FRILLING guest post: A jewelry box transformed


Today’s guest post is by Bethany, who you might remember from our Frilling Fashionista series. Aside from her day job as a social worker at Mission Waco, Bethany makes jewelry for the Harts and Crafts boutique. She also knits beautiful hair pieces and jewelry, among other things. Bethany, YOU FRILL US! 


Like Aurelia, this was my first summer after graduate school. I have enjoyed the time that has freed up from all the hours of reading and writing that had filled up my days as a graduate student. After feeling inspired and energized by all this newfound free time, I decided to give my jewelry box a makeover! This beautiful jewelry box was given to me by my sweet mom-in-law. It has served me well, as its basic structure is pretty solid and it has a lot compartments for jewelry storage.

Over time the mirrors were no longer secure and kept falling out each time I opened the top of the box, and I never added personal photos to the built in photo-frames, so they still contained the pictures the jewelry box came with.

Despite the little drawbacks, I still loved this box.  I loved its charming structural design of all the little shelves, drawers and compartments, as well as the fact that it was given to my by someone I love! This wasn’t a bad jewelry box, I had simply allowed it go a little wayward. It wasn’t the box’s fault that its owner can be a little bit of a mess! This box clearly was in need of a little lovin’. So, I decided to spiffy it up!

Using some sandpaper I purchased at a local craft store, I sanded down the glossy finish of the box. Then, using some acrylic mint green paint, I painted the box with about three coats of paint. I mixed some light grey acrylic paint with a dab or two of a dark brown paint to make a lovely taupe grey. I used this color to paint the inside and outside panels of the front doors as well as the doors that held the mirrors. It was really starting to come together, but I felt like it was still missing a little something.

With the assistance of a rubber stamp, I used some ink to lightly imprint dandelions onto the front and back panels of the box’s front door.  Then, I carefully dabbed the ink with my fingers until it left only a faint dry imprint. I painted the imprints with some of the mint green paint. I added some additional taupe grey dandelions on the inside of the bottom doors, as well as some hand drawn embellishments.

Next, using a long thin knife, I carefully removed the white cloth/cardboard divider/jewelry holders from the top of the box. I cut out some fabric and glued it onto the top of the dividers with all-purpose glue. I make cloth button earrings and sell them at a local boutique, so I had plenty of pretty bits of cloth to line the jewelry box with! In the process of reupholstering the fabric in the top box, I removed about half of the ring holders and created an additional compartment with the space.

I also added a simple cloth panel in the back and added needlepoint canvas (stiffened with the assistance of some spray starch and an iron) to each door where the mirrors were. Though the mirrors were nice, this was a more practical option for me as I love earrings and the cloth panels gave me a great way to neatly store and display my earrings.

In addition to making over the jewelry box, I also (finally) cleaned out my jewelry box—- recycling most pieces I don’t use for future projects.

And now I have newly refurbished jewelry box. This was a fairly simple project for someone who is a novice painter/sander/refurbisher, and I recommend it if you are looking for a great way to look at something you love in a new and fresh light.  I’m pretty pleased with the results!

August 16, 2012 10:12 AM | Comments | Categories: Crafts + DIY | Tags: ,

fran & aurelia

Fran likes knitting, cooking, reading design blogs, curating her home, and wearing chunky jewelry.

Aurelia likes baking, fashion, hosting lovely dinner parties, and laughing at clever and witty things.