Vintage "Word" Boxes

The Bible tells us that we are made in the image of a Creator God. So it's natural that we should enjoy being creative.

So COME ON IN and SIT A SPELL and let me show you my decoupage boxes. Please let me know which is your favorite.

I gathered some old paper items...a box of old stamps and books with broken bindings (a French book of lectures, a Hungarian hymnal, a Hungarian version of Jules Verne stories, and pages from the Castilian Dictionary I used in my Vintage Bookmark project.)

Other materials: wooden and paper mache boxes from craft stores, and a cardboard/wood cigar box, an 8oz. bottle of Mod Podge and Clear Acrylic Sealer.

Starting with one of the small wooden craft boxes, 
I began decoupaging the Castilian Dictionary pages.

Decoupaging dates back to the 12th century in China and was popular in 17th century Italy and France. If you want to read the history click HERE
My first experiences with decoupaging were in the 1970s when it was popular to decoupage gift wrap on plaster or wood. My favorite during that time was wrapping paper depicting the popular Holly Hobbie characters. 

 Decoupage is popular in modern Hungary (a place I visit regularly-my bio) and the Hungarians decoupage items using illustrated paper napkins.

I added some old stamps to this box. It's relatively easy to lift old stamps from the envelopes. 
Since I use my fingers to smooth the surfaces, this photo shows dried Mod Podge on my index finger, not dry skin : ) Although I have that too!

I also tore some images I especially liked from the dictionary.

And I glued some inexpensive charms to the top.

This was an experiment that turned out well: I put one page of the old dictionary in my printer and printed this quote: "The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary."

The finished box #1, an international box with Castilian dictionary pages 
and stamps from the U.S. and Canada.

Another view...
Decoupaging is actually pretty easy, especially when you want an imperfect vintage look.

I also put pages inside the box. 

Box #2: I decided to use the Jules Verne illustrations for the main theme on this box.

This gives you an idea of how I allowed the paper to texture this box. 
I didn't try to prevent folds and wrinkles but let them add to the Vintage look. 
I covered the raw edges on the bottom with a piece of felt.

I also added some metal charms to this box and filled in empty spaces with scraps from the Hungarian hymnal. I love how some of the pages were so perfectly browned with age. When I bought this book, it was in such bad shape; the cover wasn't even attached. It was in a box in front of a used book store in Budapest and cost me approximately 50 cents.

I purposely put this page with such rough, torn edges on the top.

Another view.

Box #3--the cigar box. Years ago, my family made regular visits to Charleston and one cigar store near the waterfront sold their empty wood boxes for $3-5, and they gave away these cardboard/wood boxes. I have a number of these boxes--they are great for organizing drawers.

I used the Hungarian hymnal pages on this box, slightly overlapping the pages.

On the front I layered the title page from the hymnal and a few other song pages and added a small metal heart with super glue.

This is the inside of the box.

So here's #1, #2 and #3

Which is your favorite? Please leave a comment and vote! But you can also vote for boxes #4 or #5 which I made several years ago. See below:

Box #4: I painted this small wooden craft box antique red, sanded the edges to make it look old, and decoupaged several old stamps on the front.

Box #5: I started with a finished cigar humidor and made this a family picture box. I decoupaged older photos of my husband and myself on the top of the inside.

On the outside, I decoupaged copies of old photos of my mother and father.  I made two similar boxes for my sisters using different photos for the inside of their boxes. There's another view of this box at the top of this post. Please leave a comment and tell me which is your favorite and why! Thanks!

While you're here, why not check out my home page that contains the thing most important to faith. If you'd like to subscribe to Bible Love Notes, you won't receive my decor posts (but you can find them archived HERE) but you'll receive a one-minute devotion each weekday. 


  1. Wow - I LOVE these boxes! When I read the description of #1, I thought that was my favorite. Then, I saw #2 and loved it more. Then, I saw saw #3 and loved it as well!! I think my favorite is #2. You have inspired me to start collecting old books. I would love to make something like this sometime.

    Thanks for sharing this on the Take it on Tuesday blog hop!! I really enjoyed reading your post. I'm pinning this.

  2. Nice decoupage designs. You gave each one great personality.

  3. These are cool. I've got some old books and some Mod Podge. Gonna have to give this a try.

  4. Very sweet boxes! Thank you for sharing at Potpourri Friday!

  5. Gail, These are great! I love them all. But my favorite one is the Hungarian hymn one :-) I love the family photos, creative and special.


  6. I love all things vintage, so I'm loving this project!! Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

  7. Gail- It was nide to see a picture of you! I LOVE your vintage boxes- probably the oval the best- I like the naturally brwon-edged pictures and the idea of felt on the bottom. Do we win one? LOL.

  8. Sweet vintage boxes; so pretty to use scraps of this and that; love the use of family photos and wouldn't that make a cute way to gift someone!

  9. You've used such interesting ephemera to embellish your boxes. They turned out terrific! Isn't it wonderful that our Heavenly Father passed on some of His creativity to us? ;)

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  10. Came over from Seven Alive. I love to decoupage boxes and love yours, but my favorite is the Jules Verne box!

  11. I love projects using old book pages. Your boxes are lovely.

  12. These are so lovely! I would love to feature them on Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle. Feel free to stop by and grab a featured button. Thanks!

    1. Thanks, Rachel. I'd be honored to have you feature my craft on your blog.

  13. What a great project!! Thanks for linking up to Tasty Thursdays at The Mandatory Mooch. Hope you will link up again this week. The party will be live tonight.

    Thanks, Nichi

  14. These are lovely boxes, very nice job, I am a fan of decoupage so I admire your work here, I am visiting from Someday Crafts,

  15. These are awesome projects, I love decoupaging and love creating new designs. Roechelle @

  16. I like them all, but especially the box decoupaged with hymnal pages. I had forgotten about this craft, but it is perfect for making gift & storage boxes.

    1. The hymnal pages is one of my favorites too, and it's pretty common to find a hymnal falling apart that you feel comfortable using : )
      Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Well, it is easy for me to pick a fav as I love all things stationery and anything about letter writing (you may enjoy my blog at the box and plaque with the stamps on it win for me! I especially love how you put the sheets inside the box too. Visiting via FromtheFarm blog hop

  18. Thank you for sharing this post. A great way to use cigar boxes for crafts.


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