Design team member of Alpha Stamps, moderator at Craftster, lover of ephemera and junk.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bathing Beauties Beach Cabana

I made this beach cabana for Alpha Stamps, and thought I’d post about it here with a bit of information about how it was made.
I started with some chipboard houses from 7Gypsies. Each set comes with three houses: a solid one, one with 4 small windows, and one with a large cutout. I used two sets, because I wanted to have the large cutout in both the front and back of the cabana. I covered all the sides with scrapbook paper (Graphic45), and inked around the edges. On the front, I used a Travel Adhesive Border to create the waves, and images from the Bathing Beauties #3 collage sheet. I added a metal frame, a seashell, a drink umbrella, and a Cream Resin Sparrow, among other things. 

To create the opening between the front and back, I used matchboxes. I simply stacked four matchboxes like so, and covered the top and bottom with the same striped paper as the front and back.
 Glue the matchboxes between the two sides of the cabana at the bottom. I also added one to the very top near the point of the roof, to make the structure stable. Because it sits under the roof, it will not be seen.

Using an ink pad and a color duster brush (similar to an old fashioned shaving brush), I gave those stark white matchbox drawers a bit of color. For drawer pulls, I used hitch fasteners, but you could always use something like these banded end caps for handles.  Simply glue them on with E6000. I painted the inside of the matchboxes blue, and then decorated them with images and type from the Beachy Postage and Words collage sheet and some seashells. 

Next, I cut some images from some G45 Bathing Beauties Scrapbook paper, and using some foam adhesive, stacked them within the windows of the structure. I know it’s not comfortable for the girls, but I bent their legs back like tabs so I could glue down onto the matchbox base. Sorry, ladies!

Once those were in place, I chose two images from the same Bathing Beauties paper and glued them to the sides of the cabana. The chipboard houses are thick enough that you can put a thin line of glue down and the images will adhere. I cut each image a little wider than necessary so that once they were glued them in place, I could trim them to fit with my X-acto knife. Use a little ink on the sides to get rid of white edges. 
 The roof is cut out of shirt cardboard. Of course, I inked those edges as well; I always ink my edges! I like the finished look it gives. I drew the flag onto some scrapbook paper, and used a black colored pencil to give it some shading to help make it look 3D. 
The flagpole is a bamboo skewer, cut so it can rest on that matchbox near the top of the cabana. Placing and attaching the flag was a little tricky: I figured out where it should sit on the roof, and punched a little hole in the roof’s fold. I fed the flagpole through that hole, and then glued the it down along the side of the cabana while the roof was still loose. Since it won’t be seen, I also used some tape to secure it. Once I was sure the flag was placed correctly, I glued the roof to the top of the cabana using a thin line of glue.

I stacked up some of the foam adhesive under the roof in the front so that the Travel Adhesive Border I used for trim would have some support. Simply peel and stick to the edge of the roof, and rest it on the foam tape. At the apex of the roof, I added a shell I found on the beach in Florida. It was the perfect size and color. 

 I wanted light to show through the cabana, so I glued a thin sheet of blue tissue paper over the opening on the back, and then used BlueDresden Shell Border strips to cover the edges of the paper. A seashell cut from a Travel Adhesive Border and an image from Travel Stamps Varnished Paper complete the look. For the feet, I used some wooden beads from an old necklace.

 And there you have it. All ready for some fun in the sun!
 Bonus: I still have four chipboard houses left. I'll have to figure out something exciting to do with them.


  1. Really clever use of those houses! Fantastic project.

  2. Fantastic!! What a creative way to use the Chipboard Houses. Absolutely love it!

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE the way you incorporated the match boxes into drawers at the bottom! And the clever blue tissue paper lighting for the ocean glow in the back. Fabulous!!!

  4. Oh so sweet! I've been looking at a stack of matchboxes on my work table for awhile, thinking I need to do something with them. Can't wait to see what you do with the remaining houses.

  5. this is really fantastic...

  6. This is just so cool!! And so creative. Laura

  7. this is awesome. I love how you put the beach babes inside. so 3d and awesome. that matchbox idea is great. another brain I would love to pick at for ideas.
    thanks for sharing all your fab art

  8. Ah! Magical! I am gonna tuck this away for future inspiration. I love the 4 matchbox drawer pulls, they're like secret things that you find!

  9. wow. This is fabulous. Thanks for sharing the construction details!

  10. This beach cabana is so awesome, you did an absolute stunning job. You are a very talented artist for sure!!


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