Pretty and Portable Day of the Dead Altar

Inspired by Raellyn from Anticraft’s Conmemoración altar in a vintage suitcase. I didn’t have a suit case but the closer I came to the holiday, I realized I did have an unfinished wooden jewelry box, bought on a whim almost a year ago.

Craft wood jewelry box
Recollections “Script” scrapbook paper
Recollections “Outdoor Trees” scrapbook paper
Recollections Halloween glow-in-the-dark stickers
Recollections Halloween glitter stickers
Jolee’s Boutique Pansy stickers
Jolee’s Boutique Daisy stickers
Recollections rhinestone stickers
Gloss Enamels metallic blue acrylic paint
Americana warm white acrylic paint
Pumpkin spice candle
Purple jewelry gift box
Craft wood squares
Wood Stain
Painters tape
Royal Court decoupage sealer/adhesive
Aleene’s Spray Gloss Finish
Craft brushes

I stained the jewelry box using my organic wood stain. Being organic, with no synthetic ingredients, this takes a bit of time to get the right color — and with the unfinished craft pieces, you have to be careful about staining around the base metal hinges and clasp (they tend to get black smudges in the surrounding wood that are hard to scrub out).

Once the box was dry, I sprayed it down with the spray gloss finish, letting it dry, then added the rhinestone stickers on each side of the box.

Once the outside of the box was finished, I went to work on the inside. I used the painter’s tape to protect the sides of the box and painted the inside of the top warm white and then metallic blue. Once the paint was dry, I arranged the stickers I liked best against the “sky” of the inside lid.

The scrapbook paper was leftover from a project I’d done for my friends’ wedding and since this particular Bhagavad Gita quote could address familiar love and love between god and mankind, I thought it would be a good piece for the inside liner of the altar. Once that was secured inside, I used the decoupage sealer to fix the “outdoor trees” scrapbook paper to three of the four vertical sides. For the remaining side (directly below the sky imagery), I painted it black and arranged a few more stickers (including a glow-in-the-dark one of a horse and buggy).

The altar being so small, I didn’t want to dwarf it with large fresh flowers and I’m really not the best at creating paper flowers. Fortunately, I also had these pansy and flower stickers, bought years ago when I first started decoupaging. I stuck them to a few pieces of craft wood and used a second piece to prop up the first.

Sadly, with everything else going on in the days leading up to the holiday, I didn’t have time to create smaller versions of the photos of my friends and loved ones who’ve passed, the ancestors whose journeys made mine possible. But I did place a few key items inside the altar and I ended up printing out the words “Look for the silver lining…” and decoupaging them inside.

I’m quite proud of this piece and will be definitely be using it again next year.

~ by blackmoodcraft on November 9, 2012.

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