How to Alter Trash to Treasure

by Toni Burks-Grijalva

Taking an unexpected item and transforming it into a creative piece is so rewarding. Hope you are inspired and enjoy my journey.


  • Recycled egg carton
  • Gesso
  • Assorted Flowers
  • Key to Alter
  • Birds Nest
  • Floral Filler
  • *Velvet- Portabello, Terracotta, Kona
  • *Stone Effect-Sandstone
  • *Metal Effect-Gold
  • *Sorbet-Chocolate, Mint Julep
  • *Sorbet-Cayman, Black Leather Jacket
  • Art Ingredients Texture Powder
  • Art Ingredient-Art Stones, Regular and Mini
  • Matt Medium for Adhesive
  • Wooden Blocks
  • Chipboard Letters
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Found this egg crate in the trash and decided it needed to have new life.

    Step 2

    Give a coat of gesso to prime the surface for mediums.

    Step 3

    Mixed the two colors and painted the entire crate.

    Step 4

    Let's prepare the surface with some yummy texture. Using Matt Gel Medium I adhered mini and regular art stone here and there. Dry completely.

    Step 5

    Watered down Mint Julep was splashed here and there on the crate.

    Step 6

    Let's make some letter blocks. I purchased these wooden blocks at my local craft store and had some grungeboard letters that fit perfectly.

    Step 7

    Let's prepare the surface of the blocks, I wanted a dark brown so I mixed these two colors together and added texture powder. It provides a nice grit to the paint.

    Step 8

    Step 9

    Make a similar paste with Terracotta, I did add more texture paste to this as I wanted it to be nice and chunky. Spray with water to cause medium to run and blend. Dry with heat gun.

    Step 10

    It's starting to appear like rust.

    Step 11

    I wanted some metal highlight here and there so using my finger I applied some Metal Effects - Gold to the surface.

    Step 12

    Behind the blocks I wanted to fill in the negative space so I glued down some plant filler.

    Step 13

    I made a cross from Air Dry Cay and once dried I gave it a good coat of crackle paste. Let this dry over night.

    Step 14

    Once your cross is nice and cracked paint the two following colors randomly on the cross allow to dry a bit and then wipe off. The paint gets in the recess portion of the cracks for a nice effect.

    Step 15

    I had this plastic key I purchased from Michaels for $1.50 and gave it a nice coat of the dark brown textured medium. Dry completely. Then add your terracotta mixture over the top and dry.

    Step 16

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    Step 17

    The eggs were altered using watered down Cayman and then splattered with Black Leather Jacket paint for speckles.

    Step 18

    And there you have a nice rusty piece. Hope this was inspiring to you.

    Step 19

    For more inspiration please follow us me and

    Step 20

    Have a blessed Easter and always enjoy the journey your on creating !