Sunday, 3 May 2015

Bank Holiday Band Box

So, bank holiday weekend and it's cold and raining of course. Staying indoors with the central heating, thank you.

I bought a small bandbox in a charity shop, not a thing of beauty but you will have to take my word for that as I forgot to take a fotie of the unadulterated item. It's been sitting on a shelf staring at me in all its ugliness for a while now, and this weekend seemed the time to get on with it.  

I had intended to cover it in either Graphic 45 or Tim Holz papers but then I realised that it would take 3 sheets to go around the sides (30 inch circumference), and most of the papers I had come in sets of 2 so that would not work. Problem solved when I remembered the world map napkins that I've been shuffling about in my pantry for at least a year. Game on.
Taking it back to bare wood and stripping off the bands and hardware, the covering was canvas backed something or other.

Covering with a layer of gesso

Modpodge and delaminated napkins (you only use 1 layer of napkin, and these were 3 ply so had to be split apart before glueing)

Sorry, didn't take photos of laying on the napkins.  Basically what you do is paint a thick layer of mod podge on the part you want to cover, then carefully lay your layer of napkin on the mod podge  and VERY GENTLY smooth out any big air bubbles.  Leave to set for about 10 minutes then cover with another layer of modpodge. It will look a bit bubbly but will flatten out.  Then leave it to dry. This one is mat mod podged but you could use gloss I expect. There's very little strength in a one ply tissue so you have to be sure about correct placing before you lay the tissue on, and use hardly any pressure to smooth it down.  I made a mistake first time and had to scrape it all off with a knife.  Luckily I realised my mistake before it was dry or I would have been stuck with a wonky map 😮.  It's best to work in smallish sections if the pattern allows but I had to go with large sections because of the map size.

I had  intended to put back the original bands, but they were so obviously plastic and looked rather cheap and tacky so I made new ones from cream coloured leather.  I have a 'book' of different coloured leather sheets (originally from a DFS sofa shop!) so chose a nice cream colour to go with the maps.  Cut into strips and reattached using the original hardwear and strong glue, I think it looks much classier.
Cheap, plastic and tacky
Cream leather cut into 3/4 inch strips

Another thing I did was give the decorative pins and other hardwear a slight going over with some Treasure Gold metalic wax in sapphire colour.  Although I see the lid in the picture says emerald, which must mean I didn't put the right lid on last time I used it 😄.  Anyway, this just gives a very subtle blue tinge to the metal, which I like.

You can see before and after the wax rub, using a cotton bud.

I didn't do anything to the inside of the box.  It is covered in quite inoffensive brown 'velvet' which would have been a pain to rip out and replace. It did need a good hoover and going over with sticky tape though, having suffered a red glitter explosion at some point. It was everywhere.

After hammering the pins back in and replacing the hinges and clasp (note to self, next time take note of where the screw holes are before covering them up!) the job was done.


  1. this is an absolutely gorgeous makeover for this box. I love it. very much my sort of thing :)

  2. Thanks Louise. Always exciting to get a comment, so I know I'm not totally unheard