Hand Painted Tissue Boxes

Hand Painted Tissue Boxes are a Creative Solution for a great, useful, inexpensive, unique, personal gift.  I hand painted each of these tissue boxes.  It’s not that hard to do.  Really: if I can do it, you can too.

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R2D2 Hand Painted Tissue Box

I can get different, unfinished wood tissue boxes from each of the three craft stores where I live in Houston: Michael’s, JoAnn’s, and Hobby Lobby.  These tissue boxes range from $4.99 at Michael’s to $7.99 at JoAnn’s.  Of course, I always use a coupon to save 40% (or even 50% on occasion).

Hobby Lobby has the long, flat boxes with a slide-out bottom piece for $4.99.

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Michael’s and JoAnn’s both have the stocky cube-like style.   If your stores don’t  have them in stock, both Michael’s and JoAnn’s have a great policy of special ordering items to the store. (The last time I checked, there was no minimum order and no additional cost if it’s shipped to the store,)  To “order” the items, just save the image with the item number, and show that to the employee.

This is the one from Michael’s (for $4.99):

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Although $4.99 is a great price, I don’t love the wooden tissue boxes from Michael’s.  They are just a little too small to hold the standard disposable cube box of tissues.  See how the disposable cube box has to be scrunched into the wooden holder to fit?

I prefer the ones from JoAnn’s because they fit the tissue box cubes better:

IMG_2235IMG_2236JoAnn's boxes don't have the slide-able box bottom.  I don't like the box bottom... they're good in theory, but they are inconvenient in practice.

JoAnn’s boxes don’t have the slide-able box bottom. Actually, I don’t like the box bottom… they’re good in theory, but they are inconvenient in practice.  While the boxes from Michael’s are too small for the cubes, the ones from JoAnn’s are just a little too big.  Here’s a Creative Solution within a Creative Solution: when I gift the tissue box, I take that cardboard that rips off the top of the disposable cube, fold it in half, then duct tape it to one of the interior sides of the the wood box… it’s just enough to create tension so the tissues won’t slip out of the wooden box.  Then, my gift includes an actual box of tissues and is immediately useful!

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Painting and Design Tips

Acrylic paints work quite nicely.  I’m a bit of an amateur with painting supplies, but I have noticed that the cheaper acrylics necessitate a gazillion coats.  And it is in your best interest to have good, quality thin brushes for details.  I don’t have a very steady hand, but embrace the imperfections as part of the homemade flare.

My artistic skills are limited, but I work within my limits, approaching it as coloring shapes rather than drawing a picture.  Notice the Santa and Snowman boxes above… very simple design.

Each of these tissue boxes (below) used a color pallet that matches the corresponding room.  Then, simply paint shapes, lines, and swirls in different shades/colors.

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This Lego tissue box also builds upon basic shapes:

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When I created a Tardis Tissue Box for my Dr. Who loving husband, I had a hard time with the notice on the door.  Instead of painting it, After trying to paint it and failing (several times), I decided to print a small version and mod-podge it on.  And it worked beautifully!

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I also “finish” each tissue box with something.  I’ve used polyurethane, but found it to be too much mess and an unnecessary level of finish.  A simple “clear acrylic finish,” (or “varnish”) which can be found in the paints aisle of the craft store works well.  AND cleans up nicely.  I prefer to paint it on (less cost, less fumes, less mess), but the finish does come in a spray paint can as well.  I also prefer the Matte finish, but to each her own Creative Solution!

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3 thoughts on “Hand Painted Tissue Boxes

  1. Pingback: A Fun and Functional Key Box for the Dr. Who Fan | Creative Solutions by Julie

    • I’m not exactly sure… It may have been Anita’s all-purpose Acrylic Medium Blue, or a similar shade of Folk Art or Americana. That shade of blue is my 8yr old son’s favorite, so we go through an awful lot of it. Sometimes I’ll thicken up one of the cheaper brands with Reeves Acrylic from the (toothpaste-style) tubes. The TARDIS blue is very similar to what I used on my R2D2 tissue box and the TARDIS key box, so it’s possible that it’s just standard issue bright blue from the craft store. Sorry I can’t be more specific. Good luck!

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