Starting with Amazon
In my quest to create cardboard art and work with cardboard as a medium, I chose a small project to start off with that would help me get an idea of what materials to use, what to do and what not to do with cardboard. I decided to start simple and make a decorative storage bin that I can put on the bottom shelf of my coffee table. There were somethings I liked about how it turned out and somethings I didn’t, but I learned a lot about how to improve for the next project.
I had an amazon box laying around. I broke the box down and cut it into two pieces with 1 inch flaps on the sides in order to glue them together with the four 1 inch flaps on the inside.
Once the structure of the box was put together I added extra layers of cardboard to each wall and the bottom to strengthen the bottom. I glued them all together using a craft glue and weighted each wall down to make sure the walls glued down flat. It took a few days to get each wall glued
down, but once it was complete the walls and the bottom were strong enough to be used for storage.
Wrapping and Painting
I started to just paint the box as is, but I didn’t like how the cardboard was exposed on the top edges and I knew overtime that wear and tear would beat it up pretty quickly, so I decided to wrap it with a fabric and instead of using a decorative fabric, I used a thick canvas type of material that I could harden and then paint. I covered the box with gesso and then added the fabric. Once the fabric was cut and put in place I painted it with two more coats of gesso that hardened the fabric and turn the surface into a canvas paint board.
After the gesso was dry, I painted the bin all over with a blue color, the outer corners brown and decorated the box with flowers in brown and white paint.
Likes and Dislikes
I loved that the fabric worked great with the gesso to harden and made it easy to paint. The cardboard was easier to work with than I thought it was going to be and the craft glue I used is pretty strong. I didn’t like how the fabric contoured to the lines in the cardboard art on the outside and it was pretty tough to get the top lines straight enough to look good. That also made it tough to get the fabric even. All in all, it turned out pretty good.
Next time, I’ll probably use machinery to make the cuts and even though the fabric worked good, it added extra steps and expense. I do want to try adding a lacquer and working with the natural look of the cardboard. My next project is a collage of my photography to hang in my office at work. It’s much more simple and requires less work, but I will post it on the site to keep documenting my work.
Check out the gallery of the work below.