The first one I wanted to be able to use again any time of the year so I stained the main box with Special Walnut, including the inside. I then topcoated it with two coats of polyacrylic. Don't worry if you get a bit of stain on the "ribbon" you can just use sandpaper to sand it off.
Next I painted the ribbon with an antique white, but in future I would skip this step as it wasn't necessary and who wants to make extra work for themselves? I then used my finger to spread white glue on the "ribbon" and sprinkled epsom salt onto it. I left it to dry overnight and now I have a elegant, sparkly gift box. (total cost $2 for the box, everything else was left over from past projects).
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