Dad’s are notoriously hard to shop for, and even harder to make for. Every year as Father’s Day begins to loom on the calendar, I come up stumped with what I can make that my husband would actually enjoy. This year, I found it in a homemade trinket box.
Every day my husband Bear comes home from work and empties his pockets on his nightstand. No matter how many times I tell him where his spare change and work nametag belong, they end up in a pile on the nightstand. So I’ve finally gotten wise and decided that since he won’t go to the organization, I’ll bring the organization to him.
With this little trinket box he’s got a place to put all those things he needs that I don’t want to have to look at. Earbuds, packs of gum, spare pens, all those little things that clutter up our space and make the bedroom I’ve put so much time into decorating look like a trash heap. When I presented Bear with this box he said, “You love me! You made me a box for all my crap! You made me a crap box!” I think trinket box sounds much nicer.
Dad’s trinket box supplies:
- Darice Wood Box Style Frame
- Patterned Cardstock
- Wax Finish
- Foil Alphabet Stickers
- Clear Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel
- E-6000 Adhesive
Use a shop rag or old T-shirt to rub the Rub N’ Buff wax all over the inside and outside of the box. Do this in an area that is well-ventilated and you’ll save yourself some heartache if you wear rubber gloves and do it on top of an old towel. The application is messy but I fell head over heels in love with the results. Once buffed and allowed to dry the wax hardens and creates a beautiful finish. It highlights the grain of the wood and makes this little box look way more expensive.
Cut the script paper to fit each side of the inside of the box and glue in place with a little craft glue. You just need to keep the edges in place, we’ll create a protective layer later. Do the same for the back of the frame that creates the inside top of the box.
Remove the frame insert from the lid and place it and your box on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle the embossing enamel over the top of it, generously but not ridiculously so. You want it covered, but not so much that the enamel oozes all over the edges.
For the box, sprinkle the enamel on the bottom first.
Repeat this process for each side of the box, turning the box so that the side being enameled is always the side it’s resting on in the oven. Each side will remelt and drip onto whatever is below it, so before allowing it to cool you might need to swirl the enamel around to distribute it evenly. A heat gun can help you fine tune this process.
Attach the nailheads by pressing them through the front of the cardstock and folding the prongs down on the back. Make sure as you’re installing these that they will fit inside the open space of the frame.
Install the cardstock piece inside the frame, backing it with the wooden piece we’ve lined and enameled for the inside. Repeat the enameling process by sprinkling the powder inside the frame and using the oven to melt it. For this piece, you’ll have to be more patient and use only a little powder at a time. Since the frame is not water tight, the enamel can seep out of the frame and drip down into the box. Work one layer at a time and only let it get hot enough for the top most layer to melt. As it hardens it can create a seal for the future layers, but if the box gets hot enough to melt every layer of enamel, you’ll lose your seal. Again, a heat gun can fine tune this process and remove any air bubbles that develop.
I don’t know who this project is a bigger hit with – Bear to have a great personalized place to hide all his junk, or me for getting to look at this instead of a pile of pocket miscellania. If only every marital problem could be solved with a craft project.
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Tresa is a writer, craft designer, and award winning activist whose work has been featured in publications as diverse as Better Homes and Gardens and Bitch Magazine. Tresa makes videos guiding you through projects and life at youtube.com/reesedixon, and blogs daily at her creative living blog, ReeseDixon.com, where she sets out to prove that creativity is powerful enough to make your life what you want it to be.