Monday, November 16, 2009

Washi Covered Tea Box

Today I decided to try something different from tours and cooking classes and try a washi covered tea box class. Basically you are taking this special Japanese paper and covering a wooden tea box. Imagine a cross between wallpapering and gift wrapping, both of which I am not good at, and you have a washi covered tea box.

There are many different sizes of tea boxes. Our class did the smallest one, which will fit 10 CD cases. You work from the top down, which means you start with the lid, then the lip of the box, the body and then the bottom. More advanced box coverer's can use different papers, cords and other embellishments.

The lid was the hardest. I am horrible at geometry, so imagine my frustration trying to measure, wrap and cover. However, surprisingly, I managed to do a decent job. (sorry the pictures aren't the best quality. I used my iphone, as I had forgotten my camera)

The next part is measuring and cutting the paper for the "lip" of the box. First you have to get the paper just right around the whole lip.

Then you have to tuck under and cut and wrap the corners just right.


Throughout the whole project, you have to keep taking wet clothes and press out all the air bubbles and wipe off all the excess rice glue.


As you can see, there is alot of measuring involved in this project.

Finally, I have my main piece cut out and ready to wrap the box.

Now all that is left is to finish the bottom.
After 3 hours, the bottom is glued on and my box is finally complete. (It is sitting upside down in this picture)

Here is our class's finished products. The two ladies in the front were our teachers –– Debbie and Debbie.

My goal is to make each of the kids a large box to take back to the United States to use as a "keepsake" chest of sorts from our time here. I may need to practice a few more times before I graduate to that project though.

59 comments:

Carey said...

Very cute!

Anuan said...

very nice. that must have been fun. Sorry for my technical question but is that tin inside and what kind of wood is it made of?

Anonymous said...

Wow! I just stumbled onto your site. I am loving it... We spent thirteen years in Yokohama and would go back in a minute. Our daughters graduated from YIS and one attended Sophia. I loved doing the teaboxes when there and I was trying to find a site to purchase some here when I found you ladies and your blogs.... Thanks for sharing Doris in NC

Sass!!! said...

I am also an expat here in Tokyo, my second time around. Do you have the info on where the boxes can be bought from?? I did them once when I was here and have some friends that want to give it a shot. I googled teaboxes washi paper, and came up with your blog. If you still have the info would certainly appreciate it.
Sasstimes1@gmail.com

Thank you
Sally Butters

Ali Kat said...

Hi I am living in Yokohama now with two children at YIS and have just finished my first two boxes. I wondered if anyone found a source for the wooden boxes as I would love to do it myself. The class I go to the teacher is very secretive as to where she gets her boxes from so charges a high price for the raw material. Any heads up on a supplier would be fab. Alison

traveller said...

The link is in Japanese..but this is where I bought my tea boxes from http://fukuyamadou.cmbc.jp/~ochaichiba/cart/index.php?main_page=index

I paid COD for the boxes.

If anybody has the pattern/instructions for covering the boxes in washi paper, I would greatly appreciate it. I'd rather spend my 20,000 yen on paper than paying an instructor!

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I lived in Atsugi for 5 years, i used to just go to a local tea seller and purchase boxes, very reasonably. Now that I am stateside I am looking for a place to get the rice-glue.