Simple Tote Update

Hello sweet Friends! I’m back today with a cute makeover!

You may remember back in the Fall we received several furniture pieces from the estate of my Hubby’s Grandmother. We also acquired a couple of smaller things that came out of the shed, and one of them was this little wooden tote:

It is clearly handmade and of course that’s the reason I loved it immediately.

I knew it could be cute and functional again. All it needed was a little paint magic and some love:

Simple way to update a little wooden tote from confessionsofaserialdiyer.comSeriously, how sweet is this now?

I just love this little guy.

Simple way to update a little wooden tote from

I mentioned last week that I was looking for some new colors to try. I know I didn’t step very far out of my box with this one, but it is new. This is Sunken Pool by Behr, and I really love it. It is lighter and has more aqua to it than Behr’s Gray Morning which is usually my go-to blue hue.

Simple way to update a little wooden tote from

I made it into DIY chalk paint, but since this was bare wood, I could have just used it as is.

For the stencil I used part of this one from Artistic Stencils…

I used DIY chalk paint in Ultra Pure White and a small brush to brush in the stencil, using a small amount of paint and brushing away from the edges as much as possible.

I use a brush instead of a pouncer because I like it to look like it was painted on.

After, I went back with a liner brush and connected the leaves to the wreath:

Simple way to update a little wooden tote from

These soaps are usually in a clear glass jar on my counter in my master bathroom. Aren’t they pretty? They are actually by Oil of Olay and I bought them in individual bars several years ago at Walmart.

Simple way to update a little wooden tote from

I sealed this little tote with Minwax Paste Finishing Wax (affiliate) this time. I bought a jar of it to try forever ago, but always went for my trusted Annie Sloan. It went on very nicely!

Simple way to update a little wooden tote from

Some of the reviews said it may tint lighter pieces, but it did not change the color of this pretty blue.

Simple way to update a little wooden tote from

There are so many ways to use  a small caddy like this. I love it holding the soaps, but it could also hold mail, makeup, napkins, or how about cooking utensils? Or even its likely intended purpose: tools!

Simple way to update a little wooden tote from

I hope you enjoyed this makeover!

If you missed Grandma’s vintage dresser update…

You can see it HERE!

I’ll meet you back here Tuesday with the makeover of this little table I picked up for $4 on clearance at the thrift store:

UPDATE!! Check out how I gave this little table a super sweet makeover HERE now!

Have a great weekend!! 🙂



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  1. Mary Kaiser says

    How adorable! I Love it. You re get your hands on some awesome stuff to redo, very beautiful!!

  2. Christina in FL says

    Perfect! 🙂 Love the color and stencil. Distressed perfectly. If you are putting it in your store, I know it will be purchased quickly. 🙂 Thanks for wonderful inspiration.

    • Thanks, Christina!! Yes this will be headed to the shop by the weekend to find a loving hew home for many years to come! XOXO

  3. Love the caddy and the soap looks so pretty in it. I think the caddy is actually a tool box when workers used to have to make their own (before tool belts, etc.). I worked for a construction company and there was one in the warehouse and I asked one of the workers if I could have it and he gave it to me. It was a hand-made tool box but mine had a divider in the middle and was a little larger. Regardless, I love the color and the stencil. Hope I still have mine upstairs in the attic.

    • Thanks, Janice! Yes it was likely originally for tools, and I’m sure my Hubby’s Grandpa built it, but he passed away in the 80’s. I loved that I could give it some love to be enjoyed for a while to come. Sounds like you have a real treasure with yours! XO

  4. Marcie Lovett says

    This looks like something you could build, if you wanted to make more – I envy your talent with power tools! Lovely paint job. That’s a beautiful color and great use of the stencil. So smart to use just a part of a stencil-you can get so many different looks that way.

    • Thanks, Marcie! I wasn’t always so comfortable with the big tools, it has definitely come with practice lol! What a great idea to use this to make more…never thought of that! XOXO

  5. So cute! Love the color and you styled it perfectly. Can’t wait to see what you do with that little foyer table!

  6. Great makeover! I can think of many places that this could be used.

    I found a similar tool tote that my dad made in Mama’s barn that painted and we now use on the porch for dog supplies. It holds leashes, poop bags, and grooming tools. It’s nice to keep Sherman’s things corralled in something that looks nice.

    • Thanks, Paula! What a great use for your tote…I never thought of that! Also love that you were able to find a use for a little family treasure! XOXO

  7. Christy, do you ever use Johnson Paste Wax on white chalk painted pieces? I looked at Minwax, but it seems so hard/solid. Love ALL your projects!

    • Hi Kathy! Thank you!! No I have not tried that wax yet, and the minwax is a bit hard. I had to keep reloading my rag, but I did like how it went on. I read that some have had trouble with it discoloring white pieces, but I think I’ll try it for myself on a test piece and see. I’ve always stuck with Annie Sloan because it works great! XO

  8. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! The color is BEAUTIFUL! (I’m a sucker for aqua!) The stencil is perfect, too. I want one of these! Is this the blue you were talking about? I’m hoping you might have a true blue tucked away some where. 😉

    • And those soaps are PERFECT compliments to the tote!

    • Thank you, Julie!! I’m a sucker for aqua too and I just love this pretty color! It is the new one I picked up. I painted a few things in a true pale blue that was an oops paint a couple of years ago and I had a hard time selling those items? I may try to pick a different more regular blue and give it a go again. 🙂

      • It’s always hard to try new things, especially if it didn’t ‘work’ the first time. I don’t know if you are seeing it where you are, as much as here in So Cal, but the true blues seem to be on ‘trend’. I’ve read it on several blog sites, too. 😉 However, I do REALLY love this color of aqua. I wonder if it’s hard, in your booth, when you have several tones of blue mixing? Does it end up clashing? (Like if you did aqua and a blue.) Just thinking out loud, here.

        • I use to use more of a true blue hue in my last house, but I think the more aqua tones have been more popular here since we are by the coast. I tried to get more of a true blue with the dresser that Jack did recently, but it was a bit more bold than I thought it would be. I’ll keep trying. 🙂

          • Yes, that dresser is lovely! Did you put that in your booth? What happened with it. I now notice that is *did* have a more blue tone to it. It didn’t come across as too bold (to me) at all. 🙂 Definitely not trying to convince you here… just ‘conversing’. (My kitchen and living area are done in the aqua/white/neutrals. You know I love all your stuff… you are my fave diy’er. 🙂

            • Yep it sold after Christmas woohoo! Jack was very excited about that! Don’t worry about feeling like you are trying to convince me lol…I am a big fan of a more true blue, and have been on the hunt for a while. I tried with that dresser Jack did, but I want something more muted and maybe lighter I think? Although that was close. You know I always appreciate the input! 😀

  9. It’s adorable and styled so beautifully, as always. The color is very soft and pretty.

  10. I love the color & stencil just made it sweet.Lots of uses for this,wished I lived near your booth????

  11. Love the color on this little piece! Great job!

  12. Rose Arroyo says

    Duncan pool was a hit with me it looks adorable.

  13. Christy you have such talent for taking an ordinary item and turning it into something charming! I’m loving that shade of blue! Gorgeous!! Pinned 🙂

  14. Such a cute little tote!! I love the shaping! It’s all pretty and springy now with your paint job. I’m going to have to pin this one. : ) I’m glad to hear your wax review. I have that brand, but was wondering if it was practically a crime in the DIY world since no one ever mentions it, haha!

    • Thanks again, girl! I have a hard time passing up these little totes when I see them, and of course this one was free! And yes that wax worked great. It is harder in consistency but it worked fine for this little tote! XO