Thursday, May 6, 2010

Botanical Garden Box


10-inch wooden window box
3 (3-inch) white ceramic tiles
1 ounce white polymer clay
Gold metal embossing sheet
Rubber stamps: floral collage, small leaf
Ink pads: black pigment, soft green dye-based
Black embossing powder
Embossing heat tool
Glass paints: yellow, orange, pink, blue, lavender, green
Clear gloss sealer
Spray matte finish
Painters' tape
Cosmetic sponges or other small sponge applicators
Zigzag-edge scissors
Stylus or ballpoint pen
Silicone glue or superglue

The addition of ceramic tiles brought this project together for me. Tiles, clay and foil are all suitable for decorating a wooden box, and a floral theme seemed appropriate for a window box that could hold small pots of flowers or green plants.

1. Sand box; wipe off dust. Spray box with two or three coats matte finish inside and out, letting finish dry between coats.

2. Blend 1 part blue glass paint with 3 parts clear gloss sealer; brush mixture onto section of box and immediately wipe off with paper towel or rag to stain wood a light blue. Repeat until all surfaces of box are stained; apply a second coat if more intense color is preferred.

1. Clean and dry ceramic tiles.

2. If stamp is larger than tiles, use painters' tape to mask edges of tiles. (On sample project, 3/4-inch painters' tape was cut in half and applied to allow a 3/8-inch border around edges of tiles.)

3. Apply black pigment ink to stamp; stamp onto tile. If using a large background stamp, as was used on the sample, a different area of the stamp can be applied to each tile.

4. Before ink dries, sprinkle tiles with embossing powder. Tap off excess, and then melt powder with embossing tool and let cool to complete the embossed effect. Let dry.

5. Pour small puddles of each color paint on palette; blend a few drops of gloss sealer into each color to make paints more translucent. Pat paints onto tiles with sponge applicators or fingers. Paint dries quickly; add more paint if darker areas are desired. Let dry.

6. Brush painted tiles with gloss sealer; remove tape and let dry completely.

Clay Panels

1. Following manufacturer's instructions, condition a 1/2-ounce piece of white clay and form it into a small egg. Roll clay into an irregular oval 1/8 inch thick. Repeat to make a second oval.

2. Press small leaf stamp straight down into clay, without rocking. Lift up stamp. Repeat on second oval; bake clay pieces according to manufacturer's instructions.

3. Brush gloss sealer over raised surface of clay pieces; let dry.

4. Using sponge applicator, lightly color leaf imprints with soft green ink; let dry.

1. Using regular scissors, cut two pieces, 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, from gold sheet. Trim edges with zigzag-edge scissors. These pieces will be glued to the front of the box, under the tiles, leaving a center section of gold visible (refer to photo throughout).

2. Lay gold pieces facedown on a soft surface such as a pad of paper, and use a stylus or pen to cover the center area with small curlicues. No smooth surface should be visible once tiles and gold pieces are glued in place.

3. Center three tiles on long side of box; insert gold embossed shapes between tiles and glue all pieces in place as shown; let dry.

4. Using regular scissors, cut two rectangles from remaining gold sheet, each about 1 inch larger than clay leaf panels. Trim edges with zigzag-edge scissors. These pieces will be glued to ends of box under clay panels.

5. Referring to step 2, emboss outer areas of gold pieces with curlicues. Again, no smooth surface should be visible once clay panels are glued in center.

6. Glue a gold piece and clay panel to each end of box as shown; let dry.

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