Safari Jewelry Box


Plaster Casting

Safari Jewelry Box

By Marisa Pawelko


Add a touch of exotic elegance to your boudoir with this safari themed jewelry box! A molded plaster elephant creates the focal point, surrounded by a dimensional animal print pattern made up of tactile Sandtastik Colored Floral Sand!

What’s Needed:

  • Sandtastik Floral Colored Sand in Black
  • ArtPlaster
  • Sandtastik Elephant Plaster Mold
  • Water
  • ActivWire Mesh
  • Plain Jewelry Box
  • Gold, Silver & Gunmetal Craft Paint
  • Mod Podge
  • Ziplock Bag
  • Paint Brush
  • Animal Print Stencil (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Tacky Glue
  • Manila Folder

Mix up a batch of ArtPlaster in the ziplock bag.

Trim one corner off of the bag and fill up the Elephant Mold with the casting compound. Set the piece aside to dry.

While the elephant is setting up, you can get to work on painting the box. For this project we went with a sophisticated metallic color palette, but feel free to mix it up and make it your own!

Paint the entire box inside and out and then set it aside to dry.

Once the elephant is fully hardened, carefully pop him out of the mold.

Fold up a piece of ActivWire Mesh as shown and place the elephant on top. This will help with air flow to speed up the drying time.

Once the elephant is completely dry you can begin painting him in the color of your choice. For this project, we first applied a coat of silver paint.

While that first coat of paint is drying, use a pencil to draw your animal print texture. You can use a stencil for this step or go wild and do it freehand!

Paint the animal print design on with a brush. For this step we used some gunmetal colored craft paint.

Use a dry brush technique to add detail and dimension to the elephant with the darker silver gunmetal paint. This gives the piece an elegant antiqued finish.

Apply a coat of Mod Podge sealer to the back of the elephant and let dry.

Center the elephant onto the box and trace around him with the pencil.

Using the pencil line as a guide, apply tacky glue to the back of the elephant and box as shown. Allow the glue to set up a little before joining the two pieces together.

Set the piece aside to dry fully.

It looks great already, but this next step uses Sandtastik Floral Sand to take it to the next level! Working in sections, carefully cover the painted areas on the top of the box with tacky glue as shown.

Select the Sandtastik Colored Floral Sand of your choice. For this project we went with a striking black color.

Sprinkle the sand over the glue. Give it a few minutes to set up and then tap off the excess sand. Doing this process over a standard manila folder makes it easy to replace the excess sand back into the bottle.

Set the piece aside to dry. Once dry repeat this process on one of the sides. Continue this same technique to add dimensional sand texture to all four sides of the box. Once complete, sit back and admire your beautiful, safari style jewelry box!



 Meet celebrity crafter Marisa Pawelko, winner of the Craft & Hobby Association Indie Craft Contest and the host of “America’s Next Top Crafter™”. Armed with a formal education in furniture design, Marisa used her talents to design products for the gift, toy, fashion and accessories markets before turning her focus to the craft industry. In 2005, sparked with an idea to create a recycled baby memento-keeper out of one of her son’s baby food jars, she founded Modern Surrealist LLC, which quickly developed an international following. Marisa enjoys inspiring crafters on her blog with thrifty project ideas for “upcycling” ordinary objects, into extraordinary custom creations! Her work has been featured by PBS, HGTV, Illinois State Museum and in countless exhibitions and high end boutiques around the world. Modern Surrealist LLC has been providing customers around the globe with individualized and fantastical gifts, crafts and accessories since 2004. Featuring eclectic themes that celebrate your individuality with humor and heart!