• Jenna

When Covid Changes Everything...An In Memoriam Jewelry Box


We've all been effected in some way or another by Covid-19 within the past 20 months. Whether we've lost a loved one, a friend or co-worker we've had to deal with the repercussions of this awful virus. I recently had an order that was effected by Covid and it really made me do a lot of thinking. Life is so precious and as a mother I feel it's even more precious when it's taken away so quickly. Leaving our babies unexpectedly and with no warning is unimaginable. Here I am going to take you on a journey of a recent box I completed and how the design ended up being changed slightly to adjust to a new normal for one family.


**This post does include affiliate links for companies I represent. Any purchased made through those links is appreciated as I do earn a small commission. This allows me to continue to bring you step by step tutorials.



I received a custom order back in July for this large Bombay Jewelry Box from a very sweet local woman. This was after she custom ordered one box as well as purchased a completed project for her mother. She wanted a vibrant and tropical theme for her personal jewelry box to match the decor in her bedroom. I first showed her a couple of examples of what I thought would look lovely and a transfer from Belle's and Whistles. Once we had the design down I got to work! I started by sanding down lightly for a scuff layer, removing all the old lining and knobs and thoroughly cleaning the entire piece.





I first painted the piece in a bonding paint to help the colored paint adhere without flaking or scratching off. This along with the scuff sanding will really allow the paint to stick to the box as the original surface was very slick. I then primed the entire box in a white primer so that none of the dark original surface would come through.


I did my first coat of each of the colors I was using for this jewelry box. We had decided upon an ombre effect using pink, orange and yellow. I love using Eye Love Hue Paints as they are beautiful and rich in color, smooth and require minimal sanding, and they blend so nicely together. I painted using Traveler's Gold, Orange You Glad and Pucker Up. I carried the colors over onto the side doors as well so that it all looked cohesive and painted the inside of the doors in just yellow.



Once my first coat was dried and hardened enough that painting a second coat wouldn't peel it back (about 2 hours), I then proceeded to paint my 2nd coat blending the paint just a little while keeping the colors still pretty separate. You can see the difference between the two coats when it comes to darkness and coverage. My first coat gives me a good idea of where I want the bases to be while the second reinforces the shades. Now I am ready to start blending.






To do this I use multiple round bristle brushes and a misting spray bottle. This allows the paint to really move and flow and blend seamlessly into each other. I try not to mix colors on my brushes. I will often use a small artist brush to apply the paint (one for each color). Then I will mist the colors and use the bristle brushes as well as round synthetic Zibra brushes to blend the 2 colors together. I only work 2 colors at ones so I am not too overwhelmed trying to get them all the blend at the same time. I just feel this is easier. Also keeping one blending brush for each color.


Once I have a good blend down I will go in an fix certain spots I don't like. Blending takes a lot of practice as it can be time consuming and frustrating if you aren't patient enough to work with it. Once I have it blended as I like I allow the paint to completely dry overnight.



Once I've allowed my paint to fully dry overnight I can start applying the transfers. For this one I used Tropical Leaves by Belle's and Whistles. This transfer featured a lot of the same colors and really matched the overall theme we were going for. I began by applying the transfer to the sides of the doors. This was a bit of a tricky spot at I wanted the transfer to lay completely flat and wrap around the sides of the door. I measured out exactly where I needed it to start and end on the transfer page. I removed the white backing page and proceeded to press hard onto the transfer using my transfer tool.


I then applied some of the design to the bottom front of the drawers, border of the lid and also on the inside of the door panels. Applying transfers to edges, dips and grooves takes patience and practice. I also recommend making slits in the clear page so that the transfer has the option to bend and conform and overlap where you need it to go. This helps so that the design doesn't crack when you press the transfer down. You can see in the photo below I have little cuts in my clear page where I was able to bend the page as it is rather stiff to begin with. This makes application so much smoother. I also do not entirely lift off my white backing when I am working. This helps to ensure that no portion sticks where I don't want it to as I am pressing and moving. If there's any tip you go away with this is the most important one!


Now that my transfer has been completely applied in all the places I want it, I am ready to clear coat over the entire piece to ensure that the transfer does not peel or roll up. All transfers must be sealed either by a clear coat or a wax. I prefer a clear coat myself as it doesn't need to be reapplied.


I then completely relined the entire box in a dark and beautiful green to enhance the green in the leaves. It looks so lush against all the bright and vibrant colors. Re-lining the interior is VERY time consuming as it takes a lot of measuring, cutting, measuring again, cutting again and then applying. I also create my own ring holders. When starting from scratch you are free to do as you please. This particular box had a lot of storage space and therefore required a lot of work to reline. However, I prefer to send all my jewelry boxes off with a fresh feel; like it's never been pre-owned and my customers are the first and last to own this gorgeous box.



It was during the re-lining process that when I went to check in with my client. I sadly had learned from her husband that she had passed away from Covid unexpectedly. A complete shock to her entire family. To learn that this sweet woman who I had just spoken to the week before had passed away leaving behind multiple young children was gut-wrenching and so upsetting. As a mother of 3 small kids myself I couldn't fathom what that family was going through. Per the request of her husband, I was to continue with his wife's request and complete the jewelry box. He planned to store all her beautiful jewelry in it until his children were older and would appreciate and want what their mother left behind. It was at this time that I offered to include a quote on the back of the box as a tribute to her for her husband and children to see and think of. We decided on the quote you now see.


I hope that the end result was exactly as she should would have wanted and that her family can look upon this box and remember their wife and mother for the sweet and kindhearted woman she was. This jewelry box will forever hold a special place in my heart as it meant more to me than just a custom order. I became a reflection of what we've all been through during this time and how precious our lives are and to cherish each day we have with our children.


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