Shabby Chic Altered Button Box

Shabby Chic Altered Button Box with Little Birdie Crafts

Hello, Friends!  Today I have a little home decor project to share with you.  This shabby chic altered button box is a quick and easy project that you could adapt and use with any style of box.

Shabby Chic Altered Button Box by Kathy Clement for Little Birdie Crafts Photo 08

As you well know, I have a “thing” for vintage buttons.  There’s something magical about the worn edges, the soft patina and the inner light in a true vintage button.  So when my sweet grandgirl gave me a little wooden trinket box for my birthday, I knew I eventually wanted to alter it and create a sweet storage spot for my favorite buttons.

Don’t they look great here?

Shabby Chic Altered Button Box: The Process

I started with this cute little 5″ x 3″ x 3″ wooden box.

First, add a single layer of Little Birdie Black Gesso.  Paint inside and out!


Next, add random brush strokes of Sand Stone Chalk Paint. Make the brush strokes go in different directions.  Then repeat this process using White Gesso.  Now let everything dry for a minute or two.  Then use a damp paper towel and scrub away portions of the paint/gesso to create a chippy, shabby chic finish.  Use a sanding block to take some small areas all the way back to the natural wood base.  If you take off too much paint/gesso, add more.  Then repeat the wiping off process.

When you are happy with the shabby chic/chippy finish, sponge on some Frayed Burlap Distress Ink.  Then seal everything with Matte Gel Medium.  Let things dry.

Shabby Chic Altered Button Box: The finishing touches

Once the box is dry, cut panels of Vintage Reflections Paper to fit the recessed areas on the box.

Then wrap the box with 1 1/2″ wide Antique Gold Plaid Ribbon and tie a bow.  Tie a second bow with burlap string.  Top with a big fat vintage ivory button and a single Renae Swiss Mocha blossom.

Decorate the top panel with a Lucille flower and leaf cluster.  Add a small tag.  I just cut this from a scrap of paper and wrote the word “buttons” on it.  Then adhere some Adelina Swiss Coffee blossoms and a key to finish the tag.  Add more vintage buttons, sewing notions and a mini pair of scissors.

This is one of those easily adaptable home decor projects that would make great gifts.  Use different colors and make a beach themed box.  Use metallic paints for a steam punk themed box.  It’s a really fun addition to your craft room decor.

I hope I’ve shared some tips, tricks and ideas that you can use in your own crafty adventures.  If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

Thanks for stopping by!



Shabby Chic Altered Button Box Supply List

7 thoughts on “Shabby Chic Altered Button Box

  1. Helen

    Thanks for that step-by-step photo tutorial for re-creating this trinket box, Kathy. Doing something like this is totally new for me so the directions are very helpful. I have a cousin who collects sea glass so I’m imagining a box for some special pieces as a hospitality gift when I next visit her. tfs

  2. Sara Emily Barker

    Kathy, I just can’t tell you how much this post and your sweet box made me smile this morning! I love that this is a gift from your grandgirl–she must know you very, very well! What a gift from the heart! You have taken this wonderful present and made it extra special with that beautiful shabby paint job and all those charming elements. Love your buttons and how clever to add the ribbon to that tiny spool! Gosh, this is sweet! Hugs!

  3. carol edwards

    Hi Kathy such a lovely box you’ve created. I really must use my gesso more these effects look great. You must have an endless supply of those scissors they are so cute. Xx

  4. Gena Krannig

    Kathy, I knew before I even saw the picture, I was going to LOVE this! What a darling little box to start with and then what you do to it is amazing! The embellishments are gorgeous! You and your buttons….a match made in Heaven! I also have loads of vintage buttons from the 60s when my Grandma used to sew for me. I would love to keep them in something like this. Thank you for sharing! Hugs!

  5. Suzy Q

    Awww!!! Kathy ….this is the cutest little button box I’ve ever seen! How sweet it is! And to hold your most precious stash! What a sweet granddaughter you have! Gotta go find me a box to decorate now! Hugs, Suzy Q

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