Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sponsor Spotlight - Number Two

Good morning everyone, Julia here with my sponsor spotlight post. This month we are generously sponsored by the wonderful Tando Creative company.

For my spotlight, I chose a rather large stationery box from Tando:

The box comes as a flat pack item which you construct yourself. Tando provide an inspiration image  on the pack literature too. As you can see, all the pieces are grey board which can then be altered to your own taste. The drawer knobs fastening clasp do not come with the pack.

After constructing the box as per the instructions, all pieces are given two coats of gesso and lightly sanded between coats. The lid is dealt with first by adding DecoArt crackle paste through one of their stencils. Colour is then added using their Media line colours once the paste is dry.

Layers of colour and mediums are then built up until I achieved the look required. This process evolved over a period of time as built up the layers until they were just right. The two acrylic colours were mixed to achieve the desired colour for the outside of the box.

As you can see from this image, the final result had toned down the original colour. Crackle glaze was added (of course) to help age the project and some DecoArt Metallic gold was lightly dry brushed onto the top of some of the stencilled crackle paste.

I found three buttons in my box. The top left button was left over from a previous project and had already been given a coat of gesso. The other two were given a coat of gesso to prime them.

The three buttons are glued together and given two coats of DecoArt Gold Metallic paint.

The final look is achieved by adding a layer of crackle glaze followed by antiquing with carbon black antiquing cream and quinacridone gold acrylic.

The draws are constructed according to the instructions and painted inside and out with Titan Buff acrylic paint. The front section of the drawer is dealt with later.

Some gold embossing powder is used to add a design to the inside of the drawer.

The inside of the drawer is then painted with a teal coloured acrylic paint. Following that are various layers of crackle glaze, antiquing creams and acrylic paints to achieve this very distressed, aged and rather grungy appearance.

In this image you can clearly see teal paint, translucent white paint and some quinacridone gold paint. I just love the effects you can achieve with the DecoArt Mixed Media line of paints.

More detail to show you how the paints can have an effect on the embossed image. A little burnt umber has been added here for extra grunge.

A clear view of the crackle glaze and burnt umber antiquing.

Detail image to show grunged creases of the drawer inside. 

Detail image shows Krylon pen used on all visible edges on the drawers and the box.

Even the back of the drawer knob and the closure have been antiqued.

Colours used to transform the inside of the drawers and the main body of the box.

Mediums used on the inside of the drawers and the main body of the box.

The front panels of the drawers need an opener and here, I am marking out exactly where the drawer knob will be situated. After this the inside is painted to match the drawer shown previously and the outside is painted using the same colour mix used for the rest of the outside.

The drawer front is developed in the same way as the body of the piece - with teal acrylic paint, crackle glaze and a variety of colours to age it. The grungy edges are created using Archival ink on a sponge. It has two die cut sections from a piece the same as used on the box. The little drawer knobs have been sanded and aged with some antiquing cream.

The die cuts used on the front of the drawers match those used around the top of the box.

The main embellishment for the box is a Spellbinders die cut from their Victorian range. I love this die cut so much because it is so versatile. I had to join lengths together to go round the box and trim a length for each of the drawers. The die cut is painted with gesso and then given a rust treatment using DecoArt Acrylic paints. Little runs of Quinacridone Gold paint are added to simulate rust runs. This section of the project is not done neatly and beautifully because I wanted it to look aged and time-worn.

Back view

The lid on the top section is attached using a thin piece of card and I wanted to try and make it stronger. I've cut a piece of grungeboard to fit and distressed it with a scalpel. It is then gessoed and painted with a number of layers of DecoArt paint.

I have made holes and scratches on the surface to give it a more antiqued finish. The 'studs' are stick on pearls which are placed before adding gesso.
The edges of the grungeboard have also had pieces cut out.

I like how the distressed surface looks less than pristine!

If you look carefully you will see some slots on the surface which stand out rather a lot. These are used to help construct the unit and look rather ugly. Here's how I got over the problem:

I used another Spellbinders die which is gorgeous don't you think? This was given a rusty finish and some more 'rust runs' using quinacridone gold paint.

Detail image. Love those hearts! Whilst the construction joints are still visible, I think the eye is drawn away from them to look at the rusted embellishment.

The top section of the box shown with the lid up. I needed to come up with a plan to make a suitable drawer liner which would be durable. Here's what I decided to do:
The inside of the box lid area is finished with a die cut, teal paint, crackle glaze and white antiquing cream.

Detail image. A little quinacridone gold paint has been added randomly. Love the crackle!

A little catch secures the top lid closed and stops the first drawer opening accidentally.

Love how the sun glints on the lid.

I'm really pleased with how the box has turned out and love the fact that it is useful too.

Thanks so much for popping over to see my Sponsor Spotlight post and I hope you are inspired to get a Tando product and create some art of your own. I really like making things I can use and I'm sure this piece will come in handy! Tando have such a wide variety of products that you will easily find something to suit most projects of this style. 


  1. Wow Julia, a masterclass! Will be visiting many times, love all the detail, crackle...well could go on forever! Exquisite attention to detail, just adore it!! Ruth xx

  2. Absolutely beautiful!!! Great tutorial!

  3. This is so pretty with SO much color and texture. I'm in love with that crackled, antiqued button!

  4. Oh Julia!!!!!!!!!!! This is absolutely stunning my lovely!!!!! All those gorgeous die cuts looks fantastic all 'rusted' up my lovely! Beautiful work as always xxx

  5. It's fantastic, Julia! Wonderful palette of textures and effects for an elegant piece of drawers!

  6. Wow! words fail me ….. your work is always stunning Julia yet you still manage to stun us with absolutely wonderful textures and colours. An absolutely fabulous project - and I love what you did with the three buttons!!!! Jennie x

  7. Julia your drawers are fabulous. Gosh you made such an awesome job transforming this into a pretty piece of art. Love your rusted die cuts, the colors , the metal items... Love all of it. Very very lovely drawers to have exposed in your craft room. Thank you so much for sharing.
    PS : I wonder which Spellbinder you used ? The one with the heart in the middle ???
    If you have time to reply I would be grateful. ( ).
    Hugs from Monica... Spain

  8. Wow Julia, this is an amazing transformation, I love the rust and grunge!

  9. Stunning! The result is amazing!

  10. Just beautiful Julia, truly gorgeous. If it needs a new home, I could help you out and make space! x

  11. I'm in shock Julia. I have seen these drawers done several times but my, my, my, my, myyyyyyy yours are OVER THE MOON FABULOUS. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh - I'm in love with these. WOW WOW WOW. And the tutorial.... it's THE BEST of the BEST.... you didn't forget a thing. INCREDIBLE. XX j

  12. TOTALLY, TOTALLY, TOTALLY COOL, Julia!! Just WOW! What an amazing transformation of this Tando Creative Stationery Box! Just amazing, Simply Awesome!! That's about all I can get out, because my jaw keeps dropping to the floor!! :) :) So much inspiration here!! Great job showcasing Tando Creative!! XOXO-Shari

  13. Gorgeous Julia, great effects with great products and big tutorial, many thanks!

  14. Wonderful! Love the colours the crackle and amazing details
    Just beautiful!

    Jools x

  15. ABSoluteLY! OUtsTaNDinG!!! Wow Julia, what a gorgeous well thought and executed transformation- I LOVE it!! xo
    ps,you are truly so inspiring!!

  16. this is a real stunner. I covet it. wonderful work Julia x

  17. Ohhhh dearie, you had me at crackle! This is a stunning and gorgeously grunged piece. Love what you have done to it. Awesome sauce! TFS! ~Niki

  18. Outstanding , so gorgeous, Julia, I really really love this !!

  19. Fantastic julia! You have transformed this lovely box chest of drawers beautifully. I love all the different paint finishes and gorgeous colours. Wonderful work !! X

  20. Julia. ..This is creative genius. Great tutorial and love every crackle in the box!

  21. Oh, I almost missed this post and your wonderful box Julia!! Wow!! Love the very clever way you have used your Spellbinders die and this great box by Tando Creative, both outside and inside! Coco xx


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