Boxes, boxes, boxes! I could have hundreds and I’d still want more! I just can’t pass a nice box without studying its design, size, shape and material. I always have a good reason for buying one and I always find the best use for it in some part of the house. A box serves a dual purpose: It can be used solely as a decorative object but it can also hide in its interior smaller items that are not so pretty. Just on this blog, I’ve made at least half a dozen decorative and storage boxes over the last year, not to mention all the other projects that involve organization with baskets and other types of containers. So it’s no surprise for those of you who know me, when I post a new box project.
The one I’m showing you today is made of simple and inexpensive acrylic photo frames. I connected two, and together they form a lucite box that looks awesome! This one is not for storage; It’s purely decorative and I’m placing it on the coffee table to showcase some of my favorite items.
The most impressive part of this box is, of course, the handle that I attached in order to open the lid. I also found some hinges with an antique brass finish to connect the two frames which match perfectly with the handle. It’s the antithesis of the clear plastic with the rustic bronze that makes this box an interesting decorative piece.
The photo frames are available in various sizes. The ones I chose are 11 in x 14 in (27.9 x 35.5 cm), which make a rather large box, but I’m tempted to make a very small one, too!
Clear acrylic (aka plexiglass and lucite) has always been one of my favorite materials. My mother has been decorating with lucite items years before I even had my own home and every single piece she owns is still so stylish! I can also remember her best friend Dora having a lucite coffee table in her living room that looked just like this one here and that was way back in the 80s, but it’s been fashionable ever since. Lucite is the perfect material to tie together classic and modern elements in the same room. It can be a very expensive material and most items cost a little fortune, especially the larger ones. I love the frames, the lampshades, the serving trays, absolutely everything that is made of this clear acrylic, and I’m dreaming of having someday a lucite piece of furniture such as a coffee table or a console table. But for now, I’m happy with my new box!
Depending on the season, the content of the box can change. I placed inside it a few items that I love: two precious French leather bound books from the 19th century passed down from my mother, a metal shoe that my cousin Katerina gave me two Christmases ago with a symbolic meaning for me, and last minute I also added (what a surprise!)… three tiny little wooden boxes with a brass motif, also a gift from my mom.
Here is how I made my acrylic box.
I used two acrylic photo box frames. They’re not too expensive but it’s worth buying them with discount coupons.
I covered each frame with plastic food wrap to protect them while I’m drilling holes.
I first drilled holes on the one frame that would be used as the lower part of the box. On the photo below, I’m showing you the hinges already in place on that lower part but the technique is the same for drilling all holes (shown further down).
Before drilling, I applied a strip of painter’s tape on the area (you can’t write on plastic) and marked the exact spots to be drilled.To connect the hinges with the upper part of the box, make sure to keep the hinges in a straight position.
With eye and hand protection, I drilled first with a small size bit and then with a larger size one. The little parts of acrylic that come off scratch the surface really bad, so it’s important to have the frames covered with the plastic food wrap.
When the holes for the hinges were done, I repeated the same process for the handle on the front part.
I removed the plastic food wrap and used a hair dryer to blow away all the small pieces that came off while drilling.
I assembled the whole thing together. To secure the hinges in place, I discarded the wood screws that came with the hinges and instead I used flat-end machine screws and nuts. I also used nuts to stabilize the handle from the inside of the box.
It took me a while to gather the proper materials in the correct sizes and make sure that everything worked together, but it’s all here for you and it’s such an easy project and it shouldn’t take more than an hour to make. As for its cost, the handle was the most expensive of all, $18.00. The rest of the materials are very affordable. I did try making a diy handle but nothing looked as good as this brass one.
- 2 acrylic photo box frames – Michael’s Stores
- 1 Hawthorne brass handle – Anthropologie
- 1 two-piece package hinges, antique brass finish – Orchard Supply
- 12 machine screws #4-40 x 1/4″, brass finish – Orchard Supply
- 12 machine screws nuts #4-40, brass finish – Orchard Supply
- 2 machines screws nuts for the handle # 10-24, brass finish – Orchard Supply
- Wire trimmers (to shorten the long posts of the handle)
- Plastic food wrap
- painter’s tape
- Electric drill
- hair dryer
- Eye and hand protection