Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tackling a tackle box

Can you stand another before and after? I'm a little hooked on them I'm afraid, so here goes. I've used this tackle box to stash my art supplies since freshman year of college, and I still love it. It came with lots of plastic dividers that I arrange and re-arrange as I acquire new tools. I especially love how it unfolds to give a clear view of everything inside and the rows of slots I use for sorting my collection of sharpies and colored pencils according to color. But, I was feeling like it needed a face lift.

After a good scrubbing I gave it a coat of my favorite artsy stuff; Golden acrylic gel medium. (I generally prefer the gloss variety, but there are lots of choices.) Its like mod podge only more versatile. You can mix it with pigment to make your own paint, use it as a sealant, give a glossy coat to a matte surface or use it for decoupage. You can apply it directly to most surfaces, but the real secret is to apply some to the paper or fabric you are attaching as well. This way you avoid air bubbles and also weird issues with materials that shrink or stretch when damp.

I used my endless supply of pages from my high school French/English dictionary to give this old box a new look. When it was all sufficiently dry I applied my name with some black glittery stickers. I'm thinking the handle needs a big satin bow, but since I'm all out of black ribbon it'll have to wait until I stumble upon more. (Much to my dismay, I haven't found a good source of pretty ribbons here in Shenzhen. The fabric stores around here require bargaining per yard, and I make it a firm rule not to bargain if I don't know how much something ought to cost.) I realize my art supplies don't care how they are housed, but I quite prefer this new look.

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