Christmas Topiaries Made Using Painted and Decoupaged Gift Boxes and Trimmed with Birds and Feathers

diy gift box Christmas topiaries
This is a little project I designed that I'm calling Gift Box Topiaries
You can use them as a gift, put little cookies or candies in each box, 
or just use as decoration year after year.

painted gift boxes
Each box is attached to the lid of the box below it so they come apart
 for you to fill with your gifts or candy.
Here's a rundown of the process...

sets of paper mache stacking gift boxes
I ordered bulk paper mache' boxes in sets of three, 
ranging from 4" to 12"

colorful craft birds with feathers
I also ordered several colors of large feathered craft birds.

primed and base coat paper mache boxes
I primed and painted the boxes with base coats. 
I used spray paint for this and also spray painted the insides for a finished look

assorted wooden shapes
For the bases, I gathered wooden pieces and parts and played around 
with them until I had bases for all of the topiaries.

primed assorted wood shapes
Here are most of the bases all primed with spray primer and ready for paint

hand painting lids

hand painted paper mache lids
 Here are a couple of the lids as I was painting..
After these were painted, I glazed them to give them an
antiqued look to match the sheet music that was used with these lids.

hand painted paper mache with diamonds and animal print
I love the diamond or harlequin pattern. I rarely predraw my diamond
pattern but usually just freehand and this is how I do it...

how to paint diamond pattern
It's basically just a connect the dots type of technique.

 To start, I tap on tiny dots of paint with the end of the paint brush.
One for the top and one dot for the bottom.  
Then I decide how wide I want it to be and put those two dots.
  
Once you have your first diamond "dotted" out, then it's really easy 
to make alternating dots.... eyeballing the spacing for the rest of the diamonds.

hand painted diamonds how to paint
Then you connect the dots and fill in with paint.

  To me this is much faster than measuring and drawing out.
 I personally like a more painterly look so it doesn't bother me if they aren't precise. 
I think when you look at it overall, they always look spaced pretty evenly.

using feathers from feather duster
 To embellish the tops of boxes I used the craft birds, decorative craft picks
and feathers. Some of the feathers came from feather boas and others from this
feather duster. I saw it in the store, loved the color and thought...why not?
I just pulled out feathers as I needed them.

glittered craft bird
I gussied up all of the artificial birds with glitter glue that I brushed 
or dotted on to give them a little extra sparkle.

glittery craft bird for Christmas
Here's one with some of the craft picks and berries.

sheet music decoupaged paper mache boxes
On this set of boxes, I decoupaged with vintage sheet music. 

vintage sheet Christmas music
I did  not even notice this was the song until the Mod Podge 
was on and I was about to apply it to the box...Happy accident :)

hand painted gift box and sheet music topiaries
For this set I used more sheet music but just for the lids
on the hand painted boxes.

hand painted paper mache gift boxes
The base for this set is a wooden bowl topped with a flat round piece
then glued and screwed together

colorful craft birds
Colorful blue birds

hand painted plaid boxes
The plaid one on the left is a star shape and it's base is an upside down planter.

hand painted Christmas gift boxes
More bright, fun ones with "painted" ribbons as if the boxes were wrapped.

The small one on the left has a wood candlestick as the base.
The large square on the right has a wooden bowl and a wooden plate piece for the base

hand painted paper mache box
I used one of those rubber paint design tools to drag
through the wet paint to create these patterns.

star paper mache painted boxes
 Another star shaped version. 
For this one I used a stamp and added little dots along with the stamped design. 
I didn't use ink but dabbed paint onto the stamp and applied.  
It gave it a very uneven image which I liked and I followed suit by painting the 
rest of the box with a distressed gold finish.

stacked gift box topiaries with birds and feathers
Thanks so much for reading about my Gift Box Topiaries.

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A Reader's Window Transformation!

Lorena, one of my creative friends sent an awesome window makeover project she made.

  Lorena also shared her breadbox redo after she was inspired by my breadbox makeover 

Here is what she started with for her current project,...
an old window from her house, um, how lucky to have cool 
window's like that from your own house!

and here is her finished project!  
She created a beautiful art piece using the window and scrapbook papers
 that she decoupaged onto the glass panes.  
Very cool Lorena, thank you for sharing this!

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Stained Glass Mosaic Surfboards Part 1 - Sea Turtle, Palm Tree and Beach Waves

I've been working on a custom order for three mosaic surfboards and thought I would go ahead and post some "during" pics. If you would like, you can skip right to the after pics ;)
My customer wanted 3 different designs to fill a large wall in her home.

hand cut stained glass tiles for mosaic surfboard
I've got most of the glass cut and ready to go.  You can see the fabric swatch she gave me plus a general idea of the designs on paper which could change as I go.... you never know

 She envisioned a water design on one, a foliage design on another and sea turtles or fish for the third board.  Other than those instructions and the fabric swatch, she pretty much gave me free reign...yay!

wood surfboard cutouts
There are three but here are 2 of the shapes cut out plywood, they are about 5 1/2 feet tall

palm tree mosaic surfboard
Here is a "during" shot of the palm tree surfboard

stained glass mosaic surfboard on wood base
....the wave/water surfboard.  It changed a little from my first drawing. 


stained glass mosaic surfboards
Another shot of the palm tree with the sand... 
I'm playing around with the tiles up top, they aren't glued on yet

stained glass sea turtle mosaic surfboard
Here are the sea turtles with coral surfboard with the swirly patterns of the water done so far.  

palm tree design stained glass mosaic surfboard
Just a little more to go on this one, I ended up doing a night sky 
with little gold "stars" (actually metallic gold glass) in the sky.
Just need to finish the edges and grout.
See all the completed mosaic surfboard post.

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or visit my Etsy Store to see all the surfboards I offer

Thanks for checking them out!

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