Trash to treasure – Transform packaging into a display book-box

People often ask me, ‘What is altered art?’ While there is more than one definition, it usually involves the transformation of every-day objects into artistic pieces.

Although many consider altered art a relatively new phenomenon, its roots go back to the Middle Ages when monks would write new text over old manuscripts in order to conserve costly parchment.

Of all the different forms of craft I create, altered art remains my favorite. I am CCB Crew Member Betsy Skagen of Paper Calliope, and I think some of the most evocative creative endeavors are those that take an ordinary object and turn it into something extraordinary.


Tutorial – How to transform packaging into an Altered Art Book-Box

The every-day object that inspired my Book Box was all that remained from some cookies my sister had given to my mother as a souvenir following her trip to Hawaii. While my 89-year-old mother enjoyed the cookies, I was enthralled with the box because of the die cut shapes and the Velcro closure.

Unless you are willing to hop on a plane to Hawaii to buy a box of cookies, you probably will have to find a different box.
I am certain you can prevail.

Step 1: Remove the Velcro fastener from the outside of the box and set it aside to reattach later.

Step 2: Cover the outside of the box in Architextures 12 x 12 Ledger Paper.  After your adhesive dries, cut the paper away from the die-cut areas.

Step 3: Use the cookie divider to make a shelf by gluing it firmly inside the box.

Step 4: Cover the interior and exterior portions of the rectangular box with Architextures 12×12 Paper Floral Guide and paper from Architextures 8×8 Paper Pad.

 Step 5: Ink all the edges of the paper with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.

Step 6: Re-attach the Velcro closure.

Step 7: Rub your chosen elements from the Architextures Parchment Rub-On – Inspire onto the exterior of your Book-Box.

Step 8: Cut bricks from the Architextures Junque Pack Warehouse into a staggered pattern and adhere to the back corner of your box. These Architextures elements are so nice because they cut so easily.

Step 9: Cut the corrugated metal sheet from the Architextures Junque Pack Warehouse into a staggered pattern and adhere to the front corner of your box. Also adhere the Architextures Small Base Borders to the front.

Step 10: Cut apart the boxes from the Architextures Junque Pack Warehouse and adhere them atop the rub-on stool on the spine of the book. I cut them apart so that I could get the perfect box assortment while still fitting within the confines of the box’s die-cuts.

Step 11: Next you will use paper clay and a mold to make the moon face. Allow the clay to dry overnight.

Step 12: Paint the moon, Relics&Artifacts Persona and Relics&Artifacts Rising Spirit III with the Tattered Angels Naturally Aged Kit Metal Faux Finish. When dry, rub some antique wax paste into the crevices.

Step 13: Create faux rust on your chipboard pieces. The process of painting faux rust is too long to include here, so I created a separate faux rust tutorial for you to use.

Step 14: Now, you are ready to begin assembling the interior of your Book-Box. Begin by adhering the remaining staggered corrugated metal in the top right corner.

Step 15: Adhere the Relic Figurine and moon to the inside back of the box.

Step 16: Make a tiny stand for the birdcage out of chipboard and glue it to the shelf. Glue on the bird at the same time.

Step 17: Glue the flowers and Relic Head to the bottom shelf.

Step 18: Connect the clock handles with a brad and glue to the edge of the box. Glue the gears to the bottom corner of the box.

Step 19:  Cut two sections of Architextures Tall Base Chickenwire glue these in place on both shelves, bending the chickenwire as you see fit.

Step 20: Glue some moss to both shelves and your Book-Box is complete.

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you are having a great week!


Great Stuff

Tattered Angels Naturally Aged Kit Metal Faux Finish
7gypsies Architextures 12 x 12 Ledger Paper (2)
7gypsies Architextures 12 x 12 Paper Floral Guide
7gypsies Architextures Parchment Rub-On – Inspire
7gypsies Architextures 8 x 8 Paper Pad
7gypsies Architextures Tall Base Chickenwire
7gypsies Architextures Junque Pack Warehouse
7gypsies Architextures Small Base Borders
Relics & Artifacts Persona
Relics & Artifacts Rising Spirit III
Paste Wax
Paper Clay
Moon mold
Vintage Photo Distress Ink
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts gears
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts clock handles
Gypsy Soul Laser Cuts bird cage
Candy box
Beacon Fabri-Tac
Beacon 3-in-1 Adhesive
Quinacridone Gold acrylic paint
Payne’s Gray acrylic paint
Black acrylic paint
White acrylic paint


Canvas Corp Brands is the home of Tattered Angels, 7Gypsies and Canvas Corp (Canvas Home Basics). We are a manufacturer of surfaces, paint and vintage reproductions coming to you from Springdale, Arkansas.

'Trash to treasure – Transform packaging into a display book-box' have 2 comments

  1. May 11, 2017 @ 9:24 am Sandra Evertson


    This is an amazing piece and I really love that you shared the history of the monks!- Sandra


  2. May 11, 2017 @ 10:33 am Linda Simpson

    What a transformation! I love it!
    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.