Monday, February 18, 2013

Before and After: Vintage Jewelry Box

I was happy to see the snow falling yesterday morning, because it meant that I could stay in my pajamas all day and not bother going anywhere. I have small children, though, so staying in bed lounging away the hours is not a possibility. Instead, I took advantage of the time inside to begin serious planning for my daughter's pioneer birthday party and to work on a couple of projects.

Probably because of the aforementioned small children, these days I mostly stick to small DIY projects that can be completed in one day or less. It's also fun to have the instant gratification that comes with a quick transformation. Today's project was one that I have been wanting to do for quite a while--a re-do of a charming but dated (possibly 1970s or 1980s) wooden jewelry box.

I bought these two jewelry boxes within the last two years, hoping to update them for my daughters:

I wanted to freshen them up, but keep their charm. Because I was unsure of my plan, I decided to try my hand at the smaller one first. It has a bright yellow interior, with one removable drawer. I thought the yellow would go nicely with some leftover homemade light grey chalk paint that I had used to repaint a small footstool recently. Alas, although I had stored my paint in a tightly closed jar, it had dried up considerably. I was able to add a bit of water to get just enough paint to coat the jewelry box, but lesson learned--I will never mix up too much homemade chalk paint at one time expecting to use the rest on a later project.

I gave the box two good coats of paint, drying in between coats (chalk paint, at least homemade chalk paint, dries in just minutes). Then I used a fine grit sandpaper to very lightly distress the piece. I had painted the bronzey knobs on the drawers, but didn't really like them painted so much, so I sanded them down, too. I was thrilled to find that the sandpaper took the faux bronze off the knobs, and they ended up being a beautiful aged silver, which goes perfectly with the grey tone of the paint. The final step was to give it a coat of Minwax Finishing Paste Wax in Natural.

Here is the finished piece, hanging out with some of my favorite costume jewelry:

I love the way it turned out and can't wait to get to work on the second and larger jewelry box. I am thinking about trying a darker hue the second time around, and possibly adding some embellishments. What do you think--did I successfully update this sweet little box?


  1. I absolutely adore this!!! I'm inspired to make one for Red!

    1. Thank you! If you do make one, please send a picture!

  2. Can you make me one? Pretty please?

    1. I will see what I can do--maybe a giveaway? :)