Upcycling Wooden Silverware Case

Hi there LKB followers!!!

Donna Beth here, and I was inspired to create a memory box from an old wooden silverware case I was given. I have a friend that designs amazing sculptures, jewelry, and wind chimes from old silverware. She then ends up with lots of boxes and gives them away to those that want them.

I recently got a few stencils and one of them was this Child of God stencil. Immediately my brain went to the box I had sitting in my craft room as a perfect fit to put the stencil on. Here is my process for how I did this neat box.


  • Sanding material (Either sander and sander paper, or just sanding paper. I used 120 Grit.)
  • Chalk Paint
  • Paint for a clear coat (lacquer, varnish or polyurethane)
  • Paint brushes and stencil brushes
  • Stencil
  • Thin Cardboard
  • Fabric for inner lining (about half a yard)
  • Glue (I used Aleen’s Tacky Glue)


  1. Prepare your box for your project. Sand the outside of your box just enough to rough the entire surface. This will allow the paint to stick to the surface better. You’ll also want to remove any lining and cardboard that is inside. (Keep it though as we’ll use this as a pattern later, so we know exactly the size we need.)
  1. Using a lint free damp cloth, wipe any and all sawdust away leaving a clean surface ready to paint.
  2. Paint base coat and reapply if needed to top sides and lip of the box. (I wish on my box that I had done the insides of the sides on the top as well since you can see the original finish the way I did it.) Allow to dry for a full 24 hours before you apply a stencil. (Also take special note to try to avoid painting the hinges as this could lead to not being able to open/close the box.)
  1. Optional: This would be the point to do any distressing techniques you feel appropriate for the project you’re working on.
  2. Adhere your stencil using either masking tape, painter’s tape, or repositioning adhesive spray. All are good options, but you need to find the one that works best for you.
This has an unfinished silverware box above the just painted but not stenciled or clear coated box.
  1. Pour paint onto a plastic paint surface of some kind. I re-use cleaned plastic dishes that sour cream, lunch meat, cottage cheese, etc. comes in so that they have multiple uses before they go to the landfill. This will allow you to dab the brush before applying and avoid overloading your brush with too much paint.
  2. Dab and blot your paint brush a few times on the dish to rid the brush of excess paint and then dab or tap the paint brush in the desired area of your stencil. The brush should be almost dry, so it doesn’t bleed under the stencil. This is a SLOW process…. BE PATIENT!! The worst thing you can do is rush. It will lead to poor results. Tip: Don’t brush or rub your paint on. Only dab it on. Also work in small sections if you can. These will allow the paint to hopefully not bleed under the stencil.
  3. Take the stencil off before the paint fully dries if possible. Always take it off slowly as well. Both these measures help the paint from not potentially peeling away from your project.
  4. You’ll want to wash your stencil and paintbrushes right away so that they are well taken care of and can be used many times.
  5. Once all the stenciling is fully dry, I would suggest doing a couple clear coats of varnish or lacquer or polyurethane at this point following the directions according to the product you’re using. I didn’t do it until after the lining was in, and it was hard to avoid getting the clear coat of paint on the lining. Wait for the clear coat to dry for at least 12 hours before doing the lining so you don’t smudge your masterpiece.
  6. Use the lining of the silverware box as a pattern piece or stencil so that you can recreate the lining with the elements you want. (See how I use them in the video from Facebook here, and I apologize for the noise of my kids in the background.) I used glue to adhere new fabric over a part of the existing lining cardboard on the bottom. and I recreated the top lining with the shape and size of the old, but without the loops for the knives or the label with rouching effect. I checked the size and shape of the lining by “test driving” the pieces in the box before they were fully dry. This allowed me to ensure that all the pieces were lying flat and fit correctly since I used a slightly different and thicker fabric than what was on it before. Having the bottom lining dry while in the box also allowed it to shape and dry in its intended form.
  7. Once fully dry, I took out the bottom lining since it’s not adhered to the box itself yet. I then put the small piece of fabric that does not actually get glued to cardboard and covered the hardware hinges in first. I made it overlapped the top lining and then bottom lining by at least 1/8 inch, though in future I’d like a bigger overlap. It would have made it easier to put in. Then put a bead of glue along and top and bottom seams of that piece of fabric. Drizzle and smooth out the glue where the upper lining will be placed and place lining.
  8. I then placed the lining on bottom by a similar method. Drizzle glue around the bottom of the box and along the sides of the bottom where the sides of the lining for the bottom will go smoothing out so that it will sit flush when placed. After that, place the bottom lining in folding the sides down towards the middle with the front side up and in place, then bend the sides up into place, which sort of locks it in place. Make sure to push on the lining everywhere and ensure it is sticking to the box in it’s intended places. I ended up clamping the sides of the box and weighting the top down with extra wood I had to make sure it was good and flat. The bottom didn’t seem to have an issue staying in place even when I placed it on the top with the bottom up so that the extra weight could be placed in the lid. I let it dry for an hour before removing the camps and weight, though more time wouldn’t have hurt it any.
  9. Your box is ready for gifting, selling or using.

I hope this inspired you to create something wonderful!!!

Published by Donna Beth Feagins

I am a mom of 2, wife, and am always looking to create something myself instead of buying it. I met Katy from Little Katy Bugs after becoming a mom, and we both love to craft, both have active families, and a tactful way of telling others what we truly think. I LOVE THAT!!! Art is subjective and so is crafting. So, you may not love everything we make or do, but our goal is to inspire you to create yourself and make things that you will LOVE! We do still sell some of our crafts on the site, at craft fairs, and Katy now participates in a booth store front. Check out our Facebook page for more on the booth. Sometimes we just need inspiration and camaraderie. I hope we can help provide those things to you. Sincerely Donna Beth, a Co-Blogger of www.LittleKatyBugs.com

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