Thursday, November 18, 2010

Painting Inside The Box....Prayer Box

 A little while ago I bought a beautifully painted cigar box from one of my favorite artists, 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.

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. 
I have some unstretched canvas that a friend gave me.  I painted this painting of Mary onto the canvas and then mounted it inside the box using Soft Gel Medium.
For the rest of the box I used decorative papers and paint.  I wrote out with a permanent marker what the angel said to Mary, "Rejoice, O highly favored daughter.  The Lord is with you Blessed are you among women."  I used many layers of different papers and lots of Golden's Soft Gel Medium to mount and seal them.
After all the collaging and maneuvering, the clasp on the box wouldn't snap shut.  So I added a loop and a tassle.  I added that little bead just to make the clasp a little more fun.
After all the medium and paint dried, I varnished the whole box with Liquitex varnish for acrylics.  The box stands on it own and can be displayed open or closed.  I like the idea of the painting inside as now it has its own little display/frame.

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.


  1. Carrie, this is so beautiful. Thank you so much for the explanations and great pictures. I love what you've done with the cigar box. And thanks for the link also.

  2. OHHHH I was just checking the prints and cards available sight. "This little light of mine" - I absolutely LOVE your creation. Must remember for future reference when I might have some pennies to spare.

  3. I don't your gonna make me...
    That was wonderful. And your prayer box is amazing. I think I'll now have to use your idea and make myself a little prayer box...and give it to God, right?..Such a wonderful concept..... You made my day. :)

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  5. Carrie!
    Your box is lovely! Such a wonderful painting of Our Blessed Mother! Thank you for sharing your process!

  6. Carrie, your box is beautiful! I love all of your paintings. Terra is one of my favorites too. I have a few of her Beautiful Boxes. She is amazing!