This afternoon I completed the lid of my beehive. I had great fun doing this, because it involved some experimenting to get the effect I wanted. Having looked at some pictures of beehives online, I discovered that they are often covered with roofing felt against the weather, and I wanted to reproduce the look and feel of this material with its bituminous gritty surface.
In the end I used a mixture of thick matt acrylic gel medium and pumice acrylic gel medium to give the gritty texture, coloured with black acrylic paint, which I applied with a palette knife and allowed to dry before proceeding. The roof is constructed of double-thickness cardstock, the outer layer being cut from the recycled cover of an architect's specification booklet, which had a rather nice dull black hammered surface, which I thought would be good just in case the gel medium mixture did not cover it adequately. (I never throw anything away that might come in useful!)
Here is the completed exterior of the beehive, now just awaiting a base and final decoration.
This is the lid from above, which shows the texture quite well:
The ridge piece is made of cardstock which has been inked with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Walnut Stain. The nails are mini-brads, which I held in a pair of jewellery pliers and sanded to remove the paint, and to give a somewhat rough surface. After inserting the brads, I attached the strip to the ridge of the roof with double sided tape.
Finally, this is the inside of the lid. Using double sided tape, I attached a square of card which I had embossed with the beehive Fiskar's Texture Plate and inked with Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Pumice Stone.
To finish the box, I need to make a square base slightly larger than the box. Beehives have a projection near the bottom, to allow the bees somewhere to land as they enter the hive, and I am not sure how to do this yet, because anything sticking out is going to prevent the box from exploding properly. I also want to add some grass and flowers around the base, not thick enough to prevent the box exploding, but just enough to prevent the flaps falling absolutely flat - I like the look of an explosion box when the flaps are slightly raised when exploded, like the petals of a flower. I will probably also add some more bees to the outside, including a few on acetate strips.
So... a bit of pondering required until this project is complete!