Seed Storage Box from a Wooden Salt Box

Seed Storage Box from a Wooden Salt Box

I know I’m not the only one who flocks to all things “wood” at the thrift store. Shelves, boxes, cutting boards- they all lend themselves to upcycling. And this country-style vintage salt box was no exception. I didn’t care for its current look, but knew it would be easy to convert into a seed storage box that could also double as Spring decor.

wooden recipe box

It was also an ideal piece to finally try my hand a specific craft technique: paper napkin decoupage. I see other crafters do this all the time, and I thought that this piece, with its flat surfaces, would be a good one for experimenting on.

upcycling idea for a wooden recipe box

Since I’m not a prolific gardener, I didn’t need some complicated system for seed organization. So this wooden salt box would do just fine!

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Paper Napkin Decoupage on a Salt Box

First, I carefully removed the hinges and top from the wooden salt box. I also grabbed some white spray paint to coat the entire thing.

preparing to spray paint a vintage recipe box

Once the box was painted and dry, I could move onto the paper napkin decoupage!

To do this, I gathered these paper napkins, some decoupage glue, and a craft paint brush.

thrift store upcycle with paper napkin decoupage

To start, I opened up a paper napkin to separate the layers. Now, by sheer accident, I only separated it into two layers when there were, in fact, three layers. And the rule of thumb in paper napkin decoupage is to fully separate your napkin.

So, I had already “goofed up” but I didn’t realize it. Thankfully, though, it ended up just fine.

With my napkin (mistakenly) partially separated, I layered on a thorough coat of decoupage glue to one side of the wooden box. Then, I laid the napkin onto the glue and began to carefully press and smooth it with my fingertips.

how to decoupage with paper napkins

I used a spent gift card to help me smooth out bubbles and wrinkles. It did a decent job, I must say!

To “cut off” the edges of the napkin that hung off the sides, I used super fine-grit sandpaper to gently slough off the napkin at the corners. I didn’t want to shred the paper, just gently detach it at those edges.

paper napkin decoupage

I continued to work around each side of the wooden salt box. When I was all done and the underlayer of decoupage glue had dried, I sealed the top with another layer of glue.

Seed Organizer and Cottage Garden Decor

Now, I could have continued decoupaging the slanted top, but worried that might look too busy.

So, I decided to just quickly stencil the top to indicate that this was, in fact, a seed storage box now!

labeling a seed storage box

I had some purple paint on hand that coordinated well with the touches of purple in my napkins. So, I centered the stencil, taped it in place, and stippled the word “Seeds” across the top.

seed stencil for a seed organizer

Next, I lightly sanded the stenciled word when I was done. Not enough to make it look overly distressed, but to lighten some of the parts that looked darker or more opaque than I wanted.

Then, I used the same decoupage glue to seal the top of my seed storage box!

wooden recipe box as a seed storage box

Lastly, I reassembled everything, making sure that I reattached the hinges the correct way. 

I tell you this because clearly I’ve learned that hinges can be tricky, as I’ve flipped them over before on previous projects!

seed organizer

How cute is that? Such an improvement over the dowdiness of its original look.

Seed Storage Box from a Wooden Salt Box

To make it a functional seed storage box, I trimmed down some file folders to make dividers. Thankfully, I still had plenty on hand from this project for my craft room.

repurposing a wooden recipe box to organize seeds

But I must say, I really do love how it turned out! I had so many doubts about paper napkin decoupage. And despite a few wrinkles in the paper, I love how my seed storage box looks now.

seed storage box and cottage garden decor

And it’s charming enough to use in any garden-inspired Spring decorating, as well. Don’t you agree?


Guess what today is? Thrift Store Decor Team Day! That means, my blogging friends have new upcycling projects to share with you, too. Check out what they’ve been up to! 

Pieces from the thrift store for easy upcycling projects

1. Vintage Vanity Stool MakeoverMy Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

2. Concrete Planter MakeoverOur Southern Home

3. Seed Storage Box from a Wooden Recipe Card HolderSadie Seasongoods

4. TV Tray MakeoverDomestically Speaking

5. Thrift Store Coffee Table MakeoverMy Repurposed Life

6. Inexpensive Kitchen Wall DecorPetticoat Junktion

7. Repurposed Tobacco Basket ProjectHouse of Hawthornes


Speaking of seeds and gardening, if you enjoyed my idea for a seed organizer, then you may also be interested in my upcycled seedling tray, as well!

plant starting tray with a muffin pan

Craft on!


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seed storage box and organizer

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. fondarush says

    Very pretty spring decor!

  2. Carmen Montmarquet says

    What a cute way to organize your seeds! Great idea!!

  3. Cute, cute, cute!!!! Now I need to look for more wood boxes at the thrift shop!

  4. This is so pretty!

  5. Rebecca Payne says

    I simply love the makeover. Great job as always.

  6. WOW! What a fabulous job!! Love your work! Your inspiring me!

  7. Deborah Hughes says

    That is so sweet! Absolutely love it!

  8. This charming! Bright and Spring-y.we need all the spring we can get,wouldn’t you agree? Love your ideas and can do ingenuity. Have a blessed day

  9. This doesn’t even look like the same box, such a great makeover! I’m ready for Spring!!! Have a great week!

  10. What a beautiful makeover and perfect for Spring!

  11. omg’sh I love this! I have an old bread box that is of course larger but same type of opening- it is rectangle and the top pulls up from the front- not down. and I never knew what to do with it! I will fill it with a plastic container and put my “spent” marigold seeds in it for next year. You have the patience and cutest ideas!! Thank you. When I see you name come up in my email, I get so exited.

  12. Sarah,
    What a clever use of the wooden box!!! I love napkin decoupage. I started my own project today!
    I hear ya about the hinges–I am definitely hinge challenged!



    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve reattached them in the wrong direction, LOL. Thanks, Gail!

  13. This is darling, Sarah!

  14. This is so sweet! The napkin decoupage is so pretty, love!


  15. Who would have thought that was a nasty old recipe box! Very cute transformation!

  16. What a great idea! I love the pattern for the decoupage. Such a fun makeover!

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