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Treasure Boxes

A "Treasure Box" 

The most heart warming creation you'll ever paint


The designs are painted on traditional shoe boxes - the kind that holds those brand new pair of shoes we're buying. Box sizes vary greatly, so each of us has picked the size that best fits our painting plans.

The special boxes are for children in the age range of 1 to 17, and are for putting their special 'treasures' in during their stay at the Shriners Hospital.

This is how we went about painting the boxes:
-  A coat of gesso or equivalent such as undercover opaque primer was applied to the shoebox (inside and outside).
-  The box was then base
coated with the background colour(s).
-  Next, the design was painted onto the box - and sometimes around it and even inside too!
-  Varnish was then applied to the box, inside and outside to protect the design and box.
-  If necessary, a little paste wax was rubbed on the interior of the lid, to prevent sticking.

When choosing our design, the sky was almost the limit! We were asked not to use copyrighted or trademarked figures such as Sponge Bob Square Pants, Superman, or Walt Disney characters unless we actually drew the design freehand ourselves. Also, we tried to avoid words in our designs, as some of the children speak only English, others only French, and others Inuit, etc. Some possible ideas we considered were:
     - butterflies, dragonflies, birds, fish
     - sun, moon, stars
     - animals
     - friendly dragons
     - snowmen
     - sports – hockey, baseball, football
     - landscapes, waterscapes, skyscapes, forestscapes

The age group is 1 to 17, so almost anything worked!!

The completed boxes go to the Montreal Shriners Hospital.  June delivers them as needed. A standard label is affixed to each box (provided by June) showing, "Donated by the Montreal Area Decorative Painters, the author's name and the MADP website."

This is an ongoing project that was started in 2006. We are now in our third year, and a 'Paint-In' is again planned for this year. Members also paint Treasure Boxes at home to make sure that there is always a selection of completed boxes for new patients to choose from.

Some useful links that we orignially used for ideas were:

Jan McCraw has made the pattern "Turtle Hi" plus several others available for people painting the Treasure Boxes.  Click HERE to go to the Treasure boxes info and patterns on her site.

She also shares a free pattern on her web site which is changed each quarter of the year.  Look under "Free Pattern" in her menu at:

You can also see her Treasure Box creations at:


Deb Malewski of Country Colors is also taking part in the Treasure Boxes project.  She is making this bear pattern available to people participating in the project.  Look under "Treasure Box pattern" at: Enter her site, and click on 'Treasure box pattern' listed in the Table of Contents.


Via Von ~ Come Paint With Me also has a bear pattern you can freely use to paint on your Treasure Box.  It can usually be found at:
Her site is down at the moment (Feb 2009) but the pattern is still available at the above link.


Any MADP members can join in.  Please let June know if you are interested.  Her phone number and e-mail address are on our membership list.

Shriners Logo

Link to the Shriners Hospitals for Children - Canada

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