How to upcycle a blanket box or toy box into a seat, foot rest and coffee table.
I’ve always liked to craft and with the explosion of Facebook ‘shops’, Etsy and the like, I’ve had more inspiration and ideas than ever before. Despite all this though, I never had the time to do any of these things, I was far too busy living life.
I’ve recently joined a group on Facebook for ‘Crafty Fibromites’. I was intrigued that it existed! It seems that there are quite a few of us who maybe don’t get to lead the life we want to or used to and so spend more time at home and want to do more than watch tv.
My ‘thing’ is anything really. Except knitting. Never knitting. When I first got ill during my pregnancy, I was on bed rest and so it was the perfect time to make a baby blanket. My mum, who is a genius knitter and sits talking, watching tv and knitting, all at the same time without dropping a stitch and who has created most of my sons winter wardrobe, tried to teach for for about, oh I don’t know, the 10th time in my life?
I’ve not got much to say other than I was starting with 50 stitches to practice, next time I counted I had 54, then 60 and I think I once added a good 20 stitches in about 6 rows. I knitted, unravelled, knitted, unraveled and then gave up. I did however have a shockingly painful blister on the tip of my pointing finger due to pushing the needle back through too tight stitches (or whatever you call them!).
I love to sew either by hand or machine and have made it as far as baby dribble bandana bibs, owl doorstop/cushion things (12 of them as Christmas gifts) and a couple of bags. Oh and a mini pair of oven gloves for Bear’s play kitchen! I’m going to get more adventurous ‘when I have more time’. Hmmmmn. Not sure when that will be with a boisterous toddler, but hey, I wouldn’t miss playing with him for the world.
I also like making little wooden sign/bunting gifts which I think have been received well!
So. My latest project was my late Grandads tool box. I’ve been using it for years to store bedding, towels and latterly, handbags (you can never have too many) but recently I brought it downstairs as when having a change around to accommodate my sons ever increasing amount of toys, I needed a coffee table. It’s the perfect shape and size, handy to keep my sewing material stash in and a great colour, it just didn’t have a finished top/lid. So after a little consult to the friendly internet, I found that you can actually buy a whole host of different foams for different uses and that they will cut it to your exact measurements! How cool! I thought that it would be like material and by the metre and then imagined myself with a bread knife, attempting to cut it down to size and failing miserably!
I’ve made a video tutorial but have also written down what I did, step by step, below. I hope you enjoy!
Off I went. As you can see, it was a simple top…
But not a bad looking chest! Thanks Grandad John Meachen! Xxx
That was the biggest step. Until it came to folding the corners and cutting out the excess material so that they weren’t bulky and that the lid would actually close! It took one or two attempts and then was actually ok. Thank goodness!
To begin with, it looked a little baggy and I wasn’t so pleased but after a little time to let the foam expand back (I had been applying quite some weight and pressure whilst stapling) it fitted a little better.
I used what I think is a pretty oilcloth from Cath Kidston and the colours and birds for well with my living room colour scheme.
Those tricky corners…
Although I really didn’t mind the original colour of the box, especially as it ‘went’ ok with other furniture in my house and the brown on the oil cloth, I am always trying to inject some light into my little old cottage with low ceilings and dark beams and decided to lighten the box with some Annie Sloan chalk paint. I love this paint. A tin costs about £19 which isn’t cheap, however, as you’ll see soon, a tin goes a long way. Another thing that I like about this brand is that they only sell through smaller independent shops which when you live in a small market town like I do, is really important. I try to support local shops as much as possible. You’ll not be able to find it in large chain DIY shops like B&Q but if you click here, the link will take you to their website where all stockists are listed. The paint is so easy to use- other than wiping your project down and making sure that it’s clean, you don’t need to prepare the surface at all. Open the can of paint, stir and paint. It’s quite thick but covers well. On this project, I had to use two coats which I left to try overnight between each one. I chose to use ‘Paris Grey’.
I said that I was at the final stage, but I wasn’t! The final stage is to apply Annie Sloan soft wax to all the painted sides and then buff off. That’s it! Job done!
When you apply the wax, the paint will darken slightly but after drying and buffing, it will lighten again although will probably be a little darker than before the wax is applied.
and is a great seat and perfect foot rest for a night in front of the fire.
I hope that you have found this ‘How to upcycle’ helpful. Please let me know if you decide to do anything similar.