For this project, we had a few pieces of jewelry past their prime, without mates, and just too chunky to actually wear. We were also looking for a way to take an inexpensive piece found at TJ Maxx and turn it into a jewelry box, desk caddy, or catch-all for keys and other odds and ends. Turns out all you need is a little bit of paint, sandpaper, and finishing coat to make a cheap fiber-board piece look like a reclaimed vintage treasure.

 – wooden jewelry box or desk caddy

– turquoise wall paint

– sandpaper

– protective top coat (we used Polycrylic Finish)

– broken jewelry pieces (or pair-less earrings)

– screws

– quick hold glue

First, take off any parts of the piece you don’t like. In this case, we weren’t digging the card catalog style handles. They don’t really mesh with the jewelry box look. We used a screwdriver to take them off.

Of course, we were left with holes! Use sandpaper to fix up any rough edges. Fill holes with wood glue (or wood filler if you have it), let dry, and sand again.

Now it’s time to paint! We used a turquoise house paint.

Paint a couple layers and let dry overnight – you don’t want any gumminess for the next step.

To create the weathered look, it’s time to bust out a super thin grade sandpaper.

Gently sand the paint away so that it starts to look weather. Be careful not to go too far – it can easily chip off at this stage, sometimes more than you want.

Once you have a look you like, seal it up! We used Polycrylic Protective Finish to seal our weathered look in. Any house paint top coat, primer, or shellac should be good.

Time to add the bling!

Use wire cutters to prep the jewelry. If using old earrings, cut off the earring posts. For broken charm bracelets, simply cut charms off the chain.

Screw in four screws to the jewelry box. Then use glue to attach your jewelry pieces to the screws to create knobs.

Let dry overnight. If you want to reinforce, you can add a little extra glue around the edges of the screw after the piece has dryer.

Load up with jewelry and clean up that bureau of yours!

Or use on your desk for books, mail, notebooks, pens, and other odds and ends.

And of course, nothing is as satisfying as the before and after pic.

Have you tried transforming cheap discount store finds into a vintage-style treasures?

We’d love to see your creations. Share them with us over on Twitter or Facebook, or send us a link via the comments below.