Paris Cat Secret jewelry box

Made by Stephanie Nasshahn

I’m working on a lighted jewelry box for my niece. I started with a cardboard box, i plan to paper mache the entire box, add hinges and handles. Jonni, how do i keep as light as possible? I want to raise the cat on the door a little bit so ill use the flour recipe, which recipe would be the best for the box, to make strong yet lighter? Thanks.

Paris Cat Secret jewelry box in progress

Paris Cat Secret jewelry box in progress

14 thoughts on “Paris Cat Secret jewelry box”

  1. Stephanie, this is a super cute project. I do see some pitfalls that you might come up against. First is the warping of the large areas of cardboard. Could you incorporate some wood dowels on the larger areas on the inside to hopefully prevent the warping? Second is the hinges. The clay is not strong enough to hold them in and even screws won’t stay. How about using a heavy canvas fabric imbedded into the clay and not covered in any type paper mache? That way it is more pliable and might not break the hardened clay or paper strips. I made a Noah’s ark for my grandson with a hinged door into the ark to store all his little animals. Both the warping and the hinges were the two flaws. The door broke off the hinges very soon with normal usage, the warping just wasn’t very attractive. He did love it though so that in itself made it successful but it wasn’t my finest work! Hope this helps and good luck!

    Reply
    • Eileen, it does help, a lot. I hadn’t considered the hinges not working. The dowels are a good thought, maybe even paint sticks… ill be thinking a lot about this now. Thank you so much for sharing.
      Keep creating!
      Stephanie

      Reply
      • Stephanie, another dowel-like item that might work is one of the pointed bamboo skewers that are found in the grocery store. They’re pretty strong, but you’d have to cut them to size. I like all the ideas you’re getting, and I can’t wait to see which way you decide to go with it. 🙂

        Reply
  2. I have no knowledge, but if you could get the lid to fit on without using hinges, that might be an idea. Me and hinges don’t get along very well, and they like to come loose and fall off. Good luck. I like the project..

    Reply
    • Thank you Rex, I have already applied a coat of the original clay to the lid and raised the cat a bit. The mix of clay didn’t turn out perfect, it was a bit lumpy but I actually love the texture so I’ll be using it for the rest. I’m not sure now how I would use the material as a hinge, the door is covered and hard now. Any ideas? Thanks so much for the compliment and the help.
      Stephanie

      Reply
  3. Hi Jonni, one more question, are you saying use only the cooked flour recipe? No paper strips, no joint compound? After cooked flour application dries its ready to paint?

    Reply
    • No, you can’t use the flour and water paste without paper strips. It would crack and fall off if you put it on by itself. I sometimes use a mixture of glue and pre-mixed drywall joint compound as a thick paste, but only with Scott’s Shop Towels. It isn’t a good paste for ordinary paper, and the shop towels with the paste would make a heavy container. For a lightweight box, I’d recommend the cooked flour and water paste with torn newspaper. You could also try the Silky Smooth Air Dry Clay recipe, which also uses the drywall joint compound and glue. It would be used in place of the paper strips and paste.

      Reply
  4. Thank you Jonni, I appreciate the help. Would you add the hinges and handles after clay or before and clay up to them?

    Reply
  5. Hi Stephanie. Your niece is going to be very happy when she sees her new jewelry box – and you’ve already made a great start.

    You might want to use the cooked flour and water paste recipe. You can find the recipe on this page. Use as little paste as possible, because flat cardboard has a strong tendency to warp when paper mache is added.

    Reply
    • Hi Jonni, one more question, are you saying use only the cooked flour recipe? No paper strips, no joint compound? After cooked flour application dries its ready to paint?

      Reply

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