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Trash to Treasure! How I Re-purposed an Old Silverware Box

I have a love for old wooden boxes of any type. They are great for storing items you want out of sight but not out of mind. I just love how they look, especially when they are re-purposed. So when I ran across this old silverware box, I decided it would make a great place to store stationary, stamps and other office items that get lost in large drawers.

This is one of my favorite transformations and I’m sharing how to repurpose a silverware box.

Thrift Store Find – Repurpose a Silverware Box

It was a little banged up when I first spotted it in the thrift store. However, it is solid wood, of sturdy construction and the price was right.


It was a little banged up when I first spotted it in the thrift store. However, it is solid wood, of sturdy construction and the price was right.

Although the lining was intact, it had to go. Demo time!!!

Removing the lining allowed me to get my frustrations out for the day! Just kidding, because it was a very simple process to remove it. I only needed a flat head screw driver and a hammer. And Ta-Da!
I made sure to keep all the hardware except for the engraved plate that was originally on the top of the box. Those aren’t my initials, so bye,bye!
I filled in the holes, where the plate was screwed to the top, with some wood filler. Once that was dry, I gently sanded this area until it was smooth using a fine grit sanding block.
I later decided that I would replace all the hardware except for the side handles. One of the drawer pulls was missing and I felt it was easier to replace all the pulls than try to match the old ones.
I spray painted the side handles with black Rustoleum paint because the original finish was pitted and rusty in areas.

Next, I painted the outside of the box with 2 COATS OF ANNIE SLOAN OLD WHITE CHALK PAINT, rubbed a little off around the edges. I then applied a clear wax to seal the paint. See an easy tutorial on how to use Chalk Paint.

I also mixed a small amount of dark wax with clear wax and added an additional coat over the entire surface. This gave a more aged look to the paint. This is the same technique that I shared on my Instagram Stories when I re-purposed the side table in my living room. I have the tutorial saved and you can link to that tutorial here.

Since the insides of the box were not smooth and the finish was undesirable, I decided to add old torn hymnal pages to cover the inside. This was just something I had on hand and didn’t have to go buy. This step would work and would look very nice with any extra wall paper, lovely stationary, magazine pages, etc.
I used mod podge to adhere the torn music pages to the interior of the box. After the pages were dry, I applied another coat o mod podge over the surface to seal the pages and give it a smooth finish.
This was such a quick and easy project. The only difficulty I had was getting rid of my sticky fingers! I would forget and use my hands to spread the mod podge! LOL

So many small items fit perfectly!

It’s the perfect size for storing stationary, stamps, paper clips, pens, etc.

I added replacement hardware from Amazon to the front of the drawers. The label holder from D Lawless Hardware is just for looks. I hand printed “Cards” on a piece of brown craft paper to add to the file card holder.

Remote control holder

In addition to stationary, the small drawer is perfect for hiding the remote controls when company is coming. Otherwise, they are glued to my husbands hands. LOL

The spray painted hardware matches the other hardware perfectly.

I originally thought I’d put the new Stationary Box on my desk. However, I’m really loving it here! It matches my re-purposed side table so well. Maybe I’ll just change the label to read “remote controls” and leave it here!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the process of this re-purposed piece and that It will inspire you to see beyond the obvious, when you’re out thrift store shopping!

Please feel free to ask any questions or leave comments below!

XOXO

Rachel

Cheryl Atkinson

Sunday 21st of August 2022

Hi Rachel! I am with you, i love finding these silverware boxes and upcycling them. I will defintely use your idea with the insides. They are a great seller in my booth. Thank you for your great ideas.

Rachel

Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

Cheryl, I'm so glad you liked this idea. Thanks for stopping by.

Chrissie O.

Sunday 7th of August 2022

Hi, Rachel! I LOVE this - I "inherited" an old, wooden silverware box when I bought a 2nd set of my stainless flatware on ebay; the shipper just shipped in in the box to avoid wrapping all the pieces!! Fun!

I am a pianist, so I personally get the heebie-jeebies when someone tears up music of any kind to decoupage (I frame especially beautiful, old pieces - such great artwork!); I once saw a fellow musician who had decoupaged an entire powder room wall with music for his black-and-white theme in there! Anyway, my solution to this, because I love the look? I have CDs of Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, Back, with all piano compositions' sheet music on them to print out. I print them, and then tea-stain the paper! They look vintage, and I have no guilt!!!

I just stumbled on your website, and I love so many of your ideas - we are doing a historic renovation to a 1906 Craftsman Bungalow that we purchased (we've done a number of these, for homes on the Historic Registry, but this is the first time we've done one for ourselves!); it is slow-going, since we must source period materials, etc., not just stuff that "looks" period, but it's a labor of love - I can completely see how The Ponds is yours! I have high respect for anyone who treats an old, period home with the respect it deserves!!!

Rachel

Monday 8th of August 2022

Chrissie, I'm so glad you stopped by. Best of luck in your renovations. We have been remodeling our 1940's beach cottage and doing all the work ourselves. It's tiny so not a huge undertaking but still a lot of work.

Lynda S

Monday 25th of July 2022

Hi, I love all the projects u show how to do, but can't believe u threw away that plate with initials?? I always keep those, if I can find them, do not care if they r mine,, ha.. ..thank you..hard to leave message from ads all over page..thanks again

Rachel

Monday 25th of July 2022

Lynda, I'm so glad you found this tutorial helpful. I've also thrown items away and have many regrets. You can click the ads off at the X.

Christine Harvey

Monday 20th of September 2021

Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. I am just starting out and am going to look for some feed sack and try this method of dying it with coffee and stenciling the bag. I think I will start out with a bag for my first project. I enjoy rug hooking and quilting, so I thought I could put my scraps of wool, etc and have a bag for different colors. I signed up and will check my email for more projects and idea's. Thanks again so much.

rahrags@gmail.com

Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Christine, I'm so excited to have you join me. I appreciate your sweet comments and look forward to sharing more with you.

Lonnie

Saturday 21st of August 2021

Hi. Do you have a store in NC or is all of this beautiful decorations at your home?

Lonnie Beer

rahrags@gmail.com

Saturday 21st of August 2021

Lonnie, All that I share on here is at my home. thanks for stopping by.