Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Quatrefoil(ed) Plans

I found this box on Sunday while I was at 'Everything Here is Overpriced Thrift Store'. Ok, really it's called 'Veteran's Thrift Store', but seriously, it seemed like everything I looked at was $39.99. Thankfully, this box was only $4.99.

It was nice as is, but it had that lovely thrift store smell. Mmm hmm, you know the one. It's the same one that I used to smell all the time as a kid when my mom would drag me and my sister to Thrift City so that she could look for used books. The used books that were right next to the underwear section. Ahh, the memories.
Anyway, here's the step-by-step (ooo baby gotta get to you giiiirl) process I used to make it more personalized and less stinky.

Here's the inside...

Eww, right? I don't even wanna know what that white stuff is.
I ripped it out and then scraped out all that green fuzzy glue.

Then I sanded the ever living c-r-a-p out of it.

On a side note, 'crap' was my first curse word. I heard my Aunt saying it while cleaning out her old room at my Grandparents' house. I asked her "what's crap mean". She told me it meant 'stuff'. Can you see where this story is going?
A few days later when my mom told me to clean up my 'stuff' from under the coffee table, I told her "that ain't my crap".
Oooo child, lemme tell ya, that was a butt smackin of a lifetime. I don't think she believed my story about where I had heard that word. That's ok, I still love the crap out of you ma!

K, back to the box.
Here's the inside all de-fuzzed

After the de-fuzzing process, I painted it white

Then I had the fabulous idea of stenciling it with a quatrefoil pattern.

I found a pattern online, printed it out, covered it in clear tape and cut out all the negative area.

Then tested my stencil on a piece of paper

...and then discovered that I totally suck at making stencils.

Well, forget that idea.

I went for something that seemed a little easier, a Chevron pattern. If you've ever tried to hand paint a chevron pattern you know just how hard it really is. I didn't wanna hurt my brain by trying to hand draw a chevron pattern so I found this one online through a Google search.

I printed out 4 copies and cut & pasted them together so that it would cover the top of the box.

Then I covered the top of the box with painter's tape.

Next, I centered and taped the chevron pattern over the top of the painter's tape

Then traced over the lines so that it would make an indention on the blue tape.

After I pulled off the pattern, I traced over the indention's with a pen.

Then took a razor and cut along the zig zag lines
and pulled up the tape on every other one

Next, I mixed up some teal-ish blue paint and used a wet sponge to paint it on

Then pulled off that tape to reveal my masterpiece!

Then said to myself 'wooooah, that's way too bright' and went to find some sand paper.
All I could find was some 220 grit. Work with whatcha got!
So I distress...

and distress some more

.. just a lil bit more...

ahh, looks better

Here's a side by side before and after:

I'd like to use a stain to make it look a little more used and abused, but I'm too chicken to do it.
I still have to paint the inside, too. I wanna do something fun like coral or pink.
Any suggestions??

Linking this post to:

Nicolette's Thirsty Thursday's:
Cassity's Remodelaholic's Anonymous:
Donna's Saturday Night Special:
Courtney's Fethered Next Fridays at French Country Cottage
Carrie's Amaze me Mondays at  Dittle Dattle
Layla & Kevin's How To's Day at  The Lettered Cottage
Michelle's Watever Goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts
Kate's Flaut it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring
Ashley's beautiful blog  Eisy Morgan
Roeshel's DIY Showoff:


emily @ the happy home said...

love love love lovin' this. i hate striking out at the thrift store, but that's a good find! smart move on removing the green felt, too. if the musty smell is going to live anywhere, that'd be it!

liz @ bon temps beignet said...

I know! That green felt really soaked up the thirft store smell. I thought that by painting it, it would seal off the smell but it still has a little bit of a stink to it. I need to paint the inside soon.

LindsB said...

it looks awesome- I love the pattern you ended up with and I think its the perfect thrift store box makeover. Great job!!

Scarlet Letterer said...

Ha, hexe! See, your early exposure to Thrift City has served you well.
Glad you passed on the quatrefoil, it was a tad too close to the vinyl in Monny's den. And you may call it fancy-schmancy "chevrons" but I know a quilt pattern when I see one!
More early influence. Ah, plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose, as I always wanted to be able to say but couldn't.
Still love ya. <|:)
Sent from my iPhone

Carol said...

Adorable... I am loving it! The inside is begging to be dark red... you know, Lettered Cottage style.

liz @ bon temps beignet said...

Ooh, red might be the colors she used in her new mantel-scape.

Kelly said...

whoa, what a difference it made distressing it. i like it in the last photo REALLY distressed, because the previous pattern comes through, and the chevron is all faded and muddy, but in a nice way.

as far as the inside, i like the idea of coral. how about lining the bottom with fabric?


AB HOME Interiors said...

This is so cool! Thrift stores have amazing finds!


Kerry said...

You are a hoot!!! I almost busted a gut laughing about using your new found word..crap!! Hahaha...sorry but that was too funny!!

I vote for a coral interior!

jandjhome said...

Ok, I love this. I can't tell you how impressed I am. This finish is perfect and I love the pattern coming through underneath.

Pamma said...

Oh, honey, you crack me up!

Very entertaining, and your box looks good too.
I say, go for the pink!

Marianne said...

You could paint the inside coral and use a bright coral pattern fabric in the lid and in the bottom. Good job on the distressing, I really like how the old pattern is still peeking through.
Thank you for sharing.

Margaret said...

Ah Chevron, how I love thee!
VERY good job. I am one who also sucks at creating stencils, even though I would REALLY like to be good at them. Blargh.

I love turquoise and red together- maybe that would be a fun POP on the inside.


Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

I love the color and pattern you used. You have lots of patience! The sanding did make a big difference. Really pretty!

Rachael said...

Wow! I really like the way it turned out and the way you can still see the original pattern peaking through. Very nice job! :)

Visit me at

Mallory said...

Yay! Glad another blogger in the world thinks stenciling is hard work! Everyone seems to make it look so easy! Love the chevron! I'm a new follower :)

Lisa said...

That is a really great idea on how to paint chevron - you are, as we like to say in Boston, "wicked smaht"! Thanks for sharing - love the blue you chose and how your box came out.

Allison@FabRehab said...

This is amazing! I'd never have thunk (yep, that's a word today!) to use the painters tape that way! Loove it!

Ashleigh@Sincerely said...

coral would really pop against the blue!

Kim @ Second Time Furniture said...

Hi there! I'm your neighbor over at Sat Night Special. :) Adorable box! Love how you distresed it, too! Those thrift stores drive me nuts that are so overpriced!

mary kathryn @ mathews family happenings said...

good gravy that's a fab box you made! I'm trying my hand at a chevron pattern this weekend, so I had to click and take a look at this- LOVE it! I'm visiting from Chic on a Shoestring.

Yolanda @ Miss Refashionista said...

Nice!! I love chevron!

You've got great talent! :)

kate said...

SHINY RED inside, or if you want subtle, silver.

I'd love a box like this done with a Union Jack (distressed).

Kate --- soon to be your newest follower, after I post this :)

Kate @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating said...

Nice job! You are a patient one... I woulda chucked it after my first stencil went bad. :) Loved your NKOTB reference, thanks for getting that song stuck in my head by the way. ;)

Thanks for linking up to Flaunt it Friday!

modern jane said...

This is adorable! I love your crap story:)

Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma said...

Stenciling is hard work. I have a disaster in my back entry from a stencils gone wild night. Don't drink and stencil.


Thanks for linking to Creative Juice Thursday! I hope to see you back this week {party opens on Wed night @ 8pm CST}

Lettered Cottage said...

I don't know how you thought of that- but I'm so glad you did! It turned out SO BEAUTIFUL! :-D

ourhumbleabowed said...

So cool! Great job. And I totally know the thrift store smell (and everything is oberpriced!)

christy said...

wow, what a great idea! You did an awesome job - love the distressed look!

Christy :)

Katie said...

What a stinking cute box! I love the colors and the pattern! I've got a big stencil project coming up and I was trying to figure out how to do it.. I might have to try this! Thanks!

Jori said...

Wowee! I LOVE it! You did an amazing job. This is definitely going in my idea folder. Thank you!

Jessa Smith said...

I know exactly what you mean - I did something close to a quatrefoil pattern once and I swear, I'll never try to make myself one again!

I love how the chevron came out!


coutrymom said...

You could try putting a cedar block (I bought a bag of several I think at Wally) in it and close it for awhile to get rid of the smell. Did this with a trunk I redid and it worked great.

Love Design Company said...

awesome job!! this is one pattern i don't think i'll ever tire of.

Kristen said...

Love it! I recently had a stencil-making issue, too...which was no fun because the pattern would have been so pretty. Ended up using a toilet paper tube to make circles and called it a day.

Found you through Someday Crafts and am a new follower. Would love if you'd follow me at

Turning a House into a Home

Lisa Anderson said...

Very cute! I love your stencil and the color!

Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

Thanks so much for letting me include this in my post today! I love when bloggers show everything! And really - I am seriously stencil-impaired. I don't even try anymore ;)

Beautifully Cheap said...

I love it... that blue is very in and I want it on EVERYTHING!!!