Crafts Other

DIY – Project Toy Box!

Despite having an extremely busy Christmas and New Year, I managed to squeeze in a simple upcycling project. It’s turned to be my favourite so far in 2016! 😉 Read on to find out how a well-worn piece of furniture found new life as Douglas and Arthur’s toy box!


I don’t know about you, but for me there are a few items of furniture that have simply been storage stalwarts – travelling from house to house and room to room, fulfilling different needs. One such piece is a pine blanket box. It started out life in our previous house with standard orangey varnish. Since it moved with us, I think it has lived in almost every room in different guises – painted white as a side table, painted antique cream with cushions on top as a seat, as an ottoman at the end of the bed… the list goes on!

Here I am getting rid of said orangey varnish with my trusty orbital sander, way back in 2007!

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The babies’ toys had been stored in a large basket up until now, but this was soon outgrown as Christmas passed and lots of new toys were received as presents! The blanket box was at a bit of a loose end, so time for a makeover!

First we gave it three coats of chalk paint. Now I know this stuff has a cult following, but for good reason! When you’ve got two babies, every second counts and there isn’t much time for faffing around with primers and waiting hours between coats. We went for a sunny and happy mustard yellow, and added castors to the bottom to make it easier to manoeuvre.

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I knew I wanted to personalise it for Douglas and Arthur to make it more special. I searched the web for ideas, looking at wooden letters I could paint and fix to the front of the box, but nothing really caught my eye. In the box’s previous incarnations, I had toyed with the idea of applying wallpaper to the front inlay, but the tongue and groove boards would have made it difficult.

The thought of a design that would fill the area got my creativity flowing, maybe a printed foam board would work? I found a website that would provide just that, and for under £30! I decided on a chalkboard style and set to work laying out a design in Adobe Illustrator.

Just two days after ordering, the board arrived, and to my delight, was a perfect fit!

Ta Da!

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I ordered my board from I’ve used their site for both personal and charity projects in the past and they’ve always been top-notch. Their range is second to none, their print quality is excellent and customer service is friendly and helpful.



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  • Reply
    January 7, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    That is fabulous! I love the chalkboard sign; it makes it really personal to them. I love the history of the chest too. I hope the boys really love their new toy box. #HomeEtc

    • Reply
      January 7, 2016 at 8:44 pm

      Thank you! It’s nice when you find a more permanent and practical use for something that hasn’t had a proper home for a while! 🙂

  • Reply
    Caro | The Twinkle Diaries
    January 8, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    This looks AWESOME!! Well done mama, what a fab makeover!!! I’m a chalk paint obsessive too — my next big project indoors is our dining room table and chairs — not sure I can push myself to do it yet though — it’s such a big job. Love this Gemma! Especially the chalkboard style front — what a fab idea 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up with us 🙂 #HomeEtc

    • Reply
      January 8, 2016 at 5:07 pm

      Thank you so much! Ooh can’t wait to see your dining set when you get round to it – do you have a colour in mind? I’ve got my parents onto the chalk paint too, they’re going to do their bedroom furniture soon! Lovely to be able to link up again, it’s been a tricky couple of months but I’m hoping to soon be back in the swing of things 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah Christie
    January 8, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Oh wow it looks incredible, I love chalk pain it looks great. I bet you are so thrilled with it, and the satisfaction of doing it yourself too, thats always a biggie for me. And the sign on the front is adorable I just love the wording x

  • Reply
    January 11, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Just beautiful and wow how impressive!!! Looks so nice and very cute. Thanks for linking up and welcome back! #HomeEtc

    Jess xx

  • Reply
    January 11, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Wow I love it, well done for making such a beautiful and personal toy box. x

  • Reply
    February 9, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    This is fabulous! Exactly the sort of project I always intend to get around to but never quite do!! It has inspired me to do a charity shop hunt for something toy box sized that I could attack! Sx

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