Giraffes Love Shoeboxes

I love being able to re-use things, and this project is really all about recycling things and turning them in to art.

Over the weekend, I bought some new shoes, and ended up having an extra shoebox laying around. As I picked it up to dump in the recycling bin, I realized it could make a kick-ass “canvas”, and a lovely art project with a few added touches. The best part is, you don’t have to worry about stringing hooks to hang; you can just hang it right from a nail.

Materials You Will Need:

  • Empty Shoebox
  • Black Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Old Greeting Cards (or Decorative Cardstock Paper)
  • Glue
  • 1 Piece of Paper (Heavy Weight, like Cardstock)
  • Giraffe Stencil (Click Here!)
  • Medium Gloss and/or Varnish

STEP 1: Paint Shoebox

The box was already black, but I wanted to paint over the words and stickers on the side. I decided to leave the front face the way it was; I like that a little bit of box coloring had worn off, as it adds to the cool texture. If you have a plain cardboard or colored shoebox, you can paint the front as well, or you might also experiment with leaving the original color on the face, and just painting the sides.

STEP 2: Stencil

I Googled “giraffe stencil” and found an awesome one here. It was already the right dimensions, so I took some light colored Cardstock and placed it on my computer screen.I had to rotate the image horizontally so that it would fit on the screen, and then traced the image. You can also print out the giraffe as well. After it is traced, cut out the stencil.

I laid it down on the box to make sure it was the right size. Then I cut the stencil in to 4 pieces (head & neck, 2 sets of legs, and stomach), so that it would be easier to transfer on to the greeting cards. Plus, I thought it would look snazzy to have different patterns on the same giraffe.

STEP 3: Transfer to Greeting Cards (or Paper)

When people send me cards, I have a hard time throwing them away. But I have so many, I thought I could sacrifice a few for art. However, if you don’t want to cut up your love letters, patterned paper will also do.

All you have to do for this step, is trace the stencil on the back of the card or paper you want to use. Keep in mind that whatever direction the stencil is facing on the back, the cut out be the opposite when you flip it around and go to glue it on the shoebox.

STEP 4: Glue to Shoebox

You can use whatever kind of glue tickles your fancy, as long as it is somewhat durable and dries clear (so no glue sticks or super glue). Rubber cement, adhesive spray, and tacky glue will all work; I ended up using adhesive spray. I also cut out a heart from a red card, and put it a few inches above the giraffe.

STEP 5: Coat with Acrylic Finish

This is not totally necessary, but I like the that it gives the piece some extra strength and shine. I used one coat of Gloss Medium & Varnish, which I got from Blick Art Store. You can paint this on with a brush.

I waited for the gloss to dry, and then did a thin coat of a Clear Semi-Gloss Polycrylic Protective Finish spray. If you use this, make sure you spray it outside, as it stinks (and probably bad for your brain).


One thought on “Giraffes Love Shoeboxes

  1. Total awesomeness. You are so creative. Get this gal a book contract! And her own crafts show. Move over, Martha Stewart.

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