The fabulous xJane, arbiter of all things stationery-related, recently pointed me to this Facebook post about a DIY Lovecraft-themed stationery storage box. It was made by a crafter named Al Rio; for the Facebook-impaired, I’m copying the photo (click to embiggen) and her comment here:
Typhoon season here in my country. By candle light in this stormy weather, the things we can make and do. How about a hand-made Lovecraftian box to store your favorite pens?
Materials: lots of craft paper, vinyl stickers, thermoplastic adhesive, foam board, sintra board, acrylic paints, costume prop accessories
xJane noted that it looked pretty DIY-able, and I agree. Wooden boxes of various sizes are widely available at craft stores and online; and you could even cheat and get an inexpensive decorative box from an import store that already looks exotic and spooky.
A design of your choice can be applied pretty easily with a stencil. Rio’s box uses the Necronomicon Gate, but you could do an Elder Sign, a simple Cthulhu, or google “Lovecraft stencil” for other examples. (That Cthulhu link, incidentally, also includes simple instructions for making your own stencil in case you aren’t sure how to proceed.)
If you want to use the box to store stationery supplies, check out this tutorial for repurposing an antique box; it includes instructions on lining the interior with decorative paper, and the final step includes making a DIY pen-and-pencil holder. Also take a look at Cigar Box Pen Storage for lots of additional inspiration.
The rest of the decoration can be as you desire: Leftover supplies from other craft projects, orphaned earrings, paint, and anything else which will lend an eldritch vibe. I like the “treasured reliquary” look of this box, but you could go in the opposite direction and distress it to look like something that had been buried in an ancient tomb and only recently unearthed.
Obviously, the same idea has uses beyond stationery storage. Depending upon the size of the box, you could use it for anything from holding jewelry to hiding your wireless router (be sure it’s adequately ventilated). Little individual treasure boxes would be interesting gifts for a bridal party. You could also make a set of varying sizes as office desk accessories; it’s much more fun to store paperclips in an artifact from the Mountains of Madness than a boring plastic cube.