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With the help of my friends, I co-ordinate "The Craft Group" which is a place for women to gather and do craft! We share a whole range of things, from craft to the small things that matter to us right up to understanding the whole meaning of life! I learn so much from everyone, I thought a blog would be the perfect way to record the memories! The "Plus..." is all about extra bits 'n pieces that I have found and would love to show you. Welcome to our Craft Group. Please feel free to say hi, leave a comment or become a follower! Enjoy!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Family Heirloom Chest Makeover.

This is a very special box.
I hope you enjoy seeing it's 'before and after', but I hope you enjoy reading it's special story too!
This chest, or trunk as my Dad always calls it, was in the storage area under the house I grew up in ever since I was born. 
Things were stored in it, on it, behind it. I never really took much notice of it at all. It was just always there and all I knew was that it came with my Dad at some point in his migration to Australia.
Years after I moved out of home I had a sudden light bulb moment that I LOVED that box. Mum and Dad were a bit bewildered that I wanted the old box as a coffee table but were happy that it was going to have a new life.
It's had a busy life at our house. Here it is above, with a table cloth on it that my grandmother embroidered and a vase of pretty paper flowers that my youngest daughter made for me for mothers day. 

We've changed our family room from being based on sandy yellow to white, so time to spruce up the box. We treated all the nail heads first with a rust killing paint.


Ta Da! I didn't want to sand distress the paint because it will be naturally distressed over the years with real family use and I kind of like that. 

Before                                                 After

I asked Dad to write the story of the trunk so I can keep it's history. This is what he wrote...
"When serving in the Dutch Army, I was stationed in Indonesia in 1949. I was playing a church organ (a large Wurlitzer electronic) on Sundays in Malang (Java). An officer asked if he could play it one day as he was a prominent organist in Holland and I said to him, 'you are in charge of the carpentry shop, so you can play the organ if you make a wooden trunk for me to put all my souvenirs in for my return trip to Holland.'  He agreed and that's how I got this strong trunk. By boat it went to Holland in 1950, then again by boat to Australia in 1952 with all my possessions eg. a pushbike (dismantled of course), a blanket, clothes etc. It finished up in Bathurst, then Warragamba, Muswellbrook, Scone, Tempe, Sutherland and now it's found itself a lovely caring home."

How sweet. Quite a cheeky deal I think!

This project was featured at:

A Bowl Full of Lemons

The DIY Show Off


  1. Love the trunk and the history! I have a dark, stained trunk and never thought about painting it, but I love the new, fresh look. New follower... http://imnotatrophywife.com

    ps would love a follow back if you like

  2. I love the trunk and the story, but I also loved your title: Chest Makeover. Hmm, I could definitely use one of those! ha ha

  3. Yes, a good catchy headline, I hope people who clicked on it weren't disappointed! Nice blog Vicki, I'll go over and follow you :)


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