During a recent yard sale adventure, I scored two large hat boxes. They were purple with a Barbie theme, and needless to say, in a house of teenage boys, they didn’t fit in. I decided to cover them with old book pages for an antiqued shabby chic look.
These boxes provide wonderful storage options for a room, as well as being a decorative accessory. They can be stacked in a corner or on a hutch. Stacked within easy reach, yarn, scrapbook supplies or other craft supplies can be accessed anytime or quickly hidden away when not being used.
The cord handles on my boxes were knotted on the inside. I untied one knot and slipped it out. There was no need to untie both knots. The cord was threaded through one hole on one side and three on the other. I made a diagram of the threading path so I could restring it correctly when I was finished covering the box.
The box had raised glitter lettering and glitter frames around pictures of Barbie. I hand sanded off these raised areas to prevent the impressions from being seen after I covered the box with paper. There was a clear film over the box that became kind of hairy after sanding. I was not too concerned with this. The hairy film was very thin and wouldn’t show or make an impression through the paper.
Use a craft knife to cut the yellowed pages out of an old book. If using a paperback, the pages may just pull out. Jagged or torn edges are fine.
Mix craft glue with water until you have a watery milk consistency. Tear several pages into small pieces approximately 1-inch wide by 2-inches long. Fold the pieces in half, matching the shorter edges. This does not need to be exact.
Apply the glue mixture to a small area at the angle of the inside side and the inside bottom of the box, using a sponge brush. Open the fold piece of paper and apply glue to the back. Place the fold of the paper into the box angle and smooth with your hand. Apply glue over the top to seal. This provides a joint between the side of the box and the bottom. Overlap and repeat all the way around. Repeat this step on the inside of the lid.
Tear more book pages in half and apply to the inside side and inside bottom of the hat box, in the same way. Repeat with the lid.
Allow the pages to stick up past the top edge. Cut 1/2-inch wide slits in the overhang, and fold over the edge. Repeat with the lid. Allow the inside and edges to dry thoroughly.
Turn the box over and cover the bottom and the sides. Clip the paper at the edge to allow it to fold over with no wrinkles. Repeat with the outside of the lid. Allow the glue to dry and replace the cord handle.