Making an art box to hold your art supplies is an essential part of staying organized  and keeping your supplies in a clean working order.  Many of the shelf boxes run anywhere from a poorly assembled 10 dollars, all the way to the craftsman's delight at hundreds of dollars.  In this instructable, I will show you how to make a simple, elegant, and personalized piece of art that not only holds your supplies, but can advertise your talent, even before opening your sketch pad.

Not an artist but still needing to rangle those supplies?  Don't worry.  In this step-by-step guide I will show you a quick and easy way to get the wow factor (no raw talent required!).

Keep in mind, this technique can be used of a variety of projects, I created mine to fulfill a need, and you can too.

Step 1: Supplies

{Sorry About the Complete Lack of Pictures... Camera is non-functioning right now.  I will get them up as soon as I can!  Thanks for bareing with me.}

The supplies are simple and can be found at nearly any art store, walmart, target, or otherwise. The total cost of supplies should be around 20-25 dollars.  You will not use all of the supplies so feel free to make more of these, or use the remaining supplies for other projects.

You will need:

Permanent Marker Pens - the effect works much better then with regular permanent markers.  Limit yourself to dark colors.  Blacks, dark browns, and dark blue work best.... stay away from light colors or colors that match your stain as they will disappear.  I use only black.

Wood Stain - The color of stain is a matter of personal preference.  I used a cherrywood stain, but feel free to mix it up to match however you like.  Make sure you get a stain only, not a stain varnish(dont buy the gel stains).  Rubber gloves are reccomended.

Wooden Box - I get these from Joanne Fabrics because of price and general quality.  They are typically made from maple or a similar soft-ish wood.  Light colored boxes without a pattern (grain) will reveal the image much better. 

Sand Paper - You will need this to smooth out your wooden box.  They do not come pre-sanded.  A variety pack is best to work your way down to a very smooth texture that will give you the best finish.

Laquer or Varnish - This is your final coating.  Although either will work, I stick with laquer because it is self-leveling, less strict on application rules, and has a better sheen to me.  feel free to use either but please not my instructions are for laquer and the steps for varnish will be slightly different.  Spray cans are prefered.

Foam Brush - This is what we will used to apply the stain to the wooden box.  Get small ones so they will easily fit in the container of stain.

Paper Towels - Used to remove excess stain.  A dry soft rag will work but is more likely to leave particles behind if it is new.  You will go through quite a few paper towels if you are like me.

An Image to Replicate - If you have natural artistic talent, feel free to do this freehanded.  For those of us who don't, I will show you a simple way to get the image onto the box without any real fuss.

Standard Graphite Pencils - a 6B works best becuase it will be dark and transfer easily.  Its always a good idea to map out your image first before permanently drawing it (for beginners)  These are nessecary to follow the steps for transfering an image to the box.

Wooden Slats - These are used to make a seperate compartments.  You can attach these with woodglue or superglue.  This must be done AFTER you do all staining or you will get very weird effects.
Very useful. I'd recommend using the picture with the open box (you know, the one showing all the supplies inside) as the main photo. It is more attractive than the current one.

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