Painting and Re-purposing That Plain Tea Box

90 Minutes
I saw a nicely decorated tea box by Eileene from Kissamee Fla. that was posted in 2014 when I was looking to see if anyone had done anything with the empty boxes.
A few years back I had a couple empty boxes on hand and decided to paint something on them. Though the box is not very sturdy my mother found them handy to store small items in. That got me started. More about that at another time. What I would like to share with you is how you can turn your empty box into something nice and usable.

You will need one empty tea box , yellow, light green, and a darker green acrylic paint, gloss, a few brushes and either a 2'' flat brush or a #4 fan brush. Almost missed ; some titanium white paint. Plus a board or surface to secure the box to to paint it.
First I take and open the box up so I can get to the white interior. You can simply paint the outside but often the lettering reflects light even covered. When I fist began to paint these I was mailing them to family and friends. Maling flat was the least expensive.
Once I had the inside showing the box was base coated with a light yellow green Then dipping the tip of a #4 fan brush in a little green paint this was streaked across the still wet base. This deeper color is blended in slightly so that it is not so intense. I move right on to the next step, you may want to let this part dry for ease in applying the next things.
For this step I painted on some simple flowers. I will include a couple pictures at the end of more detailed boxes. This was for the demonstration. A little greenery was added in between the flowers and dabs of color to bring out the flowers a little more. Remember that the sides will be folded up ,direction of the flowers will make a difference.
For the lid I based in the background green for the flowers and then applied the colors to make up the flowers. I'd name them but they are all pretend(smiles). For the rocks I dabbed on some black and made some earth tone colors to high light, finishig the stonees with a little white. A couple butterflies to add personality then letting it dry the box was glossed using two coats of clear gloss.
Folding the box back together the tabs were glued in place. I often use gloss as a glue and for this box simply added some tape to secure the parts until the glue dried.
You can make an insert that provides extra support for the interior if you like. make the insert slightly smaller than the box itself or it will not fit properly. Hope you enjoyed this quick demo. I wanted to share a little something to start the year off well.
I have added these to provide you with ideas for what you might paint on your box(es).
These have been in service for some time.
This is the K.I.S.S. method. It also is a good surface simply to use up that extra paint you have when applying colr to your main project.
Have some fun . I do not have more on this project at my site but will demo using a cloth on the box to which the artwork is added,soon. They really look sharp and can take being used.

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Dorothy Dorothy on Jan 03, 2016
    Did you paint the flowers yourself or did you follow a pattern? Anything easier you would suggest to paint on the box?

  • Alice Shockley Alice Shockley on Jan 03, 2016
    Couldn't find this on your blog at all...When you are done, does the inside of the box have all the writing and such on it? Or do you do something to cover that? Thanks! They are really lovely.

  • Gramcracker Gramcracker on Jan 03, 2016
    I love the idea of refurbishing any size box; I'm not a painter at all so wondered if instead of painting free hand, if you could either stencil on whatever you want or how about mod-podge-ing something?? Thank this idea


Join the conversation

4 of 98 comments
  • Anne jocelyn C Anne jocelyn C on Feb 08, 2016
    Maybe you can also make some lovely cards for different occasions? Card jr? :)

    • Phillipcardjr Phillipcardjr on Apr 19, 2016
      @Anne jocelyn C I like that. I have not checked on comments here , as I should have been. I do paint lots of nice cards Card Jr. or Cards jr. does have a nice ring to it. Thanks. I did have a good excuse for not seeing your comment on Feb 8. See my post'' Doc visit to re-purposed pill bottle project'' for a few details.

  • Janna Stein Janna Stein on Dec 21, 2016
    You did a BEAUTIFUL job. So talented.