Keepsake Boxes

These keepsake boxes have grown out of my love for holding on to memories. I have boxes of letters, photos, tickets and mementos that make me laugh and cry. Life is busy and sometimes just sitting and looking back on the events that made you who you are is the best pick me up there is. With this in mind I have started making special boxes as gifts for friends and family. They are wooden boxes that I cover and line with good quality cotton fabric, with padding on the lid and inside the box to add that extra special feel. They have a magnetic clasp to keep everything safe and I try to add lots of little personal embellishments to make individual.

The first one I made was for the birth of my cousins 1st baby, a place to keep all those locks of hair, Christening gifts and other firsts. To make it extra special I transferred a photograph of the baby onto the inside of the lid and hand embroidered his name and date of birth onto the top of the lid.┬áMy second box was for a 50th birthday gift, my ‘Box of Smiles’ which had a favourite quote in the lid and was decorated with nautical fabric. The third was for a friends first born, again I hand embroidered the name and DoB on the lid and inside transferred a picture of the baby; this one had multi coloured dot fabric to match the nursery.

I love making these boxes and the options seem endless, I’ve got a couple of new babies soon and next year there will be a few 30th birthday celebrations so it’s a good job I have a loft full of boxes!!

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Chest Of Drawers

Tools Needed

  • Paint Stripper
  • Scraper
  • Electric Sander
  • Paint Brushes
  • Mini Rollers
  • Sandpaper

Process

This was my first proper furniture project so it was a bit of guess-work and lots of experimentation. I was given this chest of drawers by my boyfriend who was about to chuck it in a skip, it came from a theatre changing room and I really have no idea how old it was. It was an interesting yellow colour and when stripped it back, an even more interesting sludge green. It took hours of stripping and sanding and in the end I’ll be honest I gave up! I have suspicions that the green was possibly lead based paint so I left that alone and used a primer over the top.

I wanted to distress the furniture after paining so put on a good layer of primer and then rubbed wax over areas that might naturally wear over time. Some experimentation took place around the handles as they were made of solid plastic and this wouldn’t rub back well later on (I could have changed them for wooden ones but i like the fact that they were original), to create a fake wooden effect to sand back to I coated these in a brown acrylic paint and then painted the whole peace with a Light Grey Eggshell. The finishing touch was to use some coarse sandpaper over the areas I had waxed to give it the aged look.

Thoughts

Over all I’m really happy with it, especially as it was my first go. The paint didn’t stick to the handles very well so if it comes round again I will do more research to get that right. All in all very happy and kicked of a new passion for upcycling second-hand furniture and making it my own.

‘ Onwards and upwards ‘