Welcome to my blog!My name is Melody M. Nuñez - I’m an artist, a writer, and an art teacher. To learn more about me and the book I published - An Altered Existence: Fictitious Stories About Faces from the Past - please view the “About” & "Book" pages…
IMAGES FROM MY BOOK: An Altered Existence
Tag Archives: upcycling
Hi there! Today I’m revisiting a post I first shared a few years ago. I love this project, and thought I’d share it again since the main “ingredient” in this project is a heart-shaped candy box. With Valentine’s Day coming up, you may be gifted with a candy box – or may choose to treat yourself! In either case you’ll have something great to do with the empty box, whether it’s heart shaped, square, or rectangular. Not only is this Heart’s Desire Box fun to make, but it’s also a great goal setting exercise. Oh, and I’m doing a mini happy dance because since I first shared this project I accomplished one of the goals I set. I published my book – woo hoo!
Melody the Magpie?
In case you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a bit of a scavenger. Whether I’m up-cycling metal food cans or using cardboard packaging to make mobiles, I’ve always got an eye out for cast-offs that can be used in a new way. I enjoy making something wonderful from something simple. Today’s “something wonderful” is essentially a box to hold your hopes and dreams – your goals. How does that relate to chocolate box transformation? Please read on…
I’m a sucker for heart-shaped Valentine’s chocolate boxes. Bubble gum pink, lace, and silk roses aren’t in my usual rotation, but something gets me when it comes to those heart-shaped candy boxes. Whether the box is a relatively plain gold or red, or is fully decked out with saccharine Valentine’s trim, I love them all. Today’s project is how to turn one of these heart-shaped boxes into something that you can treasure – and put to good use – all year round. So, if you (or a friend) are gifted with a heart-shaped box this year, don’t throw it away when it’s empty! (You can do this same project with a rectangular or square shaped box as well.) Oh, and hopefully you can save the box’s liner, too. It makes a great template!
A Look Inside Your Heart…
This project is called My Heart’s Desire because the outer box is intended to hold visual representations of your hopes, dreams, and goals. Whether you gather small 3-D objects that represent what you hope to bring to fruition, or create paper “pages” that you embellish – like I have – I suggest you identify 5 to 10 things you’d like to work on in your life and include them in your box. Here’s how I made my pages, including the materials I used.
Liquid Acrylic Inks or paint
Black Ink Pad
Sticker & Seed Packet
Metallic Gel Pen
Heart Shaped Candy Box (you can actually use any shape you’d like)
How to Visually “Spell Out” Your Heart’s Desire
1. Cut out one “page” for each of your heart’s desires. Make your page by tracing the liner of your candy box, or by tracing the bottom of the box lid and then cutting just inside those lines. If you’d like, you can add color to your page at this stage. I brushed a mixture of acrylic inks and walnut ink onto watercolor paper. Alternately, you can use colored card stock instead.
2. Note one desire on each “page”. (I chose “garden”, “travel”, “art program”, “nourish”, “get book published” and “run” and stamped the words on with alphabet stamps) It’s best to be as specific as possible when it comes to verbalizing goals though, so include as many details as you can. You can write on the back of your pages, too.
3. Add to these “pages” by drawing, painting, stamping, collaging, or otherwise embellishing your “pages”. I’ve listed the materials I used, but you can use whatever materials or methods you’re partial to – there’s no wrong way to do it. The pages can be a simple or as elaborate as you’d like them to be.
Decorating Your Box’s Exterior
There are a million ways you can decorate your box, if you choose to change it at all. Whether you keep the box’s original look, or customize it to make it more “you”, is entirely up to you.
Here are a few décor ideas:
- Paint your box
- Decoupage your box
- Cover your box with duct tape
- Use some of the same materials you used on the “pages” to decorate the box’s exterior (which is what I did)
I opted to cover the red foil look of my box with a few coats of white gesso. Next, I used some of the decorative metallic paper on the cover. I stamped “My Heart’s Desire” on the box’s liner, stamped three flowers in the upper right, and glued a layer of tissue paper over the top to soften the text. I accented the edge of the liner heart with metallic rub-ons and glued three rhinestones in the flower centers in the upper right of the heart. Finally, I attached the letter-stamped liner piece to the box’s lid with a strong double-stick tape.
Hurray! It’s Done! NOW What?
The purpose of this box is threefold. One, to identify what you really want in life and to spell it out in a tangible way. Two, to have fun creating that tangible, visual representation of what you want. Three, to regularly refer back to the contents of your box to remind yourself of your goals and to verify you’re taking steps, however small they may be, towards those goals. So keep this creation within arm’s reach, and let it be your guide…
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments, dear readers. I’m always happy to hear from you!