Realistic Book from a Paper Mache Jewelry Box Tutorial

May 5, 2014Allison Murray
Realistic Book from a Paper Mache Jewelry Box Tutorial

Realistic Book from a Paper Mache Jewelry Box Tutorial Before the days of my Kindle I had tons and tons of books. They lined entire shelves and many had dogeared pages so I could quickly get to my favorite bits of the best novels I had. Some of them were prettier than others. A few were books I had since high school and kept because I enjoyed the book despite the fact that it was required reading.

But then that ereader came into the scene and my distaste of clutter outweighed my love of books and I gave all but a handful away. I still have my book of Bible Stories I remember going through before I could even read. The book one of my favorite high school teachers gave me with some really kind and inspirational words, still have that one, too. And that hardbound leather edition of Poe my Momma gave me after I had memorized The Raven, still got it, too. But the entire series of Sookie Stackhouse books hit the bricks pretty hard.

Realistic Book from a Paper Mache Jewelry Box Tutorial

Yep, I only kept books that meant something to me, I just couldn’t stand to give away (looking at you Book of Boosh) or were just so pretty that I wanted to keep them as decorative items. I often get asked if I regret giving all of those books away and my answer is an emphatic no. Clutter bothers me and I absolutely love how much my dusting was cut down by the purge. But I still love books. So I decided to make a jewelry box that can sit on my night table and look like a pretty book but be completely functional!

For this project you will need:


Now your print outs will look a bit different than mine, but that’s just because yours are set up for the universal letter sized (8.5×11 inch) paper whereas mine were printed large scale. Either way, if you have them run off someplace like Kinko’s you’re looking at about the same price, maybe even less running them this way. Did you miss those files? Grab the PDF files for the FRONT | BINDING | BACK.

Now if you’re wondering where these files came from, I made them myself! The label design came from here and I just needed to cut it out, change the colors a bit and add the text. I took a pic of a leather purse for the binding and colored it green and I found the background on a free clip art site, though I can’t seem to locate it now! Will update if I can find it!


So here is my little jewelry box before. So sweet!

015-little-women-jewelry-box-dreamalittlebiggerAnd as it just so happens, looks exactly like a book!


First take a paint brush with rough bristles (if they stick out wonky it’s totally cool) and thinly apply some paper colored paint to around the sides where the paper would naturally be. I used the color parchment by Folk Art. Do this one or two times. Brush evenly to keep the grain appearance so it looks like you have individual pages.

Also paint the interior with the paper color. Allow to fully dry before closing.


You can tape off the mirror inside, but I preferred to simply scrape away the dried paint from the mirror with a razor blade.


Next apply a thin amount of Mod Podge over the entire “front” or top of the jewelry box and smooth out any air bubbles. Apply your printable and allow to dry. Go around and touch up anywhere the paper didn’t fully adhere.

You can do both the back and the front at the same time to save time.


When fully dry and fully attached, use your razor blade to trim up the excess paper from around the edges.


Take any extra paper you have from the back side and line the inside of your jewelry box. Tack down with Mod Podge.


Trim out your binding to the size you are happy with. I believe mine was around 3.5 inches. Apply Mod Podge to the spine and then wrap the edges onto the front and back covers. Allow to dry and trim up anything that might overlap with your razor blade.

Realistic Book from a Paper Mache Jewelry Box Tutorial

And here is the inside of my jewelry box. Now you might have guessed but I decided to paint the frame of the mirror a pretty, metallic copper color. If you want to do the same, simply tape off, paint and clean up the excess off of the mirror with your blade.

Realistic Book from a Paper Mache Jewelry Box Tutorial

And there it is all finished up and totally looking like a book, I think!

Realistic Book from a Paper Mache Jewelry Box Tutorial

Closed up, no one would be any wiser that your jewels are tucked neatly inside!


Comments (4)

  • Julie13

    October 5, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Wow, Allison! What a great idea! I have done this before with actual used books and just cut out the insides, but this looks waaaay easier! Thank you!

  • Sigrid

    January 7, 2015 at 7:08 AM

    Thanks a lot for the tutorial and the freebies. The background pattern and your label are really awesome!
    Greetings from Germany

  • Mike

    February 18, 2015 at 9:18 PM

    Spoken like a true book lover! I had the same problem as you Allison. When we moved from our old house to our apartment back in 2013, I had the daunting task of hauling all of my books (probably close to 200 at the time)with me and before long, I realized that I couldn’t keep them all in my new (and smaller) closet. And as much as I love books, I don’t like clutter and messes (it makes me nervous, which anxiety is something I am trying to reduce as much as possible in the latter part of my life). Luckily, our apartment has a tiny library in which I have slowly been donating some of my books to that I bought on impulse early on, in order to keep my new living space neat and organized. It was hard, but I did it! And I must admit that with the purchase of my Kindle, I have bee buying more e-books than actual books so I can still enjoy my passion without the added clutter! However, some books I just have to buy the real thing as they are too good not to be able to actually hold! :)
    Cool jewelry box by the way! Most elegant!

  • 8 diy projects to organize your jumbled jewelry | creative gift ideas & news at catching fireflies

    August 18, 2015 at 2:31 PM

    […] You can take a plain paper mache jewelry box and turn it into what looks like a real book. You’ll find this project on Dream A Little Bigger. […]

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