How to Fancy Up a Box

Montessorians are the ultimate do-it-yourselfers. Need a blue box? You paint that box blue. Need a pink tray? You've got that covered, too, you creative maven. 

At Montessori Northwest, we try to model that DIY mentality as much as possible, both to keep our costs down and demonstrate how a little effort can yield lovely results for classroom materials.

Before: a fantastic thrift store purchase with lots of potential

One of our recent projects was refinishing a great little thrift store purchase: this charming wooden caddy. Intended for use in our Brass Polishing activity in the Primary classroom, the caddy was made of sturdy wood that had seen better days. Plus, its neutral tones didn't fit with our yellow color-coding for Brass Polishing.

Some sanding, some paint, some paper, some varnish, a little creativity, and a lot of patience while the paint dried ("C'mon, you're seriously not dry yet?"), and that rather modest little box was transformed into a charming and cheery caddy that fit nicely with the existing color coding.

After: a bright and cheery box ready for classroom use

Our students often ask about the methods we use for such a project as this. While there are many ways you could paint a box, we have the ones that we're used to, and we thought it would be a helpful thing to share them with our Montessori friends.

To that end, please find below a handy, step-by-step guide to "fancying up" a wooden box, caddy, tray, or other wooden container. If you have any questions, or are having problems viewing the pdf and would like it emailed to you as a Word document, please email Sally Coulter.

How to Fancy Up a Box.PDF

Posted on April 17, 2014 .