Sunday, January 18, 2015

Grungy Industrial Faux Metal Caddy

Hi all! I'm so excited to share this project with you. It's something I've been thinking about for awhile and I finally sat down last week and figured out how to make it. It looks like it's made from metal, right? Well, you know me better than that! It's made from chipboard, foam core, and a dollar store picture frame. There is a bit of metal in it, but you might have to look close to see where!

I knew that Eileen Hull's Cube die from Sizzix would be the element that the whole piece was built around. Buy using some of my new DecoArt Media paints and a bit of trickery, they look like they're made from old galvanized metal that has been around for ages. My piece was inspired by a similar organizer from Stampington, which I adored. Here's how I made mine:

Begin by cutting six box panels from chipboard using Eileen's 3D Block die. Trim 1/2" off the long edge of three of the panels. Trim 1/2" down from the score line on the lid on the other three. This will make the boxes a bit more shallow. (If you'd rather skip this step, it's totally optional. It just gives a more balanced look to the piece.) Assemble the boxes using a heavyweight glue like Beacon 3-in-1.

Next, cover all box edges with metal foil tape and paint with DecoArt Media Black Gesso. Let dry.

Cut three bookplates from thin aluminum (I used flashing). Stamp numbers on black cardstock with white paint and adhere to back. Attach bookplates to boxes.

Remove the glass from an 8"x10" dollar store frame. Use the glass to trace the dimensions onto a piece of galvanized metal (don't use aluminum for this or magnets won't stick). Cut to size with metal snips. WARNING! You must wear gloves when working with this type of metal. The edges are extremely sharp and will give you a nasty cut! While the frame is disassembled, paint it with black gesso.

Paint the metal with chalkboard paint and rub with chalk. Again, please make sure you're wearing gloves any time you are working with metal.

Using Andy Skinner's French Elements stencil and white Media paint, stencil the word 'Paris' onto the painted metal. Also stencil the fleur de lis on either side of the word. When dry, insert metal panel into frame.

To create a base for the organizer, cut a piece of foam core to size. For my frame and boxes, 12" x 12.5" was perfect. Apply foil tape to the raw edges and paint with black gesso.

Adhere frame to top of base using a strong adhesive.

Adhere boxes to base. Working in sections, apply gray antiquing medium to entire piece, wiping off to reveal the black underneath. Highlight some areas with black antiquing medium.

To create a hanger, I attached idea-ology Hinge Clips to the top, slipping one edge in between the frame and the foam core, and then tying with idea-ology Jute String. You might think the hinge clips  aren't strong enough, but even with the cubbies filled, this organizer weighs almost nothing!

One of my favorite parts of this is the magnetic chalkboard. Of course, if you didn't want to bother with the metal, you could just use chipboard in the opening and have a perfectly fine chalkboard, but I think it adds so much!

The supplies I used can be found at Sizzix and Amazon via the links below. I purchased the galvanized metal sheet at Lowes, but I found a similar one that is available on Amazon too.

I hope you enjoyed my Art With Heart project today! We would love to have you join the challenge with us over at Eileen Hull's blog. This month's theme is Fresh Ideas and there is a fantastic prize to be won! You can find all the info HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by - have a great week!


  1. I love your project Shelly, it is fabulous, I would never have guessed that you used metal in the frame - very clever! Anne x

  2. Wow, this is wonderful Shelly! I am loving this chalkboard technique and the way you used the box die! What a great project and functional too! Genius making the back out of metal!! hugs :)

  3. Just fabulous Shelly. So glad you figured out this technique and shared it.

  4. This is amazing!!! Thanks so much for sharing :-)

  5. This is totally stunning Shelly! I am so glad the DecoArt paint was up to the challenge- it looks amazing!

  6. I love this Shelly! You are the faux finish technique queen!

  7. Shelly this is awesome! Who would have thought - a $1 store frame and other bits and bobs... Love it!

  8. Very cool! I've got a place I'm thinking of using this. Thanks for all the hard work and for sharing it.

  9. You are so creative, Shelly. Wow, this is an amazing project and it looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Amazing, Shelly!!! I love a good old fashioned chalkboard and you've made this one even better with those little box caddies to hold some wonderful creative goodies!! Just wonderful!! XOXO-Shari

  11. Wow, this project really looks cool! I like the fact that it’s a chalkboard and a magnetic board at the same time. And those bookplate cutouts make them look like they’re vintage. Thank you for sharing this tutorial on how to make them with us, Shelly. More power, and good luck with your future endeavors.

    Bernice Parsons @ Badger Anodising


Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I appreciate your comments so much!