Apr 232016

Turning an old French wine crate into a magazine holder.

Upcycled French Wine Crate

The moment I saw this on Ebay, I just knew it would make a great magazine holder.  Check out the seller’s other items if you’re interested in trying this yourself.


  • Sand to remove roughness and make edges and corners slightly rounded.
  • Stain using a waterbased French Oak wood stain.
  • Paint using Americana Chalky Paint in a greeny/blue.  I dry brushed the front so the pyrograhs weren’t covered up.  The inside was also dry brushed.  The other 3 sides and base were painted normally.
  • Distress the paint in areas.  Some parts using a vinegar/water mix, other parts using sandpaper.
  • Apply clear wax, then dark wax on edges and to distressed areas.  Wipe off excess and leave overnight.
  • Buff up to a soft sheen.
  • Add metal corner braces (just for show).

**The above product links are currently working, but over time, may become dead.

Here are the photos of various angles of the finished box.  The unpainted box that it’s sitting on is a “future project”!

Upcycled French Wine Crate Upcycled French Wine Crate Upcycled French Wine Crate Upcycled French Wine Crate Upcycled French Wine Crate Upcycled French Wine Crate

Apr 192016

Upcycling an old 1930/40’s veneered tallboy using chalk paints and wax.

This was my Mom’s tallboy.  When she no longer wanted it,  my niece had it for a while, then it came to us.  Firstly, it was in my “office”, then hubby had it in his craft room for storing his unmade model aircraft.  Nothing had been done to it other than a clean, wax and replaced old handles.   Now, however, it’s going in our conservatory to be an overspill storage space for my china and glass.  As it’s sitting empty, waiting for the space, I’m taking advantage and attacking it with my chalk paints 🙂

I almost forgot to take any before photos, hence the painting had already begun…

upcycled tallboy before upcycled tallboy before

Day 1 – first coat of Antique White chalk paint on the front and top and Duck Egg Light on the sides and inside cupboard and drawers.  The doors had dried quite patchy so while I had the blue paint open, I painted some of it over the worst places.  As well as extra cover, it will hopefully show through a little when the top coat is distressed.

upcycling a tallboy

Getting there…..  I decided that I liked the doors blue so I gave them another couple of coats.

upcycling a tallboy

The painting is finished.  All I have left to do is waxing.  It looks very “new” now and I can’t help thinking it looks a little too pristine, so I’m going to be using a mix of clear and dark wax.

I highlighted the carved flower motifs on the mouldings in white with a dry brush.

upcycling a tallboy

I couldn’t resist adding some decoration before waxing 🙂   Now it’s nicely waxed, aged and distressed.  A bit like me really 😀

upcycling a tallboy

upcycling a tallboy




Mar 182016

Firstly, I apologise for not thinking to take “before” photos, as I started this before posting about it on Facebook, and hadn’t anticipated the interest shown.  I will remember to take before shots on future projects.

OK, I bought this jewellery box….ooh, at least 20 years ago from Argos.  There was nothing wrong with it other than being boring brown wood, so looking for a small project, I set about changing it.  The process was simple and straightforward.


  • Disassemble box, removing hinges and brackets that hold the glass in the lid.
  • Sand lightly to give a key, then wipe over with white vinegar to remove any traces of grease or polish.
  • Apply chalk paint and leave to dry.
  • When dry, sand back lightly to leave small worn patches.
  • Apply hot fix decals and leave 24 hours.
  • Lightly rub the decals with fine wire wool to distress slightly, then apply a coat of Antique Wax.  Leave overnight.
  • Buff to get a satin sheen on the paint.
  • Apply a small amount of copper gilt cream to the inside edge of the lid, leave 24 hours, then buff.


  • Clean glass well to remove any dust and grease.
  • Apply gilding size and leave a few minutes to go tacky.
  • Carefully apply copper leaf, and rub down lightly with a soft cloth.  Leave 24 hours.
  • To take the shine off the underside of the leaf, I haphazardly rubbed over it with a mix of bronze and copper gilt cream.
  • Leave 24 hours then buff.

There was no closure on the box, so I also added a hasp as a finishing touch.

The flower motif on the glass was already there.

Painted jewellery box

Painted jewellery box

Copper leaf on the underside of the glass

Painted jewellery box

Floral decals

Painted jewellery box

The copper leaf on the inside of the lid has been given an aged look