Interference Faux Malachite Gift Box

Interference "Faux Malachite" Gift Box

226 Days of VSN: Day 2:  Today is my second of “226 Days of VSN”. This time, I dipped into the July ’97 VSN for creative inspiration to turn a plan craft store box into something much more interesting.

Interference "Faux Malachite" Gift BoxBack in the ’90’s, we stampers became enamored of interference paints. These paints, available in both acrylic and watercolor versions, are very cool. When you squeeze out a little from the paint tube, it is a dull, actually kind of ugly, off-white. Not too exciting.

Where it gets cool is when you brush, rub or pat the paint onto a dark surface. Put it on a surface like black, navy blue or hunter green and the hidden interference color (actually titanium coated mica chips) in the paint suddenly appears. So now you have a gorgeous green or blue or gold or whatever color on that dark surface. Beautiful magic!

Interference Paint on Dark CardstockIn the Jul ’97 VSN’s Quick Tips, Kate Whitridge shared three ideas for using Interference paint including, “Squeeze a medium-sized drop onto foil, add a bit of water or acrylic medium, stirring to mix it and spread it out a bit on foil. Use a loofah sponge to daub it randomly across dark-colored cardstock; it makes a smashing background papers or collage bits. I have sponged interference gold, interference lilac/purple, and interference blue on black glossy. Stunning.”

InterferencI hadn’t played with my interference paints in a while, so I pulled them out today and sponged and dry brushed some across black and blue cardstocks. As always, they looked lovely on the black, but this particular blue cardstock is more a medium rather than really dark blue so it just looked ok. I wondered if I adding a bit of black paint would give me the contrast I was looking for. This isn’t my favorite interference paint look, but I thought it was kind of interesting and could work as background paper.

This got me to thinking about using black paint as a base layer. What if I painted a box with black acrylic paint and then sponged on interference paint? I hadn’t tried this before, so I poked through my drawers and found a little cardboard box from the craft store with a rusted metal top. (Those were popular a while back.)

Paint Box BlackTo paint the box, I used Claudine Hellmuth’s Studio semi-gloss acrylic paint in Charcoal Black. I brushed it on and then set the box aside to dry.Metal Box Top

This particular box was one I bought on clearance years ago for $1. When I pulled the price sticker off the metal, I saw that the area beneath if had become discolored. No amount of cleaning (even with Goo Gone) made any difference as it was discolored rather than dirty or sticky, so I decided to also paint the metal lid.

Paint Lid BlackTo paint the metal lid, I used Ranger’s Patina metal paint in Onyx, using a finger to quickly cover the rusty metal lid and then heat-set it with my heat tool. Painting over rust is not usually the best idea, but in this particular case, the lid’s metal surface was smooth and clean and there was no flaking rust. This is just meant to be a quick gift box, so I’m not really worried about its long-term durability. If I was, I probably would pick a non-rusty metal.

Sponge Interference Paint on BoxPaint Box with Interference PaintOnce the lid and box were dry, I used a sea sponge to pat Liquitex Acrylic paint in Interference Green onto both the lid and the box. The colors remind me a bit of malachite stone, although because I patted on the paint, it doesn’t have the lined patterns of malachite.

Once dry, the box can be used to store something small or can be used as a gift box for something like a pair of earrings. So for $1 for the box plus a very small amount of black and interference green paint, I have a nice little box that took almost no time to make. (I’ll allow it to dry overnight though.)

Other VSN articles that focus on interference paints include Sept ’97’s two page “Interference Plant Prints” Class Tips article, a Product News article in the same issue that includes a sample of interference paint sponged on black paper, a page in Oct ’97’s Quick Tips section and Jean Pfeifer’s Feb ’98 Class Tips article on “Creating a Card Using Interference Watercolors”.

When is the last time you used interference paints? Do you still have some in the back of your craft drawers? Pull it out and play! Have fun. ~Nancie

PS: Most VSN back issues are still available on VSN’s Online Shopping Cart. Do you have the full set yet?

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