DIY Chinese Style Treasure Chest Box

Yesterday I showed how the distinctive look of brass Chinese hardware brings a touch of the Far East to furniture. And I shared my once-secret source of how to get this hardware so you can buy it and use it yourself. I’ve done two DIY projects where I added Chinese hardware – one time to a small storage cabinet and another to a simple painted paper mache box:

Chinese Hardware Added to Painted Paper Mache Box

That is a “mushroom” style latch closure from Chinese Brass Hardware on eBay. Their selection changes and I don’t see that exact one right now, but there’s a similar one available in a round shape:

Mushroom Style Brass Chinese Hardware

If you order hardware for a project, watch the size descriptions on the eBay product listing. Some of this hardware is very large, designed for big 7 foot tall cabinets. And some pieces such as this one are smaller, about 3″ in diameter, and made for smaller chests or drawers. Make sure you order a size that fits your project. This shows the pieces you would get for hardware like this one:

Chinese Brass Hardware Pieces to Assemble

It’s very easy to assemble and the Chinese Brass Hardware store shows how to do it, step-by-step with pictures on each eBay product listing.

So, I made this box with a Chinese dragon stencil and the special Chinese hardware as part of a bunch of super fun DIY projects I’ve done for Paint and Pattern – a blogzine about the whole world of color and pattern out there:

Chinese Style Box with Stenciled Dragon

Literally, we are going around the world this year at Paint and Pattern, and each month we share inspiration and projects from different cultures and countries. April was Asia month and I knew it was a perfect excuse to play with Chinese hardware again! As you can see above, I photographed this box in front of a real Chinese cabinet – that’s our burlwood and black painted cabinet holding all our dinnerware. (And, the throw over the chair is from a tribe that lives in Laos and Vietnam – why not mix things up!)

Believe it or not, the box started as a plain brown paper mache box found at Michael’s craft store:

Supplies for Painted Chinese Box

And with the magic of paint and a really cool dragon stencil from Royal Design Studio, the box was gradually transformed into something that looks like it came from a Shanghai souvenir shop:

Gilded Chinese Dragon Stencil

To see tips and tricks for how to paint a gilded gold antique-looking box like this – doesn’t even have to be Chinese style, you can use these techniques for any design you want to paint on a box – hop on over to my post at Paint and Pattern!

How to Add Chinese Hardware to Furniture and DIYs


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