Friday, 1 June 2012

make a decoupage jewellery box

I went to visit a friend and she was having a clear out. This set of drawers was one of the things she was letting go. It was covered in dark brown stain and ugly metal decoration. Straight away I saw a project in the making and my friend was happy to see it go to a good home.
It was decorated in very much the same way I did the tray in this earlier post (how to decoupage). I was really pleased with the drawer handles which are buttons similar to the ones on the paper design, sewed through the holes onto other buttons behind.

March 2013
After receiving a few questions about the drawers, I have updated this post. Originally I just linked it to a tray I made earlier. 

You will need:
  • Wooden drawers (Ikea ones would be fine)
  • pictures cut out of paper (any will do but I used one that already had a 'scrapbook' look) 
  • water-based primer (optional but may produce better results)
  • paint (I used Farrow & Ball 'Pointing')
  • water based satin varnish 
  • raw umber powder pigment or raw umber artist's acrylic paint (optional if you want an aged look - I didn't this time)
  • paper towel 
  • sandpaper (wet and dry causes fewer bits)
  • soft cloth

What you do:
  1. Wash off any grease from the drawers.
  2. Sand all the surfaces to smooth them and to provide a key for the paint. 
  3. Apply two coats of white water based primer paint, very lightly sanding after each one.
  4. Apply two coats of  paint in the colour of your choice (I used some left over from painting my dining room).
  5. Cut out, arrange and glue your pictures onto the drawers, taking care to make sure there are no air bubbles. I tried to plan out what was going where so that I had a slightly different look to the drawer fronts from the sides.The pictures can overlap and probably often look best if they do.  At this stage, after they have dried, you can spray the pictures with fixative to prevent the cut-outs from bubbling - I didn't.
  6. If you wish to give it an antique look, mix three parts raw umber pigment with one part white primer paint mixed with eight parts water. Brush this onto the drawers and quickly wipe it off with paper towel, before it dries, leaving the paint in the crevices and brush marks. As I say, I chose not to do that this time, as the oil based varnish gives a slightly yellow, aged hue as it is. 
  7. Brush on at least four coats, I used seven, of water-based satin varnish, brushing in different directions each coat, sanding lightly between each to remove bumps.
  8. After wiping to remove dust, finish with two coats of polyurethane matt varnish to seal the drawers.
  9. For the handles I used buttons sewn through the holes onto little buttons inside each drawer.
Check out the tray I finished in this way (click here). We have been using it every day for about a year and it still looks as good as when it was made. This way of finishing is really tough. My next project like this will be a small set of Ikea drawers I have that are looking a bit tired. I will post them when they are done. Have fun!

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