The uses for small papier mache boxes seem endless. The boxes organise small items, hold small gifts and can become gifts themselves. Decorating the boxes is easy and fun. Decorate them randomly or personalise them for the recipient. All it takes is a big imagination and a few supplies.
Recycle old maps by using them to cover a small papier mache box. Choose the country you want to centre on the top of the box. Prepare the map by cutting it into small pieces of varying sizes, between 3/4 inches and 1 and 1 1/2-inches in size. Cover the lid with antique découpage glue. Carefully reconstruct the map on top of the lid, covering each new piece with more glue. Add pieces that fold over and cover the sides of the lid. Cover the sides of the bottom half of the box the same way, one side at a time.
Paint the lid and box bottom gold. After the box has dried, lay faux gemstones on the lid until you've formed an attractive pattern and covered the lid. Carefully move the gemstones, keeping the pattern intact. Start in the centre of the box lid and glue the gemstones on until the pattern is reconstructed. Let the lid dry completely before placing it on the box.
Visit your local beach or dollar store and procure enough small seashells to cover the lid of a small papier mache box. Paint the entire box a tan shade to simulate the beach. Cover the lid of the box with glue and randomly add seashells. Press the shells close together. Set the bottom of the box on a piece of waxed paper. Glue a piece of brown sisal rope around the bottom edge of the box bottom.
Paint the entire papier mache box a solid colour. Let it dry before adding swirls and designs to the bottom section of the box. Measure a photograph and cut it to leave a 1/2 inch border around the lid of the box. Glue it on, centring the picture. Form a picture frame using a 1/2-inch border from bias tape or rickrack. Glue it around the outer edges of the picture. Glue faux gemstones on the four corners of the frame.
Tear a sheet of animal print tissue paper into pieces no larger that 1 inch square. Use a sponge brush and cover a small space on a papier mache box with découpage glue. Put a piece of tissue paper on the box and brush more glue over it. Continue adding pieces of paper to the box until the entire bottom and the entire lid are covered. Hot glue a small statue of the animal on the centre of the lid to use as a decorative handle.
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