Thursday, September 5, 2019

Abandoned Storage Box For A Vintage Journey

Sara Emily Barker Altered Storage Box 1

Welcome! This is actually my second post for today. You can see my shaker Christmas card here. But for now, it's time for a new monthly challenge at A Vintage Journey. This time our hostess is the lovely Julia, who chosen theme is Box It Up! Here's what she says:

This month our theme is boxes! Perhaps you will make a trunk or suitcase, some kind of package to hold a gift, or maybe make a card or journal page showing presents. Just remember to ensure that you create in one of our preferred styles of vintage, shabby, mixed media, art journaling, industrial, timeworn or steampunk.

I actually had numerous ideas for this challenge, but was running out of time to narrow those choices down. This morning, I visited a thrift store that was using this 10 x 7 x 4.5 inch box to hold greeting cards, and it was the perfect size for holding my Tim Holtz stamp sets. I talked them into letting it go.  The original box is pictured below, and you can see it was a work in progress already.

My organizing style is a 'flipper', meaning I like keeping things I use most frequently in upright in files that are open, so I can flip through to easily find what I need. My stamp boxes were getting so stuffed, I couldn't flip through them, and hence, I haven't been doing much stamping.

I removed and sanded the peeling butterfly paper off each of the long sides and sanded the shabby paint on each end. I cracked open my Tim Holtz Abandoned paper stash for the first time and chose a couple of patterns that would work together. Even though I have two of these 8 x8 paper packs, I couldn't use all one paper design due to the box dimensions. As it was, I had to piece the papers together as best as I could on the long sides. I could have chosen a 12 x 12 paper from my stash, but these lovely mixed media sheets were calling to me. Pictured below are the other three sides.

Sara Emily Barker Altered Storage Box 2

Sara Emily Barker Altered Storage Box 3

Sara Emily Barker Altered Storage Box 4

After adhering, then sanding the edges of the paper, I blended the edges with Ground Espresso ink and smeared it randomly with Crackle Texture Paste. When the paste was thoroughly dry, I sanded again.

I used a Tim Holtz Numbered stencil, grit paste and Bone embossing powder to emboss a few numbers on the opposite side. I sealed all the sides with Distress Collage Medium, and when just dry to touch sprayed (long sides) and splattered (short sides) with Distress Oxide spray. Although the yellow turned out as planned, sadly, the splattering on the short ends wasn't the look I was going for. Note to self: when you want a splatter look, do not seal with Collage medium first. 

I kept the embellishments to a minimum and flat on purpose for functionality. I added a few old Remnant Rubs to two of the sides and to the Stencil Chips. I used a mop up scrap to back the chips and added a couple of swipes of Chipped Sapphire paint to the chips themselves. 

Here are some close up photos to show the detail.

Sara Emily Barker Altered Storage Box 5

Sara Emily Barker Altered Storage Box 6

Sara Emily Barker Altered Storage Box 7

Sara Emily Barker Altered Storage Box 8

Sara Emily Barker Altered Storage Box 9

And here it is put to use in the Closet. Maybe you'll see more stamping going on here in the future.

Sara Emily Barker Altered Storage Box 10

That's all for me, but if you hop over to the blog, you'll find loads more 'boxed up' inspiration from the other talented Creative Guides. I hope you'll find some time to play along with us at A Vintage Journey! I can't wait to see what you'll make! Hugs and Blessings! Sara Emily


  1. What a wonderful repurpose of an old box - and you made it look even older but in a very artistic and beautiful way Sara Emily! LOVE that paper (I just bought some myself!) and the way you distressed it - a lovely place to store your stamps! thanks for joining in my challenge this month! xx

  2. What a wonderful transformation of your box Sara x I love the aged papers and stencilling etc. You will be able to flip happily through your stamps now xx

    TFS and have a great weekend
    Annie xx

  3. What a beautiful box! I love the vintage style and the papers that you used, the patterns are gorgeous 😁. The way that you aged them with the crackle paste and added the word embellishments looks amazing too! Thanks for the inspiration and Happy September! Hugs, Jo x

  4. Fabulous! Sara. I just love how you have made your crate over with the abandoned papers - the perfect fit ,well not exactly as you explain in your post but they really suit the design and look of the old crate. Aren't they just the best papers ever? How you chose which ones to use is beyond me . I haven't got past the stroking stage yet , lol . Great distressing , stenciling and crackle .

    Hugs x

  5. What a gorgeous transformation!! It looks so stunning!! I love the papers and distressing!! It is perfect to hold your TH stamps!! Have a great weekend!! Big hugs :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  6. What a great find and amazing transformation! Just love that this has a practical use too. Love the crackle, texture and splattering which create that fabulous aged look. Top marks!! Nikki xxxx

  7. Nice decorative way to keep your stamping products. I agree it is easier to flip through them this way..

  8. Wonderful repurposed box!!! I love what you did!

  9. Wow, what an amazing make over and such a creative way to store your stamps! They will be even more of a joy to take out now! Fabylous textures all round, it looks super!!

    So glad to hear you are safe!! xxx

  10. Sara, your makeover of the crate reminds me of an exquisite find in an antique shop! You have aged it so perfectly and your added embellishments just add to the beauty of it. It really is exquisite.

    I have been keeping an eye on the international weather reports to track Dorian's movements, I cannot imagine how worrying it must have been for everyone but I am glad it was not so bad as last time for you. Big hugs, Anne xxx

  11. Scrumptious grungy weathering on your made over box, Sara - it looks truly old, in the best possible way - a brilliant transformation. I love the letter chips too - that burnished golden gleam is a wonderful finishing touch to the whole look.
    Alison x

  12. Fabulous box! Sara. Love the amazing transformation and the way you distressed it.
    Ann xx

  13. What a fabulous transformation! I like everything, from the design to the details to the colors you used! And I confess, I also like the use of the box! I should copy the idea to you! Barbara

  14. Wow Sara Emily that's a fabulous makeover! It really does look old ! fabulous x

  15. I like a flipping box too… but I like to have a lid to keep the dust out! I am still on the look out for the perfect size box which will have both. Gorgeous crackles and Vintage feel for this box transformation!

  16. What a fabulous make over Sara! You have aged this box so beautifully .. it looks truly old and well loved. The finish is fabulous and I do love contrast of the gold metal letters. Another spectacular transformation! hugs xx

  17. That is one of the nicest makes that i have ever seen! I love the way that we can make things look so authentically old. Your work is such an inspiration
    Hugs Debbie xx

  18. A beautiful storage box Sara, I love those wooden crates I have a very large one that holds a tiny selection of my fabric safe. Love how you have crackled and added even more vintage to this stunning piece with the addition of those ART tags. You will always know where those special stamps are now.. i'm a flicker too :)) Sending Hugs your way Tracey xx
    P.S Sorry i'm not the best of bloggers at the moment, lifes very crazy right now x

  19. Beautiful all the awesome touches and techniques...makes for an inspiring piece! Love the stamper anon stamps in it favourite stamps!!!! :-)

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