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Nest Chest-Turned-Coffee Table | Trash to Treasure

In this post: I’m turning a chest we found at the side of the road into a coffee table.

It’s that time of the month again.

No, not that one.

It’s time for Trash to Treasure with my blog buddies Kari, Jenna, and Jamie!


My Project

Christmas Holidays sure do make it hard to go back to the regular routine, yes? Who’s with me?

Getting back into the groove this week (homeschool, blogging, housework, Dean gone all day at work) has actually gone quite well. But add in healthier eating and exercise and I just wasn’t ready to tackle a DIY project too.

So for this month’s Trash to Treasure, I totally cheated: I pulled an old project out of the archives!

turning a roadside find into a coffee table

I did retake the after photographs. I’m not completely rehashing! Plus this project was originally shared over two years ago. AND it’s a piece we’ve used and reused. And then reused some more.

It’s our blanket-box-turned-coffee-table. πŸ™‚

blanket box nest definition


  • chest or another similar piece (new, old, made, found, thrifted)
  • soft white paint (I used Annie Sloan old white back in 2011, but have since discovered that any QUALITY flat paint will work)
  • paintbrush (I always use Purdy!)
  • printer, paper
  • pencil
  • painter’s tape
  • black paint marker
  • fine-grit sandpaper
  • light and dark finishing paste/wax
  • rag

We literally found this blanket box on the side of the road almost three summers ago. Since we lived in the Bungalow back then, we desperately needed the extra storage. We cleaned up the chest, painted it white, added some custom rails inside to hold hanging files, and called it a day.

After a while I thought it would be a nice piece if I prettied it up a bit. Along came some Annie Sloan Old White. And a sah-weet graphic from Distressed Decor (on a webpage that no longer exists – if you know the original creator do tell!).


1. After painting the chest/box and letting it dry, print Nest definition graphic above onto 11β€³ x 17β€³ paper.

2. Color the back with a dark pencil. Tape to the front of the chest.

3. Trace over all the letters with a pencil. This will give you an outline to follow in the next step.

4. Using black paint markers fill in the penciled letters. Let dry. (I found these paint markers at Staples. And. I. Love. Them. The control of markers, but the coverage, look and sand-ability of paint!)

5. Give the whole blanket box a light sanding with a sanding block. Distress the edges a little more than the rest. Wipe loose debris off with a soft rag.

6. Rub Natural Minwax Finishing Paste Wax on the entire box. Use Dark Finishing Paste Wax for the edges and corners.

nest definition graphic detail

After we found another filing option, the Nest Chest held dress up clothes in the girls’ room. Then it was a home for many stuffed animals. Now it lives in our basement as a coffee table. Since we picked it up off the curb, the abuse it gets from our kids and their friends down here really doesn’t matter. It’s a tough little thing. And super functional.

nest chest

Their Projects

See what you can make from someone else’s discarded “trash”?! Speaking of which, go see what my bloggy girls made this month:


Kari-Anne – Thistlewood Farm


Jamie – So Much Better With Age

no-sew color block pillows thumbnail

Jenna – Rain on a Tin Roof

Have you ever recreated something that otherwise would have been destined for the trash heap? If so, what and how’d it go? If not, would you?

I'd love it if you'd share:

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I'd love to chat with you in the comments!


  1. Anna says

    I love this feature and can’t wait to see all the fun and inspirational DIY’s you guys come up with! I’ll be starting maternity leave soon and with a budget cut I can use this idea to get my “fix” for thrifting and DIYing this spring/summer& fall !!!!

  2. Jamie Koenig says

    I think that is a very neat project you did. I love that it has more than one purpose in the room. I host a Wednesday link party and would love if you shared this with us.

  3. Cynthia says

    What a wonderful project! I am going to try this process on some some of my pieces. I am so excited! Glad to have found you on 36th Avenue!

  4. Kristin says

    I love this idea and would love to make this for myself, so clever- seating and filing storage!
    I had a question, what size bench did you use? Also, where do you recommend purchasing the bench if I don’t currently have one?


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