DIY Upcycle Tool Box

May 9, 2015 in Creating, Easter by Sharla

DIY Upcycle Tool Box


Seriously.  You’re salivating, right?!  I have a friend who loves to thrift store shop and buys anything that catches her fancy if it’s cheap.  I love her.  She actually has a blog called Kelly and her Boys.  You should check it out.  Anyway, we have a neighborhood text on GroupMe and we frequently pawn things off (and on) to each other and one day this pic came across from her…the price…”take these from me now!”  I didn’t draw quick enough for the red tool box but I did get the two small ones.


I’ve had my eye on shabby chic cases on Pinterest so I saw potential.  Plus, my front porch was depressingly barren.  Thus, the journey begins.  Don’t worry, it’s not a long one, and it’s totally doable (see what I did there?).


-old tool box

-primer (optional)

-chalk paint (any color) I bought mine from Jo Ann 

-paint brushes

-large upholstery brads

-small upholstery brads

-metal corner embellishments (Jo Ann)

-gross grain ribbon

-wooden door embellishment (from Home Depot)

-lace (I did a double layer cream and brown embroidered from Jo Ann…don’t forget your coupons!)

The Method:

Start by washing your dirty, ol’ tool boxes in soap and water.  If they’re new, then…your rich.  Why aren’t you just buying this from me out right?

Now you get to prime them, if you want.  Chalk paint doesn’t require a primer but I had some and my kids needed something fun to do so I let them go to town.  I seriously wish I had taken a pic of just the primed boxes.  They were a disaster.  Runs, uneven, and just…well, if I hadn’t been on a hot date with my man they would have gotten an ear full.  Having said that, when I used the chalk paint I was shocked that the paint covered as evenly on the primed parts as the non-primed (which was about 50/50).  If you have rust or are worried about it or have bored kids, then prime away.  Otherwise, I might skip this step.

After the primer has dried for 24 hours paint it up!  I see all kinds of specific chalk paint on Pinterest but I’m not sure one is better than another.  The kind I bought from Jo Ann did the trick beautifully.  I bought a color for each box as well as the antique color.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Just paint the outside (at least, I did the inside too out of excitement) with the solid color and allow to dry for 12 hours then add another coat and allow to dry another 12 hours.  Then sand any edge you want to look antiqued.

Next, add the gross grain ribbon.  I love ribbon!  It’s so girly and pretty.  I just eyeballed it and used hot glue to secure it on the inside of the box.

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Now add the embellishments.  Matt has done a room in the house like a boiler room (totally faux…post to come) and had a ton of upholstery brads left over.  So I capitalized.  I used the large ones on the sides and the small ones on the top and front, and I hammered them right into the box.  No glue, no fuss.  

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Now add the corner embellishments.  I bought mine from the scrap book section at Jo Ann.  I know I say Jo Ann a lot, but seriously, I shop there a lot.  I secured these with hot glue.

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Now let’s paint again.  Get out the antique chalk paint.  I bought a wood embellishment for the front of the box from Home Depot in their wood department.  All I did was spread that antique chalk paint over the whole thing, then I used a paper towel to wipe off the hight parts and leave the paint in the crevasses.  I was not meticulous (not a word usually found in my vocab).  After it was dry I used hot glue to secure it to the box.


Now we have all of the hardware parts of the box on.  Time to make it look old (but in a charming way).  Use a brush and paint the antique chalk paint in an outward motion around all of the hard ware pieces you just glued on as well as the edges. Then use a paper towel and wipe it away.  Again, I was not careful about this part.  When I was ready to let it dry I was worried that it looked too crazy.  Does this look crazy to you?

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Once that is dry (12 hours…it’s just a safe time frame) use hot glue to glue on your lace.  I eyeballed the lace and wrapped it under the lid like the ribbon.  Did you do it?!  Are you done?! If you did, the answer is yes.  Yes, you are done.







<3, Sharla