Monday 17 April 2017

Oriental Style Cinnabar Lacquer Box - by Claudia

Happy Easter Monday and welcome back to another share of Calico Craft Parts goodness, dear craftin' friends!

I made another box (as you can never have enough boxes, right?) - but this time in a totally different style and technique of course ;)

I tried to imitate the wonderful colour and look of oriental cinnabar lacquer pieces and the idea for this box came right out of the blue when I opened my Calico Craft Parts DT parcel and found that the 100mm x 100mm square shaped mixed media greyboard blanks were a perfect fit with the largest cube of the Square Aperture ATB Cube why not use the two to create a beautiful little box (and keep the two smaller cubes for a smaller project)?!!!

Calico Craft Parts used:

- Artist Trading Block Cube Kit - Square Aperture
- Square Shape Greyboard Mixed Media Board - Style 27 (smallest size)
- Sheet of Mini MDF Hinges Wood Shapes
- Art Deco & Nouveau Style Ornament Shapes - Style 17

I like to use matte DecoArt Decou-Page for assembling my ATB cubes as it dries really quickly. Once the largest block was ready I painted it with DecoArt "Venetian Gold" Dazzling Metallics paint on the inside and DecoArt Americana "True Red" acrylic paint on the outside.

Then I applied some clear DecoArt media Crackle Glaze to the box lid and four sides of my ATB cube using a palette knife. I made sure that I spread the Crackle Glaze quite loosely and in layers here and there and that I left areas uncovered (especially around the edges). I found that this technique works best with "older" Crackle Glaze that has already become a bit less fluid so it doesn't do its self-levelling trick that much anymore (which is just perfect for the desired look).

Of course I could only do one side at a this is a project that needs a bit of time (I put my covered box close to my daylight lamp that gives a bit of warmth to speed up the process and got some household stuff done during drying times. I think each side took about thirty to forty minutes to dry that much so I could cover the next). 

While that was set aside to dry I applied some "Gold Rush" DecoArt Metallic Lustre to my mini hinges and Art Deco ornaments using my fingertip. 

Once the clear Crackle Glaze had dried I added a thorough coat of DecoArt media "Carbon Black" Antiquing Cream to lid and box. I worked it well into all the cracks and crevices with a soft brush and let it dry before I sprayed a soft cloth with water and wiped off the excess so the cracks and texture became more visible. 

This image shows how the "layered" (and scraped on) Crackle Glaze created additional texture besides its wonderful crackle effect. It also shows where the black Antiquing Cream stayed in spots where no Crackle Glaze was applied to: 

Lid and box were sealed with a thin coat of DecoArt media Gloss Varnish and the mini hinges and Art Deco ornaments were placed right into the still wet varnish so it worked as a glue as well. 

I used matte Decou-Page to fix the metal corners to the box.

Then it was time to fix the lid. 

I cut a small piece of linen bookcloth to size and first only glued one half onto the edge of the box using matte Decou-Page. I let everything dry thoroughly before I painted the "linen hinge" with Gold Rush Metallic Lustre. 

Then I attached the box lid to the other half of the linen strip and let that dry while the box was closed (I made sure there was no excess glue that might glue my lid closed! ). 

If you use this technique to fix lids to containers where you cannot use metal hinges make sure you do not open and close the lid until the glue has totally cured! But if you are patient you will be rewarded with a quite strong linen bookcloth hinge ;)

Yes, it was that easy! ;)

There are many more new and beautiful Art Deco & Nouveau Craft Parts in the store that would go well with this type of project! I really love them all and guess I will have to do some more boxes with different ornaments as they're all so pretty!

Once again the finished box: 

I hope you like my oriental style box with the faux (and aged) cinnabar lacquer look! I love the result so much that I am sure there will be more boxes made from ATB Cube kits and mixed media greyboars in the future (I think they make gorgeous presents, don't they?). ;)

Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope to see you again in two weeks!

Hugs and happy crafting!


  1. Wow! Claudia, this is amazing! I've always loved those style boxes: they look so mysterious and beautiful! This is an incredible piece inside and out and I love how those Art Nouveau embellishments on top look perfect - at first glance I thought they were pictograms! You have to make more of these, as they would make marvellous gifts! Happy Easter Monday!

    1. :) Thank you so much, Julie Ann!
      Yes, the Art Nouveau embellishments are a perfect match, aren't they?
      Happy Easter Monday to you too! xxx

  2. I love it! The colours, the texture and the embellishments are all great. Thanks so much for the step by step instructions; I see the need to buy some new items now ...!

    1. ;) Thank you so much, Linda! Can't wait to see your finished box then!
      Happy Easter Monday!
      Claudia xxx

  3. Fantastic ageing on this piece - it really looks like something you would find in one of those mysterious shops full of antiques and ancient relics, buried on a shelf right at the back of the shop, hiding its secrets from the world. Brilliant!
    Alison x

    1. Aw! Your lovely comment has just made my day, Alison! Thank you very much! Happy Easter Monday!

      Claudia xxx

  4. WOW! What more can I say, stunning. Thanks for the run through, so want to try this.

  5. Simply WOWSERS!! Love this!

  6. Love how you changed this, and such a rich red. Wonderful!

  7. Thank you all so much, Rocky, Diana and Christine! Hugs! xxx

  8. Fabulous! The layers, the texture and this brilliant aged red! I love the Art Nouveau style of this box!

  9. Absolutely gorgeous, I adore the colours and the corners . Tracy x

  10. So happy you like my oriental style box so much, Lys, Tracy and Lisa! Thank you! Mwah! xxx

  11. Amazing Claudia!! As I said, I really thought this was vintage at first look!! Bravo!
    Jackie xx

  12. Yay! So happy that you like my box, Tunder and Jackie! Hugs! xxx