Terra Sheridan. I will show you mostly how I did this box but I also used some other techniques on my box that I learned from her. You should most definitely go visit her blog. http://www.terrasheridan.blogspot.com/
When I was a little girl my mother had a tryptych that hung on the kitchen wall. It opened and closed and she told me people use it to pray. I decided to combine these two ideas and Voila here is my prayer box. This is made from a wooden cigar box. Almost any fine tobacco store will sell their old cigar boxes. The wooden ones are usually about $5, so you don't have to take up cigar smoking! I lightly sanded the box. If I were going to paint straight onto the outside I would have sanded more heavily or even used a stripper because the outside of the box has a varnish but since I was going to be collaging papers onto the box I only lightly sanded the box.
Below is the beautiful box from Terra that I won on ebay. I think she has some up for auction now! You can find them by going to her blog. http://www.terrasheridan.blogspot.com/