Friday, April 13, 2012

DIY: A French vintage flower box

RusticEleganceShoot7via style me pretty

Hello friends. If you’ve been following my posts you probably know that I’m chairing a luncheon for the Loyola Guild in a few weeks. I’ve chosen a French Country theme and I’ll give you more details soon, but I finally decided on my centerpiece and I thought I would share it with all of you. If you’re a DIY-er …you’ll love this project.

The photo above was my inspiration. After I saw this picture, I decided that I wanted to have vintage-looking flower boxes for my centerpieces, but when I went to my wholesale floral connection, the only wooden boxes they sold were $4.99 each (and that’s the small version) and I needed twelve. Here’s what they looked like:


Unfortunately, this was too expensive for my budget, plus, they were a nice stained brown, but I wanted to add color to my tables. So I purchased one, took it over to my Dad, who is my master builder-of-all-things, and he took one look and said, “I could do this, no problem.”

I know. I sure wish I could tell you how to make one, but that’s for another post. I am happy to say that for a grand total of twenty-one dollars, he made twelve boxes which looked like this:


Today I’ll show you how to transform this plain box into a vintage looking flower box that would be perfect for the rustic elegance of a garden wedding, or a French Country event.

First, I took some soft taupe-colored paint that I had in my garage from a leftover project. And I grabbed some black craft paint. I blended these colors until I got a faded gray and I applied it on the box.


I like to use whatever paint is on hand and I don’t mind mixing paints to find that “perfect” color. Because I was trying to achieve a weathered paint effect, I would dip my brush into the paint while it was wet and add more or less color. This helps the box appear to have layers of paint. For that authentic rustic paint effect, adding layers is key.


This is what the boxes looked like after the taupe and black base. Some of you might stop here if you like that faded, gray look. This color looks fantastic with black lettering. You could stencil a word or phase on the box and then sand it, for a custom event. Don’t you think that would look wonderful? And very similar to my inspiration photo.

But I decided to add more color.


So I grabbed a bright green and added some black to tone it down. Only I found the green to be too bright, even after I added black.


So I added one more layer. I used a dry brush. Dipped it in my ‘gray’ mix. Patted the excess on newspaper and lightly brushed it over the green-toned box once it had dried completely.  And these are the finished boxes. Don’t they look old? And they actually look tinged with more grayish-blue in real life, which I love.

But I still wasn’t finished.

I found this vintage French label at The Graphics Fairy which I thought would go perfectly with the color of my table linens. (More on this later)


So I printed out the labels in color and dipped them in coffee to age them. And here’s what they looked like afterwards. Some folks like to use the sepia ink pad to age paper, but I think using coffee look more authentic.


Next, I grabbed my blow dryer and once they were all dry, I simply used Mod Podge to apply them on the surface of my boxes.


I’m not an expert on decoupage, but here’s what I learned after doing this twelve times. Completely cover the entire surface with a nice layer of Mod Podge. Position your label and press down, taking time to smooth out the air bubbles. Move your dry fingers from the center.

DSC_0720 copy

Next, I completely covered the label again with the white, sticky Mod Podge. But beware, air bubbles happen again at this stage. With your now wet fingers, carefully press the big air bubbles out so that your surface looks smoother. Do not touch the tacky surface once it begins to dry or you will risk tearing your paper. When it looks almost dried, (test it first) you will be able to press out the remaining bubbles.

DSC_0723 copy

How do you like my flower boxes?

I wish you could see these with flowers inside, but I just couldn’t wait to show you this project. You’ll have to stay tuned to see my finished tables at the event.  I think you’ll really like them, and I’ll take lots of photos, I promise.

Did you like this post? Don’t forget to click on the blue Followers button in the sidebar. It would make me so happy.

And if you have any questions…just drop me a line!

Bye for now,




Janet said...

Great idea Leslie!!! I love the simple boxes so very elegant!!!

Unknown said...

These are beautiful!! What a GREAT project. I'll share it on DIY Inspired's Facebook page right now!

Unknown said...

These are awesome. I would love to post this on my blog with your permission. Of course I would include a link to your blog! I think this is just too cute not to share. Please let me know if this is okay with you!

Unknown said...

I love this soo much! Thanks for hopping with Finally Friday!

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Love them, Leslie! They look fabulous! Great way to age the labels! Happy weekend!...hugs...Debbie

Flora Fascinata said...

I love your Dad. He is wonderful to make those boxes. Xx

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...