Ciao Bella Into the Wild Altered Mini Album in a Box

Ciao Bella Into the Wild Altered Mini Album in a Box Tutorial Part 1

Hello, Friends!  Today I’m starting a two-part tutorial for this Ciao Bella Into the Wild Altered Mini Album in  Box project.  We’ll make the altered book box today, then on Thursday we’ll make the mini album to go inside.

A Walk in the Autumn Woods

Growing up in Vermont, our family would often go for a weekend walk in the autumn woods. With a blazing blue sky over our heads, crunchy leaves under our feet and brilliant fall colors all around us, it was like taking a walk in Heaven.  Leaves gently floated down to the ground as light breezes blew, and you could hear the sound of tiny creatures scurrying around under the cover of pine needles and fallen foliage.

When I saw this paper collection, it took me right back to those glorious rambling adventures, and I could not resist adding this collection to the Closet of Inspiration and Delight.

Mixed Media Prep

Speaking of the Closet of Inspiration and Delight, that’s where I found this Papier Mache book box.  I think I picked it up at a yard sale some time ago for a few pennies and tucked it away until inspiration came knocking.  And it did knock, eventually!

This mixed media adventure began by painting the edges of the box (inside and out) with Gathered Twigs Distress Paint.  Each step in this process takes a few minutes longer than usual, because you have to let each color of paint dry before you move to the next one. Here’s the  process:

  • First, paint all the edges and corners inside and out with Gathered Twigs Distress Paint.
  • Next, paint a smaller section of the edges and corners with Antique Bronze Distress Paint. Brush the section of the box that would be the gilt “page ends” with a more generous coat.
  • Now, randomly dry brush the edges with Ancient Brass Distress Paint.  Use an old, stiff paint brush on the page ends to create the illusion of page ends.
  • Let everything dry thoroughly, then apply Ground Espresso Distress Ink to the cover, spine and back cover.
  • Apply Prima Clear Gesso to the covers, spine and page ends (the sides).
  • Let everything dry thoroughly.
Cover Art Prep

Stitch a 4 3/4″ x 7″ panel of the green plaid paper to a 5 1/8″ x 7 3/8″ panel of the orange ledger pattern. Distress the edges and ink with Ground Espresso.

Fussy cut the images and small leaves, etc. to cluster around the squirrel and the window.

You can watch this process in this YouTube video;


I’ll be back on Thursday with a tutorial for an easy to make mini album to tuck inside the box.

Do you like this paper collection as much as I do?  Working with it is making me very happy!

You can find a linked supply list below this post.

Thanks for stopping by, friends!




7 thoughts on “Ciao Bella Into the Wild Altered Mini Album in a Box

  1. Renea Harrison

    You are ushering in Fall so gorgeously Kathy!! You have me so looking forward to the cooler weather, snuggly clothes and warm cuppas. I sure hope we both get some beautiful Fall Foliage along with it. Much love and hugs ~

  2. Helen

    Love the depth and texture of the outer book, the shimmer of the metallics with matt finishes add to the vintage appeal. The use of hessian adds to the texture too. Your camera shows the shimmer well. I am looking forward to Part Two!

  3. Susan Steele

    Luv, luv luv this dear Kathy! All your details with this book box are just awesome!!! Luv those papers! Can’t hardly wait to see what happens inside! Lol! Big hugs, Suzy Q

  4. Cheryl Wells

    This is just beautiful, Kathy!!! I know what goes inside will be stunning – your creations are always awesome – thank you for sharing your talent!!!

  5. Joni E

    Love the idea of using the paper mache book. You have worked magic with this paper collection for this project! Can’t wait to see the next part. Thank you!

  6. Teresa

    I love this project!! I have a book box, but I think it’s too large. I’m going to have to go shop for one. And I love that Ciao Bella paper, too. (Scrapncreate carries it).

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