2nd annual ACTion scholarship fundraiser…

to refresh your memory about last year’s event, please read this post.

this year, angela asked if i could donate one of my stools (see here), but due to the amount of time i had to work with, i could not commit to that. i decided instead, to paint a wooden tote basket.

here is a quick tutorial of how i put it together:

a while back i found these very nice crates on clearance, so i bought the few they had left.


i decided on my target audience…girls love to shop, and mothers love to indulge their daughters, so that is the direction i took. i chose some really cute scrapbook papers featuring cupcakes, hearts, lollipops and glitter. and because i thought they might only appeal to a younger crowd, i opted to choose neon purple and aquamarine paints to gain the interest of older girls as well.


i wanted the inside of the tote to be the “wow factor” and really pop, so i used the brightest color


while painting the sides, i only focused on the edges, because i knew i was going to be covering them up with the scrapbook paper anyway


i also planned on using black chalkboard paint on the sides with the handle cut outs, so to pull everything together, i painted the bottom, top rim, and inside the handles black.


(because the wood was so porous, i painted 3 coats of the aqua, 5 coats of the purple, and 2 coats of the black. all but the black still looked a little transparent in some places, but i actually liked the worn/rustic/vintage feel, so i decided to keep it that way.)

after that, i prepared my papers. i traced the side of the basket onto the backside of each of the patterned papers. after cutting them, and again to try to make everything look and feel cohesive, i “distressed” the edges of the paper with black ink for a worn feel. i’ve had a lot of issues with mod podge in the past so i did some research and found this tutorial, “the 7 steps to PERFECT mod podging every time!” (by the way, it did NOT end up perfect, but i will get back to that later.) my scrapbook paper was very thin, not a normal cardstock, so she suggests spraying both the front and back with a clear sealant, which i did.


after that, i used mod podge to glue the papers down, and even used a brayer to roll them flat


while waiting for those to dry, i made a stencil for the shape i wanted to use on the sides. i wanted it to look like a label of sorts. what do you think?


after that, i centered it, traced it, and filled it in with chalkboard paint. you will have to read the specific instructions on your bottle, but mine said to first paint vertically…wait an hour for it to “cure” and then paint horizontally; so that is what i did. i’ve had this chalkboard paint for a while now, and have really been wanting to try it out on something! i think it adds a cute, yet functional feature to the basket.


the mod podge tutorial suggests letting the first coat dry 15-20 minutes before putting the top coat on…i waited 8 hours and still had wrinkling, so i don’t know what the “trick” is, or what i am missing!


*warning, this is a soapbox moment*
grrrr! i hate mod podge, i really do. so if anyone has suggestions on other decoupage products to use, i am all ears! i read (either from the tutorial or the bottle, can’t remember) that to get it perfect you have to buff it between every coat with wet sand paper. say what?! aint nobody got time for that!! it also says that if it is tacky (which it always is!!) to use a different clear sealant on top. hello? isn’t that supposed to be the ONLY job of mod podge?! if it doesn’t work well as a glue, sealant or decoupage product…then what exactly does it do?? i may just throw it all away and never use it again, which is a shame and a waste, because i have about every kind they make. also, no matter how well you clean the lid/top of the bottle, it always seals itself shut. i literally have two huge open blisters on my finger and a sore/bruised palm from trying to open it. then, once i finally got it open, i peeled away a huge dried up almost skin like layer from around the whole inside of the bottle…which was half of what was left in there anyway. UGH! oh well. you live and you learn i guess
*steps down*

anywho…back to the tutorial. i wanted to add just a small token on the inside bottom of the box, so i cut out two little hearts, featuring a cupcake, and piece of candy.


after everything was said and done, i added a clear coat to hopefully seal everything in. if you plan to make one of these, don’t forget to paint the clear coat AROUND the chalkboard paint, otherwise you won’t be able to write on it 😉


then came the most fun part…shopping! we have a brand new meijer by us and they had these fun purple measuring cups that almost matched the basket exactly. i got those, plus “funfetti” cupcake mix, and icing with sprinkles. i even got cupcake themed paper liners to bake them in. finally, i got “sweet tooth” colored chalk. i almost wanted to open them and write something on the side, but i figured i should leave some of the fun to the highest bidder.


here are a final few pictures of the completed project, ready to be sold at auction. i had a lot of fun making it (minus the whole struggle with the mod podge), and i think it came together quite nicely if i do say so myself. i did however forget to put my artist’s mark on the bottom of my project like i did last year, but oh well.



here is a link to the event if you are interested in learning more and/or donating to the cause. hopefully my sweet little box will bring in some money as well.

perhaps next year i can start early enough to make a stool 🙂

feels good to have another project completed, and on time at that! perhaps you can teach an old dog new tricks? nah! lol

i have to cram a few projects in this weekend, but plan to watch the pacers tonight, go see a movie tomorrow night, and also want to finally hit up the pool…feels like i’ve been waiting forever for it to open, so we shall see what all gets done.

❤ xtina