Altered Art Photo Box – Homemade Gifts

My last post featured an altered art book I made for my parents for Christmas 2009. If you missed it, you can check it out here.

Below is an easier altered art project:

For a quicker, simpler altered art craft, you might want to decorate a filing box, like the one I bought at a craft store. These can be used to store photos, DVDs, CDs, or miscellaneous things. They make great gifts and don’t cost much to make.

I bought a calendar at the dollar store with some great photos of Tuscany. I tore the photo into three parts, with the middle part being wider to decorate the lid of the box and the other two sections for the sides.

If you like to make collages, you’ll love this craft.
Let your creativity explode. You can decorate the box with various textures and objects such as pieces of jewelry, a small embroidery piece, ticket stubs, glitter glue, pics from greeting cards. Anything that fits the recipient of the gift or the theme of the box. If it’s a box to store sewing supplies, do a sewing theme using buttons, zippers, patches of fabric, a tape measure, and anything else you can think of.
For a pet theme, you could use photos of your pets, an old dog license tag, pics from magazines or greeting cards, an old dog collar that your dog or cat outgrew, and paint some paw prints all over the box.
The sky’s the limit. Make it special. Make it your own!
A decorative box for your teen would be fun. You can make it wild and zany.
Going to a baby or wedding shower?
Those themes would be fun to work with, and what a wonderful, unique gift.Be sure to think outside the box! 
Sorry, just couldn’t help it! LOL!

Here’s a link Melissa Marsh shared with me, a blog post from January 2009 when she and her daughter made some cool collages. At the end of the post are photos of the beautiful wooden box her mother made for her that Christmas. Melissa keeps sentimental letters from friends and family in it. A real treasure chest!

Do you have any ideas for some other themes that would make a cool decorative box? If someone gave you one of these for Christmas, what would you store in it? What theme would you want? Do you have any tips for others who might want to give this a shot?

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21 Responses to Altered Art Photo Box – Homemade Gifts

  1. These are so pretty 🙂

  2. Old Kitty says:

    Oh wow! Now that's what I call a box! I'd not keep anything in it cos it's so pretty I'd just stare at it all day! 🙂 Wonderful! Take carex

  3. Marcy says:

    These are beautiful 🙂

  4. LOVE these, Lyn! And thanks for the link. I was just thinking last night that my empty Christmas card boxes would be fun to turn into a mixed media project. 🙂

  5. E.R. King says:

    Those are beautiful! I bet they make excellent Christmas gifts.

  6. Stephanie D says:

    Great idea! Peanut and I try and do a Sunday morning craft when we're together. It would be fun to make a memory box like that so she can keep her "special" things in it.

  7. jerzey72 says:

    Always creative here

  8. Michael says:

    I'm not usually up for making homemade gifts – it takes way too much time, and people usually don't appreciate it as much as they appreciate something I just bought.But this looks amazing! I know what I'm putting my gifts in this Christmas. Good job.Also, nice blog. +followed!

  9. Hmm…this looks like something I might actually be able to do. Thanks for the idea 🙂

  10. debrakristi says:

    This is a wonderful idea Lynn! I love it. Great post. 😀

  11. Anita says:

    Very cool stuff here…will share with kids as we look for art projects to do during Christmas break.

  12. Sarah – Thank you!Old Kitty – You could put pictures of Charlie in it!Susie – Thanks!Marcy – Thank you!Melissa – Oh, cool. Let me know how your mixed media boxes turn out!E.R. – I haven't made any of these as Christmas gifts yet, but I think I'll do that for next Christmas. In writing this post, I came up with lots of ideas. That's what I love about blogging! LOL!

  13. Stephanie – That's wonderful. Let me know how this craft works for you and Peanut!Eagle – Thanks! Nice to see you!Jerzey72 – Aw, thank you!Michael – Thank you for the kind words, and thanks so much for the follow! I'm closing in on 200 followers! Wow!Carol – That's so cool that you're going to make one of these. Let us know how it turns out. Everyone's are different as they reflect our different tastes and personalities!Debra – Thanks so much!Anita – You're an awesome mom. I'd love to hear how the kids do with this craft!

  14. C D Meetens says:

    Let me just stand back and applaud! I think you're so talented. This sort of creativity doesn't come naturally to me at all (as an example, I was supposed to help my nephew with crafts one day, and the first thing I asked for was a compass – my sister told me 'no'). That photo box looks fantastic!

  15. CD – Thank you so much! That's so funny that you asked for a compass. LOL!

  16. Naomi Bulger says:

    I love these! And I love the art of collage, but I've never been very good at it myself. Have you ever read The Forgetting Room by Nick Bantock? As the story unfolds, layers of painting and collage also build. I fell in love with that book when it first came out, the idea of storytelling in layers that collage creates. Those boxes would make wonderful keepers of secrets.

  17. Naomi – Thank you! I've never read The Forgetting Room and haven't heard of it, but it sure sounds cool! Thanks for telling me about it.

  18. Okay! Lynn Martha Stewart Kelley! *pangs of jealousy* *turning really, really green*I wonder if *All Thumbs* Robyn Campbell could do this. Should I give it a try? Or do it as a homeschooling project? Onward…

  19. Pingback: My First Altered Art Book | Lynn Kelley, Author

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