Saving Grace: Hope in a Box Part 1

Good Morning Creatives!

I have been waiting MONTHS to share these projects with you!

If you have followed me for any amount of time, you know that I have a deep love for an organization called Saving Grace, Inc. 

If you haven’t heard of it, it is an organization that offers transitional housing and support for girls ages 18-25 who have either: (1) aged out of foster care with no place to go (2) are facing homelessness or (3) have a home life that is not conducive to a good future. The connect these girls with mentors and the chance to change their lives through volunteering, education and Christ.

For the past 5 years I have participated in their annual Mentor/Mentee retreat as the artist in residence and as the worship leader for the last 3 years.

This year, they asked for something a little different.

They wanted to have a box in each room where mentors and mentees could leave notes of hope and inspiration for each other. They asked if I would create these boxes and they gave me free rein to make whatever I wanted. (a creative person’s dream, right!?!?!)

Today, I am sharing 5 of the boxes I made for this event!

P.S. All of these boxes started out as kraft, paper mache boxes from Hobby Lobby.

Vintage Floral

DecoArt One Step Crackle is one of my FAVORITE products. Since it’s clear, it can be applied over all sorts of surfaces to give a crackle finish and by adding DecoArt Media Antiquing Creme you can add change the color to various degrees of distressing.

For this project, I layered DecoArt Americana Acrylic Paint in Light Buttermilk, then DecoArt One Step Crackle Finish, finishing with DecoArt Antiquing Creme in Patina Green.

Then by adding ColorBox Ink in Copper around the edges, it adds more of the idea that this is a weathered copper box. I also added the gold flowers to add a contrasting shine.

Products used:

DecoArt Americana in Light Buttermilk

DecoArt Media Antiquing Creme in Patina Green

DecoArt One Step Crackle

ColorBox Ink in Gold and Copper

Prima Marketing Flowers and Leaves

American Crafts Wooden Feathers

Butterbee Scraps Butterfly

Tim Holtz Bottle and Words

Floral Foam Stamp

Simple Hope

Not every thing needs to be complicated. For this box, I layered Design Master Tint It in Sapphire, Strawberry and Teal on my paper mache box. Once that was dry, I added Testors CreateFX Gold Glitter spray (my FAVORITE glitter spray!) before handpainting some fun swirls and my “hope” word with white DecoArt Fluid Acrylic.

Design Masters Tint It

Testors CreateFX in Gold Glitter

DecoArt Fluid Acrylic in Titanium White

You Are Awesome

This box took me back to my papercrafting roots!

I LOVE this “Like a Girl” collection from Photo Paper Play. Not only are the colors fun, but it has great sayings like “fight like a girl” and “your story is not over yet.” Plus…it has cute little sneakers with wings on it! (the runner in my was super happy to see that!)

This is a “mail box” style paper mache box, but I didn’t want the little paper mache flag that comes with it, so I made sure to remove it before I added my layer of plaid paper using Liquitex Matte Gel Medium.

The rest was just playing and having fun layering all the fun stickers and papers that come in the “Like a Girl” Collection.

Photo Paper Play “Like a Girl” Collection

DecoArt Americana Paint in Bahama Blue

Square Foam Dots

Matte Gel Medium by Liquitex

Book of Hope

This is up there as one of my favorites of the 10 I made.

I love the idea of taking this paper mache “book” and turning into something almost old world.

My son actually picked out the map fabric and I liked the idea of adding the faux embossed leather binding to mimic older books. I used Tim Holtz’s Distress ink in Walnut Stain and Soot and Tattered Angels Glam in Golden Goddess  to “dirty” up my fabric and Colorbox Ink in Copper to bring out the embossing on the binding.

To give the illusion of pages, I added kraft colored corrugated cardboard to the edges, distressing them as well so they matched the distress of the cover.

Wooden Gears from Hobby Lobby

Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Walnut Stain & Soot and Words

Faux Leather Fabric and trim from Hobby Lobby

Map Fabric from Hobby Lobby

Wooden Feathers by American Crafts

Corrugated Cardboard from Canvas Corp

Tattered Angels Glam in Golden Goddess

Matte Gel Medium by Liquitex

Colorbox Ink in Copper

Box of Hope-Rita Barakat

This last box was double whammy project for me.

I was able to make it for Saving Grace, Inc AND it was featured on Rita Barakat’s Blog because I used on of her stencil for the face.

Rita Barakat “You Can Draw” Stencils

DecoArt Americana Paints

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of my Hope in a Box Series!

Part 2 will be coming soon!!!

Leave me some love…which is YOUR favorite?!




  1. Cheryl Turtlemoon says:

    Wow your work is fantastic! I followed you from Gel Press on YouTube.

    What great work this place does to help young women!

  2. Cheryl Turtlemoon says:

    Oops I forgot to say that my favourite box is the first one- vintage floral, with the book a very close second 🙂

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