Fabric Lined Keepsake Box


Hi ya’ll!  It’s finally Friday and I’m so looking forward to the weekend.  We’re supposed to have nice weather over here on the East Coast so I’m hoping for some pool and playground time with the family.

I have a cute little makeover for you today.  I found this wooden jewelry box over a year ago on one of my thrift store shopping sprees.

It was definitely a well-loved piece with a few bumps and bruises, but the wood was solid and I loved the dark stain.  The inside on the other hand was…well…yuck.  I know it doesn’t look bad, but there is just something about that velvet that grosses me out.  It’s just one of my quirks- old velvet = eww.  Haha I nearly put it back until I decided to put my brave face on and quit being so squeamish.  I’m glad I did, or I would have missed out on a great transformation.  Here she is now.

To get started, I first removed the hinges from the top and bottom using a small Philips screwdriver from this Dewalt set.

Then, wearing gloves, I removed all the velvet from the inside.  The gold hooks were actually attached to a single plastic strip that was screwed into the top so it was quick and easy to remove them as well.

Velvet Lining Removed from Box

I removed the small knob from the front (it was threaded directly in the wood) and then went to work removing the handles on either side.  I’ll admit, I was a bit stumped at first since they were press fit into the wood instead of threaded.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to pop them out.  I tried a pry bar…nothing.  Then I tried hammering a nail into the backside and all that did was bend the nail.  My hubby was away with the Army so I ended up consulting with our maintenance supervisor at work who introduced me to these little gems.

Nail Set

They’re called nail sets and are designed for aligning crooked nail heads or countersinking protruding ones.  By happy coincidence, they also worked perfectly to pop out these stubborn press fit handles.  Just place the nail set over the press fit piece and then tap it repeatedly with a hammer until it pops out.

Removing Handles

I knew I wanted to use different hardware on this piece, so I filled all the holes with my favorite wood filler.

Check out #2 in Part I of my Chalk Painting Tutorial for complete instructions on filling holes and repairing scratches or gouges.

Wood Filled Holes

After the wood filler had dried (it took less than an hour because these holes were so small), I sanded the surface smooth with my favorite fine grit sanding sponge and painted the entire outside and inside edges with two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen.

French Linen Paint

I know you’ve heard it before, but I love love love this color- such a pretty neutral.  Check out these posts here and here to see how I chalk paint a piece start to finish.

After the paint had dried, I thought the top needed a little something extra so I decided to apply this pretty flower stencil down the center.


To hold the stencil in place, I use Loctite spray adhesive.


It’s repositional which makes it great for applying stencils.  Just a light spray across the back of your stencil is enough.  Trust me, I’ve doused it with adhesive before.  It leads to one big mess and a lot of residual stickiness on your finished piece- no fun.

Place your stencil in the desired location and then press firmly into place with your hand or a small rubber roller like this one.

Rolling Stencil

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in White and a paint brush from a set similar to this one to fill in my stencil.

They do make designated stencil brushes and tools called pouncers for filling stencils.  I’ve tried both and like neither.  Perhaps I’ve not found the right brand yet.  So far, I’ve achieved the best results by using the paint brush above.  I apply a little paint and then brush it from the edge of the stencil inward to prevent paint from leaking under the stencil.

Painting Stencil

I applied two coats allowing the second to dry for about 15 minutes before I removed the stencil.  I usually remove the stencil before the paint is thoroughly dry to prevent any peeling.

Note: If you’re piece exhibits residue from the spray adhesive, don’t worry.  Once the adhesive dries, you’ll be able to lightly sand it off prior to waxing.  Just be sure to wait until its dry.  I’ve made the mistake of sanding before it’s dry before.  The sanding dust got stuck in the adhesive and I had to sand the piece pretty aggressively to remove it all.  I ended up sanding right down to the bare wood and had to repaint the entire piece so you definitely don’t want to do that! 😉

Removed Stencil

Next, I attached new handles to the sides.  I decided to forego a knob on the front since I like the simple lines with the stenciled top.  I drilled new holes in the sides using my Dewalt drill  and drill bit set then attached the new hardware.  I picked these handles up at Hobby Lobby.  I love the shabby chic look of them and the white matched my stenciling.

Drill Holes & Install Hardware

Then I distressed the entire piece including the stencil to give it some age and then sealed with Annie Sloan clear wax.

Check out steps 9 and 10 of this post to see how I distress and wax chalk painted pieces.

Waxed & distressed

(Disclaimer: Normally, I distress and wax before installing hardware but I guess I was just too excited to see what these handles looked like so I did that first. 😊)

Now for the inside.  I could have sanded off the adhesive that attached that dated pink velvet the box and then painted the wood, but I was hoping to preserve its original use as a jewelry or keepsake box so I decided to line the inside with new fabric.  Check out my Pantry Box Replica post to see the full tutorial for lining drawers, boxes and other containers.

Lining Inside

Here’s a final recap:

From This to This 2From This to This 1From This to This 3

I’m so glad I didn’t pass up this diamond in the rough.  Do you have any pieces at home that you’re not sure are worth the time?  Maybe even some that are as eww as this dated jewelry box was for me?  I hope this post has inspired you to put on some gloves and get to work. 😊 Have a great weekend and see you soon!

blog signature (black ink)- actual size

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