Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The World Traveler

Wow! That was a tough round of Crafting with the Stars! I really had no idea where I stood with the voters… but (no thanks to most of my Facebook friends, I asked them to tell me what they liked and they tended to lean toward other projects) I made it to number 4! I’m moving on! Thank you to those who voted for my project… The World Traveler!

I wasn’t really sure where to go with the decoupage challenge. I sent my star, Michelle from Someday Crafts, a few ideas and then mentioned this old trunk. I didn’t really have any ideas for what to do with it. She suggested putting a map on it, which got Nolan looking around online. He found a cool old looking toy box and a coffee table at Walmart that I used for my inspiration.
This project was time consuming!!! But, it was a lot easier to take pictures along the way than my last round’s project, so here you go…
My mom bought this trunk from a lady named Dorothy quite a few years ago. It had been “restored and decorated” for her by a lady named Beatrice (as written on the bottom of one of the drawers) in 1980. Beatrice made it lovely for the time—green with orange flowers. My mom had thoughts of eventually repainting it (she had a toll painting business when I was growing up).
After graduating college, she gave it to me and we had plans for painting it and using it as a coffee table. I never finished it. It sat in a garage for 2 years, and then in mine and Nolan’s room holding our TV for a few more years, and has sat in my guestroom with my doll house on top of it since then.
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But now, now it’s a thing of beauty. But oh, what a process it was! I started by using watered down Mod-Podge to stick burlap to the inside. It took some major saturating to get it to stay!
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Then I found a map I liked online, changed it to Sepia tones, and blew it up big time, printing it on several sheets of paper. I gave it a good spray with clear varnish so the Mod Podge wouldn’t make the ink smear.
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The next step was painting all the metal straps a dark brown. Since I would be covering the trunk with paper, and going right up to the straps, I didn’t need to be careful with the paint, which helped the project go a lot faster.
The best purchase I made for the project was a nice breyer. It helped roll the paper on soooo well! I painted Mod Podge on, then applied the paper, pieces at a time.

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Then there was a lot of trimming off excess pieces. There were so many corners to cut around on this project!
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After it dried a bit, I painted on a tinted Mod Podge going one direction, and then going the other direction with a dry sponge brush to give it a canvas effect. I’m not sure if that really made a difference in the long run.
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The tinted Mod Podge aged it a bit, but served mostly to seal the paper. The next step was applying a brown tinted glaze. If I hadn’t sealed the paper, I’m pretty sure the glaze would have just entirely dyed the paper. It took playing around a bit with how long to leave the glaze on, but in the end, I found the more glaze, left on longer, the better.
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The drawers were a BRIGHT primer white, but a few layers of glaze and they had a nice aged look to them.
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The only part of the trunk (from what I can tell) that was left original was in the canopy. It has a pretty blue velvety corduroy and is trimmed in blue floral fabric.
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I mimicked that floral fabric and designed a scroll pattern with my Silhouette and cut it out of a blue textured cardstock.
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I used Mod Podge to apply the dark blue grosgrain ribbon along each drawer and then Mod Podged the scroll design below it.

As for taking the pictures, my husband had the GENIUS idea to take it to the train station. Our train station (in Albany, Oregon) was restored beautifully a few years ago. I wish I could have show cased it more, but the trunk was the star of the show.
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An old luggage wagon was the perfect stage!

I LOVE how this trunk turned out! Originally I was thinking we’d try to sell it to someone who could use it for either a coffee table or an accent piece. But I don’t think I’m ready to part with it yet, so I might use it to store craft and sewing stuff in my guest room.
Oh, and I have to show you the best moment of the whole project: My sweet Nolan carrying the trunk by himself when I got too tired from helping.
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He’s so strong!

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  1. That was yours? I actually squealed out loud when I saw it. :D
    Such a cool piece and you did a beautiful job on it. My favorite detail may be the matching scrollwork on the drawers - what a great nod to the original look.

  2. FABULOUS!!!! Wow...that was a lot of work and it totally paid off! I love the way it turned out. I can't believe how big it is (I guess I didn't realize until your hubby was carrying it). Great job and I can't wait to see what you come up with in Round 3!

  3. SO cute! I am featuring this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com

  4. This is so beautiful! I just posted about my trunk project today and then saw this! Gives me courage to go through with it! Haha. Thanks for the inspiration! http://www.love-of-laundry.com/2011/02/spidery-antique-wardrobe-trunk-cute-ifi.html

  5. how fun! i actually have a chest just like this that i put some blood, sweat and tears into redoing. i thought about doing it with maps and giving it more of an antique feel, but ultimately decided to paint it this awesome turquoise color with black trim, which is now used as our coffee table! great convo piece! so fun to see yours! great job, i love it!

  6. What a great job! I use my antique steamer trunk (my fingers still ache when I think of all the scraping I did to get all of the old musty liner out) for storing my sewing stash (or at least a bit of it). Anyway, here's a link to pictures of how I'm now using it. Good luck with future projects.

  7. Love it! The whole piece turned out amazing. I can imagine it took an intense amount of time, but it was worth it. Congrats on a job very well done.

  8. lizziebetliz i dont know what is wrong with your website but i got spam ads instead of seeing your trunk. it wouldnt let me see your work.
    i love all the steps shown on this blog for the trunk on madeitonmonday which has no spam! thank you. i have a trunk and splurged on a map poster. am going to make my own mod podge tomorrow just after i prep the trunk. someone chalk painted the whole thing and made a mess of it. as in the covered all the metal pieces and only one coat of all light gray and didnt finish... i will get it looking good again! and hope to have a blog with steps as well. we do have an old train depot here too i can stage it at. that is a great idea! :)


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