Floral Painted Wooden Box DIY Tutorial

How to transform a plain wooden box into a work of art

Are you looking to add a touch of beauty and personality to a plain wooden box?

With just a few simple art supplies you can easily transform your box into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. You can let your creativity run wild as you create a design that reflects your unique style and taste.

It’s really fun, and simpler than you might think, to give a unique and pretty look to even the most utilitarian item, like a wooden tool box.

About 7 years ago I spent a lovely afternoon painting simple flowers on my X-acto knife box to turn it from plain to fabulous and I’m happy to report that it’s still in perfect condition all this time later and it give me great joy every time I use it.

As so much time has passed I’ve given this tutorial a bit of a spruce up with a few new photos and what is hopefully a better and clearer explanation of the process.

Floral Painted Wooden Box

For many years I’ve been a fan of the very talented Teodora from Teodora Paintings I love her art style and back in 2017 she shared a tutorial showing the process to paint this lovely little trinket box.

wip collage 10 finished product.jpg

She made it look so do-able I thought I'd give it a try.

I love my X-acto knife for paper cutting by hand, it really is a great piece of kit. Mine came in a nice sturdy little wooden box and as the knife and blades are all super sharp, I do like to keep it in there whenever it’s not in use. The plain, unfinished wooden box however was not very inspiring, it was just crying out for a pretty makeover.

I took my X-acto knife box, emptied it out and spent just a couple of hours giving it a total makeover.

xacto box before.jpg

It’s pretty simple, let me show you how:

What you need to paint a wooden box with a floral design

  • An unfinished wooden box

  • Acrylic paint - I used yellow, blue, orange, green and white

  • Small paint brushes

Preparing the box for painting

First take off any hinges and catches and other hard wear before painting. Put them somewhere safe!

Check that your box is clean, dry and free from dust and dirt.

take box apart.jpg

Painting a wooden box

First paint your box with a base coat of acrylic paint in the colour of your choice, mine was yellow as you can see. Give it a few minutes to dry, it won’t take long.

Add a few patches of white paint where you want your flowers to be, this will help the next colour really pop against the background.

start painting.jpg

Next add simple flowers, just 5 blobs from a small paintbrush will make a nice simple flower. I added some dots too, I’m a big fan of dots to fill in gaps in all my painting and doodling.

Build up your design, filling in gaps with flowers and leaves in different colours. Use a larger brush to create larger petals, a smaller brush to make the smaller ones. Paint some simple oval shapes on their own to make leaves. If you look closely you can see none of this needs to be perfect, the overall look will be lovely even if each flower is not perfect.

I had a simple colour pallet for my wooden box decoration as I was using acrylic paints that I already had. You could do the same and pick just 3 or 4 colours or go wild with a riot of colours!

Once most of the petals, leaves and dot were painted in I gave the box a little time to dry, it only takes 30 mins to an hour and then you can add some little details if you like. Things like dots for the centre of flowers, lines to make veins on the leaves etc.

I prefer a “more is more” approach to this kind of decoration and try and fill the spaces as much as possible.

Once all your paint is dry give the whole thing a few coats of spray sealant if you really want your beautiful painting to last. Rust-oleum Crystal Clear is my favourite.

leave to dry.jpg

Once the sealant is dry pop the hardwear back on and replace any insides.

I am totally in love with my X-Acto knife box’s new look.

Floral painted box
back of painted box.jpg
inside finished box.jpg
Painted box

I feel like this is a great example of how a creative project doesn’t need to be perfect to be perfect! This painting, these flowers, are not at all perfect individually but the overall effect is cute and pretty and I love it.

Floral painted wooden box

Big thanks to Teodora for sharing her original inspiration, and if you don't fancy having a go at this kind of painting yourself she has a load of pretty things for sale in her Folksy shop.

If you have a plain wooden box, a little acrylic paint and a spare afternoon why not try a little painting, it’s very relaxing!

Update 2024:

I’ve decorated another plain wooden box in the same style. This time I bought a plain box in a craft shop and decorated it as a gift for a special little girl.

The method was the same as shown in the tutorial above but this time I also used paint pens as well as acrylic paints and a brush. It’s a lot easier to do small petals and dots with a paint pen, that’s for sure.