The Jewel Box Project: Now They’re Dressers!

I’ve been eyeing old jewel boxes at Value Village. Cheap, scratched, missing the odd knob or two – just waiting for a makeover. I picked up a few and got hooked!

Group of Single Photosweb

There are always a fair number of them at the stores. They were made in the 1980s and have gone out of vogue.

The first task was to get rid of the insides – the tacky velveteen liners in the drawers, the foam-filled sections for rings, and the rotating hooks for necklaces. Each of the spaces behind the doors was lined with rough-cut mirrors, not the safest for small hands. Clearing this stuff out was a pain – the glue was top notch!

Removing the surface finishes was much faster. It was a matter of some stripper and sandpaper to smooth the surfaces, removing the doors to work on them separately. I ended up with 5 ready-to-finish frames and a bunch of doors and drawers!

Even though it takes a while to get these little wooden pieces paint-ready, I am always impressed by the workmanship. The components fit perfectly and the detailing is precise.

At any rate, on to the most fun! The colours!

I had a mess of jewel box parts on my painting table for weeks, all in various states of completion, drying and waiting while I did other things at the same time.


In the end, 5 wonderful doll dressers emerged.

frames-finishedweb finishedweb finishedweb


(Minor detail… I had to REPAINT the purple door and the green door because I had them on the WRONG frames! Oh well – a momentary lapse of attention created another couple of hours of work… sigh).


I can hardly wait to do some more!



Child’s Book Shelf

I bought this wobbly little shelf for $10, standing 30 inches high and 18 inches wide. Probably not worth it but I always like a challenge!

It’s small and narrow. The black paint covered red paint which covered green, and the wood was very rough; it took a lot of stripper and effort to get to the base. It’s a great example of used, rough-hewn wood repurposed into something “new”. It was probably once an old packing crate.

When I got to this point I just sat back and pondered. After minor repairs and priming, I knew it needed a back for interest and for stabilization. I decided upon a fabric rear wall and paints to match. Like so.18webAs always, painting was the fun part. Then I cut backboard and set about attaching the fabric (see this post for how-to’s) on an angle to match the line of those small inside shelf stabilizers.

The colours worked out beautifully and the little shelf now sits in my granddaughter’s bedroom!

Rainbow Boxes Set of 3

rainbow box finished exteriorsrainbow box finished interiors

I’ve always loved containers. Any container, large or small. They’re easy to strip, they’re fun to paint. I can work at just about any available table, and I can work in tiny pockets of time!

This tray with its three boxes started out in basic black. With studs. Not at all my style, thank you…

rainbow box before top   rainbox box before separate parts   rainbox box before open

All those little “stud” tacks were the first to go. Continue reading “Rainbow Boxes Set of 3”

A Little Purple Cupboard

purple cupboard before   purple side table   24 Inside

This cupboard can be used as a bedside table, a coffee table, or in any other spot for a bit of storage and a splash of colour! I think it would be perfect for a little girl to store doll supplies in its spacious interior. Continue reading “A Little Purple Cupboard”

Frog-Stencilled Bookshelf: It’s Old but It’s Solid

purple-green shelves

purple-green shelves side b

purple-green shelves side b

Sometimes you can find tucked away in second-hand shops great little pieces like this one: battered but repaired, solid and steady. As I worked on it, I discovered other bonuses too. It was made of thick pine with only a few knots, and varnish beneath the paint allowed easy paint removal. Shelves were fairly deep and edges nicely curved.

It certainly wasn’t pretty when I picked it up…

before front before back before side before top Continue reading “Frog-Stencilled Bookshelf: It’s Old but It’s Solid”