The No-Measure Method to Re-Covering a Wooden Box

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
The No-Measure Method to Re-Covering a Wooden Box

Recovering a wooden or paper mache box with patterned paper can be a simple and quick way to add a decorative element to your décor without much time or expense. With a few basic tools you can recover a box easily without a single measurement!

Recovering a wooden or paper mache box with patterned paper can be a simple and quick way to add a decorative element to your décor without much time or expense. With a few basic tools you can recover a box easily without a single measurement!

Begin by selecting a box that has smooth and crisp corners. Sometimes paperboard and paper mache boxes with be a little rough on the corners. Taking a moment to select a box that is constructed well will result in a nicer finished project

To quickly and easily re-cover a box lid, apply a glue medium to the top of the lid. Apply an even layer of the medium on the lid making sure to cover the entire surface. You will want a thickness similar butter on bread, not too thin and no so thick that it will seep out from under the edges.

Place the lid adhesive side down on the back of your patterned paper. Adjust the placement of the lid so that there is enough of a paper border around the edges of the lid to fold up and cover the edges. Let the lid sit for a couple of minutes to allow the adhesive to set up.

Apply glue medium to one of the box sides.

Fold the paper over the side of the lid with the medium on it. To get a really nice edge, you can lift the lid, turning it onto its side. The movement of turning the lid onto its side will fold the paper over to the side. Hold it there for a few minutes to allow the adhesive to set up.

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Use a craft knife to trim along the edges up against the box on the long and two short sides. A fresh blade is best for cutting through paper that may be slightly damp from the adhesive. Repeat for the remaining three sides.

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Once the box lid and sides have been covered, use a clean dry cloth to rub over the surface. Rubbing over the surface with the cloth will help smooth out any air pockets or wrinkles. Set the lid aside to finish drying.

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To cover the box sides, apply glue medium to one side of the box.

Place the box adhesive side down on the back side of your selected patterned paper. Line the corner of the box up with the corner of the paper. Let the box sit in place for a minute or two and then cut along the edges with a craft knife. Apply the medium to the next side and repeat until all four sides are covered. Set the box aside for a few minutes to allow the medium to dry.

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Once the medium is dry (it will no longer feel damp to the touch), sand the edges lightly to blend and smooth them. You can vary the amount of sanding depending on how vintage or distressed you would like your finished piece to be.

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Add distress ink to the edges of the box and lid for a vintage or distressed look.

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Finish the box by adding embellishments such as flowers, leaves, and ephemera.

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You can create extra texture and dimension in your paper or sticker embellishments by tearing or curling the edges. On this example, the edges of this strip of paper were torn with the Deckle Tear Edger to create a distressed effect.

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Supply List

Graphic 45 The Magic of Oz Collection: Yellow Brick Road and Goblin Gazette papers; twill trim, envelope and hinge
Prima: flowers and leaves
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Box Feet and sanding block
Tim Holtz Distress Ink Vintage Photo
Claudine Hellmuth Studios Matte Multi Medium
Foam brush
Red glitter