Monday, January 25, 2010

Spin-off on Book Of Colors (aka Tower of Terror)

I love watching Koren of EnKore Makeup's videos on YouTube. Not only for his makeup applications, but he comes up with some great do-it-yourself projects (where was he when I was a Girl Scout leader in need of ideas??). The last few days, he's done a series of videos on how to make your own Book of Colors (inspired by Urban Decay's Book of Shadows). While watching them (you can see them on EnKorinne's channel here and here), it got me to thinking. Those would be cute gifts, but more importantly, though I could live without the pop ups (and knowing I wouldn't have the dexterity to make them anyway), what if I made something similar, but made it into stackable drawers to hold all of my crap? I mean why get one of these --> for $8 when I can make something myself for $10 and spend hours doing it?

What I really liked about his (her?) Book of Colors was the idea of the Styrofoam holding everything into place. Sure, I could run to the local Target and get one of these Sterilite Drawers, but if I use them to store my makeup, they'll end up no more organized than my makeup drawer is currently (which looks a lot like most people's "junk drawers" in their kitchens). Besides, Koren makes it look so quick and easy!

So off I run to Michael's for a quick run to pick up some Styrofoam, and a couple of sheets of scrapbook paper. I couldn't decide between several different scrapbook papers, and finally came home with 1 sheet of Styrofoam big enough to cut for 4 shelves/drawers and a handful of sheets of paper. Total cost: $7.21. Time spent: 1.5 hours.

As "Korinne" did, I planned to use the Priority Mail small boxes as my basic frame. Having thoroughly read all over the boxes that they are only to be used for USPS purposes only, let me state that I used, uhhh... unshippable boxes. Yeah, that's right; I had some that were just lying around here that I couldn't use, and wouldn't want to kill any extra trees! I cut out the inside rectangle of the box, traced it on the Styrofoam, and got my trusty serrated knife. Koren cuts his Styrofoam in like 2 swipes, all nice and neat. He must have magic serrated knives. I can't cut through 1" thick Styrofoam and cut in a straight line down. I'm wider at the top than the bottom, or vice-versa. Now time to bring out the Dustbuster to clean up all the styro-dust while watching my dog try to attack it.

I decided to do several trays: one with my face powders (foundations, primers, finishing powders and blushes), one for just my gel liners, and a third for my pots of shadows. I may or may not do a 4th drawer with pressed shadows, but at least those for now are in palettes and not taking up much space. Lesson number two: it's a lot harder to press a well for a 30 gram jar than for a lip pencil! Made my initial hole using the jar, then tried to dig it deeper using the end of a Sharpie. That wasn't getting me very far very fast, nor the slightest bit evenly. Take the cut knife, make tons of cross-hatches, then dig those out with the Sharpie. Muuuuch better. You can really get all of your aggressions out trying to get those wells deep enough that you can slide it in and out of the assembled box without them getting stuck on the top of the box!

Having finished creating wells in 2 drawers (time spent: 3 hours), I decided perhaps I should test this whole idea out before I spend even more time only to find out that the whole idea isn't going to work. I started to paint the two Styrofoam trays, only to find that the brown craft paint leftover from Girl Scouts is pretty darn thick. No worries, no one really sees more than just the edges anyway, right? Sponge paint a little blue over it, and I have a half-painted totally amateur looking gizmo.

Morning arrives, and I'm back to tackling the balance of this project. Start to make the 3rd drawer with some of the loose shadows I never got around to pressing, my mascara and lash primer. Break the whole tray trying to make the depth of the hole for my primer (a wee bit too close to the edge), so my decision to make 3 or 4 trays has now been made for me, as I only have enough Styrofoam left for one last tray.

Once I finish the shadow tray, I'm just left with the exterior decorating. I'm still pondering which papers to use to wrap the outer sides, select the print for the sides, and the blue for the top. Cut one sheet, go outside to spray the adhesive and plop on the paper. Oh, wait. I'm using fixative, not adhesive. Nothing's sticking. Having invested several hours, do I really want to go buy some spray adhesive for $7 a can? I will have doubled the cost of my Tower of Terror. I double check the paint cabinet in the garage, hoping perhaps there's still some in there from some other project. Nope. But wait! I have brown spray paint!!! Problem with the too thick brown craft paint is now solved. Spray paint is my friend. I go back and spray all the trays so that they look all nice an puuurty instead just the edges, and spray the entire 3 box tower. I dare the USPS to prove I'm using their boxes now, lol. Add a little blue sponge painting (not my forte, but heck, this is an amateur project, right?), spray over with some gold, and let dry.

Below is the final product. Let's backtrack a bit here. I spent an hour and a half and $7.21 at Michaels. What did I end up using from that purchase? 3 itty bitty cuts of ribbon and the Styrofoam. I could have spent the $4.99 (even less, had I waited for Sunday's 40% off coupon in the paper) and saved myself a lot of time. Oh well, such is life. Granted, Koren is far more talented than I am, and his Book of Colors looks a whole lot better than my Tower of Terror. But does it give you an idea to run with? Go grab some Styrofoam, old boxes laying around (or unusable Priority Mail boxes), and let me know what you design!



  1. *That* is THE coolest craft project I've seen... AND it's makeup related. Bonus points! You seriously rock, girlfriend!!

  2. AND it's been a week and hasn't fallen apart yet! I've been using it daily; it's suprisingly handy :)

  3. I recently came across your post I found its very beneficial and informative to us.


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