Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Jewelry Box

I feel so good this week!  I am making a lot of progress on the old to-do list and there is so much sunshine!  Also I got to see my honey four (four!) weekends in a row plus a whole week between the last two.  This particular project was started a bit over a year ago (gasp!) as a birthday gift, but I shipped it out to its rightful owner on Monday.

First, some background. Somewhere along the way of thinking about using my skills to create things people would buy on my fictional Etsy (Still don't have one of those...), I thought about making a journal with teeth. What better way to tap into the vampire trend while telling people to 'Keep out!' was there?  Also I have all of these book binding supplies.  Anyway, I figured I could make a prototype for my sister who is always writing and goes for that gothic-creepy-maybe steampunk-style. It's not me, but I need to lean to cater to the masses.

Now, a book with teeth seemed somewhat impractical to write in. And then somehow, probably with some trips to Michaels (*scene missing*), this idea turned into one for a jewelry box:

Here is a sketch from early on. 

The first idea was just to have this old, leather bound, slightly evil looking box, that would reveal teeth when opened. I thought about adding some sort of webbing over the faux leather, and I knew it was going to have lots of studs and maybe some jewels.  On one of my initial trips to Michael's, I bought these feet:

Then I started devising a plan for another project that the feet would be better suited to, and my Michael's was out of them, so I got to thinking about taking this box further into the wild by making my own feet. A couple bricks of Sculpey later, and this is what I came up with:

They are loosely modeled after alligator feet.

I should mention that I had originally started the teeth with balsa wood, thinking that a few good coats of sandable primer would give them the necessary strength. However, after I had such success with the feet, I decided Sculpey teeth would be much more awesome.  The ability to model them so they aren't flat took this box to the next level, in my humble opinion.

The rest is pretty much history. Haha.  I covered the box with a vinyl table cloth remnant from JoAnn's, and sprayed the box and the feet with silver metallic paint. I put a fishnet stocking on each half of the box and masking taped them in place as needed. Next, I gave the box a couple coats of water-based polyurethane (water-based fries clear, not yellow like the regular stuff, but it is pricier) to hold the fishnets on (brilliant idea from my father!). 

The Sculpey teeth were a bit more work than I expected, because they expanded in the oven. I have read that Sculpey does not expand, but I did bake them on foil, so maybe the foil expanded and took them with it?  That's my hypothesis anyway.  The thermal expansion was probably a happy accident however, because it only caused me to make two new corner teeth (thank God I seperated the teeth before baking), and I was able to model these with the transition from the side to front in mind.

I lined the box with felt, and added a felt tongue. The tongue felt is embossed with an alligator texture, and I was very excited to find a piece that was reflected down the center like a real tongue. I sewed jump rings into the roof of the mouth lining for fish hook earrings.  I thought studs could go through the tongue, but I don't know what kind of holes they would leave. Bigger pieces of jewelry should stay neat under the tongue.

Finally I added some bling and a little "dog tag":

Just heard from my little sister!  She received the box in good condition, and loves it! Oh happy days. :-). Now I can publish this post.