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Monday, September 20, 2010

"Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury." -- Coco Chanel

I have to say- I totally agree with Coco on this.  What good are nice things if they are 'too nice' for the people around you?  I have always worked my designs with this in mind.  I wanted to honor Coco in a recent upcycle, and I thought I would share it with all of you.  

 I have a *thing* for boxes and containers of all kinds!  Some because they help hide my clutter, some hold treasures, others help keep me organized.  So, when I saw this outdated jewelry box, I knew I could give it a new life's purpose!

I was inspired by an image I found online called "Chanel Bicycle".
If you 'google' vintage bicycle images, there are quite a few choices.  Evidently there was a design craze early in the 20th Century for high end designers to do bikes.  There is an awesome Hermes' as well.  If you click on the Graphic's Fairy button on my side bar- Karen has lots and lots of great vintage images she shares as well. 

This upcycle was actually one of the easier ones I have done.  You may have a childhood jewelry box of your own that needs a new life- I found this one @ my local thrift shop.  The glass was easily removed from behind by loosening the screws and set plates.  I used the glass for my template for my new fabric insert.  I simply printed the image on my laser printer (you can also use inkjet) onto a product I like to use called  Lazertran .    Then I ironed it onto the burlap piece I had cut oversized, for the insert.  I adhered the burlap to a stiff piece of cardboard, and cut to fit.

I 'gutted' the box by removing all of the old insides with a butter knife and my bare hands.  :D   The white paint on the outside of the box was easily sanded with 180 grit sandpaper , and I gave the whole thing a light distress with a rock from the yard.  I used Minwax Water Based Stain in Colonial Pine over top of the paint, and quickly wiped off the excess to further the distressed, shabby look.

After the stain dried, I used a poly acrylic topcoat in a satin finish.  I have been fortunate lately to have thrifted some great leather and suede coats, and decided to use some of my thrifted suede on the inside of the box.  I just glued it down with craft adhesive (E-6000).  I also decided to add the suede to the back of the cardboard insert piece I had made to use in place of the glass.

If you have some felt or velvet, you could easily use that as well.   I was also fortunate to have some cool ribbon handy that fit the inside edge perfectly so I did not have to cut edge pieces of the suede.  Some of the revamped jewelry boxes I have done had better colored interiors, so gutting was not necessary. 

This box was just an especially ugly 'before'.

But a great 'after'!

So, as usual.....try to look at things you own for new potential before you just toss them out.  You may be surprised to find a little treasure where you  previously only saw trash!


  1. I agree with her as well! Come on over to The Isis Collections, I have an award waiting for you,

  2. What a beautiful result! I love the look of the vintage bicycle!

  3. I love the bicycle! I would have never thought to do that. Great job!

    Following from MBC.

    Have a great weekend!

    Jen Maddox

  4. Very artistic and vintage. I'm your newest follower from MBC. When you get a moment, I would love for you to visit me at


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