Friday, June 29, 2012

Strawberry Box Treasure Chest


With some leathery-looking brown paper, gold stripes and a decorative clasp made from a paper cast, you can turn a quart-size plastic strawberry box from the store into a treasure chest.

I love to use newly-made, still-wet sheets of paper to cover plastic boxes and bottles.

Blend enough dark brown pulp (nice and dark – use some brown paper bag pieces, brown card stock, black, purple, even orange printer paper) to make two 8 x 10 sheets. Using the Arnold Grummer large pour handmold, make two brown sheets of paper.

Carefully cover the outside of the strawberry box with the brown paper. One sheet covers the top, one the base.   Gently press the wet sheet onto the plastic until it adheres completely. You can cover the box with the black screen from the pour screen and then sponge the paper in place.  Fold the edges of the brown paper over the rim to the inside. Leave the plastic hinge bare.

To make the gold straps, mix enough yellow/gold pulp to fill a squeeze bottle. I used manila envelope scraps and goldenrod printer paper to make the gold pulp.

Here’s a great way to make strips of pulp:

Place the large-size white plastic screen support grid from the  pour handmold kit on a tray, place the black cover screen on top. Take two small-size white plastic screen supports and lay them parallel to one another on top of the black screen about one square width apart. Using the squeeze bottle, pour/squeeze the pulp onto the black screen between the two small plastic grids. Make a strip long enough to wrap all the way around the box. Remove the small support grids. You will have a long yellow strip of pulp.

With the pulp strip still on it, place the black screen, pulp side down, in place on the box. Start at the back of the lid next to the hinge and lay the strip all the way around the box breaking the strip gently at the edge of the lid. With the black screen still in place, sponge the strip until it adheres to the brown paper.

Make one more yellow strip for the other side.

To line the box, make two more large sheets of paper in a contrasting color. Place one wet sheet on the inside of the lid and one on the inside of the box.  Carefully tear the liner at the lip of the box and lid. Be sure to cover the brown paper that has been folded to the inside of the box. Press the liner paper in place with the sponge, making sure to press firmly into the brown paper that has been folded to the inside. The more you press, the better the paper will adhere when it dries.

Remember to lay wet paper onto wet paper.  If you let the first layer of paper dry before adding another layer, they won’t stick together.