I have to say that "altering" is my favorite art form of all. The very first "art contest" that I won was back in fourth grade. We were decoupaging planks of wood, which the teacher picked up cheap from the local lumber yard. We all brought used greeting card fronts to stick onto the wood. I was sick the day they started the project. All my classmates had first pick on the pieces of wood -- which were smooth and perfect. I came back, and I was handed this wood with huge worm holes and imperfections! Try to tell a fourth-grader that distressed is good! But my teacher Ms. Wolverton did her best, and in the end, I had faith in her and took the worm-eaten wood. Guess what? She was right. The piece was amazing (especially designed by a fourth grader!), and it looked nothing like the other pieces. All the teachers in the school voted on their favorite decoupaged artwork, and I won! The moral of the story? Trash is good? Different is good? Teachers are always right? Art is always subjective?
At the end of last school year, I created a number of altered boxes as teachers' gifts. My son and I stuffed the boxes with candies and goodies. After the teachers empty the contents, these tins and boxes are reusable -- they can by refilled with just about anything from sweets to junk!
My favorite of this round of altered boxes is the cowboy box, shown above. Pieces of paper were stuck down with Royal Decoupage Finish/Glue. After it dried thoroughly -- which was accomplished quickly here in the desert! -- I then began adding "age" to the piece. I used a combination of Tim Holtz Distress Inks and Moon Shadow Mists. Then I adhered cowboy stickers from K&Co., and I distressed them, too. I finalized the piece by brushing on thick coats of the Royal Decoupage; I especially drowned the stickers in the glue, to ensure they became like a bit of plastic when dry.
The class boxes are bolder and brighter, and I used some BoBunny stickers on these two boxes.
You can use any medium -- a chocolate or tea tin, wood or cardboard boxes, clipboards, or whatever is at hand. I'm currently working on a wooden tray, which I am adorning with floral paper and embellishments. I'll post that when finished, too.
My son has a number of male teachers, and I have to ensure that I have enough "masculine" altered pieces. He and I joined forces to make the clipboard below, using stickers from BoBunny, and diving into the toolbox for things like nuts, bolts, washers and wire.