SO. You want gorgeous decor, but you have no money. Right? Enter knockoffs! You can create gorgeous, original pieces that mimic and rival their retail counterparts without spending more than 5 or 10 bucks. Seriously? Seriously!
This little box used to hold silver. Sadly, the silver is gone, but the box made it's way to the thrift store and into my hands on half price Tuesday. The normally priced 60 cent box was mine for a mere 30 cents! What can I make out of this box? Hmmmm...
They have this awesome "campaign box" inspired by military campaigns where they traveled with boxes that could be set up as temporary desks. Perfect. Brilliant. Let's do it!
No, I am not kidding, my paint technique for this piece is literally called "leave it in the rain"! Here is how it works. After sanding, put a light layer of paint on your piece. I chose a light grey. Choose a complimentary STAIN (not paint) and put a very light layer of stain OVER the paint. Allow the entire thing to sit in a LIGHT rain for up to 5 minutes. You do not want to leave it out too long or the wood will begin to soak up the water and warp - gross~! So what does the rain do? It makes these wonderful little "dots" in the finish and if you move the piece very gently from side to side, interesting designs will appear due to the water. You can certainly do this technique with a spray bottle too, but it is not nearly as much fun as doing it in the rain. :)
On the interior of the box, I added the seat of a director's chair that fits just snugly into the box. I sewed a couple pleats into the fabric to create pockets, but otherwise all of the hemming and such is already completed when you pull it out of the package. I also added zipper trimming, buttons for a little zip and a tun can jazzed up with zipper trim for storage.
I considered using metal legs from an old suitcase stand so that my piece would be completely portable, but instead I went off the rails a bit with the legs and chose to use birch branches. I wanted them to twist in crazy ways to contrast the stiffness and symmetry of the box and almost look like they would topple over with the slightest hint of a breeze. I even left a few of the legs cut inches off the ground to add to the effect.
Total Cost: Silver Box -- 0.30
Director's Chair Cover -- 0.50
Paint (leftovers) -- 1.00
Buttons and Zippers -- 0.25
Tree Branches -- 0.00
Now, if you are sitting at home thinking that there is absolutely no way you would ever stumble upon one of those boxes and that there is absolutely no way to do projects so cheaply, think again! Guess what I found yesterday at the thrift store? The companion table :)