A Painted Flower Box

A ship on the Alaskan coast was my original destination for today. A significant wedding anniversary is coming up and this was to be our celebration. That dream has been postponed for at least a year. Instead we will make the best of yet another week at home.

A lot of togetherness isn’t always a good thing, so I have focused on other activities. I started my garden indoors in March shortly after the lock down by planting seeds. Over the spring and summer, I have been taking my working-from-home lunch breaks in the garden watering and weeding and relaxing. As fall approaches, I worry what the coming months will look like when the garden is finished for the season.

I started painting again. I have connected with many artists online through Live Events on Facebook and through Zoom. I also took my art one step further by painting images shared by family and friends and adding my own interpretation. The connection with others and self-expression have been gratifying. My walls and canvases are full and the only paint my husband could find in store the other day was black. I need colour in my life.

I turned by attention to a small wooden box that has been lying on a shelf for more than 12 years. I had purchased it for my children to paint but they never got around to doing it. I saw possibilities: small surfaces to use as individual canvases, a lasting record of garden inspiration, a frugal way to use remaining paint supplies and a preservation of wall space.

Step 1: Research wood painting photos online.

Step 2: Search my photos for inspiration.

Step 3: Remove box hinges and store with screws in a safe place. (I used a small plastic container.)

Step 4: Paint each individual surface with acrylic folk art paint. Once fully dried, and sealed with glaze, move on to other surfaces holding lid in place with rubber bands.

dragonfly garden, snapdragons and rudbeckia, geranium, sunflower and pond

Step 5: Paint inside of box. I wanted to just glaze this but used gold paint instead as the inside was rough. Allow to dry thoroughly. I painted a miniature schnauzer modeled after my brother’s dog Gretel as every treasure box needs something precious inside.

Step 6: Once everything is dried and sealed, reattach hinges.

Step 7: Use box to store treasures or just admire your handiwork.

Gretel and seed packets

I chose seeds to store. They carry with them a promise of hope and new life. We’ll all need that by springtime when the garden comes again. I have my box and treasures as reminders in the meantime.



    1. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

      I repeat here the message I wrote on your Twitter:

      This is what I always admired about you: your willingness and determination to overcome obstacles, big or small, by finding positive ways to express yourself and, by doing so, encouraging others to do the same.


  1. Hi Valerie,
    Another beautiful post… and your painted box is stunning…. and, of course, Gretel makes it perfect! Thanks for sharing your love for beauty… for creativity… for attentiveness.
    If painted boxes become a side hustle for you, sign me up!


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