Up-cycled wooden box

Right now most of us are quarantining at home during this world pandemic. We are all finding different ways to spend our time and create happiness in this unknown and confusing situation. For me, I’ve found that I have more time to do cooking and crafting. I took this opportunity to go through all my supplies and find items I can do without having to go shopping for additional materials. It’s like a built in forcing function to tidy up. :) This is just one of those crafts I did while spending my time at home!

I am a saver (of memories). I love reminiscing through old photographs, memorabilia or passed down objects. The process of looking through old grade school or college memories takes me back to that place. :) Most of us understand the positives for saving these special memories…and we all know the negatives too. The best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, is just one book on how to free your life of stuff. Another good one is, Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure by Maxwell Ryan. So in the spirit of freeing my life of stuff, I am trying to up-cycle some of my old stuff instead of buying more.

One of these objects is a wooden box I made for my senior project while I was at the University of Washington studying graphic design. I can’t exactly remember the senior project assignment…but I know that everyone was pretty much free to do whatever they wanted. The tradition for senior design students is to display the final projects in the Jacob Lawrence Gallery. The process was a lot of work culminating in a lecture and two gallery parties. It was quite a lot of work at the end of Spring quarter, right before graduating, which meant SERIOUS senior-itis.

So my senior project consisted of a hand-created (and designed) book that was housed in a wooden box that I made. I was so proud of this project that I have been toting it around over the years. Fast-forward to 2016…I pulled it out of my closet and laughed out loud (literally). I appreciated the effort, but holy crap…it was ugly. How did I even pass that class??!! I mentally thanked UW for my schooling and then threw the book in the trash. :) I did however keep the box cause it was a blank canvas for something cool, and I love containers. You could do this with most any wooden box from a craft store.


  • Natural wooden box
  • Acrylic paint in color(s) of your choice
  • Paint brush (I used a stencil brush)
  • Disposable plastic container (for paint)
  • Optional Supplies: Printed stencil, Ruler, x-acto knife, repositionable spray mount, and 2 small cabinet handles


Step 1: Create your design. I have been thinking about how I wanted to up-cycle this cherished memory, and I finally came up with painting a pattern on it to compliment my Pia Wallen cross blanket.

Note: You can hand paint the box, or create a simple stencil using paper and an x-acto knife. For this design, the stencil should be pretty easy to cut out.

I created three small crosses in Illustrator, printed them out onto an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper, and cut them out using a ruler and x-acto knife.

Step 2: Paint the box. I adhered the stencil to the top of the wooden box with some light spray mount. This way it doesn’t move around while I stencil.

Holding the paintbrush straight up and down, tap with medium to medium-hard pressure while painting within the stencil. This will help prevent bleeding underneath the stencil and create a cleaner more solid color.

Step 3: Screw on the handles on the sides of the box. It took me awhile to find the perfect handles, but I found these on Etsy and am super happy with how they turned out.

All done! It now can hold new treasures and memories!

Modern tiles

One of the next house projects on my list is to tile the backsplash in my kitchen, and soon thereafter my first floor powder room. As soon as my summer slows down and I have a weekend to spare I will start the project.

In the search for the perfect tile, I found a bunch of modern tile ideas that I like. My space isn’t that large so I need to keep it pretty simple. I narrowed it down to a medium sized matte white rectangular tile with a medium-light gray grout. Until they are delivered I will be watching numerous YouTube videos on how to do-it-yourself. Stay tuned for the before and after!

So until the big reveal, here is some of my favorites!








Modern Beanbags

About a year ago I participated in a Kickstarter project called Modern Cornhole by Red, Wood & Blue. I get why they included a set of red and blue bean bags with their AWESOME molded plywood cornhole boards…but because I am the way that I am…I decided to make beanbags that match my interior decor. :)

Cue the crazy.

Don’t get me wrong, I will hold onto the red and blue beanbags…and bring them out for Fourth of July. But in the meantime, I need something that blends with my decor. And because I love collecting cute fabrics, I happen to have two shades of gray (printed wood grain) fabric that were PERFECT for these replacement beanbags.

I know Red, Wood & Blue thought deeply about their beanbags…the size, the weight, the type of corn they used…but I just winged it for mine.

I measured the provided bean bags, added on a 1/4″ to each side, and cut 4 pieces of each color fabric. Then with the right sides facing, I sewed a 1/4″ seam along 3 sides. Turned them right side out, filled them with corn (to approximately weigh the same as the existing ones) and then sewed them shut.



I will continue to play modern cornhole from my kitchen, or from my couch, with none other than my GRAY beanbags. :)

Bow bracelet

Suit and (bow) tie bracelet

Bow bracelet

OK…call me corny, but I love me some JT (Justin Timberlake that is.) And since my love of JT can’t be held back, I’m going to subject you to a little junior-high make-me-some-concert-outfit craft on you. And yes, I will be wearing it to his concert this Friday! Oh yea bring it!

Let me give you a hint…it’s in the title of his song Suit and Tie. Now if you aren’t familiar with this song, here is a little lyric sample.

And as long as I got my suit and tie
I’ma leave it all on the floor tonight
And you got fixed up to the nines
Let me show you a few things
All pressed up in black and white
And you’re dressed in that dress I like
Love is swinging in the air tonight
Let me show you a few things

OK, now onto the musical craft…


Bow bracelet materials


Step 1

Download and print the bow template.

Trace and cut out piece A and B out of the leather trim.

Tip: Place the cut out template on the backside of the leather and use some washi tape to hold it down as you cut it out.

Bow bracelet - Step 1

Step 2 – Making the bow

Turn piece A wrong side facing up. Dab a little bit of the cement in the center and on each of the ends of the leather and let it dry for 15-20 minutes.

Once the cement has set, fold towards the center (wrong sides facing) until the two ends meet together. Press the ends together to set the cement.

Bow bracelet - Step 2

Step 3 – Attaching the bow

Take the finished bow and decide where to place it on your bracelet. (I chose to center it on the bracelet.)

Flip the bow over so the seams are facing up and set aside.

Repeat the application process of the cement and dab a little cement on the backside of the finished bow and a little on the front of the bracelet.

Allow it to dry for 15-20 minutes and then press the two pieces together.

Bow bracelet - Step 3

Step 4 – Attaching center

Take piece B and wrap it around the bow. You want the ends to meet together, so if there is extra leather trim it to fit.

Turn piece B wrong side facing up. Repeat the cement process by dabbing some cement on each of the ends.

Flip the bracelet over and apply cement to the backside (directly underneath the center of your finished bow.) Let both pieces dry for 15-20 minutes.

Once it’s set, wrap piece B around the center of the bow to the backsides making the ends meet. Press firmly to set the leather. Let it set overnight before you wear it.

Bow bracelet - Step 4

Now you are fixed up to the nines sportin’ your suit and (bow) tie. Simple and classy. Just like JT.

Bow bracelet

Stitch - Craft ta dah