Thursday, April 23, 2020

A Book of Shells - Seahorse Book Box

Today I have a small beach-themed faux book box that I thought I would make look more real and less faux by giving it textured pages.  I'm going to be using the ATC size faux book box chipboard set and for decoration, the ATC coin covers - under the sea edition.  This is a quick project that requires minimum supplies as I will just be decorating the box using the chipboard and some paint.  I used Paperartsy Fresco paints but you could use any paints you have, though bear in mind that your result might vary if you do.  Here's the end result...

First of all, I assembled the box using collage medium on the box itself, and masking tape on the wraparound cover.  This cover consists of the front cover and the spine, which need to be taped to each other.

Then I covered all of it with white gesso, and once that was dry, I applied a thin layer (1-2mm is fine) of texture paste.  DO NOT leave it to dry!  It needs to be soft for the next step!

To make the faux book look like it has pages, I drag this texture brush through the texture paste before it dries.  This brush is part of a set, and this particular one has teeth that are just the right width apart for the effect I am trying to achieve.  If you don't have a similar brush you could use toothpicks or skewers taped together to make a "comb" or even an actual comb!  After doing all three sides, I left it to dry.

Once the texture paste is dry, it looks like this. Give a little light sanding to get any of the rough or loose bits off.  If you just have a few loose bits of texture paste, you should be able to brush them off with just your fingers.

To decorate my book cover, I chose two of the Under the Sea Coin Covers that I thought would look good together - the seahorse and the coral.  

I painted both with white gesso.  I could have done all my gesso-ing at the same time but I hadn't decided on my decoration at that time.

Using my Fresco paint, I painted the inside of the box in Sand as part of my beach theme and the texture paste pages with Snowflake (white).

For the outside of the box and cover, I chose three colours - Aqua Duck Egg, Aquamarine and Beach Hut and sponged them on using an old paper towel.  Then I started painting the coral and seahorse chipboards.  You can see the coral already painted, unfortunately I don't have a photo of the actual painting of these elements.  I was out of Coral paint so I used Cherry Red and Banana mixed together which resulted in this reasonably close Coral colour.

For the inside cover I used a darker colour called Inky Pool to paint a beachy wood plank effect to fit with my theme.

I attached the cover to the box using Collage Medium and held it in place until it was dry to ensure it didn't move as I wanted my cover to close properly.

I painted the seahorse using Tangerine Twist and Bougainvillea paint colours, and Inky Pool again on the frames.  Then I used more Collage Medium to attach both coin covers to the front of my "book".

And the book box was complete!  I told you it was quick!  Here's another view of those textured "pages".

So what to do with a book box like this?  Well maybe you use it to keep some of your special shells collected from a favourite vacation or local beach like I have done here.

Or you could send this to a friend or loved one as a memory of a fun holiday you had together, perhaps add a rolled up note stuck in a tiny bottle?

I hope you enjoyed this project and that you find inspiration to create your own.  Please let me know in the comments.

Till next time,

Collect beautiful moments and memories :)



ATC size faux book box BD12T, Trading coins covers under the sea C10V
White gesso
Collage Medium
Chalk Paints
Texture paste
Masking Tape
Texture Brushes


  1. I loved the faux pages idea! Brilliant!! I also like how you layered the two coin covers! Great job!!!