Little Boxes

Little Boxes

Mark Chamberlain
Sep 6, 2011

It's Art, Craft and Collections month at Apartment Therapy, and for my small contribution, the first thing that went through my head was this old project: small painted toy boxes.

I've had this idea forever —painted furniture for children— but I was always simply too busy to get the concept off the ground. One sees so many plastic-y Sponge Bob things and stickers on the market that I thought there must be an audience of people who want more. The idea here was to take a box (custom-made) and paint it a soft white; embellish it with figures from classic children's book literature, and when you open it up: boom, an explosion of color.

In these examples, my source images came from vintage children's books and post cards, which I edited and translated to my dimensions, and I tried to lend them my own hand. At 12"x12"x16", why are these so small? I started out much bigger and it was too much ground to cover, I overwhelmed myself. So for do-it-yourselfers, match your ambitions to your talent. Technically, I'm using acrylic paints in delicate washes like a watercolor painter. The off-white is Ben Moore's Etiquette AF-50, but Fine Paints of Europe supplies that tough-as-nails inside paint in those delicious colors.

So far I have Mother Goose, The Night Before Christmas, and my Commedia dell'Arte prototype. Sold to children, but designed for adults.

Images: Mark Chamberlain

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