Last week I bought two raggedy dolls on ebay for a song. I was so excited that I got such a great deal. I looked at these dolls and thought what could I do for them to get a home. But I put them down and had to come back.
Later I was moving some items around because I had been packing and shipping stuff for my garage sale. I spied the box I bought for the In the Box challenge and I thought, yes. This is what they can go in.
I had bought the frame at some point and had in mind to build a box to fit, but this box fit.
Here's my initial items to use:
The box had a lid and I decided it wasn't needed for this frame. I painted the outside an off white. Inside was light blue on all walls except the floor. The floor was painted brown.
This part was easy.
Later I added the clouds to the ceiling and along the top of the walls.
I applied glue to the floor and sprinkled on the ground cover. Patted it into the glue and let dry. Shake it off to remove excess.
Then I added some shrubbery, keeping in mind where the bench was going to go.
The bench was repainted to fix some issues I felt with the pink. I did consider some greens, black or brown. I decided to repaint off white and just fix the pink color. For once I did not paint the entire thing. I wanted this to be quick as possible, so I didn't repaint the back (that doesn't show) or the bench.
The frame took the longest to do. I painted three coats of off white. Getting in the openings I intentionally used a cheaper brush so to not ruin one by pushing into those openings. I only painted the back of it once to allow for warping. I think the cutouts helped with this as I had very little issue with that. I sanded between each coat.
As I painted it I wanted to do something to use the red and blue colors of the dolls. One idea I considered but discarded was to add glue or puff paint to add dimensional details. Another idea was to stain over the paint to give an antiqued look. Also this was discarded. It was only after the inside of the box was done that I came up with another idea on how to incorporate the red and blue.
I pulled from my stash some red papers. I decided I wanted to use some red tissue paper although I considered some shiny paper and also some glitter paper. I considered to cover all the openings with the red, but then I thought what if I added blue in some openings. I didn't have any blue tissue paper so I checked my ribbon stash.
In hindsight the all red for the openings would have been much easier, but I am very satisfied with the combo of red and blue. There were several places that I had to use the ribbon side by side to cover the opening since the ribbon I had wasn't wide enough.
One idea for the back, would have been to have a second frame to cover the back to cover the mess. But I didn't have one of those and I like that I can see light through the covered openings so I will leave it a mess in the back.
I knew the frame needed to have the box lifted since the frame couldn't support the front. I noticed the smaller box on my desk and it was the right size height wise, but not big enough to support the box and frame. I had more of the smaller box, so I used two. I then ended up covering these two boxes with some thin card that I painted to match.
Now for the finished piece
From start to finish it took about 4 hours.
Ideas to make it quicker:
use a printed background in the box
use a single color for the opening or none
stain the frame (then the edges in the openings don't have to be dealt with)
leave the box outside unpainted
not repaint the bench