DIY Decoupage Storage Pails

by Sherri Blum

Here’s a fun DIY for you and the kids, from our Nursery and Kids Room Design Expert and Contributor, Sherri Blum. A pioneer specialist for children’s-room interior design, Sherri designs for celebrities, and for the baby next door.

InUse

Let’s face it, most children’s rooms are small. And considering that these rooms usually hold more junk stuff than most, parents find ourselves dealing with organizational nightmares!

We have four children and it’s a constant battle trying to convince them to clean up their rooms and put things in their proper places. Truthfully speaking, I cringe every time I open the door to my 17 year old son’s room. Some cases are just hopeless- but in the hopes that some kids’ hygiene habits are salvageable, I frequently try to come up with ideas for helping them stay organized.

I love do-it-yourself projects and especially enjoy those that we can do with our children. I’ve found that when we include the kids’ in such projects, they will take pride in the end result and by some miracle of fate might actually enjoy using the item (at least for a while).

One of the least expensive and yet most appealing ways to keep clutter in its proper place is to purchase a set of either galvanized pails or storage boxes, and decoupage them to coordinate with the style of the room. Decoupage is a very easy process that really can’t go wrong. So even if you are “artistically challenged”, when finished with this project, you’ll come across like Monet.

Supplies

Gather your supplies and protect your work surface – this is going to get a bit messy.
You will need:

  • The pails or storage boxes. (I purchased a galvanized pail at Home Depot for
    about $6.)
  • Mod Podge or simple white school glue
  • A sponge brush or small paint brush
  • Decorative papers and scissors

Start

SprayInside

I spray painted the inside and outer rim of the pail a sweet pink color. It took several coats.

Party napkins, scrap book papers, wrapping paper and fabric scraps are perfect for decoupage projects. Select several coordinating patterns to keep it interesting. Choose a theme such as sports, transportation, princesses, flowers, or anything interesting to your child. I’ve chosen pretty pink and green scrapbook papers to coordinate with my studio colors.

You can either tear random patches with ragged edges or use decorative scissors to make a scalloped edge on the papers or fabric. No need to measure, as the key to this is keeping things somewhat random for a patchwork appeal.

Place some glue in an old bowl (you’ll want to dispose of the bowl when done) and add about 2/3 as much water and mix.

WaterGlueApplyFirstGlue

Using your sponge brush or paint brush, coat a small area of your surface and place a few papers on the wet glue, making sure to overlap the edges of the papers.

applyPaper

Once the papers have been placed, lightly spread more glue on top of the papers. Move on to another section of the pail until the surface is covered. Coat the entire surface several times with a thin layer of glue and allow drying time between layers.

ApplyGlueLetDry

You can then embellish the surface with crystals, ribbons, silk flowers, buttons, and more by using a hot glue gun.

closeUp

I chose not to add it, but wouldn’t the pail be cute with this fun beaded fringe around the top? I chose to tie some sweet bows at the ends of the handle instead (see top photo).

fringe

I’m keeping this particular pail for myself and will eventually be making more of them, as my studio itself is in dire need of some organizing. Here, I’ve placed the fan decks from my favorite paint stores in the pail. A second one will be created to hold fabric swatches from my favorite bedding companies.

As for kids’ rooms, these pails or boxes can hold things like art supplies, photographs, medals/awards, school supplies, books, hair ribbons, CD’s and more.

Create a box for each collection you find lying around your child’s room and give each set a proper home. And while these items unfortunately won’t put themselves away, it might make it easier for your child to return the items to a properly labeled bin when available.

A mother can dream, right?

 

Designer Sherri BlumSherri Blum loves putting her talents to use designing beautiful rooms for her tiny clients. Sherri’s designs are popular among celebrities and have been featured in numerous TV shows and publications.

Sherri shares with us trends, designer projects and advice for creating beautiful, yet functional kids rooms and baby nurseries.

Sherri operates her design firm Jack and Jill Interiors and she creates her signature line of children’s wall art, clocks and hand-hooked, wool rugs — Sherri Blum Designs. Sherri writes the Jack and Jill blog, and resides with her family in rural Pennsylvania.
 
 

What’s your best trick to help keep the kids’ rooms organized?

Trend Alert — Rockin’ Decor

As studded-up shoes stomp down the fashion runways, watch for more ways to out
your inner rocker with your home accents.

Side-Studded Faux Suede Pillow at Overstock

Spot On Studded Leather Boxes

Studs and nailheads are leaping off edges, moving from trim to the featured decoration. And the pyramid stud—formerly punking only leather cuffs and collars—is going mainstream.

Pyramid Studded Mirror at Lamps Plus

Rory Nailhead Faux Suede Pillow at Overstock

 

Beyond studs, add a little ‘tude to your decor with a strum of chrome, leather, or some rockin’ hard lines.

Pilke 36 Pendant at Finnish DesignChrome Lamp with Embroidered Silk Shade at Terry's Fabrics

Faux Croc Studded Trays at Z Gallerie

Ceramic Chrome Stool at  Atom Designs

Studded Black Lacquer Nightstand

 

How are you rockin’ your decor? Do tell…

Contemporary Crewel Embroidery

A traditional handicraft can add warmth and character to a space. A graphic Amish quilt suspended as a headboard, a braided rag rug anchoring the coffee table, Grandma’s crocheted, zig-zag throw draped over the arm of a club chair.

Or colorful, textural crewel embroidery.

As a young girl, I spent many an evening cranking out chain and satin stitches, and flocks of french knots. You’d often find me enveloped in my bedroom’s lime-green beanbag chair, my airport-marshall-worthy headphones pumping out a disco beat, while I speed-embroidered a palette of yarns onto my latest pillow or wall-hanging.

Lately, I’m reminded of the beauty and impact of crewel embroidery, by some fresh and fun contemporary examples like Janlynn.com’s Sunburst pillow kit.

Janlynn Sunburst Pillow Kit

Or the comfy crewel and felt embellishment on Mudandtwig’s nest pillow.

Mudandtwig Nest Pillow

Humble yarns explode into fantasies in color and line, in the hands of Toronto textile artist Odile Gova.

Woolly Fabulous Doodling in Crewel

Odile (aka Woolly Fabulous) creates original designs based on her doodles. She told me, “I’m a sketcher and a doodler…I wish I had more time to devote to my sketch books.”

“I was a floorcloth maker for many years and that involved a tremendous amount of designing and painting. I developed a strong graphic style….”

Woolly Fabulous Contemporary Crewel Doodling

“I wish I had more time to design and do more crewel work,” Odile said. “I really love it. The opportunities for bold design and colors are endless and that’s very exciting for me. Painting with a needle and thread!!!”

Here’s a retro motif in progress, inspired by the pattern on a bowl she picked up at the thrift store.

Woolly Fabulous Crewel Motif Inspired by a Thrifted Bowl

You’ll be treated to more of Odile’s Crewel work at her Flickr pool. And don’t miss the textile wonders at her Wooly Fabulous Etsy shop (zipper-and felt brooches and OMG will someone please buy me that evening bag!)

If a mod, riot of hues isn’t your cup of tea, traditional crewel designs in clean color schemes can spark a space. Like this crewel-print fabric covered chair from
Neiman Marcus
.

Neiman Marcus Print Crewel Chair

Or these crewel-look rugs from Ballard.

Ballard Crewel Design Rugs

And HomeMaker Movement’s Crewel Boudoir Pillow at Etsy.

HomemakerMovement Black and White Crewel Boudoir Pillow

This all makes me want to go scare up a beanbag chair and some Bee Gees.

Think you’ll break out your own needle? Check out The New Crewel by Katherine Shaughnessy

The New Crewel by Katherine Shaughnessy
 
What handicraft takes you back? Thought of reinventing it for your present space?

Lexi’s Paint Chip Dresser — Makeover

So simple, yet effective.

When I found Lexi Adams’ dresser transformation, I pounded my forehead – why didn’t I think to do that? Here’s the Before and After and the scoop on the fresh look this Brooklyn, NY photographer got with a little paint, elbow grease, and good advice from Dad.

Paint Chip Dresser After

Paint Chip Dresser Before

HomeWorkshop (HW): Are you a design-diva, big into DIY and decorating, or was this a fluke? How did you score the dresser?

Lexi Adams (LA): I’m not a design diva! But I am a carpenter’s daughter, so when I was having trouble finding a dresser I liked, I was definitely keeping my eye open for something cheap I could fix up or paint myself.

I scoured Craigslist listings, worrying about bedbugs all the while, only to have a free wooden dresser fall into my lap on a walk in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. My amazing little sister helped me carry the dresser from the curb where it was left to my apartment and up four flights of stairs.

HW: What inspired the graduated-colors scheme?

LA: Benjamin Moore paint strips. I had some graduated green ones from the hardware store tacked up in my kitchen, and they gave me the idea to mimic the look on the drawers. Luckily I had white paint and green paint already from other projects, so I mixed the two together to make the different shades of green.

HW: How would you describe the room decor where the dresser lives?

LA: Today, the dresser lives in a very small bedroom, which has lime green as an accent color. The decor of the space is in transition. I moved in with my girlfriend, who has more traditional taste, and my interests are a bit more eclectic, from Mid-century Modern to Postmodern rustic design like Nightwood (Editor’s note: Cool stuff here, Design Junkies).

So, we’re going piece by piece, from sofa to dresser to wall art, mixing items together that feel like us.

HW: About how long did it take you to complete the makeover?

LA: Around two or three afternoons, lazily spread out. As you can see on the before picture, the dresser was real wood, probably of IKEA-ish provenance, but it had some scratches and gouges — perhaps from a dog. It was also finished with poly.

I sanded thoroughly it with an electric sander, and painted it with B.I.N. shellac primer. My first time using this primer, which my father recommended, and it was amazing. Great adherence and it sealed in the pine knots to keep them from bleeding through the paint.

Then I painted with a semi-gloss white paint and different mixed shades of green for the drawers. I planned to buy new drawer knobs, but the painted wooden ones are working for now.

HW: Any challenges?

LA: My main challenge is probably wishing I had a workshop — it’s hard to use power tools and high-VOC solvents in a small Brooklyn apartment!

HW: What’s the next creative project you’ve got planned?

LA: My next project after the dresser was getting some of my own photography prints framed, and hanging them at home. Next, I’m also having a fantasy of replacing my kitchen cabinet doors — but I live in a rental and acknowledge this is probably a ludicrous idea.

Lexi translated the design from simple paint chips into a furniture makeover. What’s something around your house that might inspire your next transformation??

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