Saturday, November 1, 2008

Snowman Box Tutorial

Happy November and welcome to Jolie Paquet! Don't forget to
join the Jolie Paquet Flickr pool to post pictures of the creations
you make during the Jolie Paquet extravaganza:)
This is my first ever tutorial, so it might be a little shaky. If you
have any questions about this project, feel free to email me at:
Today I will be giving you tips on making a Snowman Box for the
holidays. I would like to encourage you to make this your own by
personalizing it in your own style and colors. Here is mine:

Key essential supplies for this project are:
1} celluclay instant paper mache
2} warm water
3} a bowl for mixing, never to be used for food again
4} acrylic paint in white, red and black
5} glitter mix: i used 5 different glitters in mine, all clear with
varying textures plus mica flakes
6} two paintbrushes, one very fine and the other with a large
head for painting the snowman: i used a mop brush
7} a mache box, the size is up to you
8} 3 foam balls, again the size is up to you just make sure that
your snowman will be proportional to your box
9} paper of your choice for covering the box, i used a flocked
vintage wallpaper from fellow Jolie Donna
10} glitter glue, modge podge also works well
11} your favorite glue for adhering paper
12} toothpicks
13} whatever trims or vintage goodies you would like to use
to make this project your own
14} scissors, plain and scalloped
15} hot glue gun

Let's begin by covering our box. Measure your box top to bottom
and all around to see what size paper you need. Put aside the top
of the box, we are using that later. To cover the bottom of the box,
I lay the box on paper, trace around with pencil and then cut out
slightly larger than my tracing using large scalloped scissors. The
scallops fold down nicely over onto the sides of the box and make
the finished look smoother, but they are not essential.

Cover the bottom of your box first. I put glue on the paper and
on the box for the best result. Press your scallops down over the
side of the box and press them down well.

Now cover the sides of your box. Remember to add glue to the
box and the paper for best sticking. These boxes are always a
little wonky and in this case, you want your paper to line up best
at the bottom of the box. When you are finished applying your
paper, trim off the excess paper at the top with your scissors. At
this point you can glitter your box if you like. I used a medium
grade glass glitter that I sprinkled on my box after giving it a nice
even coating of modge pedge applied with a brush. Before glittering
any paper, it is a good idea to check for color fastness in a corner of
the paper.

Now take your three foam balls. If all of your balls are the same
size like mine, at this point you want to squish up two of them a
little so that they are graduating sizes. Then we are going to
skewer them on a toothpick adding just a DROP of hot glue to
hold them together where they meet at the skewer. I am not
kidding about the drop, the foam will MELT and you do NOT
want to use too much.

Now glue your skewered foam ball contraption to the box top.
Again, we will be using a SMALL amount of hot glue. Now,
here is where it might get a little dicey. There is not a magic
recipe for mixing celluclay, it is kind of done by feel. You will
get to know how you like it mixed, the more you work with it.
I have never measured mine, but I will give you some tips on
how to mix yours up. Put about 1/3 cup warm water into your
bowl and start slowly adding the celluclay powder mixing with
your fingers as you go. Your celluclay should be: smooth and
kind of thick but spreadable. A good way to check is to make
a thick snake about 2 inches long by rolling it between your
palms. Hold it up vertically. If it immediately droops, your
clay is probably too wet and you need to add a wee bit more
powder. If it just barely droops it should be perfect. It it does not
droop at all and feels kind of dry, add a wee bit of water. Now,
you are going to just smear this all over your foam balls and the
box top. Really, that is all there is to it. You might need to do
some pressing also to get the clay to adhere to the foam. You
should have something that resembles this:

This is the fun part where you get to make this guy your very
own. If you want to add cheeks, just roll up little balls of clay
and press them onto his face. If your guy is going to have a
carrot nose, make a carroty shape and press it into place. If
your guy is going to have people arms, make those just like
we made the log for our testing and press them into place. If
your creation prefers twig arms, wait until we are all finished
and then glue some twigs into place. Here is a tip for adding
on things like features and extremities: press them into place
and then smooth around the edges with the side of your finger.
At this point I made little indents with one of my toothpicks to
mark where I wanted my guys eyes and mouth to be. I also
scored around his neck with the toothpick for some definition.

Ok, this creation that you just made is going to be very wet and
needs to dry before painting. You can wait for that to happen
naturally OR you can preheat your oven to 180 degrees, turn
off and then place your creation on a cookie sheet and pop him
in the oven to dry. Do NOT leave the oven on or be tempted
to make it hotter, your foam with explode out of the clay and
you will not be very happy. Drying will take about an hour
depending on how thick you applied your clay. You can test for
dryness by tapping on him with your fingernails. Dry creations
sound hollow and they do not yield when you GENTLY press
on them with your fingers.
When your guy is all dry, paint him all over with your
white paint. When that is dry, add little black dots for
his eyes and a little line of red for his mouth. When all is
dry, cover him completely with modge podge or glitter
glue and sprinkle with your glitter mixture to completely
cover him in sparkling glory.

At this point, you can put your lid back onto your box. You
are going to have to show it who's boss because it will be a tight
fit with the box being papered. Force it on, if you have glued it
well, the paper will stay on just fine.
How you finish this guy up is entirely up to what you love and
the goodies you use to embellish him. If you need any help,
please do not hesitate to email me as I said above. I really
want everyone to be successful with this project. I can't wait
to see what you make!


Ruby said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial, he is darling!
I can't wait until the stores open so I can run out and get some supplies. I just recently found your blog and I'm so glad I did!!!!! said...

so so cute!!! I am going to try it!!! hugs,Angelina

Joanna said...

Lori, you're tutorial was great, being that it was your first time & all. I love your little snow creation. Thanks for sharing! xoxo, Joanna

Unknown said...

He is so darn cute!!! Your tutorial is great and I can't wait to see everyone's creations from it!

Leslie said...

Your tutorial was great! I always wondered how they made those paper mache people. Thank you for sharing!

LiLi M. said...

This guy is great! I want to make one, but the shops are already closed for Sunday over here :-(
Your tutorial is the best ever! Thanks so much! I cannot wait to see everyones snowmen!
Thanks again Lori, have a great weekend!

Terri Paulson-Sasaki said...

It is so cute. I can't wait to make one or two or maybe three. Thanks.

Jeanne said...

This guy is adorable Lori. Great pics too!

*SHeRRy B* said...

That is so cute! I need to get some paper mache stuff!

Charmingdesigns said...

Oh my goodness!! It is so adorable, you did a great job...I'm going to give it a try! Laurie

Karin said...

Lori...that little snowman is sooo adorable!! And I have that exact wallpaper...I have to make that little guy.

Joanne Kennedy said...

This is my first visit to your blog and I have to say I love it.

This little snowman is darling!

I've added you to my favorite list.


Little Pink Studio said...

My girls and I are going to give this a try Lori! I LOVE it!
Thank you so much!! So cute!!
~Cerri xo

Pearl said...

Ohh Lori... your lil sparklie snowman is soooo adorable! Thanks for sharing, and for making the instructions 'n photos so clear!

Fete et Fleur said...

What a fun project. These would make great gifts for Christmas.

marie said...

This snowman box is wonderful ~ as is your tutorial! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I can't wait to make one or two or.....

It's a perfect little gift idea!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lori for sharing this. I can't wait make this.

Heidi said...

Lori, This is darling! I've always wanted to learn how to make these snowman boxes! I am going to make this for sure...I'm making my list now for the supplies I need.

I'll be sure to post a photo of my finished project on my blog!

Happy Novemeber!

the author said...

That's WONDERFUL!!! I haven't played with celluclay in at least 2 weeks (heh heh) so I definitely need to get started on Xmas-clay-stuff!

Unknown said...


So cool! I can't wait to try it. You did a Fabulous job!


Kristen Pare said...

So cute! Snowmen are one of my favs!

Anonymous said...

lori- super duper cute! i love this idea! i cant wait to get started back to crafting i made alot of snowmen ornaments from celloclay last year i love them!!!


Robin said...

I've always wondered too! Now I KNOW! Thanks for the info I can't wait to try it!

Anonymous said...

Ooh Lori this is just too fun... And you my friend are a sculpting diva - that face is adorable! I'm going to try this, hope I don't butcher it too badly :)

Flea Market Queen said...

Thank you for the awesome tutorial!
I def will have to try my hand at one these sweeties!
Thanks a lot...

Miss Rhea said...

Wow, Now how Cute is He ?? And you did an awesome job with your tutorial :) Thanks Lori !! :)

Anonymous said...

I love it ! I am going to do this today! All my friends are receiving a snowbuddie as a gift! Thank you so much for sharing!

TerriB in Oregon

Jill said...

This is an awesome tutorial! I found this site via Donna (Under The Red Roof) and I can't wait to see what else you have in store for us.

Cami @ Creating Myself said...

How cute! Thansk so much for teh tutorial...looking forward to the others!

Linda Summerfield Crispell said...

I know what I'm making everyone for Christmas now!!!!
Wonderful project.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lori,

Wow, this is the first time I am visiting your blog. So glad I found it. Your tutuorial is great! Thank you so much for sharing this idea. I am going to make one, and send you a picture. How did you make his hat? Also, do you know where I can find the thin sliver garland? I see so many people making things with it, but I haven't seen it for sale. thanks again!

Debbie from NJ

Jessi Nagy said...

ooohh miss lori!!
this is darling!!!
so cute,thanks

Lori said...

Debbie from NJ: send me an email and i will get you the info!!!

Dede Warren said...

This is darling!!! Thanks for sharing this tutorial, I was just today looking at boxes that are being sold. This is just as sweet, and I can't wait to try one for myself!

Thanks, thanks,

Sara's Sweet Surprise said...

Let it snow...Snowmen! You had me at glitter. I can't pass up anything sparkly, shiny, dazzling.... This is a new medium I've wanted to try. I hope i can find celluclay. Is it found at Michael's craft store? Thanks for such great detailed instructions!

Sweet Wishes,

linnea-maria said...

This little fellow is so pretty! /linnea-maria

pops said...

oh lori -- your snowman is so incredibly delightful! the tutorial is fabulous and i am in love with the little man! i hope to try my hand at making a little cutie for the holiday! thank you and thanks to all the girls that are making this incredible experience possible! hugs...pops (aka...andrea)

crafty comadre said...

Adorable snowman!what a great project, perfect for the holidays!

Maggie said...

I've never tried that stuff, thanks for the tips. hmmm, did the explosion happen in your oven, you sound like you have spoken from experiance on that one!

Unknown said...

Lori, I LOVE this. I have always wanted to know how to make these. You make it look so easy, well I know I will try this one. I am busy creating for Christmas, so this wonderful Joli Paquet is a perfect Creative Muse.

Jenni B said...

Oh, my! He is SOOO darling! Thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

this is amazing Lori !!!! love love love it - !!!

Shannon (Faith and Chocolate) said...

He's adorable!!! I love him! And a big thanks to all you talented gals for putting on this little shindig! ;)
Catch ya later!

Teacher Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing this great tutorial! You did a smashing job! I'm going to go and try one of my own!


cherished*vintage said...

Wonderful tutorial! I just made my self a snowman box. I'm working on another also. I loving Joli Paquet, thanks girls!!!

Alisa Noble said...

He's darling Lori! I can't wait to try this.

crafty comadre said...

love the snowman - so CUTE!

Stacy/Creativemuse said...

This is soo wonderful LOVE IT!
Do you think 7,8 and 9 Year olds could do this?
I would love them to make something semi scupltural instead of just paint. I am an ART DOCENT at my children's school
Thank you! LOVE IT!

Jennifer Paganelli said...

wow so very very cool thanks for sharing...I want to try!! Maybe after my show...

Julie Isa said...

Oh My Gosh!!! It's fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing your talent. Hope you don't mind if I share it with my readers. They, too, will love your blog!

Susie Jefferson said...

I would have loved to try this - but unfortunately all your photographs have disappeared! Maybe you changed your template???

I'd love to hear from you if you fix this. Fingers crossed...

Dee said...

I was excited to find this too but like the above poster you pictures are gone. This would be a great time to post them again, please, please, please.