Thursday, 29 May 2014

Altered Pizza Box

Edited – now with video.

A mixed media project. I am giving away one of my flower painted Ikea mirrors as a house-warming present, and recently discovered that it fits exactly inside a 10-inch pizza box. I thought the box needed a bit of decoration to make it a slightly more acceptable wrapping, and I ended up making a full mixed media project out of it!

I got a bit carried away and forgot to take any photos during the making, but I did video the whole process.

I started by covering the whole of the outside of the box with gesso, and then had a rummage in my Tim Holtz papers – they’ve all got a bit muddled up and I’m not sure which stack they come from – either Crowded Attic or Lost and Found, but it doesn’t really matter – they’re all nice and vintage. I found some nice faces and tore them out and distressed the edges with my distressing tool, and stuck them down onto the box with PVA adhesive.

I also stuck down some ripped up corrugated cardboard with some of the surface paper torn away, which gives a gorgeous texture. Once the PVA was dry, I painted these pieces with gesso, and then began painting the whole surface with acrylics.

I chose a blue and green palette, and did some dry brushing with white acrylic, and once I’d got the effect I wanted, I added some iridescent gel medium which gives a gorgeous shimmery surface, and then some pearlised acrylic ink, concentrating on the textured corrugated parts. The whole thing was extremely shimmery by this time.

I created some text, “Home is where the heart is” by cutting out some words and letters from scrap printed paper in my stash, and stuck these down onto a further piece of scrap paper with regular matt gel medium, which I also used to stick the pieces down onto the surface. Before this I coloured them with Victorian Velvet Distress Ink.

Once they were laid down, I took an old credit card and added some crimson acrylic paint with the edge of the card dipped in the paint, creating frames around the words and around the face pictures. I then added some more lines using my white marker pen.

To form a border, I used more of the crimson acrylic paint, and also some dark blue, and once the border design was laid down, I went round the edges and embellished the border with the white marker pen, and finally added some shadows with a mixture of Payne’s Grey and white acrylic paint.

The final touch was to add some Treasure Gold gilding wax to the raised texture. A really shiny, shimmery effect!

Once the outside was dry, I painted the whole of the inside roughly with gesso. This will be fine once there is tissue paper inside the box, wrapping the mirror.

Here is the finished box, propped up with the edges of the lid showing. I painted these with a mixture of green acrylics.

01 Box Open

The box closed:

02 Box Closed

The sides of the lid go inside the box, and I painted the sides of the base with rich blue acrylic paint.

Now for some details. This is the bottom left corner. You can see one of the pictures I laid down, and also some of the corrugated cardboard. I love the effect of the top surface layer of paper being partially ripped away.

03 Detail 1

One of the face pictures. They are pretty subtle with the iridescent gel medium, and they also reflect the light so it’s a bit difficult to see them in the photos.

04 Detail 2

05 Detail 3

Finally a detailed shot of the text.

06 Detail of Text

I think you can see how shiny and shimmery the surface is in this photo.

A fun project to do, and I completed it in an afternoon. One day I would like to paint and embellish the rest of my pizza boxes, which are used to store various materials in my ARTHaven.


  1. Nice work Shoshi. You did a good job at picking up the shimmery effect in your pics!

  2. Well my pizza box looks plain and boring now! I may just have to jazz it up - great thinking Shoshi!

  3. That is the best pizza box ever! Amazing upcycling!
    Don't worry Shoshi about the DT offer I sent you - I am not upset, I understand. I hope your health does not stop you from crafting - I enjoy looking at your creations!


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