Clementine box Easter centerpiece

About a week or two ago, I started putting together a little Easter gift for the two little cousins who are local. I initially picked up little treat boxes from the Dollar Tree that I was going to fill with goodies. Then I got everything home, did test run on the packaging, and realized the boxes were WAY too small. I was going to grab them cheap baskets (an option I wasn’t crazy about), and then I remembered I had some chalk paint and a giant stack of clementine boxes in my living room. Repurposed clementine boxes would make great Easter “baskets” for the girls! While I was doing that, it also dawned on me that I could take a clementine box, turn it into a little decor piece for my mantle and put in these wooden eggs I bought from Amazon a few weeks ago.

The project did change a little bit (I’m going to use the eggs for other decor, and I’ve decided to keep it on the coffee table instead of the mantle), but overall, I’m very happy with how it turned out. I’m hardly reinventing the wheel, but here’s what I did and how I did it. As with any and all DIYs I post, this is simply the way I did it, and I often sort of wing it with the help of Google/Youtube. I stuck with a clementine box because it’s what I had, and the size is perfect for my coffee table; use what you’ve got! A cigar box would work great; if you’re looking for something bigger, a wine crate would be great, too.

One clementine box
Paint brushes
Paint palette (I used a little one from the Dollar Tree)
Chalk paint in desired colors (FolkArt in lilac and Ceramcoat in teal)
Chalk paint wax (FolkArt clear)
Painter’s tape (if doing stripes; if not, don’t bother buying it)
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Mod Podge
2 small fake flower sprays
Wire cutter
Flocked bunny pick (found in the floral section at A.C. Moore)
1 pack of floral foam blocks
1 mossy mat
Craft glue — I used the craft GOOP. E6000 might be alright on this.
Flower shaped glitter (again, from A.C. Moore)
Spanish moss
Foam eggs (Dollar Tree)

1. Paint your box: My clementine box was smooth so there was no need to sand. The end pieces were cardboard and the sides with cheap wood with no glue, no writing, etc. On the Easter basket project, those boxes were all wood and the sides had some glue on them. I was able to blast the glue with a hair dryer and scrape off the bulk of it with a razor blade to get a relatively smooth surface. (I initially tried to sand it all, with left some weird marks on the box.) If you don’t already know, the beauty of chalk paint is that it requires no sanding and no primer. Since this box was in pretty good shape, I did not sand or prime it. I think it took about 4 coats total.

I decided I wanted stripes on the sides, so I used painter’s tape to get clean lines and added some lilac to them.

2. Wax your box: UGH. So, I did like the sheen that the wax gave to the box after it was buffed and dried. HOWEVER… The wax left my lilac stripes a little yellowed. I don’t know if I went a little heavy handed with the wax or if it was some weird reaction because I used two different paint brands or what. Also, I wasn’t paying attention, and I managed to set one freshly waxed and buffed side of my box on my lap. Where I was wear sweatpants. Covered in lint and cat hair. Oops! Check the manufacturer’s instructions for how long you need to wait to wax and to buff. It seems that some (like mine) call for a short (1-2 hour) period before buffing, while others want you to wait 24 hours.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ll be waxing another decor piece. In my opinion, it was a little too much work for the pay off. If I were chalk painting a piece of furniture, I would. I like the look of chalk paint, but for the most part, I really do not like the whole distressed trend. Personal preference is for something that looks clean and smooth.

At this point, I added a few dots of hot glue to the feet of the box to help prevent it from sliding everywhere.

3. Add flowers to the box: I just clipped off the individual flowers from each spray, pulled out the plastic centers, and put them aside. I saved the leaves to use for a little bit of contrast. I decided that I wanted my rough shape to be triangular, so I glued down a couple leaves onto each side of the box with Craft GOOP and then started gluing down the flowers. Since I had fewer pink flowers, I decided that I would mix them in for little pops of color. I did both sides because this was the point where I decided something that could be done as a centerpiece instead of just as something that would go up against the wall.

4. Glitter the sides: I wasn’t initially planning on glittering the lilac strips, but after I saw how yellow they came out post-waxing, I needed to cover them up. Initially, I was using a lavender glitter, but then I ran out, so I mixed in purple. It came out a little darker than I planned, but I still like it. I used a flat decoupage brush and carefully put Modge Podge on each lilac stripe. I wound up doing two coats of glitter on each side; I tried to use the flower glitter, but it was too chunky and it came out looking a mess, so I scraped it off and saved it.

Because I couldn’t find this anywhere online: I had no problems with either glue adhering to the waxed chalk paint.

5. Cut and fit the foam blocks: At first, this was a total and complete mess. I tried to use a box cutter and I just wound up with floral foam dust all over me. Then, I got wise and used a retractable knife. I clicked the blade out as long as it would go and was able to slice right through the foam blocks. Just cut it to about the shape of your box, pop the pieces in, and you’re good.

I think that I bought wet foam for fresh floral arrangements. It was cheap and it was in a workable size for me, so that’s why I got that.

6. Put down the mossy mat and finish it up: Mossy Mats have a grid on the back like contact paper. Just cut it to size and carefully adhere it to the top of your box. A couple pieces of the flower glitter wound up on top of the Mossy Mat, and I really liked it, so I sprinkled a little on top. I also trimmed the bunny pick with my wire cutters so it was a more appropriate length for this project and placed him right in the middle on the one side. I considered making a mini jute basket for the eggs, but settled on hot gluing down a little patch of Spanish moss and gluing the foam eggs down to that.

You’re done! It’s not perfect, but I’m really happy with how it turned out. If you’re reading, hope you enjoyed this!

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