I love to upcycle, to take something that's no longer being used and give it a hard look to see what new purpose it may present. This was one of those projects.
This beautiful mosaic jewelry box started life as a doll vanity from pottery barn kids. It's made of solid wood and very well constructed (only the best from pottery barn, yes). But i saw this piece as having lovely, classic lines that could hold up under an intense transformation. I started by painting all the pieces a durable acrylic called warm white by americana.Then the search for just the right paper pattern, of course, when i saw the collection of vintage fine china plates i knew i'd found what i'd been searching for. Let the cutting begin over one thousand pieces of paper were hand cut for this project. Next, i grouted in all the necessary areas and started gluing on each and every piece creating a design based on the traditional "broken china" mosaic (pique assiette) patterning that has remained extremely popular for decades and whose history is based in roman mosaics thousands of years old. My "tiles" are paper, yes, paper. The tiles i used to "frame" each section are a soft vintage green. The main bodies of the design (tesserae) are prints of vintage and antique fine china plate patterns that i "broke" into sections. The background tesserae is a vintage script pattern on paper the color of aged parchment.
Once all the tiles were on, i moved to the final stage - the glaze. This is a viscous liquid that, when dry, remains raised on the paper surface but is clear and glossy - just like a rich coat of clear glaze on porcelain. The finished look is amazing as you can see in the pictures, this looks like a real ceramic/china tile mosaic - only in miniature.
Granted, this was a very work intensive project, but those are my favorite kind and i never mind putting in the effort when the results come out like this. Now, i mentioned this was originally a doll vanity, there were no drawers, just two open "cubbies". I made two large drawers with faux fronts that look like there is four drawers, note those adorable real pewter metal drawer pulls. This vanity also came with a stool which i accented with a row of mosaic tiles and a cushioned seat covered in sea green watered silk moire. The mirror also has a beautiful finish of mosaic work all around and the mirror can also come off for safe storage.This mosaic vanity will take center stage as a home decor show piece and the drawers are large enough to hold many pieces of jewelry should you choose to use it as a jewelry chest. Another use could be a truly one of a kind desk organizer or the prettiest stash or trinket box you ever saw. This item is made of pottery barn doll vanity and china plates art paper, tim holtz paper mosaic product, acrylic paint, water silk moire, mini hitch fastners, chipboard.