Ideas Box (Tutorial)


Today I’m joining in the blog hop with Xyron and Maya Road.  I’ve wanted to make an idea jar for a long time (always picturing a big mason jar with strips of paper in it) but  last week I was on Corrine Gilman’s blog and her gorgeous altered cigar box got me thinking.  I have loads of them in the basement, so hunting I went, and here’s what I wound up with:


I started by running the Maya Road chipboard letters through my Xyron® 9” Creative Station:


I cut out the word ‘ideas’ out so I could emboss just those letters, using a Sizzix sheet music embossing folder:



I  applied all the letters to the box randomly, being sure that the one word was spelled out. I coated the letters with gesso before painting the box:


and eventually sealed it all with a gloss varnish.  I ran the Xyron 1/4″ high tack tape around the edges of the box and then added Maya Road trims to form a border strip.


Inside I added patterned paper, which I’d also run through the Xyron® 9” Creative Station.  It is so easy to paper a box, board, display, etc. this way.


For the contents of the box, I looked around my studio and made a long list (over 100 items) of products and things I’d like to use.  Some  tools, some  products, and some  basic household items.  So when I’m stuck or needing a push, I can just pull a few ideas and I’ll be fast at work.  Hopefully I’ll also be using some things that have been left untouched for too long.


Thanks so much for the visit today.  Do visit Xyron and Maya Road for more ideas and perhaps a giveaway or two.

And please connect with me on whatever social media you like, sign up for my monthly newsletter, or follow by email.  I send the newsletter once a month, and have new blog content 2-3 times per week.

Have a great day!


Your comments are very much appreciated!


  1. I am very interested in Xyron products and how to use this machine. Thanks.

  2. Fern Edwards says:

    Such a cool project !

  3. What a fabulous rendition of art prompts!! I love type and using the letters as the background in brown is a powerful contrast. Great idea and execution.

  4. What a great idea Marjie! It looks fabulous! x

  5. So cool, Marjie – all those letters look amazing on the lid – just love it! Can’t wait to see all those ideas put into action too!!

    In recovery from house move, followed by silly work schedules, means I’m way behind in Craftyblogland – but catching up again is always fun!
    Alison xx

  6. Oh, this is stunning…Love the way the blue letters pop out from the background letters…just the way an idea rises to the surface in one’s brain. Very clever, very fun! Hugs!

  7. I adore this- the letters on top and then adding the embossing to them- you so had me there! And then the ideas – brilliant!

  8. I love this Marjie! Great way to go into your supplies and remember what you bought 5 years ago!

  9. Cool box! I like how you used all the chipboard letters on the cover. Neat idea!

  10. A gorgeous idea and a fabulous box.

  11. I’m just crazy about your box….. !!! Fabolous project !! ‘M so happy that you are so kind to share your creativity to inspire us !! Thanks a LOT !!
    Hugs from SPAIN

  12. Janis in ID says:

    Wonderful project!!! Love the idea of it inspiring you to use some oft-neglected parts of your stash.
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com

  13. What an elegant box! Love the colors too.

  14. A great box the colour combination of the blue and the rust.
    Inside it looks great too with the patterned paper and all your wishes Marjie

  15. WHAT a great idea!! This is fabulous!!!!

  16. Denise Spillane says:

    I really like this box idea. I have to find my xyron, been I. The garage so cartridges are probably melted for the heat but have to start using it.

  17. Barbara MacAskill says:

    LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE this box! I have a cigar box that has been waiting for the right project and now I know what to do with it! Thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Marjie, I think this is a fabulous inspriational and motivational tool. We are always, at some time, faced with wanted to craft but need that kick start.
    I believe many others will be motivated to create an idea jar/box similar to this.

  19. I have a 12×12 box on one of my art tables that I think of as my “inspiration” box. It just has bits and pieces of paper, trims, quotes, magazine clips, etc. I have wanted to decorate it, so your project today may just have pushed me to do that. As I mentioned to Corrine, I also have about a dozen wooden cigar boxes (never used for cigars, by the way) that I would also like to alter. I am thinking one could be done in much the same way as you have done here, but have “baby” on the top…in which to keep little keepsakes for baby’s first year (my first great niece was born this month)! Lots of good stuff from you today, Marjie…thanks!

  20. What a fantastic box. The way “ideas” pops off the cover like that. Great tute.

  21. Marjie, that looks amazing, I need a cigar box, right now!!!!!!!

  22. Nice idea! I love how it turned out with the “ideas” in blue and the rest of the letters in the background. Fun…this has potential for many other storage arrangements!

  23. Thanks for the mention. You made this box look like leather, it came out so cool and I adore those big letters. xox

  24. I love the way this turned out! So wonderfully crafted and I, too, have cigar boxes that need to be altered. May have to try this idea very soon. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  25. What a great idea! I loveeeeeeeeee how it turned out! LOVING the colors and love love love how you have the ‘ideas’ a different color!!!!!

  26. Great idea Marjie, love the texture the chipboard letters provide!

  27. Fabulous way to alter a box and so practical. Thanks for sharing your creative process in putting this one together and have fun with your 100 suggestions for new pieces of art.
    hugs {brenda} x0x

  28. Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  29. stunning…beautiful.Thanks for the lesson.. I would never have figured this one..lovely piece
    susan s