Pen Sunshinepen said…
Beautiful work love it thank you for joining us over at LTCCB

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