Thursday, November 14, 2013

bird.i.y.: upcycled decoupage trunk

a while back, nora was getting rid of this trunk. i'm not sure the origin...maybe it was my grandpa's, maybe not. i'm not sure why it's blue, but i know it didn't start out that way. anyway, none of that matters. what matters is that she gave it to me. i used it briefly to house my boots, but that didn't work very well as i have so many boots that i really only wore what was at the very top. so i moved the boots, and the poor trunk sat lonely in my basement. ok, it wasn't that lonely, for over a year, it was joined by it's lovely wedding craft friends.
but now it's lonely.
so i decided to fix it up. here's what i used:

~ blue trunk
~ mod podge (not pictured)
~ white primer and spray paint
~ vintage atlas
~ paint brush, scissors, exacto knife (not pictured)

first things first, i needed to change the color. i love blue, but it's not really in my house color repertoire. every other color, maybe, but not blue. i thought this trunk would look right nice in a bright white (plus i already had white primer and spray paint on hand), so i chose white.

i took her outside and gave her a good spray. blue is very hard to cover up, so even with a coat of primer, i needed to use four coats of spray paint. my trigger finger was very sore.

this is after one coat of primer. luckily we had a nice weekend where i could sit outside and work.

after it was dry, i grabbed a crafty gal's best friend...mod podge

then i got to work. i chose which maps and pictures i wanted from the atlas, and trimmed them, as needed to fit the top of the trunk with the exacto knife. one huge problem...the trunk is covered in seams and nuts and bolts ~ it made for a rather bumpy top. and while a smooth top would have been ideal, i figured since i was using maps, a bumpy top would be more realistic. after all, i always did love the globes that had little bumpy mountains on them.

i basically just painted mod podge onto each piece, then pasted and covered again with the glue. it was somewhat therapeutic. and now i am realizing that this is a diy on how to spray paint and glue. aren't you glad you tuned it to learn that today???

like i said, there are a few bumps and lumps on the top. i ended up putting a piece of plywood and then the heaviest things i could find to safely set on top of it overnight. that flattened it a little, but we still won't be using the top of the trunk as any sort of level in the near future (or for any geographic facts...these maps are old!) what i will be using it for is to store my many, many grandma blankets.

and for, you know, just looking cute around the house.

and that's all folks!!
enjoy your weekend!
megan bird


  1. cute! i used to be obsessed with decoupaging.

  2. This is so cute! My little one is fascinated by identifying the states so this would be a fun little project for us. Have a great weekend!

  3. I love the idea of using maps to change it up. Mod Podge really is the best, isn't it?:)

  4. maps atop a trunk just seem so fitting! Great DIY and repurposing of the lonely trunk!
    Chic on the Cheap

  5. The maps are a cute touch to the trunk! Have a great weekend!

    The Tiny Heart

  6. Sooo cute! I wish I lived closer so I could hire you to decorate my house!

  7. I love what you did with the trunk - the maps are SO you! It looks great.

  8. Do you know what? AS soon as I saw the picture of the blue trunk and the words DIY in my Google follow list, I thought how nice it would be to cover it in vintage maps and low and behold that's what you did! Great job!x

  9. I love the trunk and the old maps, so cute!

  10. I did this very same thing for my sons room back in the day
    He was into bugs, so we went with bugs instead of maps
    Love your version

  11. Ya know, I love maps but I never think of decorating with them. Great idea! I've seen them more and more lately as decor; like on a plate, or frame them as art, etc. Have a fabulous weekend, both of you and see on MONDAY!

  12. Megan.
    What a great DIY! Using maps is very clever, and what a beautiful new storage piece you created. I used to do mosaic work, and made lots of smaller boxes, such fun. Great post!
    XX Elle

  13. I love it! I kinda want you to do the entire thing. It looks so good!

  14. ah, such fun a way to update something you already have. i'm gonna have to steal this idea from you- so creative :)

  15. I am so inspired by this, Megan. I may have to do this with my white trunk. Really great job and the vignette is just sweet and creative. Dawn suitcase vignettes