Friday, June 4, 2010

Arrrrgh!! A Pirate Toy Chest (and a little Idol…)

One of my BFFs contacted me a couple weeks ago about doing a pirate treasure chest toy box for another of her friend’s baby shower.  I was SO excited!  I absolutely LOVE doing projects for kids!  (Have you seen my Puppet Theater, Tres Chic Play Kitchen, and Bugga Boo’s Play Kitchen?)  Creating things for children is so fun, because it gives you the opportunity to really get whimsical.  You get to put yourself in a kid’s point of view and think what YOU would have wanted when you were little.
So I started this project with a large wooden shipping box I purchased for cheap from my hubby’s work.  Doesn’t it look piratey already?!?!
Since it is for a child’s room, first priority is (of course) that it be safe for a child to use and be around.  So the first thing I did was to sand the heck out of the box, making sure all the surfaces were smooth and all the corners and edges rounded.  This actually was the most time consuming part of the project. As I was sanding away, it was exposing an olive green paint under the gray paint on top, and getting down to the bare wood in places as well.  I began the project thinking I was going to paint the whole thing, but when I was done sanding, I LOVED the rustic finish.  It was just perfect for an authentic looking pirate’s treasure chest!
BFF requested that the top of the chest read “Ethan’s Booty.”  (CUTE!)  I created a stencil by simply printing it in a piratey font on plain computer paper, taping the pieces of paper together, and cutting out the letters with an exacto knife.  (Gar!!  Why doesn’t spell check like the word “piratey”?!?!  That’s totally a word…)  I painted the stenciled lettering in a bright deep red acrylic paint, then distressed the lettering with some sand paper.
I decided that the inside of the lid would be a great place for a piratey (ha!) alphabet.  So, in the same font that I used for the top, I printed out the alphabet on some card stock, each letter with a faint pirate ship behind it.  I tore the edges and mod podged them to lid.
The final touch was sewing a liner for the inside of the chest.  I don’t know about you, but I think liners for toy boxes are a must-have.  There’s always crumbs and junk of all sorts that ends up at the bottom of toy boxes, and it’s nice to have something that’s easily removable so you can dump the junk and be back in business.  I found this perfect red and black striped cotton material at the thrift store, and it was only $3 for 4 yards!!  Steal!!  I sewed the liner and attached velcro to the edges to make it easily removable.
When I was all done, I did several layers of a water-based Polycrylic, to make sure the whole thing was good and sealed and child-safe.
Here’s how it looks all finished up!
Another MUST I forgot to mention.  When you’re making something to be used as a toy chest, you need to buy lid supports to keep the lid from falling down on a little one.  It could really cause serious injury if you don’t.  You can see the lid support in the second-to-last picture above.  I believe it’s called a friction lid support, and you can get them at the hardware store.  They were brass which I painted ORB.  I used one on each side of the lid, because this one is HEAVY!!

Linking to a few lovely parties:
Remodelaholic, Finding Fabulous, Miss Mustard Seed, My Backyard Eden, The Shabby Nest, Funky Junk Interiors


  1. I just realized you are from Prescott! I LOVE Prescott! My best friend is from there and I have visited MANY Times!!! Great Job on your song!

  2. Great Pirate chest! Your not half bad at singing either! You have more guts than I to get up and sing in front of people!

  3. AM-I'm unable to get the video! But the pirate chest is adorable. I love the treasure inside.

  4. You are going to put me in the poor house! I need a treasure chest for my "booty"!

  5. OMGosh! Love it! I just created a pirateship bedroom for my twins and this would be a perfect addition! I'll have to keep my eyes open for one of those wooden shipping boxes!!! TFS!

  6. SO adorable! I am LOVIN' IT!!!!!

    Also way to go hot chica!

  7. That is really cute! Love the liner idea - you're so right about the crumbs. And Japanese beetles (at least at our house!)

  8. WOW! YOU are so multi-talented! You are my hero up there on that stage! You give 'homemaking' a whole new image~ AMAZING!

  9. Ann Marie, you have a GREAT voice! Did you win the contest? Thanks for sharing. By the way, the toy chest is really cute.

  10. Great Piratety chest (agree that IS a word!). Just as I was reading about your idol appearance, guess what came on my radio - Shedaisy and they were singing "Something to talk about". Loved your singing - I hope you won :)

  11. Terrific job! That is such a cute toy chest for a little boy! And you're right. Why repaint when all the character was revealed from below.

    Be sure to stop by the cottage and join in on the fun at:


    Both parties are going on right now, and Ask the Yankee will be starting tonight, June 7th.

    Hope to see ya there!
    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  12. Ann Marie....I am Tiff's friend who got this WONDERFUL gift! I cannot begin to tell you how much my husband and I LOVE it!!!! It is the cutest thing I have ever seen! Thank you thank you thank you! You are so creative and talented!


  13. Thanks so much Nicky!! I'm just thrilled to death that you love it as much as I did when I was making it. :) Hope Ethan has many, many years of filling it with booty-a-plenty!!

  14. I LOVE this chest! The details on it make me want to make one identical to it! Crazy cute colour too! Even if it is for pirates. :)


  15. Great job. It for sure looks "piratey".

  16. This pirate toy chest is so precious!! You did a wonderful job embellishing a plain (wonderfully shabby, though) old box and turning it into a little boy's creative wonderland!
    Hope you're having a great weekend! ~ Jo :)

  17. How adorable is that? That really is fabulous!

  18. Great job with the pirates chest and the singing! Did you place in the contest?

  19. Stopping in from Funky Junks crate party. I love all things crates, and this one's a keeper.



We love lovely gals showin' some love!