Craft 101: How to prep a Dollar Tree plaque or decor box

Dollar Tree has a ton of adorable hardboard signs and decor boxes available year round. These are easy to pick up. If you like the shape of one, go ahead and get it. You can very simply turn them into something that suits your taste and decor.

For this demo, I used a board shaped like a mason jar. I wanted to play around with getting one of these plaques to look exactly like a vintage mason jar. Although my final result isn’t perfect, I really like how easy it was.

Here is what I did:

Step 1. Remove the 3D designs. These come off very easily just by pulling or with a flat screwdriver. Save these… they can be used in other projects.

Step 2. Peel away as much of the paper layers as possible. There are 3 layers of paper. One is the top printed layer, followed by 2 brown paper layers. Some of this you can peel off. For the rest, lay a damp rag across the board and let it soak in. Then you can scrape or peel off the rest until you are left with the clean chip board. If the board starts to bend a bit from moisture, don’t worry. It’ll dry flat. If you think you got it too wet, let it dry under a weight on a flat surface.

Step 3. Prime the board with whatever color you want as the under paint. Milk or chalk paint is very good for this. Spray paint is amazing. In this case, I used a matte white from Apple Barrel.

Step 4. Paint or decoupage the board to your style. For my mason jar I used white and a teal that I make myself with white, blue, and yellow. I also dry brushed Paynes Grey to add the screw top and deeper accents around the edges. This gave it a 3D jar look. For the lettering, I found a sample online and traced it. Then I did a pencil transfer.

If you are not familiar with pencil transfers, they could not be simpler. Print out or trace a shape or lettering onto a piece of paper. Color the back with a Number 2 pencil and then place it on your board. Trace with strong marks to transfer the pencil to the board. After that I traced over my pencil marks with a sharpie. You can also use stickers or stencils.

That’s it! From Dollar Tree sweet to homespun chic. I need to fix the lettering (the “M” is driving me crazy, and I will probably remove the straw sticking up. That is easy to fix with a craft knife. Otherwise, I love the subtle coloring, and the realistic effect. This is perfect to hang in my kitchen. I could also turn this into a clock with a clock kit or attach some hooks at the bottom to make a key hook.

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