Boxes are part of a cosumer’s everyday life, be it the food they’re eating, other items their purchasing or items their receiving through the mail. To an artist on a budget, this is a great opportunity to have another kind of art supply readily available. The trick is to cut the boxes down immediately and organize the pieces according to the projects intended. Here are some ideas:
1: ATC or ACEO Blanks: using a paper cutter or scissors, cut the box up into 2.5 x 3.5 inch pieces. Set them aside to alter using paper, paint, and other mixed media embellishments. A template can be found here.
2: Postcard bases: postcards come in wide variety of sizes and, if you need a template, you can find one here.
3: Handmade book covers: if you’re designing a book that has a study cover, cut your box pieces to fit the size of your book and spine. For an “outsider art” look, cover the project over using a brown paper bag that’s been crinkled.
4: Collage base: decide on the scale of your collage and cut the box up to the right size. Start your collage on the printed side and leave the brown paper side blank or cover over with a solid color paper. Again, using the crinkled paper bag to cover things over adds drama.
5: Bookmark base: there are two ways you can approach this project. You can cut the box on one side, lay it flat, alter it and then cut into bookmark sized strips. Or, you can pre-cut the bookmark strips and alter each one individually. Punching a hole and adding fibers or beads finishes it off nicely. You can find templates here.
6: Blank tag base: blank tags can be used in a wide variety of projects and are readily available for sale in office supply or craft stores. Making your own works just as well and you can find a template for them here.
7: Altered art box: keep the box intact and turn it into an artistic gift or trinket box. Alter it any way you’d like based on your own interests or the interests of the intended gift recipent.
8: Greeting card base: greeting cards come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, so there’s a lot of opportunity for creativity here. You might want to figure out the size of the envelope you’d like to use first (it might be one you have or one you intend to make) and scale your project according to that.
9: Miniture paintings: some artists like to create small paintings regularly, but don’t have a large supply budget. Use some light grit sandpaper to rough up the printed side of the box after you cut it to size. Then, once a coat of primer has been added and dried, you’re ready to paint.
10: Glue blotter: cut your box out and lay it flat. Use this as a blotter for any projects where glue is used. Once the box has been “used up” and is too bumpy to work with, cut down to size to use with collage projects.