I love bow ties, but I'm not fashion-forward enough to pull them off. M'lady, on the other hand, looks amazing in them. She has quite a few bow ties in her collection, & so far they have been living their fashionably adorable lives in a cardboard box. Needless to say, this hasn't felt fitting for me. Such respectable fashion accessories deserve a proper home, so I set to work making a bow tie box, complete with velvet lining (okay, it's fleece. But close enough!).
You'll need a few things to make your own fancy bow tie home:
- Unfinished wooden box
- Cardboard (a piece a little larger than the bottom of your box)
- Fabric (a piece a little larger than your cardboard)
- Wood stain in two different tints (I'm using espresso & natural)
- Polyurethane spray lacquer
- Gold paint pen
- Masking tape or painters tape
- Hot glue
- Paper towels
My wooden box needed a bit of prep work with some sand paper before I started. It was more unfinished than I was expecting, plus the cat chewed on the corner of the lid a bit. Anyways, after your box has been smoothed of any imperfections, tape off the top according to your design. I'm using simple stripes, but any angular shape can be made this way (i.e. triangles, rectangles, lettering, a nice chevron pattern, etc. etc.). The taped areas will be the lighter wood stain & the areas without tape will be darker.
Next, measure the inside of your box. That way you can plan ahead (unlike I did) & make the insert while your box is drying.
Time to stain! Take your box outside & cover evenly with the darker wood stain. The longer you leave your wood stain on, the darker it will get. Don't forget the inside! Also, don't worry about getting stain on the hinges, that stuff wipes right off. The wood from my box was particularly "thirsty" so I ended up using a few coats of stain.
Make sure to wash your paint brush once you're done staining. Dish soap will work just fine for this.
Once your box is the preferred darkness, wipe off excess stain with a paper towel.
When your box is good & dry, peel off the tape. Then apply an even layer of the lighter wood stain on the unfinished areas. Since the majority of the box is darker & you'll be using a lighter stain at this point, you don't have to worry about staying inside the lines!
After the entirety of your box is dry, apply gold details with your gold leaf pen.
(Editor's note: I would have taken pictures of this part, but my box took waaaay longer than I thought it would to dry, & by the time I got to the gold details the sun had gone down, so I was basically painting under the dim glow of my porch light. I never said I was particularly good at time management.)
When the gold leaf is dry, spray an even layer of polyurethane over the entire box, inside & out.
Here's how you make your insert: Cut your cardboard as shown above. You'll want the inner rectangle to be the size of the inside of your box with inch long tabs hanging off the side.
Fold & tape your tabs together. Don't worry about making this part look pretty, we're covering it with fabric!
Wrap the cardboard with fabric like a present. Glue the fabric in place underneath with hot glue. Place the insert in your box, &…
Now to fill it with bow ties!
M'lady has some super cute bow ties. I'm going to do a bow tie tutorial soon to show you how to make a bow tie of your own. They're so simple to make once you get the pattern down. Now tying them… that's the real tricky part.
When I went outside to stain my box, I discovered a lovely surprise in my mailbox - a package from WhimseyBox! What a bunch of sweethearts! Also, I don't know what was going on when they packaged this up, but the cat would not leave it alone. Seriously, I think she may have been more excited than I was. Maybe she was a crafter in another life.
Thanks, WhimseyBox Team! This made my day.