WINE BOX SHELF These French wooden wine boxes really lend



These French wooden wine boxes really lend themselves to the role of shelving and although the image shows them displayed together, I started off thinking of them as bedside tables. If you drill holes through the back at the top and position it on screws fixed to the wall, the wood is strong enough to take the weight of a modest number of books and a lamp.

With a medium grade of sandpaper; 80gm lightly sand the entire box, inside and out.

Source your decoupage images – I used wallpaper offcuts, but wrapping paper or even hand-drawn images will also work provided the paper weight is strong enough to be used with wallpaper paste.

Cut out the images leaving a very narrow border and put to one side.

Select your paint colours – this is a great way to use up tester pots – so emulsion is fine. Start with the inside and apply the paint in the direction of the grain. Because the wood is raw, the paint will absorb slightly – the knots will also show through over time, but I was happy with that effect – so work it into the surface a little to make sure you get a fairly even coverage.

Allow to dry and then sand gently to smooth the surface. Arrange your decoupage in pattern you find pleasing and then apply the wallpaper paste and stick them to the rear inside wall of the box. You can apply decoupage anywhere you like but remember that the bottom will have things sitting on it and so they won’t be visible. I liked the idea of having the shapes peek out over the items being stored.

Once the wallpaper paste has dried, coat the whole inside with a layer of decorator’s glaze. Allow to dry.

Select your outside colour and apply in the direction of the grain. I only applied paint to the sides, not the rear. Allow to dry and then with a very fine artist’s brush pick out the embossed makers name with a colour similar to the branding. Allow to dry.

Using the same sandpaper, give the whole outside a gentle sanding and pay careful attention to the lettering you picked out. Use the sandpaper to clean up any messy edges. Wipe the whole outside with a damp cloth and when dry seal with decorator’s glaze.

Next choose an edging colour and paint that on taking care not to clip and paint the sides (luckily the glaze will allow you to clean this off with a damp cloth after). Allow to dry, tidy up any messy edges and the caot with decorator’s glaze.

Using a 10mm drill bit make holes in the rear wall. Make sure they’re even and then measuring the distance apart, create holes in the wall you want to position the shelf.

Use rawl plugs and screws 2mm smaller than the drill bit used on the box, leave them to protrude about 5mm from the wall and then slip the box over the screws.