One of my favourite people is turning eight years old in April and to celebrate her birthday, I decided to make her a bracelet and a matching necklace. However, since the necklace I made her as part of her Christmas gift was tucked it in a little change purse and accidentally got thrown out, I decided I needed she needed a some sort of container to keep her jewelry and other treasures safe.
I headed to the Dollar Store and found a little wooden box with a latch.
It wasn’t very attractive but that’s what paint is for. Since green is one my young friend’s favourite colours, I picked up some green paint and yellow and terra-cotta as complementary colours at Michaels. As I was leaving the store, I spotted a bin of laser cut wooden initials in various shapes and after digging around, I found the right initial – an “L”.
After a couple of false starts and a second trip to Michaels, I decided to cover the top and inside surfaces of the box with scrapbook paper and paint the sides, both inside and out.
I cut out my pieces of scrapbook paper before I started painting to avoid any unfortunate messiness. I used the same design for the top of the box and on the inside bottom and a coordinating piece for the inside top.
I also took the screws out of the box and ran some fine sandpaper over the rough edges. Yes, the box only cost a $1, but the perfectionist in me wanted it to look good.
Several hours later, I had a perfect little monogrammed treasure box (I brushed one of the wooden die-cuts with a light coat of copper paint and put a small piece of scrapbook paper on the back, to make the letter stand out)
Yes, it took much longer than I originally planned, but it was exactly the type of finicky little project I love doing.
Lesson # 1 – cheap wood absorbs water-based paint. I put on at least 5 coats on the outside surfaces. Two coats were enough for the bottom and the inside of the box (both the bottom and the lid).
Lesson #2 – setting your carefully cut paper way from your work area will prevent paint from getting on the paper – luckily I had enough to re-cut the piece for the outside of the lid.
Lesson # 3 – ModgePodge is the best. I used it to adhere the scrapbook paper to the top of the box (inside and out), as well as the inside bottom. I also diluted it with a little water and covered the painted areas, just to give it a little shine.
Lesson $4 – pay attention to the size of the screws. I pierced the inside of the box, putting on the back hinges. It wasn’t until I was trying to affix the front clasp that I realized there were short and long screws for a reason (I’m now very proficient with a Robertson screwdriver). A little dab of paint on the inside made the little hole disappear
Lesson #5 – fun is priceless. In terms of time and money (2 trips to Michaels, plus supplies), this little box wasn’t at all cost-effective. But I had a great time working on it. Granted, my perfectionist tendencies demanded that it look “just so”, but it doesn’t get much better than dabbling with paint and ModgePodge.
As for the jewelry, I went with a simple design and primary colours. The centrepiece of both pieces are ceramic flower charms from Jennifer Jangles.
The ones I used came from a line she made for Michaels last year and are not longer available (however, check out her shop as she often has flower and other charms). For the necklace, I added a split ring to one of the flowers (the charm is less likely to fall off than with a jump ring) and then strung it on a double strand of satin cord, one red, one yellow.
Since my young friend is quite petite, I used M as my model to measure the length of the necklace the circumference of the bracelet I attached the yellow flower to a jump ring large enough to go over 3 separate strands of multi-coloured seed beads.
While I had a blast decorating the box, it’s simple enough for children to do with a little supervision. It would be an easy and relatively inexpensive craft for a birthday party – you could use cardboard or chip board letters, instead of the wooden . Who wouldn’t want a personalized treasure box? I’m crossing my fingers that my friend likes her gift.
Links include: Think Pink Sundays at Flamingo Toes ; Monday Link Party at Craft-O-Maniac; Motivate Me Monday at Keeping It Simple; Making Monday Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T. ; Made by You Mondays at Skip to My Lou ; Market Yourself Monday at Sumo’s Sweet Stuff; Get Your Craft on Tuesday at Today’s Creative Blog; Tuesday To Do Part at The Blackberry Vine: Take-a-Look Tuesdays at Sugar Bee Crafts; Wednesday Wowzers at oopsy daisy; Flaunt It Fridays at Dotted Line Crafts; The Cure for the Common Monday at Lines Across My Face; Six Sisters Stuff – Strut Your Stuff Saturday