Let your inside out

  • Do you know how many thoughts the average person has in a day? Go ahead, guess.

  • Don’t ask us how they figured this out, but researchers say we have 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day! Most of them aren’t complete thoughts, of course — just those little words and observations that come and go — but still, that’s a whole lot of thinking.

    Now guess how many thoughts we share in a day.

  • Okay, that was kind of a trick question. We’re all so different that it would be impossible to come up with a number, but it’s safe to say that it’s nowhere near 50,000 to 70,000.

    Also, if you’re like most people, you keep all the crazy thoughts to yourself… which is too bad, really, because the crazy thoughts are what make us most interesting. And here’s a tongue twister for you: If we shared our crazy thoughts with each other, we would probably feel a lot less crazy because we would realize that everyone else has crazy thoughts too!

  • Here’s another way to think about it:

    It’s like you have two different you’s. There’s the outside you that everyone knows, and the inside you that very few people know.

    Maybe it’s time you let a little of your inside out?

  • Step 1 of 9

    For this project, you will need:

    Magazines, photos, and other collaging materials

    Glue stick or Mod Podge

    A small box that can be unfolded into a flat piece of cardboard (see below) — any size, shape, or color will do. Tea boxes and those boxes that cupcake liners come in work great.

    If you have the kind of box that opens on the top and bottom but doesn’t unfold in the middle, it’s okay to cut one side of the box to get it to lay flat. After you’re finished collaging the inside, you can just tape it back together.

  • Step 2 of 9

    To get started, unfold your cardboard box.

  • Step 3 of 9

    Next, spend some time looking through your magazines and other collaging materials for photos and words that express who you are on the outside, and who you are on the inside.

    Make one pile of words and pictures that represent the inside you, and one pile of words and pictures that represent the outside you. Here are some ideas…

  • Step 4 of 9

    Outside you:
    Interests, hobbies, activities, talents
    Personality traits that other people know. Are you quiet, loud, funny, brainy?

    Inside you (the invisible parts of you that other people don’t see or know):

    What do you dream about?
    What scares you?
    What makes you sad?
    Where do you feel most happy and peaceful?
    What are some things you think about on long car rides or when you’re staring up at your ceiling at night?

    As you look through your magazines and other materials, see if you can find words and pictures that express your inside and outside you. For example, if are quiet, maybe you’ll find a photo of a quiet animal, like a rabbit or butterfly. Or maybe you’ll find words like “whisper” or “shhh.”

  • Step 5 of 9

    Once you have your two piles of words and pictures (you can always add more later), it’s time to get out your glue stick or open up your Mod Podge.

    If you’re using Mod Podge, brush some onto your box, where you want each clipping to go. Position your image or word on top of the Mod Podge, then brush another coating of Mod Podge on top.

    The Mod Podge will look white when it brushes on, but it will turn clear when it dries.

  • Step 6 of 9

    When both sides of your box are finished and dry, fold your box back up again.

  • Step 7 of 9

    If you’re working with a friend or group, take turns sharing your boxes.  If you don’t want to share it all, that’s okay. Here’s something to think about, though: What would it feel like if you started to let more of your inside out?

    Who knows, maybe one day you’ll even decide to turn your box inside out.

  • Step 8 of 9

    Want to add your inside-out box to our gallery? We’d love that.

    First, though, how about ending with a big hug? Think about it as your outside you hugging your inside you.

    Just wrap your arms around yourself. A little tighter. Tighter still. That’s better.

    Nice, right? Sometimes the best hugs are the ones we give ourselves — and the best part about them is, they’re right there any time we need them.

  • Step 9 of 9

    Okay, ready to share your work? Great!