Of Love and Cigar Boxes…

Artful Crafting – Challenge 9 Altering

Hello :) Im super excited to be back with my inspiration project for Artful Crafting’s Challenge #9 ‘Altering’. Do check out the awesome inspiration from the Design Team! :D

Before I start off, Id like to apologize, I made the project when i was pushed for time and couldnt get the process pictures or make a video tutorial as I had originally planned :( Im going to try to do my very best to explain everything in as much detail as possible.

My very elaborate kit for this month’s challenge included the Darice Cigar Box (unfinished one), 3 absolutely gorgeous Maja Designs open cardstock Sheets, Prima Coffee Stains Cling Stamps, Prima Resin Swirls, Distress Paint in Fired Brick, Woodware Metallic Wax paste in Bronze and a bunch of red mulberry roses (all the products are listed and linked at the end of the post). This kit had a first of everything for me except for the distress paint and mulberry roses. First Cigar Box, first Maja Design cardstock sheets, first Prima cling stamp set, first time using the Woodware metallic wax paste, all the things are absolutely amazing! The box is approximately an 8 inch square and is not only a big size but very finished; the quality of the papers is absolutely amazing and the prints are perfect vintage; the cling stamps have a turquoise rubber which was perfect and the quality is again superb as is with all the prima products and the wax paste was a bit hard because of the cold weather but none-the-less very pigmented and glides on smoothly.


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I decided to make a mixed media piece inspired by Gabrielle Pollaco and Finnabair and since I hadnt tried it before, I really didnt realize how much time it would take and how it would turn out lol. I’ll leave all of you to judge that, do let me know what you think.

So before I started off I had decided I would like to keep the box in whites mostly with the red and the gold-bronze highlights. The first thing I did was trace the box lid on one of the beautiful soft patterns of the Maja Design Papers and then cut it and mod podge-d it to the top facing side of the cigar box. Initially I had visualized that I would be able to see the subtle pattern but it almost got completely hidden in the end so it would have been best to choose a bolder/brighter pattern which would have shown through in the end.

Following this I applied white gesso to the sides and the base of the box and on to the edges of the top too to give it a distressed feel and to prep the surface for absorbing ink and for giving a white base to work on. Next I took the Coffee Stain cling stamps and inked them up with the fired brick distress paint and randomly stamped the smaller circles and the splotches keeping in mind that I wanted the arrangement to be more towards the center. Next I took the Crafter’s Workshop stencil Art is and using texture paste added the scripted text texture to the center of the box. I really love this stencil! (purchased recently from when there was an amazing sale going on at Artful Crafting :P)

I then settled with a rough arrangement with a resin frame I had lying on hand and the gorgeous resin swirls I got in the kit and some mulberry roses in red and beige colors and in a few different sizes. I must say here that the Prima resin embellishments are absolutely gorgeous! When I was happy with the arrangement I glued everything down to the center of the box using multi-medium matt. I added a broken key charm I had lying in my stash too. Once everything was all dried up I took some mod podge in a silicon baking cup (perfect for adding your glue in, dont have to clean up, just leave the glue to dry and pop it right out of the cup mould) and added a spoonful of microbeads to it. Mixed up throughly and applied randomly in and around the arrangement, within the frame and along the swirls and on the top left corner of the box as well to balance out the arrangement. Now this took quite some time to dry, apparently i used too much of the mod podge. Once it was dry and hard I covered everything with a coat of gesso.


Then I took my distress re-inker in festive berries and added a dropper full to a ranger mini mister bottle full of water to make my ink spray. And then I sprayed aiming to concentrate the spray to the base of the flowers and the frame centers etc but I got quite a bit of the color onto the paper and on to everything actually lol! This is when I had to use gesso to cover all the out of control red color up and hence the beautiful pattern of the paper dissapeared :( I had to re-stamp the circles and splotches a bit too since they got covered up as well.

Next I took one of my favorite distress colors, pumice stone and using the round blending tool, distressed the edges and the sides and base of the box and cut down on the stark white opaqueness of the gesso. Then once I was happy with the look, using my finger I rubbed the metallic wax paste over the raised surfaces, emphasized the texture of the stencil, the beads, the swirls, the frame, the charm and the larger flowers. Now I realized I had some mica flakes in the same bronze color as well from Stampendous and decided to add those to highight and pop the design. I used the same microbead-mod podge ‘paste’ I had mixed up and applied it again and added mica flakes to it.


Considering this was my first try at this style of mixed media, I would do so many things differently if I had to do it again and would have probably not have gone overboard with the concentrated spray but I did like how it turned out, not exactly the white and bronze with a hint of red that I had envisioned lol. I do really get the addicting part after doing it, cant wait to make another piece and this time I will make sure I get a video of the process.


Really hope this post helped explain everything and do hope you liked my project to, do let me know what you all think. And Yes I have yet to decorate the inside of the box and will get around to using the gorgeous Maja Design papers for that and will have another post up on it soon, so do subscribe to the blog via email so you get a notification every time a post goes live.

Till next time,
Amna xx


Darice Unfinished Cigar Box
Maja Designs Open Cardstock Sheets
Maja Designs – A Gift For You – Given from the Heart
Maja Designs – Vintage Summer Basics – 1899
Maja Designs – A Gift For You – Hope to see you soon
Prima Coffee Stains Cling Stamp
Prima Swirls Resin Frame Embellishments
Ranger Distress Paint Fired Brick
Woodware Bronze Metallic Wax Paste
Mulberry Flowers

Media White Gesso
Ranger Texture Paste
Crafter’s Workshop Art Is Template
Prima MicroBeads
Prima Mica Flakes
Pumice Stone Distress Ink
Round Blending Tool
Modpodge Matt

Graphic designer, Paper Crafter, avid Photographer and a Foodie.
Loves all things handmade and things with clean, bold, graphic & minimalist styles. Lives in a beautiful valley north of Islamabad, Pakistan.

16 thoughts on “Of Love and Cigar Boxes…

  1. Aisha says:

    this is such a stunner Amna. all of you guys have done exceedingly well on this months challenge mA. this one and Jaihan’s just knocked out of the park <3 <3

  2. Ayesha says:

    WOW !!!
    This is ooober gorgeous <3 … sooo love it …. love the colors used xx
    i'll be snooping around when im not lost in the midst of it all :D
    best regards

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