At Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum Arts and Crafts Museum

Treasured Chests

Age range - any age

Materials: Plain wooden or stiff card box, PVA glue, scissors (or craft knife and cutting mat), selection of coloured papers (marbled, dolls house paper in wood effects, scrap), any other collected bits and pieces you might like to use in your design.

To make this box design work you will need to think about the contrast between the inside and the outside and what 'treasure' you are going to put inside. Is the outside going to have any clues about what is inside and will there be any writing?

Box 2

Lots of theĀ ArtsĀ and Crafts boxes you will have seen on the website are made from wood and decorated with patterns of different coloured woods called veneers which are glued onto a plain wood case.

Take a look at Gimson's chevron box, Ashbee's piano, Voysey's writing cabinet or Wales & Wales shift cabinet

Depending on your skill level you may want to use a cardboard box and decorate with junk materials or you might like to experiment with using veneers. First plan your pattern, you could use the beautiful black and white banding found on many of the pieces of furniture. The design could be geometrical or naturalistic.

Box 3

Cutting paper and gluing it to cover objects was a Victorian past time called decoupage. Use paper with a wood effect used for dolls house designs and available from model shops and experiment with a fake wood effect.

When you have finished you can seal the design by applying a coat of PVA or acrylic varnish

Try using felt shapes or sticky-backed plastic to make interlocking designs. Use found objects, glitter, sequins, buttons, anything that can be glued down to decorate

Box 4

Think about how the box opens - could this be done in a surprising way? Does the treasured chest need to be locked, if so how?

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