a tote for les fleurs.

I picked this item up at a garage sale at some point in the past.  Honestly, it was in my front hall closet for at least a year, maybe two.  Then it got moved out to the carriage house workshop last spring so that I would be sure to get to it over the summer … and well, here we are in February and I’m just getting to it now.

I suspect that this item was some sort of promotional giveaway from Frerichs Construction.  I bet it came with beer inside, hence the bottle opener on the side.

But if you ignore those two things, this has a lot of potential as just an adorable little tote.

So I removed the bottle opener (and am saving that for another project that I have in mind).  The company logo seemed almost branded into the wood, so I added a little of Dixie Belle’s Mud to fill it in.

I just smoothed it on with a putty knife and once it was fully dry, I sanded over it to smooth it out a bit.

A quick q tip on the Mud; never wash it down your sink drain.  You don’t want this stuff hanging out in your pipes.  Instead I use a damp paper towel to clean off my putty knife, and then I can just toss the paper towel in the trash.

Next I simply painted the tote with two coats of Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.

Then came the fun part, digging through all of my transfer scraps to come up with some fun things to dress up it up.

The front of the tote got some scraps from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer.

The sides got the left over bits from the IOD Flora Parisiensis transfer that I used on a washstand I painted back in the fall.

Once I had the transfers applied, I sanded the tote to distress and than added some clear wax.

I also lined the inside with some pretty scrapbook paper.

I asked Mr. Q to pick up some tulips at the grocery store so that I could stage this with some real fleurs.

Aren’t they pretty?  They barely survived the trip back to our house in the 20 below wind chill, but I’m glad they did because they added such a lovely pop of pink to my photos.

This was such a fun little project for a cold winter afternoon, and also a great way to bring a little early spring into the air.  I suspect we all could use a little bit of spring right about now, am I right?

29 thoughts on “a tote for les fleurs.

  1. Not sure why, but that is one of my favorite recent thing…maybe it’s because we’re iced over and the tulips give hope…or maybe it’s the beautiful “scraps” you have. Anyway, thanks for the smile today.


  2. Always fun to pop by and see what you’ve come up with. I like to create vignettes on my breakfast room table. This little carrier staged with tulips and pots is the perfect inspiration.


  3. We definitely need a pop of Spring here in NW Indiana – very cold and snowy winter! This just cheers me up and gives me hope for warmer days!


    1. Warmer days are just around the corner, quite literally here in MN. We’ve been sub-zero for about 10 days, but today it’s going to get up to a whopping 26 which will feel positively balmy. By Monday we’re expecting a high of 41. Eureka! Get out the shorts 🙂


  4. Love this! AND great Q-Tip…I don’t honestly think I would have thought twice about rinsing that mud stuff down my sink, thereby causing possible pipe damage. Good thing you’re on top of things. Loved seeing the tulips too. So much so, I’m going to go get some today so I can remember Spring is coming. Right now in Minnesota, we are just wanting it to get above 25 degrees so we can wash all the salt off our vehicles!


  5. Hi
    I have something similar that had been used in a garage to store greasy tools and containers that dripped or leaked and left left grease on the wood. I painted it with chalk paint and rubbed it in to get a heavy white washed look and don’t see any grease marks after 2 weeks. Now I wonder if I wax it, will it pull the grease through the chalk paint? Any thoughts as whether I should stop now or try to seal it? Thanks


    1. Hmmmm. I guess it sort of depends on how much you’re going to handle it and whether or not you’ll ever need to wipe something off of it. Without a top coat, it will be hard to clean in any way (but maybe you won’t need to). That being said, I also think you’d be OK with wax. Wax doesn’t typically pull stains through paint like a water base poly top coat will.


  6. After reading the comments, I’m almost embarrassed to say that we have bulbs blooming already and blossoms on many trees. Even 70° in our forecast next week 😬 I too am excited to try a similar project. Thanks you!


  7. Thanks! Appreciate your advice. And it makes me think that should you ever want to, you could do a “ask & answer” post occasionally where you give “Q-tips” to inquiring minds who need it for their projects, especially “What would you do to this item?😉


  8. Came across your blog while searching for vintage handles on a barn wood box! You have some fun inspirational ideas! I live in Apple Valley, MN, so yep, it’s been too cold to do much of anything else but craft on the weekends…although we did brave the sub zero temps last weekend and hike around Minnehaha Falls!


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