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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Step-by-Step: Decoupage a Tissue box & make an accompanying card

It is the first month of a new year filled with wonderful opportunities. It is also the beginning of a whole new year filled with upcoming birthdays. That is why I thought I’d get an early start on giving you some great DIY gift ideas.  Not only are these cost effective, but they are also fun to make. And of your recipients are anything like me, they will appreciate the time and effort that went into the gift and love it the more for it. It is always a great idea to give a one-of-a-kind gift, rather than a mass-produced factory item. (Though I would not decline the gift of a car ;-) In fact, I might make an exception in this case, and say that I’d prefer the factory produced version.)
Jokes aside, I thought I’d show you step-by-step how to make a decoupage tissue box holder and accompanying card. In fact, I figured I’d double up on my time and make two while I’m at it. This way you could see how easy it was to get completely different results following the same steps and using basically the same materials.

  1. Making the tissue box holder
Step 1: Gather your materials

  • 3 sheets of 12” x 12” scrapbook paper in the colours of your choice;
  • Tissue box holder;
  • Craft knife/craft set (optional)
  • Ruler (metal, if you intend to use a craft knife – it will shave off plastic);
  • Acrylic Gel Medium;
  • Paint (Craft Paint, or Acrylic Paint will work well);
  • Scissors;
  • Craft glue (I prefer Tombow Multi Liquid Glue);
  • Pencil
  • Paint brushes – 1 fine and 1 larger (not pictured)
  • Coffee (or tea of that is your preference). I should say optional for this item, but in my case that would be a lie.
When selecting the paint I was going to use, I had not made up my mind which way I would go yet. That is why there is such an array of colour choices. You really only need two colours, (or even only one). I used black on the sides/frames of the tissue box holder and green or purple, respectively, for the insides of the boxes.

Step 2: Trace and cut your design on the paper

 The next step is to draw your layout on your papers. Place your paper face down on the table. Position the box precisely on the paper and draw the design, using a pencil. You can use the box as a ruler.
Each side of the box is going to be covered with 3 different papers. You therefore do not need the full length of any side in any of the papers. Make certain that you cut the sections long enough to allow for an overlap in the papers.
When you are done with the design, cut the shapes out (it does help to name them as you go). Position them on your box to make sure that everything fits neatly. Trim off excess if needed.
I did not like the centre pieces of my front and top sides, and trimmed both according to my liking. This was easy to do, since I have allowed plenty of overlap for both.

The top of the box:

The front of the box:


The left and right sides of the box:

The back of the box:

Step 3: Paint your box

The first step is to paint the rims/borders of your box, using your fine brush. I chose black, but you can make it any colour you like. Even though no-one will ever see the bottom, I paint that as well.

Once you are done with the edges, you can paint the inside of your box, using your larger brush. An argument can be made that you will never see this, since a tissue box will be there, but I like to keep things neatly finished and therefore I paint it. This is entirely your choice. Let the paint dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: Decoupage the box

It is now time to start putting the pretty papers onto the box. I washed my larger brush until the water ran clear and then I used the same brush to paint the Acrylic Gel Medium with. Paint only a section at a time. Paste the paper that fits on that section.  Then paint over that paper with the same Acrylic Gel Medium. Guard against bubbles, stretching the paper, or tearing the wet paper. Once dry, the Acrylic Gel Medium will be completely transparent. Do not fear the white of the wet medium. You will only be able to do 2 or 3 sides at a time, other wise you will have nowhere to hold on to. Allow the sides to ‘touch-dry’ before doing the remainder of the sides.  This is an excellent time to have another cup of coffee, since the medium dries quite quickly.

Leave your completed box to dry thoroughly before going on to the last and optional step.

Optional step: Decorate your box to your liking

Everyone has their own ideas about how to pretty things up. I tend to be a bit minimalistic and practical. I don’t want something in the house which is going to be difficult to keep dust-free. If not for that, I would have added ribbons and feathers and the works. Instead I opted for a few bling items, which I attached with my magnificent Tombow glue, and left it at that.

  1. Making the accompanying card
Step 1: Gather your materials

For the brown card, I used a blank card (selection available in store). For the purple card, I used a piece of paper of which the sides were different colours. I simply cut the paper to the required size and folded it down the centre.

Step 2: Design your card
For the next step, I closely examined the bits of scrap paper that was left over from my decoupage project. Some pieces were already ideally sized and shaped. Other pieces were in need of some trimming. I cut ‘n fitted all the pieces together before using double-sided tape to fix them to the cards.
Warning: If you start pasting the pieces down too soon, you will not be able to change your mind about the order of things half way through the process.
The Purple card did not need much since the colours were strong enough to carry it through. I simply stuck one paper design down on the front. I added a second design a little skew, and the last layer was put on double-sided foam squares and tape to give a 3-Dimensional effect to the card.

The brown card was started on a pure white background and in need of a lot of TLC. I chose the paper that would become my main design and pasted pieces down on the front (pictured left) and the back (pictured right).

I then pasted an accent piece onto the front with a second paper design (pictured left). When I opened the card, I was confronted with stark white. Not wanting to infringe on the writing space (I write long letters in cards), I opted to paste small pieces of paper down to break the monotony, without taking up too much space (pictured right).

Step 3: Finishing touches – decorate your card
Now came the fun part. Putting the finishing touches (decorations) to a card is always great fun. I decorated the monotonous green of the inside of the purple card by sticking down an off-cut piece of paper and a tiny little paper flower I found among my embellishments.

The outside of the card was quickly and easily finished by adding another strategically placed paper flower and a bling flower in the centre of a flower design on the paper.

The brown card took a bit more work. I noticed a lovely flower design on one of the paper off-cuts. I carefully cut this out, mounted it on double-sided squares and added it to the front. I loved this and went in search of more flowers to add.

I found another off-cut with lots of different flowers and carefully cut them all out.

The next step was to put double-sided foam squares on the backs of the flowers before pasting them down on the front of the card, effectively creating a flower garden.

I was thrilled by how this turned out, but I still had to put the very final touches on, and that meant adding the same bling to the card that I had used on the tissue box cover. Before, I attached them with Towbow glue, because it was on an item that was going to be handled a lot. This time I made use of the adhesive on the backs, since the card could not be expected to endure the same amount of handling.

All that was left was the cleaning up and packing away. By this time, my boxes had sufficiently dried and I could bring the cards and the gifts together. Here are the final products.

We have put together a few DIY kits in for you to make these yourself. Check out the links below.

Shop for the products by following the links provided:
  • Completed box and cards created in this demonstration:
  • You can also order custom designed box and card sets:
  • To buy a design pack to make your own box and card set:
  • Products: