How to Turn a Vintage Wooden Box into a
Unique Boho-Inspired Jewelry Box
DIY Jewelry Box Using Unicorn SPiT™ Gel Stain!
Please note this post contains affiliate links like this one… Unicorn SPiT gel stain
I found this old wooden box (fantastic carved details) at a local antique store, and decided it would make a great DIY project to use Unicorn SPiT gel stain. I decided the size made for a perfect little jewelry box; measures about 8″w x 5″d x 2″h. A couple little cracks on the bottom which I filled with wood glue, but still a beautifully handcrafted find. I tend to forget to take a ‘before’ photo, so shown is after I was a few steps into the project. If you’re a beginner DIY’er this is a great project to start with. You can find all the materials used at the bottom of this post.
Stripping the Finish
I started by stripping the clear finish off the box using dish soap. I rubbed a little water and soap all over the box and let it sit for a couple minutes. If it started to dry I put a little more water on it. Then I used a metal scraper to gently scrape off the finish. I found this method on here. It worked great! I also gave it just a light sanding to get all of the remaining finish off.
Painting with Gel Stain
I started painting with the gel stain by using undiluted Unicorn SPiT™ in Pixie Punk Pink™ just as you would paint; hand painting it directly on the flowers and letting it dry.
Using the same paintbrush, I dipped it in water and blended the color, thinning it out a little. I focused on the crevices since I was going to add a second color to accent.
To paint the center, I used red undiluted Unicorn SPiT™ in Molly Red Pepper™, full-strength then doing the same blending with water as I did to the pink.
Dry Brushing and Layering Colors
For the remaining of this project I mixed colors using my four base colors: Blue Thunder™, Pixie Punk Pink™, Molly Red Pepper™, Navajo Jewel™ (all Unicorn SPiT™). By using all the colors to make multiple new colors everything blended nicely and I achieved a lot of layering of the colors and differentiation throughout the entire piece.
The circles became a shade of purple. I just played around with the colors on a palette to get different colors I liked then dry brushed each one all over. Aside from the flowers and circles, everything was dry brushed.
Here’s the inside with some light dry brush layering done. As you can see I did not overlap a lot of the lighter colors. I would do one color at a time then mix something different and add that all over.
Creating the Inside Jewelry Storage Area
I used a watercolor painting on paper which I cut to fit the base of the inside of the box. I had some craft rope/trim I also measured for around the inside. A piece of foam, and an old shirt I found to make a ring holder.
**Note: Make sure you take into account the thickness of any material you’re covering the ring holder with, and any trim pieces that may go between the holder and the wall of the box. Put everything in place to double-check your measurements.
After these were all measured I set them to the side, and sprayed several coats of Polycrylic over the box. While that was drying (layer after layer), I coated the watercolor paper with several coats of Mod Podge, and allowed it to dry. I used an exacto knife to cut several deep slits (don’t cut all the way through!) in the foam block. You can make yours whatever size and shape you want to fit your box. Just use good scissors or a blade to cut through the foam.
Making the Ring Holder
I re-purposed material from an old shirt and jeans(wrapped around sides) to cover the ring holder. To make the ring holder, I laid the material on a table and put the foam slit-side down on top of the material. I glued the top end (use a side without the slits), then I put glue in the first base of a slot, and used a small crochet hook to push/wrap the material up into the slot then slid the hook out. This gave me a way to wrap the material around each section without getting my fingers too close to the glue and risk burning myself. You could use the handle of your paint brush, too. You can never be too careful while using a hot glue gun.
To assemble the inside, I first glued down the watercolor paper, the rope trim, and lastly the ring holder.
As you can see, I added a little piece of rope which I looped and hot glued under the edge of the lid, so that I can pull it open easily. The poly darkened it a little (happens with the Unicorn Spit™ gel stain), but sealed it nicely. That’s it! Although it doesn’t hold a lot, I love how it turned out plus it looks so cool on top of my dresser.
Materials I used for this project:
You can get a variety of colors in this set: Unicorn SPiT™ Gel Stain & Glaze in One – 10 Paint Collection
- Polycrylic Spray
- Scrap Watercolor Painting on Paper
- Craft Rope Trim (beaded trim would work, too)
- Scrap Cloth/Material
- Mod Podge Waterbase Sealer, Glue and Finish (16-Ounce), CS11302 Matte Finish
Basic Materials You’ll Need, But Should Have On-Hand:
- Hot Glue Gun *This is my new fav: AdTech Two Temp Hot Glue Gun 0453, Glue Sticks
- Wood Glue for Repairs if Needed
- Liquid Dish Soap, and Water
- Small to Medium Paint Brushes
- Plus One Paint Brush or Foam Brush for using Mod Podge
- X-acto Knife or a Box Cutter
- Old Rags or Disposable Towels