Key to Happiness Altered Box

By  Lisa Somerville  for  Staedtler-Mars Ltd.

size: 5-1/2" across

  • Key to Happiness Altered Box
  • Fig. 1 - A
  • Fig. 1 - B
  • Fig. 1 - C
  • Fig. 2 - A
  • Fig. 2 - B
  • Fig. 2 - C


  • Wooden box with hinged lid
  • Watercolor paper
  • White pearls: individual, flourish sticker
  • White trim: tulle, crocheted lace
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology Metal Embellishments: Keyhole, Locket Key, Memo Pins, Brads


  • Ticket punch
  • Heartfelt Creations PreCut Stamp Sets: Botanical Floral 1 and 2, Bella Rose Scroll
  • Die-cutting system and dies: Spellbinders Shapeabilities Donna Salazar Rose Creations, Sizzix Beautiful Wings Embosslits
  • STAEDTLER Marsgraphic Duo Brush Markers: 1, 2, 4, 51
  • STAEDTLER Black Pigment Liner 0.1mm
  • Ranger Ink Pads: Jet Black Archival, Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Ink
  • Paints: ivory and brown acrylic, Ranger Tim Holtz Clear Rock Candy Distress Crackle
  • Artistic mediums: gesso, gloss-finish gel medium
  • Chunky crystal glitter
  • Adhesives: double-sided tape, foam dots, Ranger Inkssentials Glossy Accents

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, ruler, pencil, newspapers, paintbrush, water brush, non-stick craft mat, paper piercer and mat, foam sponge
  • 1. Paint box with gesso, then brown paint, letting dry between layers. Apply a top coat of ivory paint; let dry completely.
  • 2. Follow bottle directions to paint box with Rock Candy Crackle; let dry. Crackled finish will form as paint dries. Sponge Vintage Photo ink over dry paint to add antique look.
  • 3. Slightly bend keyhole to fit curve of box; adhere with Glossy Accents and let dry.
  • 4. Apply tape around lid rim; adhere crocheted lace. Add pearl flourish and key to box lid; set aside.
  • 5. To create each flower, stamp six blossoms and two leaves onto watercolor paper in black ink. Die cut shapes.
  • 6. Die cut three butterflies and ticket from watercolor paper. Stamp ticket with black sentiment and sponge edges Vintage Photo; set aside.
  • 7. To color leaves, wet stamped image with water brush, then outline with Marsgraphic Duo Marker 51. Use water brush in a circular motion to pull marker color into image. Let dry completely. Sponge edges Vintage Photo.
  • 8. Color blossoms in same way as leaves using Marsgraphic Duo Markers 1, 2, and 4, working on one blossom at a time. See Fig. 1. To add more color variation, as shown in Fig. 2, outline images with two marker colors before pulling color into center with water brush. Let blossoms dry completely.

    Fig. 1 - A

    Fig. 1 - B

    Fig. 1 - C

    Fig. 2 - A

    Fig. 2 - B

    Fig. 2 - C
  • 9. Pinch and scrunch edges of each blossom to add dimension, then layer blossoms smallest to largest, staggering petals. Pierce a hole through center of each flower, going through all layers, and insert brad. Glue pearl to brad with Glossy Accents.
  • 10. If desired, apply small amount of Glossy Accents along petal edges and sprinkle with chunky glitter; let dry. Shake off excess glitter.
  • 11. Color butterflies in same way as blossoms using same markers. Outline butterflies with Pigment Liner.
  • 12. Adhere flowers and leaves to box lid as desired; fill open spaces with trims. Adhere ticket to box with memo pin; add foam dots beneath ticket to add dimension. Adhere butterflies to box; add pearl centers.
  • Tip
  • 1. Double-ended STAEDTLER Marsgraphic Duo Brush Markers feature water-soluble, dye-based, odorless ink. Use the flexible foam tip to color directly on rubber stamps. Use the fine tip for outlining and adding sentiments.