Skip to main content

Treasure chest

Trunk revamped as a treasure chest for kids Christmas present.

***** BEFORE *****

I didn't get a chance to take a decent picture of the original trunk before I tasked my husband with stripping off the old fabric and trim.  He did take this one with his phone here in the deep recesses of our basement, it's hiding place.

Here is the stripped down version in my sewing studio, a.k.a. Santa's Workshop.

The inside was never lined before. And yes.  My dad used wall paneling to make this back in the day.

I lined the outside with faux crocodile print leather (vinyl) from JoAnn. My husband finally owns every air gun known to man therefore I felt quite justified in demanding that he produce one that could put out the perfect size staple for this project.  We used 18 gauge staples, 1/2" long by 1/4" wide.  I know, because I had to go buy more at Home Depot on Christmas Eve. Yes that's how I like to spend my Christmas Eve.  Not relaxing by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa.  Why?!  Why would I want to do that?

This part was pretty easy once I got over all my phobias of misfiring air gun accidents. The only setback was that sometimes the staple had too much force and would cut through the vinyl fabric completely.  Also, my arm was very sore the next day.

I also attached the trim to cover the join between the vinyl and the paper on the inside edge with the staples.  I tried to hide them a bit by stapling under the crossing threads.

I ordered two large, inexpensive, paper wall maps from Amazon to line the inside.  We did cover the back and front inside with a thin panel so that I wouldn't have to go around all the wood with the paper.  I mixed one part school glue (those free, back-to-school deals came in handy) with one part water for the home-made decoupage paste.  I used two bottles of school glue which happened to be exactly the right amount to adhere the paper and brush one coat over the top.  This was my first time trying this technique, and I have to admit, it really is super easy and addictive.  My mind kept vacillating between being highly impressed with my work to thinking about what I could cover with paper next! Last, I sprayed the paper with a semi-gloss lacquer many times which, for reasons unknown to me, did not appear to make a huge impact.

***** AFTER *****

We cut new 2" wide trim strips and spray painted it with a faux metal finish. The hardware was also spray painted with a hammered metal finish. My husband also made a small tray that sits on the little ledges on the inside. I had him drill a couple of holes in the back of the lid for air, just in case they decide to get in there and also installed a safety hinge on the side which had to be rigged up with this piece of 2x4 because of the style of the lid. I'll try to cover that up with decoupage later. And last, but not least we added wheels so that we could move it around without any back aches.  Not too pretty but well worth it.

The inside tray with pirate goodies.

I was thrilled with the results and so were the kids.


  1. So awesome! Love it, very creative. The map on the inside is fantabulous.

  2. Super! You did an amazing job and the kids looked pleased to bits!

  3.! So cool. I love the map too! I had the same thoughts in my head covering papier-mache stars with sheet music and my own glue/ModPodge mix! (at 1:45 in the morning...what?!) Your children will have so many wonderful "adventures!"


Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Tinkerbell Cake

I made something!

A friend of a friend ..... needed a cake made for her daughter's fourth birthday. I came up with a few ideas, trying to keep them uncomplicated. She opted for the more traditional nine inch round cake with decorations. I thought it would be simple enough, but it always ends up taking me way longer than I anticipate. I wish I could go to a professional cake decorating class by Debbie Brown or Rebecca Sutterby so I could learn some techniques like how to get things to stay glued on. I could never be a cake decorator -my time to money ratio is kind of ridiculous. But here it is. Monkey Pants now wants a Tinkerbell cake for her next birthday too, of course. I need to wake up early tomorrow to make sure she's not eating the mushrooms off of it. (It's happened before).

Emmeline Apron 2

Just got done with this one. Another Emmeline Apron for a Christmas gift. I wanted to try something different with my choice of fabrics this time, although not too different since they are still Amy Butler prints. I chose some darker blue fabrics from the Daisy Chain (Aquatic) line that I wouldn't normally be drawn too. But I'm glad I did. I really like the result.

This time, I did a few things a bit differently. One thing about the pattern I'm not fond of is the wordy, yet poor instructions on how to place the waist straps onto the sides of the apron at the right angle. I really don't know why the correct angle isn't just printed on the pattern. So to minimize the trial and error approach encouraged in the pattern instructions, [TIP:] I laid out the fabric and the strap as it would appear once constructed and simply marked a line on the strap corresponding to the angle of the apron. Then, I flipped both apron and strap layers over together; lined up the strap with …

Face painting

For my daughter's upcoming birthday party, I decided I might try my hand at face painting. I collected some photos from the internet I liked, check out a book at the library, and bought some face paints at the party store. The face paints are not very cheap but cheaper than hiring a face painter, right.

Here's a couple of the faces I've tried so far. Now if I can only get my face painting time down to ten minutes from twenty minutes a face for the party. I think I may have to enlist a volunteer to help out too.

The painting part is actually much easier than it would seem. The only thing that makes it challenging is that the canvas is constantly moving around (at least my canvas). It's not too hard to wash off, but the black takes a bit more scrubbing as the paint is grease or oil based. It makes for a fun activity especially as it gets too cold to go outside. My 3-year old thought it was "amazing" when she looked in the mirror. I even talked my husband in…