Ingredients 3 x A4 sheets of Chipboard or a hinged lidded box to alter UHU or similar all purpose strong adhesive Cropped head shots of loved ones Acrylic paint PVA glue Lots of scraps Ink Doodle pens Foam pads or similar An open mind and a little imagination! Time Without box 3 hrs With box to alter 2 hrs This class is based on a collage box I did for my mum for mother’s day only this is for the man in your life for Fathers Day! Whether it’s for your Dad, Hubby, Granddad etc, we’re going to make something that is a card and a gift! In my example I have used pics of my dad, my mum, my sister and I and my 2 nieces to tell my story but you can use whoever you want, have a quick read through and look at some extra examples and quotes at the end to get the ideas flowing!

If you already have a suitable box to alter then you’ll need to paint it and/or cover it! Go to step 5 for a messy paint technique and to pick up the rest of the instructions from there! If you don’t have a box here’s how we make it! 1. From 1 piece of chipboard cut the base of your box 9 ½ ’’x 7 ½ ’’ plus 1 width of your chipboard (e.g. mine is 2mm!) and the inside frame top piece 7’’ x 2’’ Cut exactly the same from another piece of your chipboard Which will give you your top and the inside frame bottom piece! And then from your remaining bit of chipboard cut The spine 9 ½ ‘’ x 2’’ And 2 x inside frame side pieces 2’’ x 9’’ minus 2 widths of chipboard (e.g. mine is 2mm x 2)

2. To assemble the box we are going to use a model making technique, this provides neat flush edges and a strong structure (This is the technique I was taught as a theatre designer to build my scale models, and those things take a lot of battering in work shops!!!) We’re going to do the inside frame of the box 1st using the pieces I called inside frame sides and inside frame top and bottom. I always use UHU but any similar all purpose glue will do, put a thin line of glue along the very ends of the side pieces (the longer ones) as you can see in the picture

Then apply a thin line at the end of each inside edge of the top and bottom pieces as shown in the picture. Let the glue go tacky or ‘go off’ for a few seconds (this makes a stronger contact bond) and then join together remembering your side pieces go inside the end pieces (this is why we cut them their length minus 2 widths of chipboard to accommodate this) Set aside leaving it a square as possible to allow the glue to go off completely

3. Line up the top piece and the spine side by side leaving a gap the width of your chipboard between the two (use a spare off cut to help you) Then make a masking tape hinge over the gap, this will be on the ‘outside’ of the box. Fold it carefully to check it all sits right 4. Now we need to cover the top and base, pick a paper, plain or patterned (remember we will be decorating the top of the box so not a lot will be seen) Stick your masking tape hinge face down on your paper (remember to avoid adhesive on the hinge but also remember to put adhesive either side if it, so the paper lays flat but the hinge is still pliable) Cut a border of ¾’’ on the outside long edge and top and bottom and cut the paper up to the edge of the spine (this will be going against the base eventually) Cut the corners into wide V’s to neaten the edges then fold over the edges sticking securely – I didn’t cut into the piece going over the spine to keep it neat you will need to gently tease the paper into place along the spine (remember leave the bit you fold over the hinge

adhesive free but stick either side of it) Then take a piece of paper the same or in contrast cutting it approx 9’’ x 9 1/8’’ so it sits ¼’’ in from top and bottom and outside edge and against the spine edge again this is a neatening up exercise and a lot of it won’t be seen (again also remember avoid adhesive down the spine but stick either side of it and gently tease it in to place to get the fold going both ways on your hinge) Next take the base and cover in the same paper as for the outside of your top and spine covering in the same way but this time folding over on all 4 sides. Leave the inside middle bare as we will be dropping art work in there later to cover it. 5. Now we start to get messy and if you have a box to alter this is where you join us!! Thin some pva glue slightly (about 90/10) then get some loo roll or kitchen roll (whichever you can spare some of!!!) and papier mache the top of the box. This is to add texture to the finished cover, make it lumpy and bumpy in places and thinner in others and you don’t have to go all the way to the edge! When you’re happy with your loo roll creation set it aside to dry (a little space in an airing cupboard comes in very handy at this point!)

6. Time to get out the paint. Choose acrylic in whatever colour you fancy or that fits your theme. Take your inside frame and paint the inside of it a flat colour remembering the top edge of the chipboard on one side as it will be the upper edge that is seen! Then paint the outside edge along top, bottom and one long edge and let it dry. (The other long edge will be eventually stuck to the spine so doesn’t need painting) We’re going to do a poor mans crackle glaze over the outside edge Get some neat pva and ever so slightly water some contrasting acrylic. When the acrylic you painted on the sides is dry dribble the glue over the outside edges and smear with your finger (you only need enough to be able to spread around thinly until it is tacky) then paint over with your contrasting acrylic, change the direction of your brush and don’t overwork your paint if it look patchy don’t worry! Then using your heat gun, held about 10’’ away as it will melt the acrylic! Dry the sides and watch the paint crackle! This magic technique has to have a name check to Claudine Hellmuth who I took the idea from. Set it aside leaving it as square as possible again!

7. Moving on now to the inside of the box and creating your collage backgrounds. Let yourselves go here tell a story and enjoy it! I usually start with a vague idea and a quote and build from there My idea of collage is putting together random bits of paper and embellies to create a piece of artwork, and anything goes really! So lets make our backgrounds, we need 2 one for inside the box and one for inside the lid. For my box I used a piece of card 7’’x 9’’ for inside the lid and a piece approx!!! 6 7/8’’ x 9’’ for inside the box If you have your own box or have changed the measurements the inside piece needs to fit snugly into box and the inside lid piece sits about 3/16’’ away from the edge. Creating the backgrounds I have done a generic, happy outside affair, but do whatever suits your theme. I’ve used scraps of random papers, cut and torn into the shapes I want. I’ve hand drawn the rainbow and birdie and coloured with pencils but these embellies could be anything you have e.g. decoupage bits, stamps, embellies bits from magazines, anything just play! I’ve even cut the stars from a Mexican newspaper! Once you have your backgrounds done take some sandpaper to them! I find sanding the edges, ‘beds’ the images into their place on your work taking away hard edges and to take this a step further ink the edges, it helps more with the ‘embedding’ plus I like a bit of grunge in my collage! 8. Papier mache should be dry by now so next attack that with some acrylic! I’ve kept mine quite simple, blue sky and green grass. I like to put blobs of paint on my palette and pick the different colours up on my brush mixing them on my artwork, keep it quite thick and lumpy it will all add to the texture. Set aside to dry

9. Now we can play paper dolls! Whoever you want to put in your box you need to cut their heads out! (Make sure they’re looking the right way!) Crop and resize them. Paper dolls tend to work better when the heads are slightly larger than they would be on the body in reality I think! (Top Tip I always print out the heads on fast draft on cheap paper and cut out roughly until I know I have the right size!) Once you’ve cut round your finished heads put them on some white card and draw chunky stick bodies drawing a smaller oval under the head for extra support when assembled. Colour in the neck arms and legs with pencil and draw a black line round them. Put a piece of tracing paper or thin printer paper over the body and draw out some clothes cutting them out and using this as a template to make the clothes in coloured paper or card, doodle on the outfits and embellish as you wish.

On the background going inside the box arrange your dolls into the picture you want and using foam pads I have layered my family picture to give depth and give the inside of the box that 3D quality. Build up your picture and embellish as you wish.

On the background going on the inside of the lid I have made my dad bigger, well it’s all about him after all!, doing only his top half. I took my chosen quote and wrote it on strips of white card arranging them in place and lastly I made a little embellishment to fit the quote with a hand drawn heart and crown cut out of art metal. Remember though you don’t have to draw if you don’t want to; use your stamps, embellies etc

10. Now we can start assembling the box! Take the top and spine piece and lay it over your frame with the spine against the unpainted side (remember the inside frame will sit approx ¼’’ from the edge of top and bottom of spine) apply some uhu down the spine and the unpainted edge and once it has gone tacky adhere together applying slight pressure for a couple of minutes until the glue starts to go off.

Then as we did earlier apply uhu along the very edge of your frame and a line along the very edge of the base where the spine will sit. Once it is tacky sit the frame on the base with the spine butt up along the edge and remembering the frame sits approx ¼’’ in from edges tease and hold in position so that you make sure you have a flush fit along the spine.

11. Decorate the front of your box, I have used a simple shaped house cut in chipboard as my quote is about home and painted with the poor mans crackle effect as earlier, I’ve added the quote on strips if white paper and added in a little heart embellishment

12. The filling!! Glue your 2 pieces of artwork into there relevant places (top tip do not apply glue to the inside bit until you know it fits ok, you may need to do a little trimming depending on how square the frame is and thickness of paint used!) To add that extra bit of depth to the inside I have added another quote on a folded piece of card so it stands up and dangled a little bird from cotton attaching it to the inside of the top.

Lastly you can add a quote or your message to the back of the box, writing or printing on scrap paper or card and decorate it how you want! And there we have a 3D collage for your loved one to cherish!

Here are some alternative fillings! If you don’t want to do paper dolls you could put their faces in flowers like this one I’ve done for my hubby with his 2 grown up children and his 2 grandchildren, or use photos of a memory cut out and put into a scene like this one I did of me and my sister fishing with dad on a childhood holiday (this was a birthday card I made him!) or if you want to stick with the paper dolls why not dress everyone in his favourite team colours!! Once you let your imagination go the possibilities are endless!

The Quotes I used! Having a place to go – is a home Having someone to love – is a family Having both – is a blessing My crown is in my heart Not on my head Not deck’d with diamonds and Indian stones Nor to be seen My crown is called content A crown it is seldom Kings enjoy The family is one of nature’s masterpieces Family! Did I choose you or did you choose me? No matter, you are mine and I am yours And it will always be! Let us be grateful to people who make us happy They are the charming gardeners Who make our souls blossom How does your Garden Grow?

Any man can be a father But it takes a special person To be a dad Old as she was she still missed her daddy sometimes

Hope you have fun with this project and enjoy creating!!!! Love MJM x

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