Asked on Sep 17, 2014

How to transform old Tupperware to French country shabby chic decor?

Kathy F
by Kathy F
I'm redecorating our new lake house in the Catskills in the French country cottage/shabby chic theme (on a budget). I've found so many great ideas here on HT, I thought I'd ask for ideas/suggestions on my newest quest.
I came across several old vintage Tupperware cereal containers and would like to use them in my new French country farmhouse/shabby chic kitchen. I'd like to store cereal, dry dog food, perhaps cookies, crackers, etc, to both keep items fresh and to keep unwanted critters away while we are not there (this is a vacation home).
Any ideas on how to make them look better?
Vintage Tupperware cereal container
  24 answers
  • CK CK on Sep 17, 2014
    I'd go to Hobby Lobby or some other place where they sell document print paper, or any other French-inspired paper and merely glue it on the outside. Or just use two-sided tape...especially at the seams. Or do the same with French fabric wrapped around. Just saw that Hobby Lobby has some plastic laminated French burlap document 'fabric'. All you'd have to do it attach it. Since it's your vacation home, it won't get as much wear and tear as a home where it gets used daily use so you have lots of options. I'm sure you could also paint on Tupperware too. Also, you could get glass lidded jars instead of Tupperware and decorate them to your style with paint....more 'authentic' than plastic ;-)
  • Judy Gray Judy Gray on Sep 17, 2014
    You could also attach a pretty knob of some kind to the opening, just to jazz it up.
  • Kathy F Kathy F on Sep 17, 2014
    Thanks @Judy & @Connie! I was actually hoping to find some glass lidded jars nod haven't had any luck yet so I thought maybe this could hole me over. Thanks again!
  • Christine4design Christine4design on Sep 17, 2014
    I'd try covering the outside w/ a damask or some other French looking scrapbook paper or even wrapping paper. Then cover the whole thing w/ contact paper to protect it and adhere French looking labels on the end.
  • Shari Shari on Sep 17, 2014
    Anything that holds food items will eventually need to be washed = come in contact with water so I can't really see that using any type of paper or paint on them would be very practical. Sometimes functional is not so pretty and, in my opinion, Tupperware definitely falls into that functional and not so pretty category. (What's that saying about trying to put lipstick on a pig...underneath the lipstick it's still a pig?) Frankly, if it were me, I'd leave them as is and hide them in a cabinet with a door. Believe me, I have nothing against Tupperware. I have my fair share of Tupperware and plastic bins for storage in my cabinets but its purpose is not to be a decorative accessory. Even with a makeover, I can't imagine any of it ever being pretty enough that I would want it to be sitting out on display day in and day out. I'm sure you can find lots of other affordable, prettier choices in the way of functional accessories to display in your kitchen. As far as glass jars and canisters mentioned above--that's a decorating YES! They are functional AND attractive, especially with a pretty teacup or silver spoon as a scoop. Walmart and the dollar stores usually have a good selection of glass storage containers at reasonable prices. Canning jars work well for storing smaller quantities too and meld perfectly with the French country farmhouse style. If you'd like to label the jars, they make chalkboard decals that you can adhere to the jar and write on with a piece of chalk or chalk pen.
  • Sheryl Johnson Sheryl Johnson on Sep 17, 2014
    There is the polymer spray paint that actually bonds molecularly to plastics. I believe it is made by krylon. I have seen it at Ace Hardware stores tho I'm certain Loves or Home Depot would carry it. Of course you could only paint the exterior of these items, but I don't see how it would harm the interior or your foodstuffs. It would be completely washable as the paint becomes 'one' with the plastic (without going all the way through the thickness.) I spray painted my cheap dollar general stacking patio chairs 4 years ago. They sit in the weather and suffer through rain and scrubbing down when needed ~ they still look great.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Sep 18, 2014
    I would make a small box...much like a dresser drawer (in fact you might find an old drawer that works) and paint it white...then stencil either red, blue or black French stripe across the front. Then attach a cup hook into front to hang a tag (label) for each container. Set it on a shelf, on top of the refrigerator or at the end of the counter.
  • Brenda Swartz Brenda Swartz on Sep 18, 2014
    Stencil a French design onto the containers..Paint with one color then stencil over with another color.
    • Kathy F Kathy F on Sep 19, 2014
      I like this but not sure I'm understanding what you are suggesting. First stencil on container as is. Then paint with one color, then stencil over with another color. How will you see the first stencil? Sorry I'm missing something
  • Z Z on Sep 18, 2014
    Tupperware is iconic. Personally, I think it's more beautiful just the way it is. Shari, makes a very good point in that anything you do to it will not last through multiple washings and would be a waste of time and materials in my mind. The fact that yours are all white make them pretty much go with any decor. If you have to have something on them, get some pretty sticky back labels to write the name of the contents of each one.
  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on Sep 18, 2014
    you could use remove and reposition vinyl come in all kinds of designs just remove when washing and put back on when dry xx
  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Oct 08, 2014
    @Kathy, pls post photos when you've finished!I never would have thought of 'dressing up' the tupperware we have and no longer use,I'd like to see how your turns out.
    • Kathy F Kathy F on Oct 09, 2014
      Will do but to keep it simple I just put labels on them, boring I know, :(
  • I use mason jars and painted christmas tins to keep critters out. The tins stack well, if space is an issue.
  • Grangerite Grangerite on Dec 19, 2014
    If same color line up and put some thing frenchy like book ends on either side. They will look like cook white cook books
  • Linda Apodaca Linda Apodaca on Dec 19, 2014
    Pretty duck tape?????
  • I agree with Becky, to leave the Tupperware as is. However, for a French or Beach theme, house them in a hutch that's blue, add hook cup holders ( teacups in blue and white) starfish, shells etc.
  • decoupe fabric and wash carefully---wash inside, wipe outside
  • Orchidmg Orchidmg on Dec 19, 2014
    If you are going to keep putting the same food item in each, I would Mod Podge that food labels to it. At slants, maybe as the nutritional value label to the back or on one side. And as you keep buying those foods, keep adding the labels until the containers are completely full of them. Easy to see which on is which when you open the cupboard or from the top of your refrigerator.
  • Joan Hardy-Pope Joan Hardy-Pope on Dec 22, 2014
    Give them a good scrub and use just as they are. Tupperware storage containers were shabby/chic at there inception and remain so in their dotage.
  • Thecottagebell Thecottagebell on Jan 09, 2015
    Place in a box that has a french look let the box be the eye catcher not whats in it .
  • Rosalie chow Rosalie chow on Jan 17, 2015
    My lid is crack, I use the container to store my Angel Hair pasta.
  • Steffony Steffony on Jan 30, 2015
    To get splash of color use tape & food coloring. Great kids project but wear gloves. Plus its safe for anything you put in them. If you have window shelve they look great with light on them
  • Dawn Jones Dawn Jones on Jan 06, 2016
  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 09, 2023

    Hello, I would stencil it with acrylic paints then seal it with mod podge or diamond coat.

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 09, 2023

    go to amazon and check out their selection of decals that could be your answer and it you don't like that what about applying either removeable wall paper or contact paper.