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November 22, 2011

Tutorial: faux bois shoebox

Faux bois shoebox tutorial
You can turn a regular old shoebox into something much more stylish with some self-adhesive foil and a pair of scissors. It's really easy to do, but it turns out there are a few places where it can go wrong. Luckily for you, I did do those very mistakes which you can now avoid. :-)

Faux bois shoebox tutorial
Step One: Buy a pair of shoes or boots, save the box. Get your hands on some self-adhesive foil. Any pattern will do, but fake wood is quite nice I think.

Faux bois shoebox tutorial
Step Two: Measure the depth of the box. Add 5cm/2" to the measurement. This will be the width of the strips for the sides. It will seem like the strip is waaay too wide, but believe me, it's better to have it be too wide.

Faux bois shoebox tutorial
Step Three: Start at one corner and carefully lay the foil on the side of the box. But don't stick it down properly. When you get to the next corner (assuming that the strip is long enough to cover more than one side), cut a triangle from the bottom side of the foil, so the foil will overlap evenly at the corner. remember to cut these triangle notches from the strips at the top of the box as well.

Faux bois shoebox tutorial
Step Four: Now it's time to stick the foil on properly. Start with the bit of foil that folds onto the bottom of the box. Then do the side itself, taking care to press out any bubbles. Finally fold over the top.

Repeat with more strips of foil on all sides of the box. Whenever you start a new strip make sure to overlap two strips a little bit.

Faux bois shoebox tutorial
Step Five: When you're attaching the foil, it's a good idea to only peel off the backing a little at a time so the foil doesn't stick on wonkily.

Faux bois shoebox tutorial
Step Six: Speaking of wonkily -and here's an example of me making mistakes which you can now learn from). Because I hadn't cut my strips wide enough and didn't attach them completely straight, the top of the box wasn't covered properly by the foil. The relative stiffness of the foil means that it won't stick properly on the slight curving at the top of the box. So: make sure to cut your strips Wide!

Faux bois shoebox tutorial
Step Seven: But there's a solution. Simply cut a wide strip of foil and stick it on so it overlaps the first layer, then stick it down inside the box. It will be covered by the lid, so don't worry too much about how it looks. Making sure that the first layer is secured is more important than worrying about the look of something that will be hidden. ;-)

Faux bois shoebox tutorial
Step Eight: Now we get to covering the lid. I made another mistake here, but luckily it's easy to fix.

Cut a piece of foil which is large enough to cover the lid + add the depth of the lid twice. Pull off the backing and place the lid (top down) on the foil. Then cut notches at all the corners. Cut them at 90° angles, as indicated by the blue lines. Don't cut the notches wider because that will give you problems!

Then fold over one side and stick it down properly, pressing out any bubbles. The side should fold over enough to stick inside the side of the lid. Then press down the top, again pressing out the bubbles. Finally, fold over and stick down the rest of the sides.

Faux bois shoebox tutorial
Step Nine: If you cut the notches at 90° angles your lid corners shouldn't look like this. The sides should line up nicely at the corner.

However, if your corner looks more like mine, we can fix that too.

Faux bois shoebox tutorial
Step Ten: Cut a triangle which is large enough to cover the gap on both sides of the corner. And remember to cut a notch in the triangle so it will overlap when folded.

Faux bois shoebox tutorial
Step Eleven: Stick the patch on and rub it with a nail so it sits as flat against the previous layer as possible, blending in nicely. Unless anyone is looking at the seam very closely, it will be barely noticeable.

Faux bois shoebox tutorial
And there you have it, from shoebox to stylish 'faux bois' box in no time. :-)

Of course, now I want to cover more shoeboxes in foil - I guess I'll have to buy some more shoes... ;-)

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