Saturday, October 11, 2014

This Altered Art Harkens Back to the Golden Age of Travel

Remember the days when getting to a destination and staying in a hotel was half the fun? Roomy planes with curtained windows and hot meals; luxurious hotels with gloved bellhops; or even wood-paneled stationwagons with kids frolicking unbuckled in the back and adults navigating empty interstates using maps from the Amoco station were all part of the vacation experience.

Ok, truth be told, I don't remember those either (at least most of them). I'm not prehistoric after all!

Welcome everyone. I am Betsy Skagen of Paper Calliope and I do remember that as the youngest of four kids, I often shared the far back of the stationwagon with Wally, our Golden Retriever, who always managed to be wet, sandy and smell like the dead fish he had rolled in.

My altered art box reflects a more upscale holiday experience. It celebrates how I imagine some families enjoyed vacations during the 1940s-1970s--what I call the Golden Age of Travel.

The outside of the box features vintage images of transportation, service-oriented hotels and leather luggage. The inside recreates the posh mid-century hotel room of a family on a beachfront vacation. The cornflower blue and yellow color scheme and the fleur-de-lis pattern on many of the papers evoke a sense of seaside French elegance.

You can see that the family in this hotel room has rushed outside to enjoy the sun and sand. Far too busy to pick up after themselves, the room is littered with vacation gear.

Golden Age of Travel Altered Art Box Tutorial

I was lucky to use this fabulous card box given to me by Walnut Hollow. Of course, right away, I knew I wouldn't be using it for cards. I turned it this way and that way and over and over before coming up with my plan.

Tutorial--How to make the dresser

I began my project by designing a dresser that would occupy the bottom half of the right side.  First, I created two support dividers. For the first time in my crafting life, I was able to easily cut through foam core using the hot knife feature on the Creative Versa-Tool. Hallelujah! 

If you can read my horrible writing (worry not dear crafter, you will never, ever find me teaching a calligraphy class), you can see the dimensions are 4" x 1" and 2 5/8" x 1". I cut slits in the center of each piece so that the pieces would nestle into each other and create a flush front.

I then created the drawers out of thick cardstock. I found this procedure to be...shall we say...a tedious bioootch. It tried my patience and I ended up hacking and trimming more than once. Mainly this was because I realized after I made the entire dresser that I could no longer shut the box*.

To save you from similar difficulties, I included only the final dimensions of my drawers  dresser drawers** Still, I suggest using masking tape to temporarily assemble the dresser to ensure a perfect fit before getting out your glue gun.

8 Sides at 1 3/16" w x 1 2/16" h
2 Left Side Fronts at 1 7/8" w x 1 1/4" h
2 Right Side Fronts at 1 11/16" w x 1 1/4" h (this smaller size leaves room for box to shut)
2 Left Side Backs at 1 7/8" w x 1 1/8" h
2 Right Side Backs at 1 11/16" w x 1 1/8" h
2 Left Side Bottoms at 1 7/8" l x 1 3/16" w
2 Right Side Bottoms at 1 11/16" l x 1 3/16" h

Slide the support dividers and drawers into place below the card box divider. Make sure you label the drawers so that you will know where to place them when they are finished. 

Once you know the drawers fit and your box actually closes, label each  individual piece of drawer and then take the drawers apart. Cut Distressed Honeycomb cardstock to fit each drawer piece and adhere it to the drawer's inside pieces.

Once that is completed, go ahead and permanently assemble the drawers using duct tape and hot glue.

To finish the outside of the drawers, stamp two patterns on white cardstock with embossing ink and emboss with Distressed Vintage Photo. Blend a royal blue ink over the distressed images. Use one patterned paper to cover the outside, divider shelf and divider edges of the dresser. Use the other patterned paper to cover the top of the dresser.

Add dresser handles by adhering Citrine Diamond Dew Drops to the center of each drawer and place the drawers into the dresser.

Phew--That was hard work. 

Awwww, even the magazine and pillow on the chair can be moved by the viewer.

Back to the tutorial--How to make the chair and floor

So, for the next part of the project you need the Sizzix Pop n' Cuts Horizontal A2 base die and the Sizzix Pop n' Cuts Magnetic 3D Chair Insert Die. Make the same die cut on three cardstocks: the Tropicana Fleur, Blue Fleur and Black Fleur on White Glitter

Crease, fold and pop out the chair so that the yellow stripe of the Tropicana Fleur will become the wallpaper. Cut the Black Fleur cardstock at the crease so you can place it over the Tropicana to serve as the floor. Using the same ink that you used for the dresser, blend royal blue over the paper. Glue the floor in place. Cut the chair from the Blue Fleur die cut and adhere it over the striped yellow chair. Place the entire card against the left side of the box and trim the edges so it will fit. 

Using a remnant of the Tropicana Fleur, cut a small rectangle and run it through a corrugator. Fringe the edges with a scissors to make a throw rug. Adhere the rug to the floor. 

This is a good time to adhere another remnant of the striped side of the Tropicana Fleur cardstock to the top right inside wall (above the dresser). You could also wallpaper the inside left panel. It is also an ideal time to ink the entire inside edge of the box with Vintage photo ink. 

Tutorial--How to make the window

Paint a chipboard window royal blue. After it dries, distress the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. Adhere an image of the seaside to the backside of the window.

Hot glue tiny seashells to the top and bottom of the window. Glue the window in the center of the left wall.

Tutorial--How to make the retro television

On a sheet of foam core draw two rectangles 2" x 1 1/2" h. In one of the rectangles draw an inner rectangle that is 1/4" in from the edges. Mark the inside corners so that they appear rounded. Using the Versa-Tool hot knife attachment, first cut out the inside rectangle, then cut out the two main rectangles. You will end up with one solid rectangle and one rectangle with a hole in it. 

Cut four tiny legs about 1/4" tall and 1/4" wide. Glue the legs together so that you form two legs that are double the thickness of the foam core. Round off one corner of each leg. 

Glue a black and white image behind the hole of the first rectangle, so that the image is looking out through the hole. This will be your television screen. I used an old family photo of some children playing cops and robbers since it reminded me of the old Our Gang television show*** Attach the second rectangle behind the photo and glue the legs to the bottom of the television. 

Using a very wet stamp pad, heavily ink the front of the television and stamp it onto the floral side of Calamity Jane cardstock. You might want to make a couple stamps as the next step might take more than one attempt. Use the stamped image as a pattern to cut out the front of the television. Adhere it to the foam core. Then glue more of this cardstock to the sides, bottom, top, inside legs and back of the television.

Ink the edges of the television with Vintage Photo Distress Ink. 

Soooo,.. if you take a good look at my television you will note that it has some mighty fine looking rabbit ears, complete with little round metal ends. I used a bit of silver wire and the soldering tip of the Versa-Tool to make it. While I am proud of the end result, it would have been helpful to know how to solder beforehand. Let's just say that there were rolling beads of hot solder on my shirt, my arm and the floor. Ow.

Is this not the cutest thing you ever saw?
Furthermore, I am close to blind because I am stubbornly waiting for a new insurance year to replace my glasses. As a result, I had my nose two inches away from the smoking tip of the solder. I'm pretty sure some ventilation might have been a good idea.

Since I am obviously not qualified to teach you how to safely make an antennae, I am going to suggest you turn to a soldering expert or make it out of some other material. However, I am excited to learn how to properly solder and use it more in future projects. 

Tutorial--How to make the magazines, pillow and swimsuit

These are easy peasy to make. For the pillow, cut two squares of the striped side of the Blue Fleur cardstock. Hot glue three sides together and stuff with something soft like tissue--preferably unused. Hot glue the pillow closed. 

To make the magazines, you can search online for magazine covers and advertisements from the 1940s and 1950s--I recommend copyright free images. Cut and paste them into InDesign, scale them to size, print them and glue the images back to back. Fun!

For the swimsuit, cut a basic one-piece swimsuit shape out of cardstock. Repeatedly gather ribbon behind the leg holes and hot glue into place. Pssst...If you end up with hot glue strings, just use your heat gun to whisk them away.

Embellish the rest of the inside to your liking with stickers, vintage pieces and ephemera.

Tutorial--How to make the outside of the box

Making the outside of the box is a cool tropical breeze. First, cut Blue Fleur and its reverse stripe side, and Fleur Honeycomb and its reverse stripe side, to fit the different sides of the box. Adhere the cardstocks to the box using a matte medium or matte Mod Podge. When dry, ink all edges with Vintage Photo Distressed Ink. 

Select vintage travel images and stickers from your personal collection or purchase them from many available sources. Adhere them to the box using the same matte medium. Adhere vintage lettering that spells "The Golden Age of Travel" to the front of the box.  

Cover the outside of the box with matte medium and let dry. Ta Da! Your box is now complete! 

* Insert colorful language here.
** No one gets to know the dimension of my personal drawers.
*** Definitely before my time!

Stuff I used

Walnut Hollow card box
Foam core
Versacolor Royal Blue Ink
Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Ink 
Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Embossing Powder
Embossing ink
Creative Embellishments window
Articake chandelier
Assorted stickers and ephemera 
Vintage trinkets
Creative Versa-Tool and attachments
Sizzix Pop n' Cuts Horizontal A2 base die 
Sizzix Pop n' Cuts Magnetic 3D Chair Insert Die 
Corrugator by Fiskars
Hot glue gun
Mod Podge matte medium


Creative M said...

Very Creative!! Beautiful!!
Have a wonderful day,
*Crafting With Creative M*

Joan said...

What a fun piece of art - love all the fabulous details you made!!

The Robins Nest OCrowley said...

I was giggling the whole time I was reading this... Very awesome tutorial, I learned a lot, and your project is WONDERFUL! Just like Oprah :)

Lolô Artesanato said...

This is fantastic! I'm in love with it!

Tonya said...

Wowzers! Your projects rock and great tutorial!!!

Lastochka said...

Wahat a great idea to create all these small detailes of furniture!

Penny Lee said...

Wow....I'm speechless.

Michelle Frae Cummings said...

So So cute!

Robin O'Crowley said...

You have done what I dream of having our designers do.! You are on the top! Great tutorial and an ever great job, thanks!

Diane - dCipollo Designs said...

Great vintage look, you really nailed it. Great details in the tutorial too.

Bev said...

OMG this is amazing .. not sure i would have the patience to make this.. but love what you did.. fabulous project

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