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Painting a Recipe Box to Give as a Gift

September 30, 2014

CREATE   |   Published September 30, 2014

I was invited by Havalah and her sisters from Sisters, What! to participate in a Handmade Christmas Gift Blog Hop along with 14 other bloggers.  I know what you are saying.  "Tomorrow is only the first of October.  It's too soon to think about Christmas."  But if you are planning on making gifts to share with your friends and family, it is not to early to start crafting....or at least be inspired to begin!

When making a gift for someone, it needs to be something that the recipient will actually want and will use.  You don't want to spend your valuable time making something that isn't going to be appreciated.  A handmade gift also needs to be simple to create, especially if you are making gifts for many people.

For my project, I decided to make a customized recipe box.  Even in today's world of Pinterest and recipes on the internet, I still like to have a card for the recipes I make on a regular basis and all those cards need a place to be stored.

As always, I went scouting a local consignment shop for an old wood recipe box, but new ones can also be purchased for an affordable price at craft stores.

The inside of my box was bare wood, so I decided to stain it.   I also wiped stain on the outside to make the wood tones more similar.  I used Rust-Oleum Wood Stain in American Walnut .  Be sure to wear some disposable gloves for this step so that your hands don't become stained in the process!

I like a chippy, distressed painted finish.  To make the job of distressing easier, rub clear candle wax over anywhere that you'd like the paint to chip away. The wax will seal the stain underneath but allow the paint on top of it to sand off.

Then it is time to paint the recipe box.  I'm a fan of chalk paint, which is what I used for this project.  Any type of paint will work, though.

The box should be painted based on what the person you are giving it to would enjoy.  While I love the old, chippy look, the person you are making this for might not.  You can skip the distressing step if that is the case.  You can paint the box a color to coordinate with their decor.  Or maybe they prefer stained wood over painted so you can skip painting all together. When you handmake a gift for someone, it is easier to customize it especially for the recipient.

Because I was painting the box white, it took three coats.  You may be able to get by with just two coats of another color.

When the paint is dry, sand the edges that you want to chip away with a fine grit sandpaper.

To protect the surface of the recipe box, I rubbed on some paste furniture wax with a clean rag.  I like Miss Mustard Seed's brand.  You can also use polyurethane, although it may yellow if you are brushing it on over white paint.

Add a metal label holder to the front.  I was able to find some nice ones in the scrapbooking section of my craft store.  They are also available online or in hardware stores.

I wrote the word recipes on a piece of chip board and put it into the label holder.


To give this as a gift, I would also include a dish towel (who couldn't use one of those?!?!) and a pile of recipe cards.  I stuck with the vintage theme and found some antique ones that I wrapped with a piece of ribbon and sprig of greenery.

This could be a great gift for a newlywed couple or someone who has just started out on their own.  If that is the case, it would be nice to fill the box with recipes that they might enjoy in their new life.  Your gift could be so much more than just a little box.  It could hold memories and a bit of family history by including recipes passed down through the family.

And now that you've seen my project, be sure to visit these blogs to see some more amazing ideas for handmade Christmas gifts!

Don't forget that our "Your Time to Shine" Link Party will be starting at 6AM Thursday.  Another one of our hosts, Nicole from Meet the B's, has a project below!

Romantic Stamped Clay Pendant - Whistle and Ivy

DIY Tea Towels - Meet the B's

DIY Felt Stuffie - Feathers Flights

DIY Bracelet Kraft and Mint

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