by Noreen Doll.
A military themed catch-all is a great gift idea for a guy.
A teenaged boy I know needed something to empty his pockets into, and to hold other items he used on a regular basis.
Because he has a strong interest in all things military, I decided to create a military themed catch-all for him.
He had several military catalogs and magazines that had excellent photos in them, and I also found some military inspired designer scrapbooking paper.
I didn’t want to make it too small, so for the base I used a very sturdy shoebox.
Then I cut photos and paper to fit the various sides and ends of the box.
What You Need
Photos and/or Scrapbook Paper
Scissors or Paper Cutter
Small Foam Brush
What You Do
1. The first thing I did was to level off the top edges of the shoebox, because the lid had been ripped off and left a jagged edge on one side.
2. On the ends of the shoebox there are 2 layers of cardboard where the box is fastened together.
Pry the layers apart a little and put some white glue there and then place something heavy on the end until the glue dries.
I did this to both ends, and it made the box much sturdier.
3. Cut all the papers and photos to fit each part of the box you plan to attach it to.
4. Brush a layer of Mod Podge on one side of the box. Carefully lay the paper for that side over the wet Mod Podge.
Gently smooth from the center to the edges to remove wrinkles and bubbles.
Don’t smooth too hard or fuss too much over this, as it can tear the thinner papers. I decided that wrinkles didn’t hurt the finished design.
[Since I made this box I have learned that to avoid wrinkles with large pieces of paper being decoupaged, lightly spray both sides of the paper with acrylic spray before using. Let dry.]
5. As soon as you’ve finished applying the paper to that side, brush a thin layer of Mod Podge over the whole area, paying particular attention to the edges and making sure they are fastened down.
You can gently lift an edge and slip a bit of Mod Podge underneath, if the edge is not completely attached.
6. Let dry. I use an old hair dryer to help speed the process, but even using that, I allow at least a half hour of drying time before doing anything further.
7. Continue attaching the papers to the sides, ends and bottom – inside and out – until you have covered the entire military themed catch-all box. (I didn’t do the outside box bottom.)
8. After all the papers have been attached and dried, start brushing on another layer of Mod Podge.
2 or 3 sides can be done at a time, letting them dry before continuing on to the other parts.
9. Let the completed project dry for at least 48 hours before using.
On the airplane side of the box, I cut out the airplane and Mod Podged it on top of the map paper. The tanks were also cut out and added on top.
I sometimes cut the paper a little larger than the box side and then trimmed off the excess before that part was completely dry.
Set the box on cans of vegetables to allow it to dry without the edges touching any surface.
I used 4 coats of Mod Podge on the inside of the military themed catch-all because I knew it was going to take a beating.
So the Mod Podge in the jar won’t dry out, I pour small amounts into a disposable styrofoam or plastic cup as I need it.
While waiting for the Mod Podge to dry, cover the cup with aluminum foil and slip the brush into a small plastic sandwich bag.