A New Arrival + DIY Book Boxes

Last week, Mother in Law Scrimp took me to a new antique shop that opened up by her house. It's amazing. Everything in the store is purchased cheaply at estate sales and re-sold just as cheaply. I just had to take advantage of it.

Are you ready to see what we bought? Are you? 

Ok. :)

Excuse the grit on the floor underneath it. I didn't sweep up after Mr. Scrimp and his brother carried it inside. 

It's a lovely art deco-style buffet, with beautiful old hardware. There are some dings and nicks here and there but really it's in excellent condition. 

I think the thing I am most in love with is the beautiful, simple woodwork:

I hope you can see it there. The way that the grain in the middle has been arranged to create a circle. Or the way that it forms a sort of "knot" around each of the door handles on the left and right. Or the lovely knot in the very center of the bottom drawer? 

It fills me with joy. 

Perhaps you wonder how much we paid for our beautiful new buffet? (which, by the way, is, not going to be used as a buffet but as a new dresser in our bedroom, which I am getting ready to completely overhaul).

This is the best part. 

Are you ready for this? 


Not even kidding. 

As I mentioned, I'm going to be using it in the bedroom. Mr. Scrimp's first comment on seeing it (I bought it without showing him first) was "Great! More room for me to put stuff on top of it!"

It's sad but true, folks. We are clutter accumulators. It doesn't seem to matter how often I organize, how many times we throw things away. Our house just grows clutter. Books, odds and ends, receipts, papers, jewelry, loose change, batteries, pill bottles... my current dresser is totally crowded with all of those right now and I don't want to spoil that beautiful new buffet by covering it with junk.

Since I know by now that we will NEVER be able to get rid of all our junk (like I said, our house grows it), I decided that the next best thing would be to hide/organize it in a pretty way. I decided that book boxes would probably be the best option, but have you SEEN how much those things cost? (Hint: It's a lot. $60-90 for a set of three).

That's stupid. I'm fairly handy with a paintbrush, and I'm not super picky, so I stopped by a craft store and picked up two papier-mache book boxes (for a grand total of $6). You know the ones I'm talking about, right?

Never one to spend money on a project when I could get almost-as-good results without dropping the cash, I spent my lunch break yesterday painting them with the colors I had on-hand. Fortunately, Mr. Scrimp likes to paint and so do I, so we had quite a few colors available.

I'm going to go back after work today and touch these up here and there, but overall I'm really pleased with the result. The green box is trimmed in gold. You can't see it in the photo, but the outside of the yellow box is painted in sepia around the spine to make it look like it was partially bound in leather.

I painted the "pages" in off-white, let it dry, and then did a glaze of shimmery gold. I didn't worry too much about making the gold glaze look smooth, because I wanted it to have the effect of pages. I think I pretty much hit the look I was going for.

Two boxes should be adequate to contain the ridiculous sprawl of clutter that lives on our dresser right now, but if it isn't, then it's no big deal. At $3/box, I can hardly complain that these were pricey. And the only artistic talent they really required of me was a color choice and the ability to make a straight line and a circle.

I'm not entirely convinced I love the color of the yellow one--I may yet change it (maybe to brown?) but for a $3 knockoff, I'll absolutely take it.

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