Monday, 10 May 2021

Do Not Crush...

Hello there everyone...

As another week begins, it's time for the brand new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and this week our theme is all about THINGS WITH WINGS and whether you choose to use butterflies and insects, birds, planes or even angels ~ we can't wait for you to join us and play along!

For my project, I chose to continue my love affair with the Tim Holtz Funky Insects and I following on from my Funky Insects Vignette Tray, which you can see here ~ I created another box that will work alongside the larger one, using just one of the dies...the bee and in the future, time allowing I'm hoping to make one box for each of the insects and display them all side by side!

 So, let's get started and here's what I did...

To begin with I'll start with how I covered and decorated the box itself...


I used the largest in the set of four Tim Holtz vignette boxes and began by covering teh raw edges on the front of the box using Design Tape. Any of Tim's tapes will work for this project, and if you're like me ~ I have a huge collection to choose from. I applied the tape on each of the four front edges and to make sure it stuck, I applied a small amount of Matte Collage Medium.

Moving onto the back and the sides on the inside of the box and for the back panel I chose the graph paper and for the sides, I chose one of the plainer designs, with no pattern ~ both papers come from the Backdrops Volume 2 paper set.

Beginning with the back, I cut the graph paper to size and adhered it inside the box using Matte Collage Medium. I then cut the sides, which I once again I adhered inside the box using the medium.

For the outside of the box, I chose one of the marbled papers from the same Backdrops Volume 2 set and once all my pieces for the sides and one for the back of the box were cut, I adhered them onto the box with the medium.

I gave the whole box a coat of the medium to seal the papers.

To create the ripped torn edges of paper that you can see I've applied in, and around the outside of the box, I used some offcuts of paper from the pack. Basically I just ripped small pieces of the papers to reveal the core which I then inked with Walnut Stain DI. I curled the torn edges slightly to give them more of a vintage feel before attaching these small pieces of paper to the inside, and the outside of the box, allowing that curled edge to appear as if it's peeling away from the surface.

I then applied some Crackle Paste around the outside of the box and on the inside, paying particular attention to where I'd placed the peeling paper.

I allowed for the medium to dry and for the crackles to appear before I used the Walnut Stain Distress Crayon to add colour over the top, blending out pigment to accentuate the crackles, using a damp waterbrush.

On top of the box, I placed a handle and a tiny Clippings Sticker with the number 232. 

The handle is taken from the Mini Hardware Knobs and Handle set and to alter the colour of the handle, I applied a coat of Picket Fence Distress Paint, allowed for this to dry and then applied a coverage of Salvaged Patina over the top. I allowed some of the white to show through from underneath and once the paint was dry, I attached the handle to the top of the box with Matte Collage Medium and placed Hardware Heads into the two small holes either side.

To add a touch of rust to the handle, I used Crackling Campfire Distress Paint, and applied the paint using a fine detail brush. I just add small amounts of the paint and gradually build the colour up. I then added a layer of Black Soot Distress Paint to knock back the intensity of the Crackling Campfire and create more of that rusty, crusty feel.

The box is now ready to decorate on the inside.


The first step was to add a faux back to my box as I didn't want it to be quite as deep as it was. To do this, I cut a panel of paper from the Backdrops Volume 1 paper set, 7.5 x 11cm, which is slightly smaller in size than the back wall of the box. I ripped and tore the edge of the paper before inking it with Walnut Stain Distress Ink and then machine stitched a border around the outside, leaving some of the threads to hang loose.

I then adhered my paper to a panel of Sizzix Mixed Media Board and added foam pads to the back of the matted panel before attaching the board onto the inside of the box to form the first layer.

For the second layer I cut a panel of silver metallic kraft cardstock, 6.2 x 10.3cm and used the 3D Circuit Texture Fade to emboss the panel.

I then added some colour to create more of a rusty, tarnished look by adding a layer of Ground Espresso Distress Paint over the entire embossed panel. I allowed for the paint to become slightly tacky before I took a soft cloth to wipe away the excess paint. Some paint will remain and the metallic card will change colour. Once this paint layer is dry, I attached the panel to another piece of the Sizzix Mixed Media Board and using foam pads, I placed this inside my box to form the second layer.

For the next layer, I used a Tin Top. These little tin tops are fabulous for adding dimension to a project and  to let you know! Note: When you buy these tins, they are the lids only, they don't come with a bottom.

I battered the lid slightly with a hammer and then to add a touch of rust, I used the same colours of Distress Paint, as I used on the outside of the box; Crackling Campfire, Black Soot, Antiqued Bronze, Ground Espresso and Rusty Hinge. I layered the paints to create the rust effect I was happy with and then allowed it to dry throughly before attaching the tin top over the top of my embossed panel.

I then used some more of the paint colours above to add the rust effect to my panel, concentrating on the areas around the tin lid and the corners of the panel. If you want to create any rusty drips, I just add water to my paint to make it more fluid, apply it to the surface and then move it around, allowing for the paint to run.

Underneath the tin top, I attached an Urban Layers label, "DO NOT CRUSH". After sanding the edges, I placed this on foam pads and attached it to the embossed panel.


As I mentioned at the beginning of my post, I love the Funky Insects die set from Tim Holtz and in this particular project, I used the bee from the set.

I cut the all the pieces from Distress Watercolour Card. I then inked each piece with Distress Inks;

Base section ~ Black Soot

Body ~ Mustard Seed and Fossilized Amber

Wings ~ Speckled Egg and Antique Linen

Once all my pieces were inked, I added some Distress Embossing Glaze over the top of the body and wings. I applied the embossing dabber over the inked surface of the body before sprinkling Fossilized Amber Glaze over the top. Tap away the excess and then heat emboss the powder. To add some gold highlights over the top, I used the embossing dabber to just catch the edges not to create a solid coverage. I then sprinkled the gold embossing powder over the top and heat embossed this layer.

I repeated the process on the wings but this time used Speckled Egg Glaze, with a touch of the gold embossing powder on the ends.

I then layered the die cut pieces over the top of one another to create the bee and attached this with foam pads over the top of my tin lid.

To complete the bee, I added a Hardware Head in the centre of the body, which I coloured with Salvaged Patina Distress Paint.

For the finishing details, I added a Star Adornment painted with Candied Apple Distress Paint, which I attached to overlap the bottom edge of the Do Not Crush level.

Finally I added four of the larger Hardware Heads again painted with Salvaged Patina and placed two on the bottom corners of the embossed panel and the final two on the base of the box.

To complete the project, I took a Field Notes Typed Token, altered with Distress Paints, to add colour to the surface and also accentuate the writing on the metal token. I then attached the painted token to my handle using twine and a Loop Pin to secure it in place.

So that's my project finished for today and I hope you've enjoyed the step by step of how I made it.

As always, if you make anything, or been inspired by anything that you've seen here on my blog ~ then please, let me know by tagging me on social media or leaving a comment here and I will be right over to take a look!

Don't forget that every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $25 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp and you can join in up to 5 times, which means you could have 5 chances to winYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today ~ stay safe and keep well.
Love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:

Sizzix/Tim Holtz Dies: Funky InsectsCircuit 3D Texture Fade
Distress Paint: Salvaged Patina, Antiqued Bronze, Black Soot, Rusty Hinge, Ground Espresso, Picket Fence and Crackling Campfire
Distress Embossing Glaze - Speckled Egg, Fossilized Amber
Embossing Powder: Simon Says Stamp Gold
Distress Inks: Walnut Stain, Mustard Seed, Speckled Egg, Fossilized Amber, Black Soot and Antique Linen


  1. Oh my I love how you covered the box with ripped paper. So inspiring!!

  2. Oh wow, this is an amazing project. Thank you for always sharing your creativity.

  3. Sorry to be late, but had to stop by and tell you that you always amaze me with your creativity and execution of your ideas. This one floors me even more than everything else you create! Bits of peeled paper and threads are such great details. I love the idea of multiple display boxes for each of the bugs.


Thank you for all your comments and messages, they are all appreciated and I hope you'll come back and visit again soon...
Emma ~xx

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