Friday, April 05, 2013

Yarrrrr....that be repurposed!

Avery is a kid with toys.  Yard sales, holidays, random things I can't resist at Target - he gets them everywhere!  But where to store them?

For a while, our living room looked like this:

Until we put down $75 on this Martha Stewart piece from Home Depot and organized a bit:

But what to do in his bedroom?  We want him to have a place to play with his toys and a place to put said toys that isn't on a too-hard-to-resist-climbing bookshelf.  Ideally, I wanted a really great toy chest, but those suckers are expensive!

Then, we cleaned and organized our bedroom and closet and we were just about to throw out this piece of history:

Ah, memories
 Yep, that's a military-issued footlocker that I took with me on deployment to Turkey in 2003 during the first rotation of the Iraq war.  It's lightweight, super sturdy (hello, it's military issue!), and the top is perfect for not threatening to cut off little fingers.  So, I took on a mission to redo it to make it look like a genuine toy chest and not a military relic.  THEN, he started watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates and I thought - why not try to make it a treasure chest?

First, remove the 10-year old tape all over it.  Easier said then done, and some scraping cut into the plastic, but I figure a treasure chest has been through some tough times so it'll go nicely.

Tape removed, but still kinda there.

Next, I used some Goo Gone (also introduced to me in the Army by the morons at the Central Issuing Facility who wouldn't take back their equipment until I had removed every little scrap of tape residue) to get rid of all the sticky tape residue.  Then, I bought some spray paint primer and gave the whole thing a couple of good coats to make it easier to paint.

Albino treasure chest

After that, I took some gold spray paint and painted up the stripes that were already on the footlocker.  This was pretty fortunate, because I can't get the top to curve like a treasure chest, but having these jutted out stripes on the middle and the side of the lid really made it look treasure chesty.  I also painted the hardware gold to match.  Since I was going to paint the rest of it brown, I didn't care too much about taping.  Plus, a treasure chest is supposed to look a little beaten up, so a little bleeding of colors will only help.

Gettin' a little fancy
Swapping around the tape job, after the gold was good and dry, I spray painted the rest of the box brown.  It isn't perfect, because all of the hinges are hard to paint around, but who cares, Avery will likely just destroy it anyway.  But how to make a plastic brown box look like wood?  I tried a couple of different things.  First, I bought one of these wood grainers that you drag through paint to make it look like wood.  Fail.  It came out all gunky.  Next, I bought a stencil that looked like wood, but that looked like crap as well.  So, I gave up and decided just to keep it brown and gold.  But then it looked all plain and sad, so I knew I had to dress it up some more.  Enter these babies:

Simple finishing washer from Home Depot at practically nothing for three of them.  They matched perfectly with the gold spray paint, so I grabbed some super glue and stuck em on.

I love the grommet look to really give it a treasure-chesty feel.  But something was still missing - a pirate theme!  I googled around everywhere trying to find something Piratey to put on the chest, but stuff was pretty expensive.  So, wandering out Michael's one day, I found these cute pirate hats.

They were $5 each (grumble) and pretty shoddiliy made, but beggars can't be choosers, so I grabbed a couple of them and removed the skull and bones emblem, which is really just a big foamy sticker.  Then, I took my trusty gold spray paint and went to town.

Here there be gold!
A little bit of superglue, and the chest was definitely for pirates.

Then I bought some gold duct tape at Michael's and wrapped up the handle.  I opted to go for duct tape so it could be well worn and used without paint flaking off on someone's hand.

And there you have it!

The joy truly was Avery looking at it and yelling "PIRATE BOX!!"  So cute and it made me relieved that he recognized it.

What do you think?  Where do you keep your kids toys?  Should I add some pirate jewels to the outside or keep it simple?


Anonymous said...

Fantastic job!! How nice to repurpose something- I'm sure he'll appreciate that part when he's older.

buttons said...

Arrgh! That be one fantastic pirate chest! I really love it, I want it in my bedroom!

Your newest follower,
The Hot Toddies of Washington

Alison Beach said...

Thanks! All that taping and spraypainting was kinda worth it :-)