Mystery Box Project

The mystery box came with an cosmetic purchase. Brown corrugated cardboard, it held a bottle of aromatherapy spray. After I extracted the bottle from the box, I noticed the box had perforated corners that could be pushed in to change the shape of the box completely. I think the original purpose was to allow one box hold two different size bottles.

To me, once I pushed the corners in, the box took on a mysterious look–it had nooks and spaces–places to hold small books. Maybe a flip book, or one of those books made of triangles. Maybe an accordion book that has reverse folds on the pages.  But first there as a lot of work to be done.

Planning stage: sketches from my journal. Click on image for larger view.

The box itself needed to be transformed, covered. Cardboard has a certain rustic charm, but the corrugations were a little tired, and needed to be covered. I started by painting the entire box with a coat of gesso–the artist’s equivalent of spackle. Gesso is a thick white paint meant to be used as an undercoat. So far, that’s all that’s been done. I made a few sketches  in my journal to think through the possibilities. It’s helpful to think and draw at the same time. That’s the sketch, above.

In the next few days, I’ll transform the box and post the results here. I’m also making a video of the transformation. It’s my first video, so I’m not promising I’ll post it. If I can edit it into something decent, I will. Meanwhile, stay tune for the photos and words.

And if you have any suggestions on a theme or how I could transform it, well, that’s what the comments are for–let me know.

Quinn McDonald is a writer, artist and coach who will turn anything into a journal.

7 thoughts on “Mystery Box Project

  1. How about making it into a Klein box? That is, a 3-D version of a Moebius Strip — a Moebius Strip has only one surface; with a Klein bottle (or box) the inside and the outside are the same. I’m not explaining this very well, but here’s the Wikipedia page:

    I’m not sure a Klein box can really be made out of cardboard, but it would be an interesting shape, and a pretty good mystery: when you look at the outside of the box you’re seeing the inside of the box.

    (caveat: to make a true Klein surface I think you may need to live in four-dimensional space….but who’s counting)

  2. You know me, looking forward to pics and video and hopefully seeing the finished product next time we get together for show and tell! I agree, take pics along the way as well as the video, please! Can’t wait to see what you decide to do.

  3. Cool, I can’t wait to see this box transformation. I hope you have fun using iMovie… I am so addicted. The first ones are really a learning curve but it’s so worth it. I would suggest taking both still photos and video during your project. That way if you don’t like one you can always use the other! And if you’re right handed, set your MacBook camera up on the left side. Otherwise the footage is bad of the work…! Good luck from your fan in germany, tj

    • I think you are right about the still shots, too. I have to make an appointment to learn iMovie. I’m actually not using the MacBook, I’m using my iPhone for the video–how weird is that?

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