Memorial Day is just a week away, which means it’s time to trade our spring decor for something more patriotic! Today, I want to share an easy project you can do to turn any old crate or wooden box into a piece of rustic Americana-style decor. Take a look!
chalk paint (white or ivory)
30-60 grit sand paper
pencil and eraser
black permanent marker or paint marker
(filler: faux greenery, American flag)
Step 1: Paint your crate.
Use a large paint brush to give your crate a white or ivory base coat. If your crate is made of darker wood or has been stained, you will see more of the wood color through the paint, which will help to give your project a rustic look. If you want your finished project to be brighter, start with a crate made of light unfinished wood. I wanted more of the wood to be visible, so I only did one coat of paint, but you can apply as many coats as you like.
Step 2: Distress your crate.
Distressing is the process of removing some of the paint from the surface to reveal the wood underneath. This gives a piece of furniture an aged, worn look as though it’s a treasured family heirloom instead of something that was painted today. There are many ways to distress a piece, but for this project, I did something called wet-distressing. To wet-distress, you actually gently rub a piece of coarse sand paper over the surface of the wood while the paint is still slightly wet. Make sure to rub along the grain rather than against it. This will pull the wet paint back off, leaving an effect that looks like your crate has been white-washed.
Step 3: Pencil in your lettering, then trace with marker.
I used a black permanent marker and the Faux Calligraphy technique to write the words, “God bless America, land that I love.” Lightly sketching the words in pencil first will ensure that they’re centered and that everything fits. After you’ve traced the words and the marker is dry, you can easily erase any remaining pencil marks. For a super-simple tutorial on how to turn your writing into Faux Calligraphy, CLICK HERE! Or, if you’re someone who prefers video instruction, check out my free half-hour workshop HERE!
Step 4: Distress your lettering.
After the marker dries, gently run the sand paper over the lettering to make it match the style of the rest of the crate.
Step 5: Fill and display!
I just added some faux greenery (found at any craft store) and an American flag to finish off my project. However, you could fill your crate with just about anything, including books, bottled beverages, bags of snacks, games, or anything else you want to put inside.
It’s such a fun and versatile project, perfect for everything from your living room to your front porch. If you plan on displaying it outdoors on a non-covered porch, make sure to apply an acrylic spray sealer to protect it from the elements.
What do you think? What are your favorite easy ways to decorate for Memorial Day? Be sure to share your ideas in the Amy Latta & Friends Facebook group! See you there! Don’t forget to pin this idea for later and to share with your friends.