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Holiday Blizzard Project – Bea’s Paper Mache Hidden Treasures Book Box

Hidden Treasures Book Box
By: Bea Rosenleaf, Artistic Guide

All little boys like a hiding spot for their gathered treasures. This particular box is a Christmas gift for one of my grandson's who loves pirates. You can take this box and create any theme with it. Make a photo journal of something special for yourself or a loved one.  It is an easy project to make and will be a treasure for years to come!

Distressed Alphas (The Angel Company [retired])
Pirate Collage (Karen Foster Design)
Ephemera Collection - Treasure Map (Sky Blue Pink)
Distress ink pad - Old Paper (Ranger)
Distress ink pad - Vintage Photo (Ranger)
Brilliance ink pad - Moonlight White (Tsukineko)
Brilliance ink pad - Graphite Black (Tsukineko)
Apple Barrel Acrylic Craft Paint - Barn Red (Plaid)
Apple Barrel Acrylic Craft Paint - Black (Plaid)
Acrylic Craft Paint - Metallic Inca Gold (FolkArt)
Crackle Medium (FolkArt)
Alphabet Stickers (ColorBök)
Stickers - Pirate's Life (Karen Foster Design)
Mod Podge - glossy finish (Plaid)
Paint Brush
PVA Glue (Lineco BOOKS by HAND)
Craft Sheet (Ranger)
Spray bottle filled with water


  1. Paint the entire box with the Black paint. Let dry thoroughly.
  2. Paint the outside, front and back with the Crackle Medium. A thicker coat will produce larger cracks. Let dry thoroughly.
  3. Paint over the crackle medium with the Barn Red paint using long strokes. Do not try to go over where you already painted.  As this coat drys cracks will appear.  This gives the "cover" of the book an old leather look.

  4. Paint the Inca Gold on the ridges of the spine of the book and the 'pages'.  When dry, take your finger and rub the Graphite Black ink onto the 'pages' to make them look worn. Don't make it too dark, just enough to make it look used by many hands!
  5. Distress the treasure map. First crumple the map up, spread it out and flatten. Crumple again. The edges should tear a bit. Don't worry about the tearing. We are trying to create an old, worn map look.
  6. Spread the map out on the craft sheet and lightly rub the Old Paper ink pad over the map. The ink will settle on the "mountains" created when you crumpled the map.  Spray with water and let sit. The ink will blend into the paper.
  7. Rub the Vintage Photo ink pad over the map while it is still wet.  Spray once more and let sit until the inks blend and settle into the paper. If you are like me (a little impatient), use a heat gun to dry the paper.
  8. Once the map is dry, apply it to the inside cover with PVA glue. Leave some of the edges curled up. Don't try to keep the tears together - make the map look worn and used many times!
  9. Using the Distressed Alpha stamps and Moonlight ink, spell out whatever you wish to say, and stamp on the bottom of the box.
  10. Apply stickers around the inside however suits your fancy.
  11. Use the Alpha Stickers to create a title for the cover of the book. I used the stickers just for the word "The" and then tore out the word "Pirate" from the collage paper and glued it just below "The."  If desired, apply stickers to 'dress' up the cover.
  12. To finish, apply Mod Podge to the inside of the box and the outside.
  13. Once the Mod Podge is dry, use your finger to rub the map with the Graphite Black ink. This makes it appear that many 'dirty' fingers have used the map.
  14. Apply a second coat to seal the stickers.

Give your special someone the book box for their hidden treasures!

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3 Responses »

  1. Oh I'll bet he loved that - it's just brilliant.

  2. treasure for sure!