Curio Wall Cabinet Made From Dollarstore Tea Boxes

9 Materials
5 Hours

I'm that person who always lingers in the craft aisle scheming ideas about what I can create with the loads of items they tease me with! Like these tea boxes at Dollarama, some walk on by, I stop and take one off the shelf twist it, open it and tilt it. Then I get 2 from the shelf and place together and the concept of a faux window idea came to me which led me to buy four at $4.00 each! 😁

Devising the Plan

Tea Box

The boxes all open and have closures but I wanted to glue the four boxes together and create one large unit. In order for this to work I'd need to remove the hinges and latches that fell in the center.

Removing Extra Hardware

Removing Hardware not Needed

So for two of the boxes I removed the hinges and the other two boxes I removed the latches because I will be creating 2 individual window panes to open. The four glass lids will operate as two pairs, a top and a bottom once the boxes and lids are glued together.

Brief Overview

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Overall Concept

The video just shows the summary of what I'm doing to alter the tea boxes.

Gray Base Coat


I chose a light gray for the base coat because I'm aiming for a weathered window look as the final result. The interior back is left blank because that will be covered with scrapbook paper.

Creating the Weathered Finish

Folk Art Paints

With the base coat being a light gray, I used a darker gray to dry brush everything and then switched to dry brushing on white. This isn't hard to do, the main point is to keep your artist brush almost dry. If you overload your brush blot some paint off in a paper towel.

Three Step Process

Bare, Base coat and Final Look

You could create this finish in browns or whatever shade you'd prefer just remembering to use a light and a dark of your color choice and a white or off white. Wait for each layer of paint to dry before adding the next color.

Change of Plans

Painting Interior White

I always change the plan as I go along, thats okay...I learn as I go! I could foresee that the interior would be a little too dark with the gray so I switched to painting it white, shelves too.

Glue Boxes and Doors Together

Securing the Glue Join

So originally there were four boxes, I joined them together to create one large box with two opening glass doors. Above I've glued two together and secured with clothepins until the glue sets. The bottles are put there to add weight in order to keep the panes flat on the table.

Filling in the Seam

Seam Filler

I used a spackling product to fill the seam gap, just applied with my fingertip, let dry and paint over.

Test Run

Top Door Functioning

I had to try this all out before I glued the final join of the top unit to the bottom unit. Originally I was going to glue all doors into one but I changed it. I chose to have two opening doors because everything is built slight and I thought it would be less strain on the hinges.

Choosing the Scrap Paper Backing

Sea Glass & Scrapbooks

Normally I would choose a certain color to highlight my project but since the seaglass I would be displaying was in an array of colors I opted to go neutral.

Cut to Fit

Black and White Newsprint

I simply cut the paper to fit inside the back of the tea box, since the insert would press the paper in place I didn't use any glue. You see if and more than likely I will... want to change the contents or the paper background I can!

Last Join to Glue

Joining Boxes with Gorilla Wood Glue

The final step was attaching the top unit to the bottom unit, I used wood glue for this final join. I attached some thin wood strips on the back for reinforcement, you could use paint stir sticks easily! Sorry I don't have a picture but if I choose to hang the cabinet the added strips will hold everything in place.

Letting the Glue Set Up

Secured with Clothespins

I know you're laughing at my clothepins but heh....they did the job! I used what I had, who needs clamps when you have clothespins? 😃

Adding my Treasures

Filling with my Treasures

Now comes the icing on the cake, adding in my treasures that I have found over the years along our beaches. They have no value I'm sure but they hold memories of collecting them and history of their past life!

Cabinet Filled

Close up

There's shard of milk glass, carnival glass, ale and pop bottles, fancy dishes, javex and medicine bottles and the list goes on.


Curio Cabinet

Its sitting on a stand here now but I have the option as I mentioned to hang it on a wall too. I am super pleased with how it turned out, it filled the need I had in finding some way to display my seaglass. This could have a broad range of uses I'm sure you have one in mind already. A little girls doll pieces...Polly pocket is all I recall because my kids are grown, lol! Jewelry, little boys dinkies, hair accessories, sewing notions, nail polishes??


Hanging Display for my Craftroom

I finally decided on its home, it's hanging in my craft room where all of the other good junk is found! 😃 Thanks for viewing and tell your husband to blame me if you stay in the Dollarstore a longer time after viewing this post! 😃😃😃

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4 of 121 comments
  • Debra Heatherwick
    on Mar 27, 2020

    I just love this creative. I've never have seen these boxes in Dollar General. But will be looking. Seeing that maybe their only available in Canada...bummer.

    Big thanks for sharing.

    • Sea Trace Creations
      on Mar 27, 2020

      Thank you Debra, it's comments like yours that make this so worthwhile for me. I'm not a blogger, just a person who loves to create and pass it on. Stay safe.

  • Becky
    7 days ago

    This is so very cute - and I love the newspaper background! I'm going to do something similar with some boxes I have on hand already - like others, I do wish I could find these at a local store, but still, I love your idea and the final result!

    • Sea Trace Creations
      7 days ago

      Well hopefully all of those U.S. stores will get some tea boxes soon! Thanks very much and I'm sure you'll come up with a great idea as well! Stay safe and stay well.

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