Monday, October 18

Mixed Media Collage Recipe Box Tutorial: Part 1

Here it is.
My beloved recipe box.
I love this thing. 

In Part 1 I'll show you how to make the recipe box,
In part 2 (tomorrow) I'll explain my whole 
without-losing-your-mind system.
Which has saved my life since going back to work.  

1. Wooden index card box.
I found this one at a garage sale and I saved it for something special. Mine is big (5x7) because I like to go big. It also allows me to print out recipe's on a half sheet of card stock + file them easily.
2.Gel medium
(Mod podge will do.)
3. Great paper.
I used old dictionary pages and patterned paper but when I was done I thought it would be cool to use pages from an old recipe book. I have a ton of them. Maybe next time...
4. Acrylic paint.
Use what you love. I used white, brown, Naples yellow (myfavorite color right now), turquisoe,  red 
5. A Sharpie 
6. A white gel pen
7. Acrylic spray fixative

Let's get started.
Step 1: Paint
Paint your whole box one color, as a base.

Step 2: Glue
Use gel medium to cover your box in paper.
I started with big dictionary pages and added patterned paper overit.

*Note: See the wrinkly bumps on mine? I like the texture. the more the better for me, but if you don't like the wrinkles start gluing your paper from the center and work out to avoid air bubbles.

Step 3: Paint with your fingers.
 Paint a glaze over your paper to dull the colors.
Glaze is just a fancy way to say lots of water with a little bit of paint.
Dip your fingers in a little bit of white, a little bit of brown, and a lot of water.
Cover  the box with a thin layer of paint, then use a wet paper towel to wipe off more paint.

Step 4: Paint with a paper towel.
Dip a squished up paper towel in brown, then in water, and rub it around the edges and corners of your box to make it look aged.

Step 5: Paint with a brush.
Use the colors in your palette to paint shapes, patterns, and designs on your box

Step 6: It's doodle time.
Get out your Sharpie and add doodles to the painted designs on your box.
Add contrast with your white gel pen, and any other ephemera you'd like...
ribbon, buttons, etc.

Step 7: Spray
Spray your box with an acrylic fixative so that it will be able to hold up to the wear and tear.


Tomorrow I will add Part 2:
I'll explain my whole...



  1. OHHH MMYYYY!!! That is SSSOOOO cute!!! I love it!!!

  2. You're amazing. Thank you for sharing your step-by-step! I love this.

  3. From a family that LOVEs art this is great! I checked out your kindergarten self portrait post..(: So-0 adorable!

  4. Love it. I love your blog too! You are a very fun artist:)

  5. so glad you linked up erin! i love this and i'm so glad that this little link up we're doing helped to encourage you to create something for yourself and your home. can't wait for part two. :)

  6. this is awesome erin!!! i just shared a link to it on my facebook. :D <3

  7. Thank you, Paulette! Thanks for hosting, Heather. Life Made Lovely Mondays made me realize my need for art in real life! So encouraging, guys.

  8. Erin this is so great, I am looking forward to part 2!!! :)

  9. This is fabulous! So much fun! I love the whimsical style of it. I think I may try this out today, I've got an old wooden recipe box that's just been waiting for some love. I'm really glad I found your blog by way of the OWOH. Thanks for sharing! Hugs!