Mandala Painted Sewing Box

I'm really excited to share this sewing box makeover with you today. It's been on my 'to do' list for a few years so I'm happy it's finally done and that it turned out as well as it did. 

Mandala Painted Sewing Box
Mandala Painted Sewing Box

This sewing box belonged to my mum, I think she had it as a wedding present back in 1967. Growing up it was always in the corner, stuffed full of sewing bits and pieces. I remember we always used it as an extra seat at the dinner table at Christmas and other family get togethers too. 

It had definitely seen better days, the legs were very scuffed and the top was quite badly scratched and watermarked. I use it as my sewing box now and it sits in the corner of our dining room which is all whites and greys so it looked a bit out of place. Time for a makeover.

before 2.jpg

I unscrewed the hinge, took the lid off and the "don't open too far" chain thing, gave it a good clean and a light sanding.

The green fabric lining inside was ok and so I didn't even try to remove it. I just taped it up carefully and painted the sewing box with 3 coats of Painter's Touch Satin paint.

Once it was all put back together it already looked much better.

finished painting.jpg

I wanted to do something a bit fancy on the top and after a little thinking time I decided on a simple mandala.  

I drew some circles with a soft pencil, just drawing round a mug, a saucer and a plate, then filled in a mandala pattern. You can see a more comprehensive tutorial about drawing mandalas here.

I've not balanced the colours on these photos - it is all the same thing, honest! - but any messing about made it impossible to see the pencil lines!

Drawing a mandala

I painted the lines with a grey acrylic paint and a fine paintbrush. The finished mandala is clearly hand painted, it's not perfectly symmetrical or even but I like that. If you wanted to try a more perfect look or were just not confident to draw your own design then a stencil would be a good way to go.


The sewing box has a tray that sits on the lip inside. No 'before' photo I'm afraid but it was the same wood as the main box. It had 3 coats of the same Painter's Touch satin paint.

painted tray.jpg

I lined the base with some scrapbook paper. I didn't stick it down, this way I can change it easily if it gets grubby. 

line with paper.jpg

I needed something to keep my sewing machine bobbins under control so I took a small cardboard box (this one had had pritt glue sticks in it) cut it down and covered the 2 halves in the same scrapbook paper.

bobbin holder.jpg

Ta-dah! This is as tidy as my sewing box has ever been, or is ever likely to be!

tidy sewing box.jpg
Painted mandala sewing box

I'm so happy with how this turned out. I was a bit worried that I might mess it up and wish I'd never started but no, all is well.

Mandala painted sewing box
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