Friday, June 27, 2014

Treasure Chest Tutorial

Hello and welcome to another Sizzix tutorial! The fourth tutorial on the blog in this week, that must be a record. Today, I am going to share another home décor project with you, made mainly with Tim Holtz Sizzix dies, and Idea-ology metal pieces. This project is another example of how versatile dies are.
After I built my Medieval Castle, I asked my son what he wanted next, and he wanted a rocket, which you might remember from a tutorial last month. After the rocket, he wanted me to make him a treasure chest, and here it is. This was fun! You can easily make this into a more girly project by maybe adding some jewels and strings of pearls to the treasure. Don't make this to a small child since there are small parts, or keep it as an ornament out of reach. The chest and its contents were made from basically just mat board, grungeboard, dies, pain, stamps and metallic pieces.
I had a look at my dies and thought the piece to the right, from Susan's Garden Rounded Birdhouse, would work well for the lid of the chest. But I couldn't find anything that fitted it to use as a box. Instead, I built a simple box from mat board, carefully measuring to make sure the lid would fit. You can make it any height you want - just add the height evenly around the centre rectangle on all the edges. My measurements were 9 x 7.1 cm for the central rectangle, adding 5 centimetres all around for the edges. That should be about 3.54 x 2.8 inches, and 2 in for the height all around.

Cut off the pieces you don't need with a craft knife, but leave a flap on each of the long sides. Carefully score the back of the mat board with a craft knife - don't cut all the way through.

I cut a off a tiny bit at the base of each flap, which makes assembly easier.

Paint both sides of the chest with Gathered Twigs. When dry, add a little Walnut Stain in a streaky fashion. Leave to dry.
Stamp with a wood grain stamp and Potting Soil ink. This is an easy way to imitate wood.
Assemble the box with strong adhesive, I used Wonder Tape. I also stapled at the top of each flap.
The lid needs two side pieces to hold it together. Make them the same width at the base as the side of the box (7.1 cm or 2.8 in). Hold the lid in place and draw an outline with a pencil. You can always trim them a little more after they are stuck. Paint and stamp as above. Attach to the lid with hot glue, and be careful since it is very hot.
Die cut Vintage Lace from foil tape and paint gold. You need quite a bit more than what you see here. Distress with a little bit of Black Soot paint to give them a tarnished look.

The chest of course needed a treasure, and I made coins, clocks and a compass. Die cut circles with the smallest Sized Circle, Bottle Caps, Prize Ribbons and a Pocket Watch, from grungeboard.  

Dry emboss the pieces in the Bottle Caps, Retro Circles, and Pocket Watches folders (I forgot to take a photo of that step). Paint them gold and silver, on both sides.
With Hardware Findings, die cut two closures/hinges and a key. I was happy when I realised the closures would be perfect for the chest. Paint with gold and silver paint.
I painted over the gold pieces with a little bit of Tarnished Brass Distress Paint, giving them a nice colour variation. Sand the pieces slightly and ink with Black Soot. 
Cut out a clock from the Collage 8 x 8 paper pad and glue to the pocket watch. Add game spinners and a chain. The clock was Anton's favourite part of the treasure. Use the larger Prize Ribbon circle (which is not only for prize ribbons) and place an Idea-ology compass coin and a game spinner on top. Attach with a brad. 

A map was of course necessary so that the hidden pirate treasure could be located. I used manila cardstock, smeared brown Distress Inks on my craft sheet, misted with water and pressed the paper into the ink. I misted it with more water and crumbled it up. Dry with a heat tool and draw a rough map. Distress and ink the edges and add some more inks to emphasise the folds. Stamp with the Specks stamp and splatter some Walnut Stain ink.

On the back, I stamped a cross bones with Jet Black ink. Roll up and tie with twine. 

Here are all the different pieces together. We are going to make some more coins this weekend.
Place the painted foil lace around all the edges, partly to hide the joints. Attach the key hole with brads and paint the opening black. If I had thought of it, I would have cut the opening before hand - there was some disappointment when the key could not actually go into the key hole. But I had already assembled the box when I thought of that, and it was too tricky to get it right.
Glue the grungeboard closures and a Word Band to the lid, and add brads to keep the closures in place.
To attach the lid to the base, I used Tim Holtz hinges, with a little black paint added to them. Carefully measure before you make the holes.
These hinges are so pretty and ornate, perfect for a treasure chest.
Here's a view of the hinges when the lid is open. I used a foil tape lace to hide some of the brad arms.
The handles were made by simply cutting a strip of grungeboard, painting it with Gathered Twigs and Black Soot and attaching with brads. It looks and feels almost like old leather.
The trickiest part is maybe to get the half circle on the lid right. Rather make it a little large at the top and trim with scissors. The foil tape covers any unevenness. 
The finished chest. I really enjoy figuring out how to build these types of projects.
It looks pretty cool with the treasure inside the chest. It could be left open like this and used as an ornament.
From the top it looks like this. The Rounded Bird house was perfect for the lid - I used the same die to make the thin towers in my Medieval Castle.
You'll need the compass, key and map to find the carefully hidden chest.
After hiding the chest, I left this at the door for Anton to find.
Of course the pirate quickly found his treasure, and has not left it out of his sight since then. I couldn't get him to smile on this photo, since pirates 'aren't supposed to smile, even though I am a very kind pirate'.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that it has helped you to look at your dies in a different way. 
Thank you so much for looking!!
Surfaces: Sizzix Little Sizzles Cream Mat Board; Tim Holtz Idea-ology: Grungeboard, Collage Mini 8 x 8 paper stash; Ranger: Manila cardstock, Foil Tape
Stamps: Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz: Wallpaper & Wood Grain, Cracks & Specks
Paint: Distress Paint: Gathered Twigs, Walnut Stain, Black Soot, Tarnished Brass; Adirondack: Silver, Gold
Ink: Archival Ink: Jet Black, Potting Soil: Distress Ink: Frayed Burlap, Gathered Twigs, Walnut Stain
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-ology: Hinges, Long Fasteners, Game Spinners, Ring Fasteners, Locket Keys, Observations Word Bands, Compass Coins, Ball Chain


  1. Absolutely brilliant, I love your treasure chest. Fantastic details and use of dies as always. Your little man looks adorable x x

  2. You have an awesome pirate over there :) Beautiful artwork!

  3. Super cute! Your treasure chest and the little pirate. :D

  4. Of course he couldn't smile! Whoever heard of a smiley pirate (even a kind one)? :)) This is so cute! I love the map and the coins and the clock, too. Fantastic! And what a pirate!

  5. That is beyond amazing! How brilliant! I love, love, love the way it turned out!

  6. Wow......You did a really great job of building that chest......
    It turned out so well......and what an adorable Pirate......

  7. Another amazing project Anna Karin, wow, such a clever design and I just adore how you finished it! Have to say, the pirate looks just as wonderful as the box! What a great photo! He is one lucky boy to have his mum make such cool things for him!!

  8. What a fantastic treasure box. Thanks for the step by step....xx

  9. Fabulous piece of work. Love the whole design. Thanks for your explanation Anneke.

  10. What a lovely project. Your little boy must have been overjoyed to have such a box of treasure. I love it. Jean.x

  11. Awesome!!! Absolutely fantastic and what a cute pirate!! :) ingrid xx

  12. Your projects never fail to impress Anna Karin and this one is no exception. What an absolutely brilliant treasure chest and your little pirate looks fabulous in his pirate outfit too! Anne x

  13. Oh, how cool is that?! Sounds like there's been a tutorial frenzy while I've been busy this week... looking forward to checking it out!
    Alison xx

  14. Wow amazing project.

  15. What a fabulous project. The grungeboard hinges are perfect for this! Love all of the treasure!! How fun! -- Mary Elizabeth

  16. I love all of your fabulous ideas for your treasure chest. I made some of these for Christmas and filled them with chocolate coins but want to make more now I have seen your wonderful ideas. I think it was great that a real pirate found the chest! Thank you for the detailed tutorial and love to Anton. x Anne


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