Creating a WoodUbend Blanket Box – Introduction
Whilst we love arts and crafts projects, there is something really special about creating a piece of furniture that not only looks amazing, but can be used every day, too. When you also use existing, old furniture as part of an upcycling project it is even better – there is the thrill of seeing something transform before your eyes, whilst you know you are doing your bit for the environment, too!
I found a tatty old blanket box in a local antiques dealer, which I bought for a mere £20. It was a rather sad looking piece, it had probably served someone well but was in need of a bit of love!
It’s good to take a moment to plan your project before diving in. I looked long and hard at this rather ‘blank and boxy’ blanket box – what was the right combination of materials needed to make it dazzle? What colours would suit it best? Did I want to take a subtle approach…or was I going all in?! Either way, I knew that it was destined to be a WoodUbend blanket box!
I assembled some WoodUbend, Posh Chalk and Dixie Belle products to help me visualise the finished piece…it was time to get started!
I chose a selection that would give the blanket box some much needed pizazz, whilst still maintaining an overall muted approach to colours. I thought the juxtaposition of bold, statement WoodUbend pieces with more sedate colours would be really interesting. Let’s see if I was right!
Getting the WoodUbend Blanket Box project underway
Getting underway meant deciding on a colour strategy first and foremost. I started applying the Dixie Belle paints to get an idea of what might work best. I worked multiple grey colours on the back until I was happy with the overall effect. I added Rustic Red to the contours. I was beginning to feel pretty good about this blanket box!
Adding WoodUbend trims and appliques
WoodUbend ‘Appliques’ are single pieces used to add intense detail to any section of your project, whilst ‘Trims’ are long, thin stretches of WoodUbend that are usually used to adorn edges. Both trims and appliques have the WoodUbend qualities that make them so unique. When cold, they are stiff, and will snap if you press too hard. However, by simply applying some heat from a heat gun, griddle or everyday hair dryer, they become supple and will ‘melt’ in your hands. It’s an extraordinary transformation that makes crafting really easy. When they are soft, they can be sliced, stretched, bent and pulled around corners. When they cool, they stay in their new shape, and can be chopped, drilled, sanded and treated like a ‘real’ wood moulding.
I chose two trims and two appliques for my WoodUbend blanket box. The trims are TR703 and TR124; the appliques are WUB1352.18 and WUB519.
Taking the 1352.18, I heated them up and applied to the sides of the box, one on each side. By warming WoodUbend, you increase its adherence qualities, so once stuck, these are not going to fall off!
Now taking the WUB 519, I adhered this to the front of the box. It makes such a statement this piece, and ultimately gives the blanket box its ‘Angelic’ name and theme.
The trims were destined for the sides and top of the box. With a flash of inspiration, I took the decision to run two trims next to each other, in parallel, on the top surface of the blanket box. It was fairly easy to do this, but I had to be precise in order to ensure the lines were straight and there were no gaps. I was delighted with the results – it took the appearance of a single piece of trim, a ‘square within a square’. What do you think?
With the remainder of the trims, I ran them down all four legs of the box. I had already noticed that the legs were not completely straight. No problem for WoodUbend! Again, simply heating the trim up made it malleable enough to bend in order to meet the angle of the leg.
Painting the WoodUbend blanket box
Taking a moment to decide on my colour strategy, I took stock of the project so far. I had painted the angel and wings using Dixie Belle Rustic Red, with greys around it, before painting the top surface once more.
I then took Posh Chalk metallic pastes to create a marble effect on the top of the box – black carbon and radiant silver. I deployed a sponging technique in order to create a textured effect. I chose different spots with different amounts to make it look natural on the top, then I took a small metal trowel to push the ‘pointy’ bits of texture until they were flatter. I didn’t want a completely smooth surface though as I liked the textured effect…I simply wanted to remove the peaks.
I then mixed the copper pigments with black carbon pigments and Posh Chalk Infuser to create a bronze colour which I then dry brushed intensively on top of the trims.
Using Dixie Belle Stormy Seas and Rustic Red, I had achieved a grey with red undertone; by adding copper and bronze pigments I was able to highlight all of the WoodUbend appliques and trims.
Finally, I added Posh Chalk patina extending wax on all of the surface, then came in with Posh Chalk patina in black to add depth on the edges. The extending wax would ensure that the colours were sealed in for good.
My WoodUbend Blanket Box was now finished – what do you think?
Here is a list of the products used on this project:
WoodUbend Applique WUB1352.18 (on the side)
WoodUbend Trim TR703
WoodUbend Trim TR124
WoodUbend Applique WUB519 (on the front)
Posh Chalk Metallic Paste Black Carbon
Posh Chalk Precious Metallic Paste Radiant Silver
Posh Chalk Pigments Copper
Posh Chalk Pigment Infusor
Posh Chalk Patina Extending Wax
Posh Chalk Patina Black
Dixie Belle Paints Midnight Sky, Stormy Seas, Rustic Red