30 May 2012

Madonna Is Back In My Living Room

 Nope, not this one

This one:

And would you believe it- she used to be a shirt. 

A onesie in fact. 

This was my favorite, favorite shirt of my daughter's when she was a little baby.

When she grew out of it I saved it, knowing I wanted to find something cool to do with it. 

Enter this box, that I've had since I was a kid.

I bought it at a gift shop after hiking Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. 
My family has been going to that mountain for years so this box is a reminder of all those fun times. 
It's even got the price tag still stuck to the bottom.

Even though it conjures up lots of great memories, it's totally not my style, so it's been stashed away forever. 

I'm a fairly sentimental person but I hate holding on to stuff that I'm never going to actually use, 
so last week when I started organizing our bedroom, 
I found this box and decided I'd finally do something with it. 

But only after I'd given it a fresh look. 

The picture on the top is so so pretty but does not go with my style at all. So I decided to cover it up. I thought about patterned paper, or fabric, and then I remembered the cute Madonna onesie and I knew it'd be perfect. And it'd be two sentimental items combined into one- a space-saving option!

I first tested out the look just by cutting out the print on the front of the shirt and wrapping it over the top of the box.


At least...I loved the fabric on top. I hated it with the wood though. You know how I'm not a fan of wood. Especially that color. It has to be like the table top in this picture: so dark it's practically black. (For the most part...there are some exceptions.)

So I knew that wood color was not going to stay. Plus there's that writing on the front of where the box is from and I don't love that either. 

I love to collect stuff from trips but I don't really want the name of where it's from printed on it.  Even if it was just some crappy item from a gift shop, I don't want it to appear that way. 
So the lettering had to go....

I was reluctant to get rid of the picture on top though. It's so pretty! Especially after I'd painted the box white, because then the picture really popped out. 

But I really don't like it in my house. Such a conundrum. 

But since it pained me to think about covering it in paint, I just cut out a piece of white paper the size of the picture and lightly glued it down just at the edges. (This way the picture wouldn't show through the thin white shirt fabric.)

Then I covered the whole box lid with the piece of shirt that I'd cut out, wrapping the edges like a present and hot gluing it to the inside edge of the box. 

I wanted to make sure this was going to be durable and not get stains so I covered it in several coats of poly-crylic. If I was doing this over again I'd just use Mod Podge. The poly-crylic is so thin and watery that it took forever to dry on the fabric (days) and made the paper that I'd put under the fabric get really wavy. 
Luckily it ended up drying pretty smoothly but if I had a do-over I'd make this easier on myself and just go with Mod Podge. The poly-crylic did do what I'd hoped though- the fabric feels hard as a rock so it's not going anywhere and shouldn't stain easily. 

I did end up with one problem though:
After a couple days, that stubborn lettering on the front of the box started to come through the paint.

I guess it was just determined that I not forget where it came from. 

So to cover it up once and for all, I hot glued some small craft mirrors over it 
(left over from this table project.)

I just LOVE the way it looks!! I think the eyes are my favorite part.

This looks nothing like the humble little wooden box that I brought home from vacation (or like a baby's shirt for that matter.) But the important thing is that I know what they are and where they are from, so this item still makes me smile at the memories, but now also makes me smile at how good it looks in my house. It's a win-win. I feel like a freaking genius. ;D


  1. Another creative project! You are really a genius, Brooke! I like now you combine two sentimental items into one functional item. Good job, the box looks awesome now!


  2. SOOO smart and sweet. I love it and it'll make you smile each time you see it. My oldest would die btw if she knew there are Madonna shirts out there for people other than grownups. It would be all she would wear. :)

  3. Cute idea! I love the idea of turning something sentimental into a functional piece!

  4. I love it Brooke! What a great idea. It makes me wish I would have kept more of the kid's baby stuff and thought of something creative to do with it. Or asked you what I should do with it! lol.

  5. Too cute. I bet there's lots of historic drool imbedded in that box.

  6. This is fantastic! I love the idea of it, and what a way to wrap up a bunch of memories in one cool item. :)