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Thrifted Trinket Box Rice Paper Makeover

May 28, 2022

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Once the nice weather rolls around, yard sales start popping up in my neck of the woods.

Just one more reason to love summer.

So far, this season, I haven't come across anything fantastic.

But last year, I hit the jackpot.

There was one sale where I left with so many fun finds, I needed to make two trips to my car.

Among them was a lamp I've since updated and a very pretty green shutter I've yet to address.

I also picked up this sweet wooden trinket box.

Wishes Trinket Box

It wasn't my style at all, but it was a great size, super sturdy and cheap.

I knew I could do something fun with it.

It took me a while to figure out exactly what that would be, but after a quick peek inside my craft armoire, I was all set.

Here's what I used:

Rustic Pallet Rice Paper
Satin Clear Coat (or Mod Podge)
Kudzu Green Chalk Paint
Ziploc Baggie
Paint Brush
Water Mister Bottle

My Steps:

I started by painting the entire box with green chalk paint. I painted the top first.

Using green Chalk Paint for a Trinket Box Makeover

I just dipped my brush into the paint, spritzed a little bit of water onto the surface and then blended and added more paint until the surface was completely covered.

Then I moved on to the inside since it had a design I wanted to make disappear, as well.

Painting Inside Of Jewelry Box with green chalk paint

The pattern on the box was very bright, so even after one coat, I could still see remnants of it peeking through. A second coat was definitely necessary.

Of course, I had to wait for the first coat to dry before adding another, so in between, I stored my paint brush in a plastic bag.

Storing Paint Brush In plastic bag in Fridge or Freezer

Now, when I first shared that tip, I received a number of comments from readers telling me that the bag trick was good.

However, if you need the paint brush to keep for longer than an hour, you could place the baggie in the fridge or freezer! Who knew?

That's what I love about the comments, it's a place of true community and I value each and every one of them. 

Chalk paint dries very fast, so I didn't need to wait long to add additional coats. Or to wait for the entire piece to dry enough for phase two.

Adding patterned rice paper.

The box was totally transformed by the paint alone, but I thought it could use a little sparkle, so to speak. Plus, since I've used the rice paper before, I knew how easy it was to apply.

It's nothing like using napkins to decoupage. It's sturdy and stands up to the decoupage medium well. No wrinkles or tears. 

So while this wasn't my first decoupaged trinket box, it was certainly my easiest.

First, I cut the paper to size.

Adding Decoupage Medium to Wooden box with paintbrush

Then I just brushed on a thin coat of clear satin sealer and laid the rice paper on top.

I gently pressed down with my fingers to make sure it was well situated and smooth.

Decoupage Rice Paper cut to size and placed on top of box

Next, I added another coat of clear sealer on top of the paper, with a brush.

Painting On Decoupage Top Coat

I did use the plastic bag trick to smooth out any wrinkles on the wet paper, but honestly, it wasn't necessary.

The bag is great when working with napkins, because they're so thin and tear when wet. However, the rice paper is tough.

It doesn't stick to your fingers, but old habits die hard, and I had a bunch of crafting baggies at the ready. So. 

Smoothing Out Rice Paper with plastic bag

When the paper was dry, I had a brand new trinket box that was much more my style.

Less 1990's teenage bedroom and more charming, country cottage.

Jewelry Box Makeover finished project

Even better, it was now a useful addition to this tiny house.

Where space is limited.

Trinket Box Holding Ribbon spools inside

But quick and easy makeovers are always in style.

Especially during yard sale season.

Have you been shopping lately?

Hey, before you go, it's time for another Do It Over Designers Hop!

Do It Over Designers Blog Hop Graphic

My friend Ann from The Apple Street Cottage hosts a terrific group of talented ladies, showcasing some fun before and afters.

Take a peek and get inspired!

  1. That turned out very nice. I love the look of the rice paper. I have not been to a yard sale in years!

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    1. Thanks Penny! Yard sales dried up here over the past few years, but now they're back in full force.

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  2. I have not come across any yard sales yet; this was a definite score. Love that rice paper; can't wait to try it - you make it look so easy.

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    1. I highly recommend the rice paper! It was so simple to use and the results are great...and thanks!!

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  3. Well, that piece sure jumped a few decades! I remember that style and the rice paper immediately updated it. Very pretty and perfect for your cottage!

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    1. Thanks so much, Ann! It was a great size and perfect accent piece, but you're right, it needed a little modernizing.

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  4. I love how this turned out, so very pretty!

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  5. Cute makeover...the rice paper is such a pretty pattern! I love going to garage sales, but lately have tried to avoid them (I have more little projects than I have time!!). Great inspiration here!

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    1. Right there with you, Patti! I'm a sucker for a bargain and a good sale though. I have no willpower in the summer!

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  6. Wow this is pretty amazing Kim. Love the rice paper look to this piece. I am with Penny I have not been to a yard sale in so long. Miss doing that. Happy Memorial Day. xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Kris! My daughter has been my yard sale partner lately. It's good to have a buddy...motivating!!

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  7. Your version is much, much prettier than the original! - Briana from Texas

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  8. Your rice paper design is gorgeous, Kim! I think rice paper can give off a more upscale look and feel on finished items than napkins. I don't know if it's the thinness of napkins or what but your trinket box turned out simply fabulous! Great job!

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    1. Thanks so much, Gail and I think you're right about the rice paper. I think that heavier feel really does give it a more finished look. It definitely makes it easier to craft with, for sure.

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  9. I knew about the fridge/freezer tip but did not know anything about rice paper. I need to buy some stat! Plus find a box or container to use it on. What a wonderful transformation!!!

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    1. Thank you so much!! It always makes me smile when someone says they found something inspiring or new here. I have to say, rice paper is my new addiction. It's truly been a crafty game changer for me.

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  10. It turned out so cute! I really like what that rice paper did for it.
    I've done the paint brush in the freezer trick. It really does work well!

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    1. I had no idea about the freezer, Mari. I'm so glad you shared. I'm totally using trick next time.

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  11. I didn’t know the plastic bag trick, great idea! I do love storing brushes in the fridge though. Love the transformation. I enjoyed our hop today!

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    1. Thanks so much and yes, great hop! Always love participating!

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  12. I knew about the plastic bag trick with the paint brushes, but I did not know about the fridge/freezer. What a great idea, I just shared it with Jeremy.
    The project is cute, I like the idea of using rice paper.

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    1. Isn't that so funny, Carla...the fridge and freezer?? Who knew?? That's what I love about blogging. It's such a helpful community.

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  13. That's definitely an upgraded makeover ~ looks great! I like the looks of the rice paper. I've never crafted with it before. I use the ziplock bag trick, too.

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    1. Thanks Allyson! The rice paper works great and comes in so many different patterns. I've been thrilled whenever I've used it.

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  14. Great makeover, and I love the colours. Thanks for sharing the baggy tip, that is something I wish I had known years ago.

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    1. That baggie trick is a game changer, Anita! I have to say, it's my fun go to now.

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  15. This turned out great, Kim. Love the design of the rice paper. Good choice. Have a happy new week! Hugs.

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    1. Thanks Nancy, I really like this paper too!! Hugs!!

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  16. What a difference! I love the pretty vintage rice paper paired with the green. I've always used napkins to decoupage but after seeing this pretty makeover I must try rice paper.

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    1. Thanks so much, Marie! Napkins were always my go to, as well, and I have to say I've still picked up a few very pretty patterns. However, the rich paper is so easy to use it's a no brainer.

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  17. This is beautiful. Don't you love saving the wet brush in a baggy? It's the best!

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    1. I do!! And that fridge and freezer trick is the best! Smart ladies...so glad they shared.

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  18. I really like the texture that the rice paper adds. The box is a beauty now!

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    1. Why thank you, Amy! I'm so glad I grabbed the box at the sale.

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  19. Hey Kim, this box looks so pretty the way you made it over. It would look just perfect in your new family room.!

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    1. That's what I'm hoping, Julie! Thanks for the sweet comment.

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  20. Beautiful makeover! The box is so much more charming this way. Thanks for sharing the tips on how to use the rice paper.

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    1. My pleasure, Donna! The {former} teacher in me loves sharing the tutorials. I'm glad you found it helpful and thanks for the sweet comment!

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  21. What a pretty makeover! Where do you find rice paper? I don't believe I've seen it before.

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    1. Hi Melanie! I usually get my rice paper from Dixie Belle online, but lately, I've seen it from other shops on Etsy. I bet it'll start showing up in the craft stores soon, too.

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  22. Can't tell you how much I like the new look of the box, Kim! That rice paper is gorgeous. Sadly, yard sales are not a thing around here. People put a lot of stuff outside on the street, free to take, and if you can beat the flea market vendors who patrol the streets, you can find all sorts of things.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Oh, free stuff on the streets sounds wonderful, Amalia. Although trying to beat others to the stash does sound a little stressful. Although, trash nights around here are a bit like that! I guess free good stuff is always in demand!

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  23. Love that pattern, Kim and thank you for sharing a link to the rice paper you used and they ship to SA too :D I've been struggling to find something similar here for such a long time.

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    1. I'm SO glad to hear that Michelle, I know that it's not often easy to get supplies we mention here in the US when you live abroad.

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