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A Simple Thrift Store Makeover...

One good thing about cold winter days is getting projects done indoors!  This week I worked on a simple makeover of  a thrift store find!

I found this old wood tote.  I liked the styling, but it was made of plywood 
that didn't have a great look.  So it was perfect for a little makeover...

I did want some of the wood to show through the paint, so I started by rubbing a candle over some areas of the tote where I wanted the paint to come off easily...

I used DecoArt Americana Decor Chalky Finish in Relic for the paint...

After painting it, while it was still not quite dry, I took a damp paper towel and rubbed the areas where I had used the wax resist technique. No sanding!

On one side, I used a stencil I had from 
Angie at Knick of Time's Vintage Sign Stencils...
she has some fun stencils for projects like this!

I just used part of the stencil, painting very lightly to give the look of an old crate label.  I then sealed the tote with DecoArt Media Ultra-Matte Varnish. 
I love this varnish...water-based, non-yellowing, and fast drying...
it has a great look when you want durability without gloss.

I used the tote to hold some pretty plants for Valentine's Day...

 a maidenhair fern, a cyclamen, and a heart fern.

This tote will be fun to use in many ways throughout the year!

I am part of the DecoArt Blogger Outreach program and was provided with the products used in this post...all opinions are my own.

Before I go, thank you for your comments on my last post!
The winner of the Valentine ephemera is~
Kris @ Junk Chic Cottage

Until next time...


  1. Linda, You are a clever girl. I love the way it all looks . Now I want to go thrifting.:):) My grocery store has some pretty cyclamens. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

  2. You reminded me I need to get some valentine projects done today.
    Your tote box looks great of course

  3. I just love it when I find a blank, boring piece in a thrift store that's so easy to give a makeover like yours, Linda. Yours looks amazing now - so pretty! I love how you used my stencil on it - it was the a great idea to use just part of the stencil. It turned out perfect.

  4. I love it when something "everyday" gets turned into something with vintage charm! I haven't tried the candle thing but I am going to soon. Much less messy than distressing! Looks great, love the plants you chose. xoKathleen Charm Bracelet Diva {At Home}

  5. Not blank or boring anymore!! Very nice job!

  6. That turned out pretty! Love the cyclamen too!

  7. Your tote turned out to be a darling spot to plant a winter garden, Linda! I'll have to remember the trick with a wax candle next time I'm trying for a weathered finish. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!

  8. Sweet project! I, too, grab totes whenever + wherever I see them! I stencil mine with a stripe +/or name +/or number, + we sell them at our markets here in the Midwest. I just found your blog! My name is Kay -- it sez I am anonymous??

    1. Oops. I misspoke re: anonymous. Sorry!

  9. Very cute - I love totes!

    Thanks for the stencil link - I've been looking for a good place to get some from.

  10. You did a great job! And the plants and flowers help keep us going until spring. Bet you smile every time you pass it.

  11. Love your tote and the way you painted/stenciled it is perfect. Pretty plants too especially the cyclamen!

  12. Linda, this is just lovely! Funny thing, I started a wood tote project myself, today! Great minds ;)

  13. This tote is so pretty Linda. Love this. Have a great weekend.

  14. A very nice transformation, Linda! Love the wax technique - I'll have to try that one. They sell that paint at my local craft store. I think I'll pick some up! Love the pretty plants and your lovely table runner, too :) Sending hugs xo Karen

  15. Cute project and thanks for the candle process tips!

  16. Love what you did.... great tip with the candle. Pretty plants too.

  17. Linda, this turned out so cute! I love how the candle wax resist gives it a more natural look than sanding! Very nice!

  18. What a great redo. Can be used for so many things. Love the flowers!


  19. This is so cute, Linda! I'll remember the products for sure. You made it all sound so easy! Love the way you arranged everything, too.

    Jane x

  20. I love a good painted toolbox! And that cyclamen is beautiful. I stopped in to my local Bachmans a week or so ago and they had some really pretty ones, now I'm tempted to go back and get one!

  21. This looks lovely Linda! I really like the lettering, and it looks so pretty filled with plants.
    Helen xox

  22. Wow! What a difference. Turned out so lovely. The stencil really makes the piece. Love it!

  23. Wow!! its look amazing.. you truly turned the trash into treasure.. XOXO

    Please visit:

  24. Lovely! Love that grey colour...great work!
    Have a great day, take care :)
    Warm hug from Titti and a snowy countryside

  25. Another lovely makeover, Linda, and the plants are the perfect finishing touch.

  26. Like you I love the winter months for getting the things done you can do in doors. Great thrift find and with a little love you have it looking great.

  27. Love!



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