So back about 6 months ago, I was super excited to purchase and hopefully learn to play the ukulele. I bought one, loved it, but wasn’t so great about practicing. Then a few weeks back, I joined Ukulele Underground and I found this.
Plans to build your own ukulele stand, this one already sized perfectly for a tenor uke, which is what I have.
All I needed was a piece of wood for the base, a 1″ thick wooden dowel at least 22″ long, some felt, some screws, and some metal hooks sold at Walmart to act as the brackets.
I was super tight on money but really wanted to do this, so I improvised a bit. The wooden plaque I bought from Michael’s, with a 50% off coupon for $1.90. The felt I already had on hand, thanks to getting sent the wrong item when I ordered fabric ages ago. Wood stain and E6000 I had on hand. The dowel was the most expensive piece at about $4.50 for a 48″ length, and the screws were about a dollar for a package of 8. The hooks/brackets I made myself out of polymer clay, then cast them in resin which I dyed a deep red color with some mica powder.
Not counting the cost of materials I already had on hand, I spent about $8 building this.
Okay, maybe not. But there will be a treasure chest!
When our renter moved out, he left a few things behind, most of which we threw out. But this I rescued from the garbage and knew I had to clean it up and save it.
Its a wooden chest, without a lot of distinguishing marks that you can buy at any craft store. I have a much larger one that I use for storing my knitting needles and crochet hooks in that I keep next to my chair in the living room. This one is smaller, with the internal space measuring about 10″ wide and about 5.5″ across. Its not very big.
It was covered in grease, and was badly painted this awful black all over. Don’t get me wrong. I wear a ton of black, but it just looks bad on this poor little wooden box.
The first step was to sand it down a bit and help its new primer and paint stick and to scrub off those grease spots, so I loaded up a sponge with dish soap and gave it a good once over then hosed it off and left it to dry in the sun. Then I got the sanding block we had purchased to use for some home repairs we still haven’t gotten to, and I gently sanded it all over.
I wasn’t worried about it being perfect. I want to look good when I’m done but I want this to be a fun project too and not one that I rip my hair out over. The wood is uneven in spots, which you can see because of how th paint sanded off completely in some areas but not others.
Then I hit it with some primer. My good friend Nikki gave me primer, paint, all sorts of stuff along with the larger chest I have and I was supposed to give it this treatment but I never did.
I let the primer dry for about an hour, and then while dinner was cooking, I gave it a quick spray with the bright metallic gold paint. I initially missed a spot on the inside but got it later in when I was doing the lining.
I sprayed the inside and the outside, making sure everything was shining and bright! The paper underneath the chest is just white kraft paper I bought off of Amazon for using in pattern making but so far its been used for everything else. Its not overly expensive and comes in really handy!
I let that dry for a good hour and then measured the inside to get an idea of how large a piece of fabric I needed for the inside. Unfortunately I did something really, really wrong and ended up with a piece about twice the size of what I needed.I ended up trimming it and gluing one side down into the box, then moving to the the next side, trimming it to fit and gluing it, and working my way all the way around. I used E6000 to glue it in place. I love that stuff, but make sure you use it in a well ventilated area- preferably outside!
I was going to call it good at that point but after Tracy brought up doing the inside of the lid with fabric, I couldn’t resist, so I carefully cut pieces and glued them in place as well. That went a lot smoother than doing the bottom did.
The next step was making this into a real treasure chest and covering the top in jewels! I busted out my Amazing Clear Cast Resin, my colored mica powders, and I started mixing and pouring. Finally, after working on them for a few days and gluing them in place in small groupings, I had this.
The resin is super easy to work with. Just mix it at a ratio of 1:1 and mix very thoroughly- the package recommends mixing for 3 minutes and I’ve found that to be about right. If its not fully mixed, it won’t set up properly and you’ll have a sticky mess on your hands. Mica powders can be added in small amounts to color the resin or you can brush it onto the molds before you pour- I mixed mine in.
I used 6 different colors of gems, some of which were single colors of the mica powders and some that I mixed to suit. Pink, yellow, green-gold, blue, purple, and a deep amber color. I used a mold I bought that had tons of shapes in it that were perfect for this, letting me mix it up with lots of options. One of my gems slipped a bit before the glue set and I didn’t catch it in time to re-position it, but otherwise it turned out just like I envisioned it! I’m so happy with it!
And that my friend is how you get your very own treasure chest! Now I just have to decide what to put in it. 🙂