Thrift Store Jewelry Box Makeover: How to Make a Painted Jewelry Box

I am a thrift store junkie.  When I see ugly things…like jewelry boxes….I am constantly wondering how I can make them cute.  I also really love Pinterest and had witnessed some incredibly cute painted jewelry boxes show up in my feed.  Well, paint fixes everything and can turn something dated into a really cute piece to treasure.  Take these jewelry boxes that I bought at Goodwill.  Get a good look.  Aren’t they ugly?

thrift store jewelry boxes from goodwill

Ok, so maybe they aren’t the most hideous things in the world, but the are definitely NOT something you would look at and need to buy right away.  Really, if someone was giving them away you might have even rejected the generous offer.  To me, these scream 1980’s…and that is because I am a child of the 1980’s and had one of these jewelry boxes.  Truth be told, I still have one….and you better believe that there are a few coats of paint that will be applied to it!  The jewelry boxes above were both found at my local Goodwill and cost $4.91 (left) and $1.91 (right).

DIY Painted jewelry box painting ideas


To start your upcycling project, remove the hardware from the jewelry box.  Then use acrylic paint to paint the jewelry box.  Since I had 2 boxes I tried different methods.  I sanded one and left one unsanded.  They both turned out just fine.  All the sanding did was take more time.  I did use a layer of gray paint as a coat of wanna-be-primer.  Having completed two of these, I now think that was an unnecessary step but depending on the color you choose, you may want to prime your jewelry box.  If you like a glossy look, be sure to use a gloss paint or buy something similar to Krylon Clear Acrylic Coating Aerosol Spray. I spray painted the hardware with some black spray paint that we already had on hand.  I could have left it all the brassy color, but we  had the spray paint, so why not?

One big question loomed.  What could I do with the glass doors?  The answer is simple – scrapbooking paper and Mod Podge!!! We gathered our supplies and Big Sister completed this step mostly by herself.

paper modge podge glass jewelry box

After measuring and cutting the paper, Big Sister painted one layer of Mod Podge (gloss) onto the glass  We then positioned the scrapbooking paper on top of that.  Once it was in place, Big Sister painted over the top of the scrapbooking paper to give it a glossy appearance.

thrift store jewelry box makeover

Once everything is dry all you need to do is put the glass back into the jewelry box and the hardware in place and you will have an amazing transformation.

Ready to see those transformations side by side?

thrift store jewelry box makeover purple

Above is the smaller jewelry box that cost $4.91.  Doesn’t it look so great after it’s thrift store makeover?  Getting rid of that orangey wood made a huge difference!

thrift store jewelry box makeover before and after comparison

The larger of the two jewelry boxes also turned out super cute.  The glass on this one was the deal clincher for being horrible.  Once the paper over it gave the whole jewelry box an updated look.

Be sure to check out these Thrift Store Shopping Tricks before you head out to find the perfect jewelry box to upcycle!

Will you update a jewelry box yourself?  I would love to see pictures!  Please leave a comment or Email Me with your finished project.

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  1. says

    Great job! My daughter would love this, I am going to have to look for one of these jewelry boxes next time I go to the thrift store and make one for my daughter – thank you for sharing your brilliance!