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Spruce up plain wood and create your very own Nordic-style Christmas heart box

What you need...
  • Blanks, wooden: heart box; snowflakes, 6.4cm; hearts, 6.4cm; stars, 5.7cm
  • Primer, gesso, white
  • Paint, acrylic: red, violet, cream
  • Paintbrushes, wide, detail
  • Ribbon
  • Pencil
  • Trace-down paper
  1. Remove the lid from a heart box and cover the entire surface in gesso. Apply sparingly and use a hairdryer to expedite the drying process, so you can turn the box over accessing all areas. When the gesso is dry, paint cream over the box and lid, inside and out. Apply the paint thinly and work it into the corners and creases with your paintbrush.

  2. Once dry, apply a second coat of paint, this time making the coverage thicker. It's important to bear in mind that the lid must still fit, so ensure the paint is not too thick where the box engages.

  3. Coat the inside of the box with red paint, stopping just short of the top edges. Transfer the motifs over the lid using trace-down paper and secure in position. Draw over the original lines using a biro. It is handy to start with a central circle template or a compass.

  4. Fill in and paint all line work in red. Some flowers are in block colours and others are just applied as keylines. Fill in the central circle in red. You can keep all the painting quite flat, but maybe add a shadow around images on an inner circle. This can be a watery mix of blue and red combined to make a darker colour, then apply thinly.

  5. Embellish the design using gold pen and outliners. Once the top of the lid is completed, decide if you need to add patterns to the sides of the box. Take account of which parts are visible when closed, then add dots and an occasional flower to the sides of box.

  6. The box offers so many surfaces to decorate. Bear in mind that when the lid is removed you will see inside, so adding a touch of pattern on the base is a nice touch. Reverse the colours and use white motifs on the red background with gold. Complete the hanging decorations using the same painting techniques and place inside box.

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