Mixed Media Paper Mache Boxes

Mixed Media Paper Maché Boxes

If there’s one thing our Creative Crew members enjoy doing, it’s experimenting and trying new things with our products. This is especially true with our Tattered Angels line of mists and paints. Why use just one color if you could also layer colors over one another? How do our Glimmer Mists look on different textures? On different surfaces? Our Tattered Angels line is perfect for those new to mixed media as well as those for whom mixed media is a way of life! Afterall, if you’re a tattered angel, you have few creative boundaries, and can find no wrong in art. You want to have fun and share your creations and unexpected results from trying new things. It’s with this in mind that our Creative Crew member Laura Kuhlmann shares her own experiment and the unexpected — but really cool — results she got.

Mixed Media Paper Mache Boxes

The result was not even close to what I had envisioned…but that’s what makes creative playtime so important! — Laura Kuhlmann

I love painting with chalk paints. I love the matte finish of the paint, as well as the instant vintage goodness you get just by the aged look of the paint.

Today I’m sharing the results of my own experiment — my own creative playtime — seeing how the Tattered Angels Glimmer Mists would look on top of chalk paint. The result was not even close to what I had envisioned when I began, but that’s what makes creative playtime so important as I discovered an interesting finish and learned how the Glimmer Mists react with the chalk paint as well as with a brush-on varnish.

Let’s get started!

Mixed Media Paper Mache Boxes, and how Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist reacted with chalk paint!



Step One: Wipe down paper maché boxes and lids with a slightly damp paper towel to remove any dust or debris. Let dry.

paper mache square boxes

Step Two: Paint the outside of both boxes and lids with one coat of white chalky finish paint. Let dry. No need to paint the inside of each box — we will leave them in their natural state.

painting paper mache boxes

Step Three: Paint both boxes and lids with one solid coat of mint chalky finish paint. Make sure to paint the inside rim of each box and lid. Let dry.

chalk painted paper mache boxes

Step Four: Spray some Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Snowy Pine onto a non-stick craft mat.

Oh, how I love this color!

glimmer mist on paper mache box

Step Five: Dip each side of the box and lid into the Glimmer Mist. 

adding glimmer mist on box

You’ll notice immediately — like I did — that the box colors changed from mint green to more of a soft pale blue shade. I wasn’t expecting it, but I loved the color.

Step Six: Gently blot with a paper towel until you like how it looks. Let dry.

Tattered Angels glimmer mist on paper mache

Step Seven: Using the Glimmer Mist from the paper towels and non-stick craft sheet, color the small unfinished wood finials. Let dry.

TA glimmer mist on wooden knobs

Once dry, I was absolutely in love with how the boxes looked. They had depth, gorgeous color and shading, and a bit of sheen in the light too.

glimmer mist over chalk paint

For comparison, on the left (below) is a paper maché box I painted several years ago with some basic acrylic craft paints. I used a teal color with a grey diluted craft paint over it to give it some age.  On the right (below) is the box with the Glimmer Mist.

craft paint versus glimmer mist

With the light not casting a sheen in the picture, you can see how much depth the Tattered Angels gives the box. I’m guessing it’s the way the TA Mist reacted to the chalky finish paint.

Again, unexpected but I liked it. (I also thought — at this point — that I was almost finished with my painting. Little did I know!

Part of crafting is not always knowing what the end result will be, but just going with it anyway to see where it takes you!

Step Eight: Using E6000 adhesive, attach the small finials to the bottom corners of the large box to use as feet. Leave this box upside down and let it fully dry and cure for 24 hours.

wooden knobs on paper mache box

Step Nine: For a fun contrast, paint the outside edges of both box lids with TA Glimmer Glaze in Sweet Pea Pod. Let dry.

glimmer glaze on paper mache

Again, more “reacting” was going on between the Glimmer Glaze and the dried Glimmer Mist-chalky paint combo. I lucked out and got even more of a contrast than I anticipated!

And then this happened . . .

stained hands from paint mists

As I was handling the boxes, attaching the feet and then painting the edges with Glimmer Glaze, the surface color of the boxes was coming off on my fingers.

This wasn’t good for me. If I wanted to give these boxes as gifts — or sell them — I wouldn’t want the gift recipients or the buyers to get color on their own hands. Quickest way to not get another sale ever again, know what I mean?

What to do.

I wasn’t about to give up, so I decided to try a brush-on matte varnish to seal the color in.

As the reaction of the varnish with the mist and the chalky paints all began to dance together, I had to think fast.

Here’s what I came up with.

Step Ten: Brush DecoArt Media Ultra-Matte Varnish onto one side of a box. 

glimmer mist reacting with varnish

Immediately you will see the color changing and reacting with the varnish (above right).

Take the side of your paintbrush and just start tapping around on the mixture to create texture. 

I’m a huge fan of “when in doubt, add texture!”

Mixed Media Paper Mache Boxes, and how Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist reacted with chalk paint!

Make an abstract design all over. (above right)

Repeat for every side of the boxes and the lids.  Also don’t forget to apply varnish to the feet as well.

Here is a quick video of exactly what I just described, so you can see exactly what I did.

Let everything dry thoroughly.

Look how cool the dried paint/mist/varnish mixture looks!

Mixed Media Paper Mache Boxes, and how Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist reacted with chalk paint!

I love it! If you look really close, you can see where it crackled in some spots.

Step Eleven: Embellish the boxes!

This is always my favorite step of mixed media projects because it’s where the magic happens. I usually gather up all kinds of trims and buttons and gems and flowers that will go with the boxes. Then I place them in different ways to decide how I want them to look.

In this instance, I wanted a meaningful quote for the top of each box. I cut out two gorgeously aged quotes from the 7gypsies Wanderlust: Take Chances 12×12 Paper.

Once I had everything figured out, I ran the larger flat embellishments through my Xyron Creative Station Lite, which turns them into stickers.

using Xyron for embellishments

On the small box lid I layered the quote over some wide ribbon cut with pinking shears, then added vintage seam binding, buttons and a plastic flower gem. I also tied some matching hemp cord through the green vintage button to match the wide ribbon.

Mixed Media Paper Mache Boxes, and how Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist reacted with chalk paint!

On the large box lid, I adhered the quote first, leaving room for all of the embellishments I wanted to add to the upper right corner.

Mixed Media Paper Mache Boxes, and how Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist reacted with chalk paint!

These embellishments matched the ones on the small box to tie them together even more. I used vintage buttons, bright green hemp cord, a large silk flower, vintage seam binding, ribbon, and vintage lace trim.

Mixed Media Paper Mache Boxes, and how Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist reacted with chalk paint!

I adhered all of these embellishments using either the Xyron Creative Station Lite or my Xyron Mega Runner.

Here’s a side view . . .

Mixed Media Paper Mache Boxes, and how Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist reacted with chalk paint!

And here are the finished mixed media boxes!

Mixed Media Paper Mache Boxes, and how Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist reacted with chalk paint!

These boxes turned out quite differently than I had originally intended, but I love the end result!

I’m an artist — not a scientist — so I can’t tell you exactly how or why the varnish reacted with the TA Glimmer Mist/chalky paint mixture, but the mixture provided a solid, durable finish that did seal the color in…it just wasn’t sealing in the color I had started with!

Mixed Media Paper Mache Boxes, and how Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist reacted with chalk paint!

Now I’m left with two conclusions.

First, I accidentally created a fun way to work with these products to obtain this really cool textured look!

And second, I still need to figure out how to successfully seal a paper maché box that’s been painted and misted, because I also love how that color result looked too.

Do you have any suggestions for me? I’d love to get your feedback!

Let me know in the comments!

Mixed Media Paper Mache Boxes, and how Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist reacted with chalk paint!

Happy crafting!


Be sure to check out more of Laura’s craft tutorials on her blog, and make sure to follow her on Instagram!

I’m Laura, the creative mind behind Pet Scribbles, my blog where I share craft tutorials, home and garden projects, and occasional cat stories. I love to make things look time-worn with distressing and aging – especially wood projects both large and small. In addition to being on the Canvas Corp Brands Creative Crew, I also currently work with Xyron, Simply Stamps, Plaid Crafts and Walnut Hollow. Click below to connect with me!

'Mixed Media Paper Maché Boxes' has 1 comment

  1. May 4, 2017 @ 10:29 am Linda Simpson

    Stunning! I love the colours and design on this fabulous box.
    Linda xxx


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This blog is a compilation of inspiration from the Canvas Corp Brands family including Canvas Corp, Tattered Angels and 7Gypsies.