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Make a Three Dimensional Pirate Play Treasure Map Display by Upcycling Boxes - Crafting Demo

Updated on September 12, 2014

Pirate play map display

Source

Pirate Play Display - How, and more importantly, why.

The following is a detailed tutorial outlining the steps to make a three dimensional pirate map display. Follow along to see it being built. It was a relatively simple project.

While there are several things I like about it, one of the main ones is that it cost me almost nothing. It's made out of scraps and materials I had on hand. Then again, I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to crafting supplies. I buy on sale and stock pile.

Check out the photo gallery to see how a cardboard box, some paper, temporary tattoos and ribbon came together for a good cause.

Ah, now there is the real story. Most such tales begin with it was a dark and dreary night or some other such similar introductions. This one began on a normal day just like any other blazing hot, July day in Texas, with me running late!

The ledge is large enough for my dragon buddy to sit upon

Varion's new hang out 3d pirate map display
Varion's new hang out 3d pirate map display | Source

Meet Varian, keeper of the scrolls

Varion
Varion | Source

Conspiracy or communication?

The mornings events had conspired against me. It was looking like it would be one of those everything that can go wrong will kind of days.

When I let Elwood out to do his doggy duty, he wouldn't come back and made me chase him as he proceeded to have a grand time chasing squirrels, one of his dedicated passions in life.

When I went to grab my coffee, nadda. Someone, (Mr. Vix) had unplugged it after I went to bed. The horror!

Such an omen should have forewarned me that I was in for some nasty karma. Fast forward past one "accidentally" broken dish, two stubbed toes, and seriously bruised knee later, I'm limping to the bath room in fear of the next accident to cross my path.

Map construction gets a supervisor.

He's hanging out on the dining room table here with me as I construct this thing, "supervising" shall we say. At his insistence, I might add.

Kids adore dragons.

Kids love dragons right up there with dinosaurs.

Boys, girls, even us big kids get a huge kick out of these mythological creatures.

Here are some of my favorite glitter type stickers of dragons to spark little imaginations.

They would be great for this project or many others.

The compass on the bottom corner

Compass part of 3d pirate map display
Compass part of 3d pirate map display | Source

He's been my best dragon buddy for over a decade.

Every since we met one Christmas, years ago, Varion has lived on one of my too many bookcases. He has taken on the not small task he deemed "keeper of the scrolls." Basically, he guards over all of my writings. Many a midnight musing has been penned with Varion looking over my shoulder.

Well, as stated, I'm headed for the bathroom in fear and next thing I know Varion flies off the bookcase and lands right at my feet. What the heck? Am I to be plagued by poltergeists as well as accidents on this day?

After a quick look over to be sure he is undamaged, I put him back and go about my business.

Fifteen or twenty minutes later I'm tooling by the bookcase again headed for the hairspray, since it's a bad hair day too, and here we go again! This time, he lands on my foot. Seriously, am I cursed?

That's it. No more. Time for a change of plan. I'm not going anywhere. With the kind of luck I'm having today I would most likely wind up in a wreck and who wants to go to the mall anyway? It can wait.

For crafty types wanting dragons, here's your treasure trove.

Airbrush Tattoo Stencil Set 57 Book of 20 Dragon Templates
Airbrush Tattoo Stencil Set 57 Book of 20 Dragon Templates

I love the idea of a stencil set. This would give me dragons again and again and again.

The thing I like about the stickers and tatoos is how fast they are. The thing I don't like is that it is a one shot deal.

With the stencils, it is much easier to get it right the first time. Plus being able to use repeatedly just makes good frugal sense.

 

Maybe, he is trying to tell me something? Stranger things have happened.

3d pirate map with dragon
3d pirate map with dragon | Source

Why now? What's up? What's changed?

Bingo!

My work habits have changed. I have been working on the lap top in the dining room for the last few months since I'm crafting on the table. I just park the laptop here, too.

But, Varian got left all alone on the shelf in another room. That's it!

Well, I can fix that right now. My bestest dragon bud shall look over my shoulder as I work once more, as it should be.

The map paper background

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When I first saw them at the store, I thought they were stickers. - The price was right!

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This is so simple to make.

1.) Find a box like the one shown in the photo gallery, one that has a cellophane covering in the front.

I like that mine had an irregular shape on the front.

2.) Carefully, so as to not tear the sides, unfold it.

3.) Cover the inside with the background papers, ribbons, stickers, bling, whatever of your choice.

I used three coordinating sheets of scrapbook paper that came in the box I used to make this. How sweet is that?

I used temporary tattoos here for the scorpion, moon and flying dragon.

This was my first time to ever use them and I learned something.

Apply them before applying the Mod Podge.

I didn't and had to transfer them to scrap and then glue those onto the display.

Tip: Use a small paintbrush when applying the water to the temporary tattoo to keep from over soaking the papers underneath.

Key charms for texture and interest

Source

When talking affordable craft supplies for kids art, temporary tattoos rule.

That's what caught my eye, four for a dollar. What I thought would be a real score on stickers turned out to be not. But, I just couldn't pass up the deal. I got a few bucks worth thinking if they stick to skin, they have to stick to other stuff as well. At this price, I could afford to experiment.

The compass is a few years old and actually a child's toy. It was another bargain bin find. It came in a value pack of 12 just like it for a buck or so. I got them at the time to trim out a bulletin board when teaching my class map skills. I must have used this thing on at least 10 boards since then.

4.) Cut off any outside part of the box that sticks up. Duct tape the entire exterior rim. Camouflage the tape with ribbon or what have you.

5.) Decorate the front outside face of the box as you will. Gold star studs were used on the corners here to add some texture and define the space more. Everything is hot glued or glued down with a glue stick. The entire thing was Mod Podged, and Varion moved in.

These directions would work for any theme you want. What makes this one a pirate map is the map paper, and the bling selected.

6.) To make the hanger, simply glue each end of a piece of chain down the sides of the finished display.

Take a tour though the picture gallery to see step by step directions.

This is mostly layering and gluing. Once you decide on the look you want, it's really simple.

Photo gallery documentation of a new dragon home being built

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The stuff: For this one, I used wide roll shimmer ribbon, light brown medium width ribbon, and skinny brown ribbon with loops, four gold star studs, one small round gold stud, chain, a toy compass, three temporary tattoos, and charms.The box the papers came in. On sale, the only way to buy.Cut off the top.Unfold and start arranging, cutting and pasting.The temporary tattoos have to be applied with water. Do this before the Mod Podge.When you get it done, save the chain, apply Mod Podge generously over the entire thing.Glue each end of a single chain to either side of the display to create the hanger.Pre-dragon.Post dragon. Varion is just sat on the ledge here. I'm not gluing him down until I get an idea if the plague of "accidents" will return!
The stuff: For this one, I used wide roll shimmer ribbon, light brown medium width ribbon, and skinny brown ribbon with loops, four gold star studs, one small round gold stud, chain, a toy compass, three temporary tattoos, and charms.
The stuff: For this one, I used wide roll shimmer ribbon, light brown medium width ribbon, and skinny brown ribbon with loops, four gold star studs, one small round gold stud, chain, a toy compass, three temporary tattoos, and charms. | Source
The box the papers came in. On sale, the only way to buy.
The box the papers came in. On sale, the only way to buy. | Source
Cut off the top.
Cut off the top. | Source
Unfold and start arranging, cutting and pasting.
Unfold and start arranging, cutting and pasting. | Source
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Source
Source
Source
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The temporary tattoos have to be applied with water. Do this before the Mod Podge.
The temporary tattoos have to be applied with water. Do this before the Mod Podge. | Source
Source
Source
When you get it done, save the chain, apply Mod Podge generously over the entire thing.
When you get it done, save the chain, apply Mod Podge generously over the entire thing. | Source
Glue each end of a single chain to either side of the display to create the hanger.
Glue each end of a single chain to either side of the display to create the hanger. | Source
Pre-dragon.
Pre-dragon. | Source
Post dragon. Varion is just sat on the ledge here. I'm not gluing him down until I get an idea if the plague of "accidents" will return!
Post dragon. Varion is just sat on the ledge here. I'm not gluing him down until I get an idea if the plague of "accidents" will return! | Source

What are your thoughts on cosmic communication?

Do you think random things can be the universe trying to tell us something?

See results

I just had to try those tatoos again. Besides, Varian needs a sweety. No dragon should have to live alone.

Decoupage frame with temporary tattoos
Decoupage frame with temporary tattoos | Source

Varion says -

Why should fairies get all the play?

Gardens, houses, fairy stuff all day.Have you noticed?

Varion says create a display.

Save a noble dragon today!

Brought to you by the League for Dragon Awareness.

The honorable Varion Lefaye founder and C.E.O.All rights reserved for the Dragon species.

The noble dragon would love to hear your thoughts. Please, leave him a comment.

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    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      @Heidi Vincent: Oh, thank you. That's the sweetest thing. I wish I could find use for every item destined for the trash. I'm getting to where I even detest the word. It translates to waste and what can be good about that? Blessings and most productive and happy squidding!

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      Really crafty, poetvix! You literally always create something gorgeous out of nothing :)

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image
      Author

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      Thank you for reading. This was a hoot to do. God bless and most happy squidding!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great article! Thanks for sharing!