Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: Make Your Own Tarot Box!

  1. #1
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    8,294
    Religion
    Alchemist and Neo-American Redneck Buddhist
    Location
    Frozen Northern Michigan, near Thunder Bay
    Phrase
    Where are the tweezers?

    Make Your Own Tarot Box!

    Part I: The Black Box

    A while ago I asked people about their preferences for tarot card boxes - thanks for the help!

    As I was looking around trying to figure out how to make on, I realized that it could be so easy to do that, for those who are so inclined, you might just want to make your own. If you can find a ready-made box of the right size, the rest is easy!

    Incidentally, I checked around. Boxes similar to this are selling for $15 - 45 on Etsy. It takes about 2 hours to make one of theseÖ if youíre not taking picturesÖ

    Here are two boxes that I found to fill the bill. I got them from Sunshinecrafters.com.



    The larger box is more ornate and would be a great project for somebody who wants to paint it up. That box costs $7.99. Iíll get back to that box later. Right now, I want to start with he smaller box.

    The smaller box ($3.99) looks like it is made of basswood - a light, strong, smooth grained (which makes it perfect for carving and wood burning), fast growing, renewable hard wood. This box also has a recessed lid, which is why I like it. Take a look at how well the deck fits in the box - it will even hold the card box if you want.



    That recessed lid gives me all kinds of easy-but-elegant design possibilities. I bought several of these so I can show you a few options, but for this first example Iíll show you how to stain, finish and wax the box, and then how to line the inside with felt, and set tiles into the recessed lid.

    We need to put a purty finish on the box. But first, a word from our lawyers:

    1. The following procedure uses Linseed Oil. If rags with linseed oil on them are left balled up somewhere, they may spontaneously combust. Before you toss them in the trash, soak them completely with water until they are very soggy. Then toss them out.

    2. Everybody Iíve ever met who uses linseed oil puts it on with their hands. Iíve never heard that it isnít safe (most people claim it makes their skin soft), but if you are sensitive to chemicals, you should probably wear rubber gloves just to be safe.

    3. Iím using linseed oil and steel wool. Never use steel wool with a water based finish - the steel wool leaves tiny fragments of steel embedded in the wood. The water based finish traps water under it, which causes the steel fragments to rust and leave ugly little spots everywhere. If you are using a water based finish (poly-anything), use 400 grit sandpaper instead of steel wool.

    Now, back to work -

    Iím going to stain this box black (wood stained black is called ďebonizedĒ after the famous African black wood, ebony) and use linseed oil and paste wax as surface protection.

    There are a lot of ways you could finish the box - hardware store stains (miniwax) and finishes, paint, wood burning, light carving, fabric covering, etc. Iím using black because Iím going to line the inside with red felt - a very elegant combo. I like linseed oil as a finish because it is cheap, easy, traditional, and, most importantly, wood finished with oil still feels like wood, but wood finished with a surface finish (varnish, shellac, polyurethane) leave the wood feeling like it is coated with plastic.

    Itís an aesthetic choice, though. Use the other stains and finishes if you prefer - be sure to read the directions! But no mater what you decide to do, youíll have to start by sanding the box.

    This little box has straight sides, so sanding it is easyÖ except for the hardware (hinges and clasp) which youíll have to sand around - unless you remove them first.
    Attached Images
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  2. #2
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    8,294
    Religion
    Alchemist and Neo-American Redneck Buddhist
    Location
    Frozen Northern Michigan, near Thunder Bay
    Phrase
    Where are the tweezers?

    Re: Make Your Own Tarot Box!

    SoÖ remove the hardware. A small phillips head screwdriver does this quickly. Be sure to work on a table, and put all the screws and hardware into a baggie or bowl as soon as you remove it. If you donít, a tiny screw will disappear into Dimension X and will not return until youíve gone out and bought a sack of replacements, because they only sell them by the hundreds. This is how Hermes teases the sloppy artificer.



    Now that the hardware is off, sanding is a piece of cake. I didnít shoot any pictures of this - but you should start with about 220 grit sandpaper, then use 320 grit. Always sand along the grain (the little lines of growth you see in the wood when you look close), never across it.

    To get a super, super pro-type finish, after all that sanding (10 mins?), dampen the surface of the wood with water on a rag or paper towel. Let the box dry. It will now feel a little bit rough again because the water soaks into the wood and causes the wood grain to swell up and stick out.



    Let the box dry completely (about an hour, or overnight), then go over it very lightly with 0000 (very fine) steel wool. At this point the wood should have a faint shine to it, even without any finish on it.

    Iíve tried a lot of different ways to turn wood black - commercial stains (not dark enough), a complicated procedure involving tannic acid and rusty nails (supremely beautiful dark chocolaty black), India ink (generally used for drawing - you most likely donít have a bottle handy), and leather dye. Leather dye is the easiest to use, easiest to find, and works very well.

    Buy it in the shoe polish section of most housewares stores (see the picture). It generally comes in a plastic bottle with an applicator top. Press the tip against the wood and just sponge it on. Give it a minute or two to soak in, and wipe whatís left off the surface. Wash your hands as quickly as possible once youíve finished or this stuff is the very bear to get off. After all, itís leather dye, and you are wrapped in leather.



    Let the wood dry out (an hour or two if itís warm) and rub it lightly with the steel wool - this will make the wood grain stand out a bit, and further polish the wood.



    The finish I am going to use is called Boiled Linseed Oil (BLO for short. I have to tell you this because BLO sounds kind of dirty, but itís not. Itís jist plain olí boylít lindsidd oyle like yer granddaddy use to use). This is what gives you the real old fashioned ďhand rubbedĒ finish. Hereís my ancient can of BLO:



    Donít buy ďRawĒ linseed oil. Itís useless as a wood finish. There are other oil finishes you might want to use. Tung oil is popular, and itís used the same way, but costs about 5 times as much as BLO. I bought that can of BLO five years ago, use it for everything, and still have a quarter of a can left. It cost $3.50 back then.

    Most people put the oil on and rub it in with their hands, hence the term ďhand rubbed.Ē Pour some BLO out on your palm and smear it all over the wood. Keep adding more if the wood isnít completely wet with the BLO. Rub the oiled wood hard and briskly with the flat of your palm - you should feel some friction heat. This is good - the heat drives the oil into the wood.



    Then, while the wood is still wet with oil, take a bit of steel wool and very lightly rub the surface, using the oil as a lubricant. This will put a real nice shine on the wood!

    At this point, put more BLO on the wood, if it needs it - keep that wood wet and slimy. Now, while your hands are goopy, scratch your nose. Just kidding - you really donít need to do this, but you probably will anyway. Set the wet and slimy box aside for about 15 - 20 minutes, then use a clean rag (i.e. an old t-shirt_ to wipe the remaining BLO off the wood.

    And rub hard enough to feel friction heat again.

    ---------- Post added at 07:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:28 PM ----------

    Set the box aside and repeat again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. Three applications is the minimum, but more is better



    After the last application, let the box sit for about 3 - 4 days, then put the feet on it and wax it.

    Iím going to put these little felt feet on the bottom - itís a nice touch. Just peel them off and stick them in the corners. You have to put them on before you wax the box or theyíll fall off later.



    Use a paste-type furniture wax. Rub the wax into the wood (again, you should feel friction heat), then let it set until it doesnít feel slimy any more (about 10 minutes). With a clean rag (old t-shirt again), rub hard to remove the extra wax and polish the wax left on the wood. Wax on, wax off.





    Replace the hardware (hinges and clasp), and thereís your basic black box.



    Now, to dress up the inside, Iím going to line it with red felt. But that will be in Part II: I Felt It (did you?).
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  3. #3
    Banned!
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    366
    Religion
    Jewish Reconstructionaist
    Location
    Montana

    Re: Make Your Own Tarot Box!

    AWESOME DIY project...

    Thanks again Corbin!

  4. #4
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    8,294
    Religion
    Alchemist and Neo-American Redneck Buddhist
    Location
    Frozen Northern Michigan, near Thunder Bay
    Phrase
    Where are the tweezers?

    Re: Make Your Own Tarot Box!

    Thanks!

    It starts looking sharp once the felt lining is added. I've got the pics for that part done, and hope to post it tonight.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  5. #5
    Eorodraca
    Guest

    Re: Make Your Own Tarot Box!

    Nice job. I made a box for my Tarot out of leather.

  6. #6
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    11,233
    Religion
    relational theophysis and bioregional witchery
    Location
    coastal Georgia
    Phrase
    *a little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika*

    Re: Make Your Own Tarot Box!

    Lovely!!

    You can probably get boxes like this at your local craft store as well. I made a matching beaded jewelry set one year for my mom and put it in its own decorated box like that (hello, ModPodge!). Michaels and Ben Franklin (ooh, there is a BF in Yorktown!!)--even JoAnn's, which is more of a fabric store has a wood stuff section.
    ďYou have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    ďWe still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.Ē
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but thereís also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking canít or wonít see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  7. #7
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    8,294
    Religion
    Alchemist and Neo-American Redneck Buddhist
    Location
    Frozen Northern Michigan, near Thunder Bay
    Phrase
    Where are the tweezers?

    Re: Make Your Own Tarot Box!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eorodraca View Post
    Nice job. I made a box for my Tarot out of leather.
    Very cool! Can you post a picture?

    Thalassa - yeah, if you happen to live near civilization, you can get these at craft stores. There is a JoAnn's, where I have seen them at times.

    But they are very easy to get in assorted sizes, either from a local sotre or over the internet.

    P.S. There may be some Modpodge around here in the near future...

    ---------- Post added at 06:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:37 AM ----------

    Well, hopefully my less than adequate internet connection will let me post this...




    Part II: I Felt It (did you?)

    Something you can do very easily that really dresses up the box is to add a felt lining. Because the cards fit fairly snugly in the box, Iím not going to line the sides. I do want to line the top and inside bottom, though. You can easily do the sides the same way if you want to.

    Begin by measuring the inside of the box, then cut two pieces of felt the same size as the inside of your box. Test them by trying them for fit. Weíll glue in the top first because there is an added detail to doing the bottom. Iíll get to that later.

    Using a small paintbrush, brush a thin coat of carpenterís glue (or Elmerís glue. Itís the same stuff, except that the elmerís glue takes longer to dry). It has to be a thin coat or the glue will soak through the felt and dry all crusty looking, which is not so very attractive.



    Work quickly because the glue will dry quickly. Carefully place the felt in place on top of the glue and press it down. If it is a bit too small, it can be stretched out a bit to fill the space. Be sure to press down the corners - Iím using he butt end of the paintbrush for that since my fingers donít fit in there.



    The bottom is done exactly the same, except that Iím going to add a ribbon which will provide a nifty way to get the cards out of the box without having to pick up the box and dump them out.

    Iíve snatched a nice bit of matching red ribbon out of KíRoeís sewing box. I hope she wasnít saving it for somethingÖ

    So steal a chunk of ribbon. Measure out a length of ribbon 4 times the length of the box, plus four or five inches - L = length of box. The formula is: 4L + 4 = length to cut ribbon.

    Apply glue to the inside bottom of the box and lay the ends of the ribbon on the glue as shown in this picture:



    Ö and on top of the ribbon, place your felt, and press it down. Poke down the corners.

    Leave the box open over night so the glue dries.

    The next day (if you can wait that long), take the exposed loop of ribbon and fold it back along the inside length of the bax - see picture.



    Put your tarot cards in the box on top of the ribbon. When you want to take them out, pull the ribbon upwards. This will lift the end of the cards right out of the box, and you can easily pick them up.



    When I asked about the card boxes a couple of people told me theyíd like to have a place to put a satchet of some kind. Well, look at that little space left when the cards are in the box. Sew yourself a little bag to fit that space, stuff it with stinky herbs, and there it goes.



    So thereís the box, finished, but not done. I still have to do something with the lid. See those tiles in the pic? I spent an hour at the home repair store picking it out because there were so many great options. I like these because they look like old Roman mosaic tiles - theyíre actually marble and travertine. In the next installment, Part III: Everybody Must Get Stoned, Iíll show you how to set them in the lid and grout the intermediary spaces.

    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  8. #8
    Supporter Madness's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    223
    Location
    Central Texas

    Re: Make Your Own Tarot Box!

    Very cool! Geez, now I have another project on my list... :/

  9. #9
    Honorary Supporter Dez's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    3,137
    Gender
    female
    Religion
    Norse Something-or-Other
    Location
    Bay Area, CA, USA
    Phrase
    Nice is not the same as good.

    Re: Make Your Own Tarot Box!

    Wow, Corbin, that's beautiful!

  10. #10
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
    Reputation
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    8,294
    Religion
    Alchemist and Neo-American Redneck Buddhist
    Location
    Frozen Northern Michigan, near Thunder Bay
    Phrase
    Where are the tweezers?

    Re: Make Your Own Tarot Box!

    Thanks, Madness & Dez!

    Wait till you see it with the tiles on. I have the pattern laid out, and it looks pretty sharp.

    These little stone tiles I'm using are very nice - they have a nice tactile quality; not hard and smooth, not sharp and rough, but kind of "soft" as if they have very, very short fuzz on them. I was thinking that if somebody wanted to make a rune set, these would be a real good choice. A person could paint the rune on with nail polish, which would last for a long time.

    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

Similar Threads

  1. Tarot Q&A and Discussion
    By Raphaeline in forum Divination & Astrology
    Replies: 161
    Last Post: 10 May 2019, 03:52
  2. Housewives Tarot
    By GossamerB38 in forum Divination & Astrology
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01 Jul 2014, 22:12
  3. What have you learned using tarot?
    By Sondst in forum Catacombs
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 21 Nov 2013, 20:20
  4. Tarot question
    By Itsbrit in forum Divination & Astrology
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 22 Sep 2012, 03:42
  5. Tarot Party
    By LiadanWillows in forum Divination & Astrology
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30 Aug 2012, 05:19

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •