Flowers and Triangles Trunk // trash to treasure

For Christmas last year, my husband and I decided on a 0$ budget for each other due to tight finances (always!!) In a stroke of brilliance (I told him to) he decided to sand down an old wooden toy trunk that I had intercepted from the epic to-donate-haul last year when my grandparents moved. It was in pretty bad shape, having been duct-taped together for at least a decade. I loathe sanding, so this gift of service was the  After some soul searching and pinterest cruising, I finally settled on a design, and went to work.  It only took me like a million years! Actually, the project wasn’t that bad, but I just never had a huge chunk of time to work on it, so it got done in little snatches over several months. Also, I didn’t discover til the tail-end of the project a handy little sponge roller that made it SO much faster–I mean literally, it took me 5 months to do the first half, and two hours to complete the second.

diy painted trunk(sorry for the dark shot here, I guess I don’t know the secret of taking a good shot into a bright window!)

diy painted trunk

I hand painted the flowers, and then used a diy contact-paper stencil and my sponge rollar for the triangles. 

diy painted trunk

diy painted trunk

Because I know (horrible mother much?) people get really freaked out about safety, let me assure you that we installed a safety hinge first thing. We also did away with the duct tape and installed a hinge in the back. diy painted trunk

The back I did in about 30 seconds using my super handy little sponge rollar I was telling you about. It makes things so much faster because the paint just flows or can be squeezed from the tube, and you don’t have to constantly dip or wear out a sponge brush! I love how it looks so ikat looking! diy painted trunk

For the top I made a little tufted cushion so it serves as much needed seating in my living room. I really love how this project turned out–it’s definitely a statement piece.  The only thing I’m starting to worry about is whether or not this is going to be an enduring piece for me–I mean, will I like this coral in a year or two or twenty? Will I always want such a bold piece? We’ll see. I guess if I  change my mind Allan can always sand that sucker down again. Christmas comes every year, right?!;) 



  1. Posted November 9, 2012 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I LOVE it! Beautiful!

  2. Posted November 9, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    that is so very lovely. great work!

  3. Posted November 9, 2012 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Wow. Thanks all I have to say about this! It completely brightens up the room!

  4. Lindsey
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I have a project that is strikingly similar to this but I’m not sure how to put it together. I would love, love, love to know how you made the cushion. I’m not sure how to start that process.

    • Posted November 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Hey Lindsey, how are you friend?! I bought foam by the yard at JoAnn’s, which is actually kind of expensive even though I used a 50% off coupon. Anyway, then I measured all the dimensions and cut a pattern with the exact same dimensions. I sewed all the 4 side strips together first, and then sewed one of the 2 main sides to that. Then I repeated that but left one end open, inserted my foam in and then hand stitched it shut. The cushion stitching is just yarn going in and out through the cushion, and the tufting I think I googled it to figure out how. Do you have any specific questions, or does that help? Good luck!!

  5. Lindsey
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Wow, you are a gem among gems! That is exactly the instruction I needed. I may have more questions when I actually dig in and get started. Thanks!!

  6. the mither
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    well, I wouldn’t have believed that old chest could have looked so good. Astronomical!

  7. Posted November 11, 2012 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    Absolutely love this! I have a trunk similar to this which I was planning to cover with an old quilt, but you’ve inspired me to be more creative!!

    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

    • Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

      Are you kidding?! I think covering a trunk with an old quilt is SUPER creative, and would be really amazing I think!!

      • Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        Why thank you! I just hadn’t thought to paint over it first because it’s hideous and that’s really the main reason I was going to throw a quilt over it lol. :)

        Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

  8. LaChelle
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    This might just be my favorite thing you’ve ever done!

  9. Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    I love this! The pattern you came up with is fabulous! And I LOVED reading the comments on the d*s post about the safety hinge. People can be a little nuts sometimes (and Grace stepping in was awesome). BUT, I also didn’t realize there was such a thing as a safety hinge, so I’m glad to know that now. And I have a few trunks that could use them. Hilarious AND informative!

    I stumbled on your blog a few months ago (I think via hue&hum?) and have really enjoyed seeing your projects. Thanks for sharing and inspiring. 😉

    • Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Yeah, good times..:) Except I didn’t laugh as much then! But another tip on those safety hinges: Last time I looked, Home depot doesn’t carry them, but you can find them at Lowes. IF you live near a Lowes!
      Thanks for stopping by Katie!

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