Creating custom boxes for storing small collectibles is a great way to organize and store family heirlooms and trinkets. It worked for me, and the results were outstanding. This idea can be altered for any decorating style or color palette.   

Over the past few years, my grandmothers have died and their trinkets, photos and small mementos were passed on to grandchildren and other relatives.

We each received items that were personal to us. I received sewing scissors, thimbles, jars of old buttons and wooden spools of thread –– all very cherished items that are near and dear to my heart.    

I was searching for a way to store the items in a respectful and special way. I wanted the storage to keep the items safe and still be easy to access. I decided that I would transform plain wooden photo boxes into collection boxes with an antique look.     

Creating custom boxes for storing small collectibles is a great way to organize and store family heirlooms and trinkets. It worked for me, and the results were outstanding. This idea can be altered for any decorating style or color palette.     

The materials used for the project were a wooden photo box that featured a frame top, black and parchment Folkart paint, crackle medium, antiquing medium, vintage buttons, printed labels and hot glue.     

I found the base box at a local craft and hobbies store. I have also seen such boxes at discount decorator shops, thrift shops and frame shops. Make sure you choose boxes that will hold your largest items.     

To begin, paint the entire box black. Don't worry if you get paint on the glass; you can remove it with a razor blade later on. Allow the paint to dry. Apply a coat of crackle finish over the entire box. Allow the crackle finish to dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step. This is very important in order to get the paint to crackle.     

Top-coat with a layer of parchment paint. When top-coating over a crackle finish, be sure to work quickly and paint in one direction. As the finish dries, it will begin to crackle. Allow to dry.     

Dip a damp paper towel into antique medium, smear over the entire box, highlighting areas. Allow to dry. To create a darker look, repeat until the desired color is reached.     

Using a razor blade, scrap any paint from the glass. Use hot glue to paste the buttons to the edges of the frames. Insert the printed labels.     

It really was that simple, and the results are stunning. These boxes are perfect for storing my cherished items. I especially love the labels; they allow me to quickly see what is in each box and add to the vintage style.          

Cathie Filian is a lifestyle expert, Emmy-nominated television host, author and designer. Learn more about Cathie by visiting her blog at www.cathiefilian.com.