Mystery Box

Designed by Joe Rotella


  • ColorBox® Archival Dye Refills: Atlantic Blue, Geranium, Gooseberry, Mist, Pumpkin Pie, Red Devil, Saddle, Seattle Sky, Toasted Apricot, Tree Frog
  • ColorBox® Chalk Cat’s Eye®: Blackbird
  • ColorBox® Stylus Handle 3-pack
  • ColorBox® Stylus Tips 3-pack: White Oval
  • Top Boss® Embossing Full Size Stamp pad
  • ColorBox® Embossing Powder: Clear
  • MercArt USA: Unfinished Wood Tea Box
  • USArtQuest: Silver Mirricard Reflective cardstock and other assorted colors for the inlay
  • USArtQuest: Mars Black Perfect Pigment Pure Liquid Acrylic
  • Scotch® Quick-Dry Adhesive
  • 4 Wooden knobs (to use as feet on the box)


  • Spellbinders® Grand Calibur™ and embossing folders
  • Heat gun
  • Paper Trimmer, scissors
  • Small screw driver
  • Small flat paint brush
  • Soft dust cloth or rag
  • Alcohol wipes or rubbing alcohol and cotton balls


  1. Prepare the tea box; sand any rough edges, remove the hinge, wipe the box down with a soft dust cloth or rag.
  2. Paint the edges of the tea box with USArtQuest Mars Black. Paint the wooden knobs and set aside.
  3. Cut Silver Mirricard into pieces to cover the sides and top of the tea box.
  4. Use Grand Calibur™ and embossing folders to dry emboss the Mirricard cardstock following manufacturer’s directions.
  5. Wipe down the Mirricard pieces with alcohol to remove any finger prints and oils and let them dry.
  6. Snap a Stylus tip onto the handle and ink the tip with 8 to 10 drops of ink from a refill bottle (avoid the edges). Then apply ink with the tip to the Mirricard using small pounces. Dry the Mirricard thoroughly with the heat gun to set the color. The paper may curl, and be careful it’s hot! Repeat using a new Stylus tip and a different color ink. These color combinations were used in the sample:
    Tree Frog, Mist, Atlantic Blue, Saddle
    Seattle Sky, Gooseberry, Pumpkin Pie
    Geranium, Red Devil, Toasted Apricot
  7. Ink the edges of the Mirricard using ColorBox® Blackbird Chalk Cat’s Eye®.
  8. Cut Mirricard to create an inlay design for the center of the tea box. You can transform Silver Mirricard in to other colors using the method in Step 6. This is a great way to color match pieces of the inlay design with colors used in the sides and top of the tea box. Remember to heat set the colors and ink the edges of the pieces to hide the white core of the Mirricard.
  9. Adhere the Mirricard sides, top and inlay to the tea box using the Quick-Dry Adhesive.
  10. Heat emboss each side and the top of the box, working on one side at a time.
  11. Lightly apply Embossing Ink my pressing the full size stamp pad on to the surface. Be sure to cover the entire surface.
  12. Cover with Clear Embossing Powder and tap off any excess.
  13. Heat the powder until it melts.
  14. Repeat this process for every side and the top, as many times as you like, to give a rich, deep glossy surface to the tea box.
  15. Assemble the box using the hinge and screws.
  16. Adhere the wooden knobs to the bottom of the box using the Quick-Dry Adhesive to create feet.

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