The Magic of Magic + [how to] covered shipping boxes!

{my birthday present; a fujifilm instax mini 25!}

Today started in a rush. 

Last week, I forgot to go to class, so I wanted to make sure — doubly sure — my alarm went off and I headed off on-time. Leave it to me to be fumbling at ten to eight, cursing my need to change my purse, as I wouldn’t be able to stop for my new favorite drink. 

Oh, yes, I have a new favorite! I gave up Diet Coke a little over a week ago after doing some research on the connection between aspartame and pain levels (thank you, Melissa, for linking me that first article!); I’m still going through a bit of detox, as I’ve drastically cut down on how much pop I drink, but I think it’ll be worth it in the long-run. Anyway, favorite drink! It’s this all-natural pomegranate green tea — a perfect combination of healthy and yummy and all in a mega-can for $1!

As I was running late, I was bummed that I wouldn’t be able to stop for one (another thing I’ve started doing; visiting the grocery shop every day instead of stocking up). Then, yay! The piece I was working on, drawing and shading a sphere with charcoal was going well. Boo! The box looks horrible and frustrated me to the point I wanted to cry. 

Then I went to my car to be greeted by a warning from campus security — apparently, you need a permit to park in the college parking lots! Still fuming from my sad box drawing, I crossed campus to get more information, a permit, and an ID. An ID that looks silly because the woman forgot to mention I had charcoal smudged all over my face! 

Then, magic of magic, I started to smile as I headed home. 

I don’t know when this happened, really. It might be the wind that’s been sweeping through the valley all day that reminds me of those breezy days back in Chicago. Or maybe it was the absence of the pain that’s been plaguing me since Saturday. Whatever it was, I felt calm. Happy. Boppy (this means, to me, that bouncy, happy feeling that gets you bopping up and down in the driver’s seat as you “dance” to the radio!). I chanced upon my Magic Happy Drink at CVS for less than $1 each, grabbed a bright copy of Nylon (one of my favorite magazines to both read and cut up for my journals), and curled my eyelashes for the first time. 

My car got a nice, VIP wash while I doodled in my sketchbook in the warm sunshine. My studio was cleaned and a new lightbulb was found. Most of my alter was set up. 

And as I sat down to get working in my journal, the film for my pretty birthday present arrived (3 days after my birthday!). Looking at the ridiculously-sized box used for such a small item, I found I didn’t want to throw it away. I’ve already tossed a few, and wondered if there was a way I could use them in my studio to organize my daily photo habit and growing collection of found papers and scraps. Want to re-use shipping boxes, too? Here are two ideas for how you can re-cover them for use in your studio! 



Click the image -- it gets bigger!

1. Cut the flaps off your boxes (but save them to use as dividers when you’re done!)

2. I found that Eco Green Matte Artist’s Medium worked the best for this project. It’s the same consistency as Modge Podge, more-or-less. 

3. Spread glue on the vintage wallpaper, then burnish it to each side, wrapping it over the top and bottom. I did with in 4 separate pieces. 

4. For this box, I decoupage dyed paper towels down on the cardboard (these are just the paper towels I use to dry my brushes, etc, that I save, just in case!).

5. I then added a layer of tissue paper I wrote across with Copic markers. 

6. The finished boxes — the wallpaper’s around all four sides, and the decoupage was finished with a final paper towel layer. 

I plan on cutting down the long flaps to use as dividers between months or colors or type! I don’t know, yet, but had tons of fun making these!

As I slipped into bed for a nice, mid-afternoon nap after taking a break to read for a little bit, I couldn’t help but smile and think: 

Today’s been pretty perfect. 

Just goes to show that even the most rushed, frustrating mornings can give way to joyous afternoons. 


All the windows in my apartment are open, the wind whistling through, taking with it all the negativity, doubt, and depression that’s lingered for far too long. I’m cold, just a bit, but bundled, smiling, and writing before heading back in for more creating.