Decorate a plain hope chest for your child to store items that will someday give her a start on furnishing her own home. When she is little, she can use it as a toy box. As she grows you can place items in it such as her favorite mementos and family heirlooms such as china settings or silverware. The trick is to create a design on it that will grow with her, one that will still look as good at the foot of her marriage bed as it does in front of her twin canopy.
Plain Hope Chest
Choosing the Hope Chest
Look for a chest that will be big enough to store a variety of items. A good rule of thumb to go by is that it is the same length as her twin bed and just as tall. Tailor the size to the space limitations of her room now. Even if it is smaller than this it will still turn into a cherished keepsake, no matter how many things it can store. If it is not already finished, use a high quality stain to get it ready for the next step.
Choosing the Design
The hardest part of deciding how to decorate a plain hope chest that will grow with your child is the designs that you decide to put on it. Many little girls have favorite characters, such as princesses, but they will not transition easily into adult decor. Instead look for simple but feminine designs such as floral images, scroll-work, hearts or stars. Use stencils if you are not confident enough to freehand the designs.
Placing the Designs
Lay out your design plans before you decorate a plain hope chest to avoid mistakes. For example, position the stencils of the hearts on the sides and the scrolls along the edge to get a better picture of what the finished look is going to be. Don’t forget to put her initials on the top. Even after she is married, it will be a reminder of the little girl that she once was.
Finishing the Process
After you have painted all the designs on the piece, attach decorative hardware. This is where you can get more creative, as these elements can be changed easily in the future. So, go ahead and put a sparkly pink knob on top or bright purple handles on the side.
Sealing the piece after painting will create a shiny appearance and a long-lasting design when you decorate a plain hope chest. On the other hand, faded paint is not a bad thing in an heirloom piece and it can always be touched up later if she desires to do so or even repainted completely easier if it is not sealed.