A few years ago now, my husband and I traveled to Europe for our tenth wedding anniversary. It was a fantastic trip and once of our favorite places that we visited was the Netherlands. We loved the friendly people, the beautiful countryside, and the windmills. Oh how we loved the Kinderdijk windmills!
I of course brought back lots of souvenirs from our entire trip. However, I seemed to have quite a few smaller items from the Netherlands in particular. These were things I didn’t or couldn’t use in my scrapbook and that I wanted to keep. For a long time, I had them in a shoe box in the closet. For another long time, I had a plain basswood box sitting around just waiting for me to do something with it. Hmmm… see where this is going? This project turned out to be really quick and I love the results. Let’s see how I did it!
I decided to use wood stain on the box first. I simply wiped it on with a rag and used a small wedge sponge to get into the smaller crevices. Then, I waited for it to dry. As you can see in the picture, I originally stained the feet and the box top as well. After thinking about it though, I decided to paint them a glossy black. I really like how it contrasts with the stain.
I had previously purchased some Dutch-themed stamps to do my scrapbooking for the trip, and I used these with my archival jumbo black ink pad to stamp designs on the four sides of the box. I need to take a moment and tell you how much I love and use this particular stamp pad. I probably have 15 stamp pads in my collection but I keep coming back to this one over and over because it is so versatile. If you don’t already have one, stop what you are doing and get one now. Alright, back to our regularly scheduled program.
At this point, you could use paint or markers to color in your stamped designs but I really like the plain black outline that goes so nicely with the painted top and feet. I love how my box looks in its new spot and now all of my mementos from the trip are safely stowed inside. The thing about this particular project is is that you can do it for anything. You can find stamps in any design and your paint and stain choices are endless! No more dusty shoe boxes for my keepsakes!