Thursday, January 01, 2009

One More Altered Box

Simple card made from the art on a side piece of the Yorkshire Gold Tea box. With more thought and time, embellishments could be added to make the card elaborate.
Two tags made from parts of that box.

This is a side by side picture of the original box front and the altered front. I decided to put it on this same post for now.

Altering this box that contained tea bags was a lot easier than any other kind of altering, because all it took was a few scraps and pictures glued strategically on the advertising. I liked the paintings on the sides, and wanted them to show. It is Yorkshire Gold tea from Taylors of Harrogate, so I think the painting is the scenery in the Yorkshire Dales.

Since it is to be filled with handmade letter paper and a pen and envelopes, the word "write" is placed on one of the scrap pieces and glued on top of a circular piece of glitter paper. Someone who owns a large hole-puncher made these circles for me.

Top of the box, although not very focused.

This is sturdy corrugated box for mandarin oranges, and it seemed much too useful to throw out. I was using it as-is, to carry things around the house to put away, or serve glasses of cold drinks to save steps back and forth. I got the idea to decorate it and put a towel in it to transport some fragrant herbal tea with the daily mail. I like this as a tray because the sides are higher than normal and nothing will slide off.

This is the original box. I have no craft room or table, so I carry what I need in this box. That way, any clippings or glitter falls into this area and not all over the place. I go get what I need from a storage area--scissors, glue, papers, and put it in the box . I first traced around it on black construction paper.

This is part of the kitchen so far. It extends a few more feet, all looking the same. It is good that the cabinets and sink delivery was delayed due to the holidays, for we found another leak in the wall and one that appears to be coming up from the floor and forming a stream to another room. At this point, we do not know what we will do.

This is an altered box idea I have been wanting to try. I have always liked the cardboard suitcase storage boxes you can buy, and have looked them over carefully to see how they work.

Someone left a frozen pie box at a potluck and I took it home. First, I rounded off the front corners with scissors, and bent the loose cardboard around, taping it with masking tape. It takes more patience to fiddle with this, so if you tend to get frustrated, keep the box square and work with it that way instead.

I pasted a higher strip of cardboard inside the lower edge, all around, so that it was about half an inch higher than the edges. This was to rest the top part of the lid on, just like the designer boxes are constructed. Masking tape is great for creating the curves and edges that you need, and it builds up over any mistakes.

Wrapping paper adhered better than any other kind of paper, and the cheaper paper worked better than the high quality paper. I folded it around to the inside and glued it all down with white glue.

Here is the inside, lined, with two holes punched on each side, into which wired ribbon was inserted for handles. It does not matter if this project ends up a little wrinkled from the glue. It is just a free box that would have been thrown away anyway.

Here is the primitive first layer of this suitcase box. I made the curves by tracing the original square box on a piece of old paper, and then folding the paper in half and cutting one curve on the outer edge. Then I placed it on the box and drew around the paper for cutting lines.

The trim is made by tracing around the curved edges of the box and cutting with decorative edge scissors. A sticker from the dollar store is placed on a square of the same paper.

I still have no kitchen, but my son in law wired the electric for the dishwasher. It was fun to do this box today when not much else could be done here.


Updated by Lila Huggins (grandmother) said...

WOW! Awesome Box!

Thank you for sharing.

Miss Lila from Atlanta

Anneatheart said...

Dear Lydia,

I want to come visit you! You are so full of pretty ideas. How nice it will be to have a 'new' kitchen. I've been very intrigued by all your 'making something out of nothing' crafts. Maybe someday I will have a bit more time to work on those.

I was wondering if you could tell me or point me in the right direction; I am pregnant with my 5th child (three living, one in heaven) and I was doing pretty well until I got sick- like with a virus- which kind of threw me into the whole fatigue/morning sickness thing. I was so very efficient before- baking all the bread, all meals from scratch, sewing, on top of the housecleaning etc. But now, well, we're doing good if we have clean clothes and food. What would you consider most important to accomplish during this time? My oldest child will be six tomorrow, and she is a special needs child and goes to school. The other girls are 5 and 2 and are wild and crazy! Most of the work is still on me, but I am trying to teach them how to be more self sufficient.
I am also having a terrible time getting around in the early morning, which is bad because I have a husband and a child to get off to work and school.
So, I need some ideas on how to: prioritize the daily tasks and get myself going in the mornings. Thanks so much, I greatly appreciate it!


(you can comment on my blog or email

Lydia said...

I know others have a lot to say about this and I hope they will. I am very familiar with illness during the first few months of pregnancy. I would say the main thing is to keep any young children safe--no burners or oven on, and don't bother with cooking. Order in anything you crave and even if you do not keep it all nutritious, at least crackers and soda pop have some calories in them. Get your husband to bring home things from the deli if it is affordable, or call in a list and send the money with someone. Personally I think it is useless to try to pretend you are not sick and you will be sicker longer if you do not rest. If someone from church would not mind coming in and doing a general clean up for you, it really will make you feel better.

Holly said...

What a neat idea! That is beautiful! Holly

Anonymous said...

You are always so creative :-)

Happy New Year Lydia!!

Ace said...

Hi Lady Lydia, Princess Joy got to look at your posts and we chose two little boxes to make into books and cut them out (The General took her today to buy her first scissors-one pink, one purple...her two favorite colors..Daddy is a big mush and got her both) we hope to go buy some paper and ribbon tomorrow.
Wait till she sees this post, I will be making suitcases soon :)

Our pizza boxes from the other night started looking like a great portable desk or puzzle keeper...hmm, you got me thinking :)

Many Blessings :)

Lydia said...

Pizza boxes do make good trays for puzzles and any other jobs where you have to gather up something, from toys to paper. Decorated, they are nice boxes to store thing in or give away with something of the same size.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,
I love your post!
I always feel peace when I visit here! God bless! I hope you enjoy your day.

Connie said...

How pretty. I never thought about the possibilities in altering boxes. Thanks for sharing!

Connie at

Anonymous said...

Oh my, these crafts are GORGEOUS!

-Christine from Arizona

Sibyl said...

I really love your boxes. I am doing some quilt blocks, they are too large for any of my usual boxes I have. I am going to have to find a pizza box so they will fit in there without having to fold them.

As far as your kitchen goes. I feel it was a blessing in disguise not having your new cabinets installed yet. This way you can find out where the other leak is and get it all fixed prior to putting in your new cabinets. One of these days I would love to have new cabinets for my kitchen. Been here for 30 years, and the cabinets are 50 years of age. Thank goodness we are so fortunate that our home is paid for.

Thank you for all of your encouragement for we that have the benefit of staying at home to be with our families.


Aelwyn said...

Love the tray!

Mrs. V. said...

The boxes you made are just lovely! The one at the very top looks like it would be the perfect size for a recipe box. And the suitcase one on the bottom is so pretty ~ and how creative of you to figure out how to make one yourself!

I hope the solutions to your kitchen problems come sooner rather than later. It looks like you are making the best of the situation though.

Blessings to you!

Lady Dorothy said...

Such lovely repurposing!

I presented you and your blog with an award for your cultural values. No obligation to do anything with it, but come by my blog to pick it up!

Happy New Year!

Cynthia Berenger said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

So dismayed to read of your continued kitchen drama! Even with all this going on, though, you take time to share another set of pretty, purposeful crafts with your readers.

Thank you, and please know that you're in our thoughts and prayers.

Agape always,

Lydia said...

Ladies, the kitchen situation makes me think of the description of early kitchens where the fireplace heated the dish water and dishes were washed at the table. This is the way it is here now and may be for some time. The cabinet and sink will be delivered tomorrow but we can not install it because of this peculiar water problem. There is a crack in the concrete floor which has water bubbling up to about an inch and then it disappears and the floor is completely dry for a time and then a puddle of water appears again. I think a river is taking back its territory and rises and falls with the tides. We are inquiring about it from several sources. In the meantime, it takes my mind off it to do some of these things for the blog. The contents of the kitchen have filled other places so there is not much room to move around or sew anything. However, we are still having cooked meals and the laundry is being kept up. In this circumstance I have great sympathy with those who have just moved from one place to another.

Elisabeth said...

I have several of those boxes the clementines come in! What a wonderful idea! I can do that! I really can! -
I use them for so many things, from a central place for storing my vitamins, to things here in my study. I"m so glad I looked at this blog this morning! Thank you so much!

Lydia said...

such good ideas for the clementine box! A file box for letters and papers, an organizer for the pantry or baking supplies too.

Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful way to recycle. I love the top project - tray for carrying mail and tea - the best. Pretty!


Anonymous said...

We have part of a wall out by the washing machine...know what you are going through, although you have it much worse having to get everything out of the kitchen and having to be being inconvenienced with cooking and dishes.

Hope you get to pick out new kitchen floor when it's all said and done. I think every woman should get to pick out her own kitchen flooring from time to time. It's very special to us ladies to have some neat flooring that we picked out.

Beth Nelson said...

Reading this blog is always a delight, seeing my favourite tea on it (or at least the box) makes it even better....good choice.

Kind regards
Beth xx

stumble-tripping feet said...

I currently have one of those mandarin boxes on my back porch and as soon as it's done, I'm going to scavenge it :)