January 17, 2013

DIY $8 Faux Malachite Boxes

Guess what I made over the weekend? I'll give you a hint...

A similar set of my own faux malachite boxes for 13 cents more than $8/each!

Remember when I posted those $200 malachite jewelry boxes back in my Color of the Year post? In case you don't want to click away, they looked like this:

[ Image via High Fashion Home ]

I was inspired by The Aestate's tutorial to make my own version of faux malachite boxes after I saw the ones from High Fashion Home.

If you'd like to make a pair of your own, you'll need the following supplies:

Supplies shown, L to R:
  • Liquitex acrylic paint in 'Deep Green': $4.99 @ Michael's
  • A small wooden box: $1.99 @ Michael's
  • A large wooden box: $6.99 - a 40% off coupon = $4.20 @ Michael's
  • Fan brush: $3.79 @ (you guessed it!) Michael's
  • Liquitex acrylic paint in white: $4.99 @ Michael's but I didn't end up using it

Supplies not shown:
  • A paintbrush
  • A foam brush
  • Wood filler
  • Polyurethane
  • Gold paint. I used Martha Stewart's 'Vintage Gold'
  • 1, 1/4" x 1/4" piece of balsa wood: $1.29 @ Michael's

TOTAL: $16.26 or $8.13/box! I'm not counting the white Liquitex paint since I didn't use it for this project.

Please note: this project may cost you more than $16.26 depending on the supplies you need to purchase and where you purchase them from.

I started the project by ripping the handle off of the small wooden box:

After that was removed, I pulled the two side pieces off and sanded the box down:

Then I brought the box back inside and removed the original hardware:

I also removed the hardware that was on the white box:

I patched the holes with some wood filler and let it dry for about a half an hour.

After the wood filler dried, I lightly sanded the boxes down. Then I took them out to the garage so I could paint them using some semi-gloss white paint I had on hand. I had initially planned to use the white Liquitex paint that I bought but I scratched that plan when I realized I had the other paint on hand.

After the base coat of white paint had dried, I brought both boxes back inside so I could start the faux malachite treatment. I started it by painting one side of the small wooden box green:

Then I took my fan brush and made swirls in the paint. I repeated the same process on all sides (except the bottom) until the box looked like this:

I set it aside to dry and started on the large white box by painting one side with the green paint:

And making some more swirls with my fan brush:

The best part about this project is that if you don't like your initial design, you can brush right over it with some more green paint and start over again! You really can't mess it up!

For the backs, I simply painted over the hinges:

And swirled over them as well. Yes, the paint has started to chip off the hardware but no one is going to see the back of my boxes so it doesn't bother me. If you think it'll bother you, try taping off the hinges before you start painting.

After every side had been "malachited", I let the boxes dry for a couple of hours:

Then I used a foam brush to brush a coat of polyurethane on each side of each box except the bottoms:

And let everything dry overnight:

Some of the green paint seeped onto the inside rim so I gave it a coat of gold paint to cover it:

To make the gold "hardware", I cut up some pieces of balsa wood and painted them gold:

I don't have detailed steps of how I made the new hardware because in all honesty, I was kind of winging it.

Basically, I made sure that the distance from the top of the box to the top piece of hardware was the same at the bottom. Then I measured from the top of the bottom piece of hardware to the top of the bottom portion of the box (where it opens) and cut two pieces in that specific size. Each hardware rectangle is 1.5" in from the sides of the box. The small boxes long/top pieces are 3.5" and the larger boxes long/top pieces are 5.5". The smaller vertical hardware pieces will vary depending on what size of box you get. If you have any questions about this part, feel free to e-mail me!

Ready for some after photos?

So glossy and malachity! Yes I'm making up words ;)

Inside shot of the gold rim:

Can you believe those are the same boxes I started with?!

Not bad for a $8 and a weekend of work, huh?!

What do you think of the boxes? Will you be making a set of your own?

I'm sharing this project on Beneath My HeartDIY Showoff, Home Stories A to Z, and House of Hepworths!

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  1. What a great technique. They look really fantastic. Love the gold "hardware".

  2. Love it Caitlin! I'm so pinning this one!

  3. Thanks Katja! And thanks for pinning Julia :)

  4. These look so awesome! I'm in LOVE with Malachite. I just posted about my faux malachite serving tray a few days ago! (also inspired by The Aestate)Yours look so awesome! Here's my tray:


    Great job!

  5. Thanks Shannon! You made a tray?! I can't wait to see that! Off to check it out :)

  6. That is SO creative-plus-awesome! I love the color too!

    Kelly @ View Along the Way

  7. So awesome Caitlin! They turned out great and I love that they only cost $8 each.

  8. Very nice! I like the way you did the swirls.

  9. Very, very nice. Keep up the good job. By the way where are the sculptures from? Did you also make them?

  10. Very, very nice. Keep up the good job. By the way where are the sculptures from? Did you also make them?


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