Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Boxing Clever

definition; To use inventive thinking above all other attributes in order to achieve an end goal.


I’ve acquired a sewing box. It is quite a poor state at the minute.

The handles from the top are missing.The chains were broken – but Bob fixed them immediately. One of the struts supporting the top sections has split, and must be repaired or replaced.

It is a home-made creation, and the wood which has been used is not of brilliant quality. But it opens up beautifully…




I’d very much like to refurbish it and put it to good use holding sewing notions. This will be an Autumnal Project for after the holidays. But I am totally confused by all the options open to me.

For a start, I cannot leave the wood in its current state I put a little polish on it [bottom picture] but it is clear that polish isn’t really going to improve the appearance very much.

So I am asking you wise and wonderful readers for your opinions.

  • should I give it a coat of varnish?
  • or should I paint it?
  • if so, what colour?
  • or should I cover it with decoupage of some sort?
  • should I paint the outside, but line the boxes with paper?
  • and what sort of handles?
  • metal ones – or pretty fabric/tape/ribbon/ leather straps?
  • should I ignore the existing holes and screw a knob to each lid?

Come on, friends – what would you do if this were your project?

All workable answers will be considered!



  1. That is a tricky one! You will have to be very careful over painting or varnishing the sides as the little bits of wood holding the layers might get stuck, unless you unscrewed everything first! I think I would just polish the sides but do something pretty on the top - making a feature of the centre panel. And maybe line the layers with fabric, rather than paper, fabric would be softer and longer lasting.

  2. Since it needs a complete overhaul, I would paint it in one of those French Grey (duck-egg blue?) shades,line with something polkadot, either paper or fabric. Pad the inside of the lids if possible and stick a couple of pretty glass knobs on each lid,et voila!A fantastic and happy new sewing box. Good Luck with it,Ang, whichever option you choose.

  3. Cooking Catherine has done wonderful things with "lime", though I have no more detail than this- you'll have to ask her yourself ha ha!

  4. Id' paint it mid-pale blue, put knobs on the lid and line with dark blue velvet.
    Jane x

  5. I'd go Scandinavian white with some gingham

  6. Sue - I think total dismantling will be essential befor any refurbishment.

    NanaGG - not sure about shades of grey! but I like the idea of padding the inside lids, and using pretty glass knobs.

    Mags - assuming you mean the ancient natural limewash paint, not citrus fruit or acidic green colours?

    Jane - blue velvet is a little swish for me - but maybe a Tiffany Blue colour...

    Steph - white??? you know your mother is prone to messiness, there would soon be grubby fingermarks spoiling the pristine finish [but gingham is a good idea]

    1 -probably a light blue of some sort
    2 -pretty knobs rather than handles [maybe repurposed vintage buttons?]
    3 - fabric lining - but I think I must somehow make covered inserts - sticking fabric to the wood would be too permanent and make a mess if I wanted to change.

    This will now be set aside till the autumn. Thank you everyone for your input!!


Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!