Day 1

Manifestation Project: creating a dream container from “trash”

Even though it can be fun to paint on canvas or a heavy duty paper, I often forget how freeing it can feel to paint on a surface that is salvaged from being thrown away, repurposed and made unique, made beautiful. You are allowed to make mistakes, and the project doesn’t have to be perfect. It can even be a complete failure! This container I chose to paint on would have been recycled if I hadn’t decided to put it aside to use later.

After we make this container we are going to create a “wish list” that can go inside of it, along with an important project / goal / dream you have that you want to make happen.

Materials needed:

  • Box, container, or jar
  • A paint brush and basic acrylic paint
  • OR glue / tape and magazine images, photographs, or scraps of interesting paper.
  • Optional: hair dryer, palette paper (or a paper plate), painting smock to protect your clothes


I saved this empty oat container to paint. The card board and paper material works well with acrylic paint:


I decided to use a brown coat to mostly get rid of the label design. Originally I planned on painting two layers, but I decided to only paint one brown layer because I like the look of the brush strokes.


After the brown layer was dry I loosely painted my first green layer, not worrying too much about it looking exactly like leaves. However, I wanted a floral effect.


I wanted to add some sort of flower, nothing specific so that it would look abstract like the leaves. I mixed purple and white on palette paper.

I happened to have some copper acrylic paint, which I have been obsessed with lately. I decided it would be a fun accent to the lid for my container.


Voila! I have my container ready for the following “wish list” project. It also can be used to store brushes and paints! Or other gems!


When the lighter green was mostly dry I added a darker green to add some depth to the “leaves”. I enjoyed how the two greens mixed together in some spots where the bottom layer wasn’t completely dried yet.

I had extra purple left over, so I used it on this sketch (for another project) since I didn’t want the paint to go to waste and I was enjoying the color!

A trick with acrylic is to add a few drops of water to the paint, or use a spray bottle to mist the paint. This extends the drying time so that you have longer to work with it. This technique also thins out the paint.


I’m keeping my container simple for now, but you should feel free to add anything that brings you joy or inspires you! A tissue box would also work well for this project or a jar with a lid!

This project took me around two hours, however I was doing other things while the paint was drying and probably could have been finished faster. You can always use a hair dryer with acrylic paint to speed up the drying process!

I’ve been into floral abstraction lately, however as I was painting the container I was thinking of lots of other fun themes one could use for this project. Perhaps an abstract pattern. Or, outer space themed. Whatever inspires you!

If you aren’t interested in painting the outside of the container, you could cut out images from magazines and glue them on. Maybe you have a beloved book that is falling apart that you could use to cover the outside. There are lots of options, depending on what you feel comfortable with.

I’m happy with my finished product. I can always add more design elements to it if I want. For now this will be a fun container for our Manifestation writing project!