the roller skate case.

My friend/picker Sue found this metal case for me.

She was told it was a roller skate case.  Or at least someone kept their roller skates in it, even if that wasn’t its original intention.

Either way, Sue knew I could breathe new life into it and maybe also give it a new purpose.

I started with my usual prep; cleaning, sanding, etc, followed by a coat of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S.  Then I made the decision to stick with the original black color, so I gave it a quick coat of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  I avoided painting over the brass fittings because they have an amazing patina to them.

Just a side note here about the B.O.S.S.  This is definitely one of those occasions when I really appreciate the clear B.O.S.S.  I wouldn’t have wanted to use a colored or white primer (other than black I suppose) on this piece because you would have seen that when I distressed the edges.

Once the Midnight Sky was dry, I followed up with one of the stencils from the set of 4 German Grain Sack stencils from ellen j goods.

Isn’t that a fun one?  I used Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth for the stenciling.

I finished off the outside of the case with some clear wax.

I briefly considered doing something to the inside of the case, but ultimately I thought the original vintage paper lining was pretty fab.

Obviously it’s not in pristine condition, but I cleaned it up a bit and I rather like its shabby appeal.

Not many of us need a case for our roller skates these days.

So how about using this case to store your old photos?

OK, maybe you don’t have photos quite as old as these (I have a stash of the most amazing photos from my mom’s side of the family in South Dakota), but you must have some sort of photos or other mementos that need a cool case to live in.

Now, if only I could think of a way to repurpose those old skates.

Any ideas?

The roller skate case is for sale so be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details if interested.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the B.O.S.S. and paint used on this project.  Thank you to ellen j goods for providing the stencil.

tackling another tackle box.

Well dang, somehow I managed to forget to take a ‘before’ photo of today’s makeover candidate.  Shoot!

You’ll just have to use your imagination to picture this tackle box looking rusty and crusty as per usual.  I followed my standard procedure of cleaning, sanding, and priming with Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S. on the outside, but for the inside I opted for spray paint.  I find that to be the easiest way of dealing with these hinged, pop up tackle box trays.

I used some of the leftover Rust-oleum Leafy Green spray paint from my wicker garden chair.

After the inside dried, I painted the outside in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Then I applied some of the I.O.D. Rose Chintz paint inlay to the top.

For more detailed instructions on using the paint inlay, you can check out my step by step how-to post.

Once the paint inlay was dry, I sealed it with a clear matte finish spray to prevent it from smearing when I next applied some wording from the I.O.D. Label Ephemera transfer.

At this point you might be noticing that I got some mixed results with the paint inlay.

Some areas are crystal clear …

while others are rather faint.

I think this is a result of two things.  First, the surface itself is bumpy and uneven, and second, I probably didn’t press the inlay into the paint firmly enough in those bumpy areas.

Normally I use a brayer to press the inlay down into the paint and I didn’t do that this time.  Instead I just used my fingertips and a damp rag.

Personally, I rather like this faded sort of look, but if that isn’t your thing you may want to be sure to use a brayer with the paint inlays.

I opted to paint over the latch and handle on this one, then I just roughed them up a bit with sandpaper to make them appear worn.

I love the idea of using an old tackle box for jewelry, but they also are perfect for containing craft or art supplies.

I have to admit I don’t do much scrapbooking anymore, but staging a photo shoot like this makes me realize how much I miss it.

Maybe I’ll find more time to get back to it now that I’m retired (note: I’m saying that 9 months in and I haven’t seemed to find the time yet).

Normally I would share a ‘before & after’ collage here, but since I neglected to get that ‘before’ shot … well … all I have is the ‘after’.

But it’s a pretty good after I think.  What do you think?

This tackle box is for sale so be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details if interested.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the B.O.S.S. and paint used on this project.

seeing red.

I’d been suffering from a little toolbox withdrawal recently, so I decided to take a break from the bigger stuff and paint a couple of them starting with this one.

I have pretty much developed a technique for dealing with these old, dirty, greasy, crusty, rusty toolboxes after having painted so many.

I start out with scraping away as much gunk as possible and then vacuuming out any loose dirt.  Next I clean the toolbox inside and out with a grease cutting cleaner (I’ve used Dawn dish soap, TSP, Mean Green Cleaner & Degreaser) and the garden hose.  I try to take advantage of hot sunny afternoons for that step.  It’s fun to play in the water in the backyard, and then I can leave the toolbox to dry in the sun.

Next I sand the surface to remove any remaining loose paint and to smooth out areas of rust.  Then I vacuum again and wipe everything down again with a damp cloth.

Today’s q tip:  are you wondering why the sanding step comes after the cleaning step, and then I have to basically clean again?  Well, that’s to avoid embedding the oily dirt in the tiny cracks and crevices by sanding on it.  It’s better to remove that oily dirt first.

After all of that, I paint inside and out with a coat of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S.  This product may not totally prevent the rust from eventually coming through the paint, but it will definitely slow it down.  It also gives me a fantastic surface for painting over.

I usually paint the inside first, and this time around I decided to go red.

This is Dixie Belle’s Silk Paint in Fiery Sky from their Desert Collection.  Isn’t that a gorgeous shade of red?  It definitely has a cool/blue undertone.  I ended up doing three coats to get good coverage (which is often the case with red paint).  In hindsight, I should have used the grey B.O.S.S. rather than the clear version.  A grey primer will always improve the coverage with red paint.  The next time I use Fiery Sky I’ll try to remember the grey B.O.S.S.!

Next up I painted the outside of the toolbox in two coats of Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.  Once that was dry I pulled out a few different I.O.D. transfers and started getting creative.

I used sections from their June, Ode to Henry Fletcher (florals on the front), Floral Anthology (floral on the top left) and Label Ephemera (wording) transfers.

I specifically chose floral sections with lots of red to go with the Fiery Sky on the interior.

And I used some of my favorite French wording from the Label Ephemera transfer.

I’m starting to run low on my stash of this particular I.O.D. transfer, and it has been retired.  I’ve been hunting for it, and I even found a shop to mail order it from last week.  I placed my order, only to get a call from the proprietor a few hours later telling me that she didn’t actually have it in stock.  Bummer.  I’ve found another source though and I’m hoping this one comes through.  Fingers crossed.

Once the transfers were all applied, I added a couple of coats of Dixie Belle’s flat clear coat to seal them.

I didn’t do much staging for this toolbox, it was hot outside so I wanted to snap these pics quickly.

But I did fill one of my vintage vases with some like-colored foliage from caladiums and coleus, as well as an Annabelle hydrangea blossom.

I love how that deep purple coleus has just the slightest dusting of chartreuse in the newest leaves.  Isn’t that pretty?  You have to look closely to really see it, but it’s a fun detail.

Although florals typically make us think of summer, I think the colors on this one are leaning into fall … or dare I say it … even winter.  With all of those reds and greens, this would be pretty for Christmas filled with an arrangement of evergreens.

So, what do you think?  Do you prefer the ‘before’ or the ‘after’?

This toolbox is for sale so be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details if interested.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the B.O.S.S., paint and clear coat used on this project.

the upholsterer’s toolbox.

I picked up this wooden box while out at garage sales a few weeks back.

I knew it would be a fun painting project, and swapping out that blue plastic handle would be super easy.

As I was paying for it, the seller told me that her dad was an upholsterer and this was his toolbox.  Inside the lid was this contraption, which consisted of some steel wool covered by some felt and held in place with upholstery tacks, and then filled with big pins with round loops on the end.

Apparently those are upholstery pins or skewers.

Of course, I’m not keeping any of that.  I think it might seriously limit my ability to sell this piece if my target market only includes upholsterers.

So I removed all of that, and pulled off the ugly handle.  Then I gave the box a base coat of paint in Dixie Belle’s Dried Sage.  That was just to build on though.  I decided to try my hand at paint blending once again.  Some of you may remember that I tried this once before and wasn’t happy with the results (on this bed).  I ended up painting back over that attempt with a solid color.

But you know what they say, if at first you don’t succeed …

So I pulled out a couple of colors that I thought would blend nicely for the outside of the box, Dixie Belle’s chalk mineral paint in Sea Glass and Juniper, and their Silk paint in Cactus for the interior of the box.

I have to confess that I did cheat a little, or maybe it would be fair to say that my technique was a little different than that of the experts.  I started by mixing my two colors together in a plastic cup to create a third mid-range color.  I then painted the centers of each surface in Sea Glass, the outer edges in Juniper, and used the mixed paint to blend in between.  I used the Dixie Belle Continuous Mister Bottle to keep my paint wet thus allowing me to blend the colors together as I worked.

I kept my blending a little on the more subtle side, and I love the results.

Once I had the paint blended on the outside, I painted the inside in two coats of Dixie Belle’s Silk Paint in Cactus.

You might be wondering why I didn’t just use the Juniper again on the inside, and that’s because I wanted to use a Silk paint for the interior.  It has a built in stain blocker, and a built in top coat.  There were some stains that I thought might bleed through, and I wanted the inside to be durable without having to add several coats of sealer.  Two coats of Silk paint and I was done.

Next came the fun part, adding some transfers.

The wording is from the I.O.D. Label Ephemera transfer, the florals and that adorable row of birds is from the I.O.D. Brocante transfer, with a couple of florals from their Floral Anthology thrown in as well.

And as you can see, I swapped out the original handle for a drawer pull from Hobby Lobby.  In fact, it was the drawer pull that inspired the color scheme.

The little moth on the latch is a Tim Holtz transfer (the 1858. is from Label Ephemera).

Once I had all of the transfers in place, I sanded over everything lightly with 220 grit sandpaper and then added a coat of clear wax.

This box would be perfect for storing art supplies.

Or maybe your bird watching materials.

I really enjoy working on these sorts of projects.  When I’m working on furniture I feel much more limited in what I can do.  I’m always trying to walk that line between creating art and creating furniture that is marketable.  Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong with the furniture?  I might have to give that some thought.

But in the meantime, it doesn’t even feel fair to make a before and after comparison on this one.

I can’t imagine that anyone would prefer the ‘before’ version.  Except possibly an upholsterer.  What do you think?

This former upholsterer’s toolbox is for sale locally, be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint and mister I used on this project.

they’re a real hot item.

“Give shy persons the strength they need to get up and do what needs to be done. Made from whole wheat raised by Norwegian bachelor farmers, so you know they’re not only good for you, they’re pure, mostly.”

Were any of you fans of A Prairie Home Companion?  The radio show on public radio?  OK, this one makes me sound older than I am because I was a fan of a radio show (as if I was around before TV).  But it was on the air from 1974 through 2016.  It originally started at a local college here, Macalester.  If that name sounds familiar to some of you non-locals, maybe it’s because I regularly go to a neighborhood garage sale in that area, MacGrove.

Anyway, one of the fictional sponsors of the show was Powdermilk Biscuits.  When I mentioned how fast Monday’s toolbox sold, Mr. Q started singing the Powdermilk Biscuit jingle.

Has your family tried them, Powdermilk?
Has your family tried them, Powdermilk!
Well, if your family’s tried ’em,
You know you’ve satisfied ’em,
They’re a real hot item, Powdermilk!

Which brings me to the 2nd toolbox that I transformed last week.  If you’ll remember, here is the ‘before’ photo.

This is one that my friend Sue found for me.

I started out with my usual prep; a good cleaning with a grease cutting cleanser (Dawn dish soap in this case), a light sanding to remove any flaking paint and to scuff up the surface, then two coats of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S. to show this toolbox who’s boss.

Next I painted the inside and the tray in Dixie Belle’s Bunker Hill Blue.  I chose that color because I thought it would be gorgeous with the Cobalt Flourish decoupage paper from with prima.

Before decoupaging this paper to the bottom of the tray, I had to paint just the part I was covering up in DB’s Drop Cloth in order to provide a white background for the tissue paper design.

Once I had the inside finished, I painted the outside in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.  I then used this toolbox to experiment with my new I.O.D. stamps, and you’ll see those details in a later post.  Suffice to say, spoiler alert, I didn’t love the results.  So I ended up painting over them with a stripe of Dixie Belle’s French Linen down the center of the toolbox.

Next I pulled out some wording from I.O.D.’s Label Ephemera transfer and added that to the toolbox.

Then I took a step back and thought it was still just a little bare looking.  It needed something more.

So I pulled out the I.O.D. Brocante transfer.  As I was looking through the various designs in that transfer, this botanical one with a blue flower caught my eye …

I realized it would wrap around from the front of the toolbox to the top of it perfectly, plus the blue flower would tie in with the Bunker Hill Blue on the inside.  Not to mention, the butterflies would tie in perfectly as well.

Then I saw a 2nd botanical design with a blue flower in that set.

It was also nearly the perfect size to wrap up and over, it just covered up a tiny bit of the “N” in Naturalist’s.  Of course, it would have been better to put the florals on first, then layer the wording over them.  Had I planned this out, I would have done that.

But this design was continuously evolving as I went along.

In fact, when I then put the tray with the Cobalt Flourish paper lining back inside it was all wrong.  I meant to take a photo so that I could show you what I mean, but completely forgot.  You’ll just have to imagine it.  It just didn’t mesh with the botanicals on the outside of the toolbox.

So I made the decision to remove the decoupage tissue and just leave the inside plain.

If you’re wondering how hard it is to remove the prima decoupage paper that was applied with DB’s clear coat, it’s not that hard.  I misted it with water, let it sit for a minute, and then it scraped right off with a paint scraper.  Of course, it hadn’t had a chance to cure, I think it had been about 24 hours since I put it on.  I’m sure it would become more difficult to remove over time.  But once I had it off, I sanded the tray down a bit and added a fresh coat of the Bunker Hill Blue.

I love the rich, pop of navy blue inside …

but the outside is the real star of the show.

This toolbox is for sale locally, and they’re a real hot item, so if any of you locals (I don’t ship my items) are interested, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the B.O.S.S., paint and sealer I used for this project.

annie’s toolbox.

I promised to share some toolbox updates with you this week, and here is the first one.

My friend Annie gave me this toolbox.

She’s seen some of my toolbox makeovers here on the blog, so she thought I could do something with this one.  And she was right!

I started out with my usual prep; a good cleaning with a grease cutting cleanser (Dawn dish soap in this case), a light sanding to remove any flaking paint and to scuff up the surface, then two coats of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S. to slow down any rust or other things bleeding through the paint.

Once I had that done, I painted the interior and the tray in two coats of Dixie Belle’s Kudzu.  Then I added the I.O.D. Rose Chintz inlay to the bottom of the tray.

I just love this green!  And I love how the pinks in the paint inlay pop in contrast.

Next up, the exterior got two coats of DB’s Drop Cloth.

Initially I planned to use just transfers to dress this one up on the outside, but ultimately I decided to add some of the paint inlay to the top also.

This required a fresh coat of paint in each of the areas where I wanted the inlay, but that was no big deal.  To accomplish this, I cut the inlay sheet to size for those two strips before applying.  For more details on using the inlays, check out my how-to post.

Once the inlay was dry I coated those areas with Rustoleum spray matte sealer.  Keep in mind that paint inlays are re-activated with water, so using a water based sealer with a brush may cause the inlay to smear.  Also, sanding the inlay without sealing first will allow the colors to smear as well.  So always seal your paint inlay after it’s dry and before moving on to your next step.

I sanded fairly heavily over the inlay to give it a more faded appearance.  It also would have worked well to use a section of the inlay paper that had already been used once, but I didn’t have any that were long enough for these two strips.

I absolutely love the authentically distressed look I ended up with.

Next up I added some bits and pieces from I.O.D.’s Label Ephemera transfer,

and a couple of tiny bees from with prima’s French Maison knob transfers.

I absolutely adore the shabby chic vibe of this toolbox now.

Isn’t it pretty?

This is normally the part where I say, if any of you locals are interested, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale’ page for more details.  However, this toolbox was spotted by a different Annie and it seemed meant for her.  So this one is already spoken for.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the B.O.S.S., paint and sealer I used for this project.


not tired of toolboxes.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of painting toolboxes.

I totally enjoy the process.  Well, most of the process.  I don’t enjoy the initial cleaning.  They tend to start out pretty gross; rusty, greasy, dirty, and smelly.

But after I give them a good cleaning with Dawn dish soap (or you could use any grease cutting cleaner), a light sanding to remove any flaking paint, and a coat or two of Dixie Belle’s B.O.S.S., we are good to get started with the fun part.  Painting and embellishing.

One of my favorite paint combos on a toolbox is Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy and French Linen.

These two colors pair up beautifully, and it’s easy to add a wide stripe to the outside of a toolbox using some yellow frog tape.

Lately I’ve been loving a more floral look on toolboxes as well.

Most of those are I.O.D. transfers, although the floral portion of the one on the bottom right (and below) is a with prima transfer.

I personally prefer the more muted colors of the I.O.D. florals …

But that’s just me.  I know there are those of you that love a vibrant, brighter floral as well.

My go-to favorite neutral for toolboxes is, of course, Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.

I just love that warm white shade, it has a very vintage look.

Even though I keep these Drop Cloth toolboxes neutral on the outside, I really enjoy adding a pop of vibrant color on the inside.

I find this a great way to use some of those gorgeous colors without feeling like it’s going to limit the marketability of my piece (top row colors: Peony & Flamingo, bottom row colors: Blueberry and Mint Julep).

I often line the bottom inside with decoupage paper.

I find that the Decoupage Décor Tissue Paper from with prima is the easiest ‘paper’ to use for this purpose.  I put ‘paper’ in quotes because this stuff has a texture similar to dryer sheets.  It’s not at all like a flimsy tissue paper.  It doesn’t tear easily (in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever torn it), and it doesn’t wrinkle when you decoupage it.  I use the Dixie Belle flat clear coat as a decoupage medium, but there are lots of options out there including Mod Podge, Fusion’s Decoupage and Transfer Gel, and others.

I don’t always keep the color on the inside.  I’ve painted color on the outside of a few toolboxes too.

Does black count as a color?  Well, maybe not.  But it isn’t white so I’m going to count it.

I didn’t always keep the tray inserts with my toolboxes, but after one of my favorite customers requested that I paint one up I decided why not?

They aren’t that hard to paint, and they do add more functionality to the toolbox.  Especially if you’re using it for artist paints and brushes, or a glue gun with glue sticks.  Plus it adds another layer that I can decorate with transfers, decoupage paper or stencils.

I’m currently working on a couple of toolboxes that I’ll be sharing here next week.  Both came with trays that I’ll be painting up to match.

This one was one of my friend Sue’s finds …

And this one came from my friend Annie …

Both will be for sale locally, so if any of you locals are in the market for a toolbox be sure to stay tuned next week to see how these turned out.

As I was putting this post together, I realized just how many toolboxes I’ve painted in the past and decided that I needed a ‘category’ on my blog devoted solely to toolbox makeovers.  So if you want to see the details on any of these, just look on the right side of the page (if you’re viewing this on a computer) and under ‘sorted.’ where it says ‘Select Category’ simply choose ‘toolboxes’.  I think I may have missed a few, but for the most part you’ll see all of my toolbox makeover posts there.

So tell me, do you have a favorite from amongst them all?  If so, do share in a comment!

the turquoise tacklebox.

Some of you may remember way back in 2018 (gosh!  4 years ago!) when I dressed up some toolboxes with some prima marketing transfers.

I sold the black one and the green one, but the turquoise one … which actually is a tacklebox, rather than a toolbox … was one that had been gifted to me by my co-worker Jodie.  I wanted to keep it, it’s perfect for holding my hot glue gun and extra glue sticks.

I have to confess, those pink roses were never really ‘me’ though.  But somehow re-doing something that I keep inside a cupboard was never at the top of my to-do list while I was still working a full time job and blogging.  Now that I’m retired from the day job, I’m determined to get around to doing a few makeovers for myself, starting with this tacklebox.

The first step was to sand down the transfers a bit, just to smooth them out so that their outline didn’t show under a new coat of paint.

Next I cleaned the box with some soapy water.

I definitely wanted to keep that turquoise color, so I pulled out some Dixie Belle paint in The Gulf.

It was quick work to paint a single coat of paint over the box, and that was all it took to get the coverage I wanted.

Pretty good coverage for one coat, don’t you think?

After sanding to distress and vacuuming away the dust, I added a few words from IOD’s Label Ephemera transfer.

The number “05713” on the right is from a Tim Holtz transfer.

I added a topcoat of clear wax to bring out a little depth to the paint color, and to protect the paint job.

By the way, I did not paint that little plate that holds the handle in place, that’s the original color.  The Gulf was a pretty good match!

If I was planning to sell this one, I would have taken the time to paint the inside of the box as well.  But since I’m keeping it for myself, and since the color still works, I just left it alone.

This was such a quick and easy makeover.  I bet it only took me about an hour including dry time.  I guess I probably could have squeezed it in while I was still a working woman 😉

So, what do you think?  Do you prefer the ‘before’ or the ‘after’?  Are you a fan of the original rusty patina, or do you like the fresh paint job better?  And how about that color?  Should I do more toolboxes in vibrant colors, or do you prefer the more neutral look I usually do?  I’m curious about all of these things, so leave me a comment and let me know.

a little june in january.

Well, the hubbub of the holidays is over.  I don’t know about you, but I’m one of those people who take down and put away my holiday decorations starting December 26.  Except this year I didn’t start until December 27, because I had family over on December 26 to celebrate my nephew’s 40th birthday.  He was visiting from Philly, so it was fun to have him here for his big birthday.

But now I have all of my indoor decorations down and stored away for next year.

As for the outside stuff, well, that’s a different story here in Minnesota.  We had some sub-zero temps over this past weekend and there’s no way I’m braving that to take down decorations.

Plus, the bulk of them are frozen in place under a layer of snow now anyway.  They won’t be coming out for a while.

So I focused on a few indoor painting projects this past weekend instead, including this rather giant toolbox.

I don’t think that photo above does a good job of showing the size of this one, but here is the toolbox along with a few of the other things I purchased last summer.  Seeing it in relation to the chairs puts it in a little more perspective.

It’s really quite the beast.  And in its original state, it was also quite heavy even while empty.  I honestly don’t think I could have even lugged it around when filled with tools (or anything at all for that matter).  When you opened it, two layers of trays opened up accordion style on either side.

As much as that was pretty cool, I asked Ken to remove them for me.  For one thing, they added considerable weight and for another they would have been nearly impossible to paint without resorting to spray paint.  They also would have limited the possibilities for future use.  Sure, you could have used it for your fishing lures, or your socket set, but as you’ll see in a minute, I don’t think the new look screams tackle box or toolbox.

After it was gutted, I cleaned the toolbox with Dawn dish soap.  Once dry I painted the outside in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy, and the inside in their Silk paint in a color called Hampton Olive.

I chose this color for a few reasons.  First of all, it’s very similar to the original color of the interior, so I was paying homage to that.  Second, I thought it worked well with both the transfer I planned to use as well as the Sawmill Gravy.  I wanted to use a Silk paint because the sealer and topcoat are built in.  I thought I’d save myself a couple of steps this time around.  And this was the best option out of the colors of Silk paint that I had on hand.  Finally, I liked the idea of toning down the girly-ness with a more masculine color on the inside because as you’re about to see, this one is plenty girly on the outside.

Yep, I went full on floral for this one, with a few cherubs to boot.  That is the bottom half of the June, Ode to Henry Fletcher transfer from IOD.

I’ve had this transfer for a while and I really wasn’t sure I’d ever find the perfect piece for it, but it worked beautifully on this toolbox.  I love the way it has a bunch of flower names listed at the bottom.

I’m guessing that these are all flowers that bloom in June.  Does Jasmine bloom in June?

I added the wording on the top of the toolbox from a couple of other IOD transfers.

The “Les Roses” section is from their Petit Rosier transfer, and the “Les Fleurs” wording is from their Label Ephemera transfer (and in case you were wondering, yes, you can layer transfers in this way).

Once the transfers were applied, I sanded lightly along any edges and corners to give it a more distressed appearance.

Finally, I added a coat of clear wax.

I don’t know about you, but June feels far away to me just now.  So I thought I’d bring a little bit of June to January.

You could store all kinds of fun things inside this baby.  Art supplies, gardening tools, hats and mittens … lots of possibilities.  I am listing this one for sale (see my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details), but I have to price it a bit higher than usual.  Those IOD transfers are not cheap (but they sure are gorgeous).  In the end, if it doesn’t sell, I bet I’ll get over it and find a spot for it at my house.  If any of you locals need to bring a little bit of June into your January, be sure to email me at

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the paint used in this project.

a simple lockbox.

I love doing simple little projects like this one that prove how much personality you can add with a little paint, some transfers and some decoupage paper.

My friend/picker, Sue, found this little lockbox for me last summer.

It’s just your basic metal box meant for storing important documents.  It’s obviously not particularly old, maybe from the 70’s or 80’s.  It’s not really anything special, but Sue knew I could give it a fun new look.

I started by scuff sanding the surface to give the paint a better chance to stick.  Then I cleaned the box with soap and water.  Once dry, I started painting.  I painted a strip down the center in Dixie Belle’s French Linen, and once that was fully dry, I taped a line on either side of the handle and painted the outer edges of the box in Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy.

I love this combination of colors, these two play really well together.

Once all of the paint was dry, I sanded the edges to distress the box, wiped away any dust and then added some IOD transfers.

These were just bits and pieces that I had in my transfer scrap pile, all of them coming originally from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer.

I cut out each line separately and arranged them to fit the top of the box.

I’d also painted the interior of the box in the French Linen.  Once that was dry, I lined it with some with prima decoupage tissue paper called Washed Damask.

I used Dixie Belle clear coat in flat as a decoupage medium for the tissue, and I also gave the rest of the interior a couple of coats of the flat clear coat to provide extra protection to the paint.

I used clear wax as a topcoat on the outside of the box because I prefer the look it gives over the flat clear coat.

It leaves just a bit more sheen.  But it doesn’t provide quite as much protection, so that’s why I opt for the clear coat on the inside.  I also buffed up the lock using clear wax so that it’s nice and shiny now.

I wish I had the key to go with the box, but unfortunately I don’t.  I even went through my jar of random keys to see if I could find one that fit, but no luck.

So whatever is stored inside won’t be under lock and key.

But it will be stored in style.

This particular box is already spoken for.  One of my regular customers gave me a really fabulous, and really huge, cabinet in exchange for it.  I won’t be able to work on the cabinet until spring/summer when I can be outside in my carriage house workshop because there is no way I have room to do it in the house.  So you’ll have to stay tuned for that one!

In the meantime, let me know what you think of the lock box makeover.

As always, thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint and clear coat used on this project.