Miycreations Project, article and photographs
by  Maddylane

Floral Magazine File Box: floral designs are applied with stain markers.

Getting organized is a great way to start the New Year, and you can start with your files
and magazines. This wooden file box organizer has been stained with water-based
stains that are odorless - and therefore perfect to use indoors this time of year - with
easy cleanup afterward. Two different tones of green water-based stains were applied to
give the unpainted wooden magazine box a creative tone-on-tone wash-type of finish.

Hands-on time: Less than 2 hours.
Total time: Plus drying time for the pre-stain (5 minutes),
the water-based stains (2 hours), and the water-based varnish
(2 hours for each coat).
Skill: Easy.
Project cost: Under $25.00 for the supplies, including the wooden
magazine box.

Materials & tools:
• Unpainted wooden magazine file box
• Sandpaper and a tack cloth
• Minwax Water-Based Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner
• Minwax Water-Based Wood Stain (colors used Baltic Green and Green Bayou)
• Stir sticks
• Sponge brushes (5 cm)
• Lint-free cloths to wipe the stain
• Minwax Polycrylic clear gloss protective finish & foam brush
• Design of your choice on paper
• Graphite paper
• A pencil or a ballpoint pen
• Painter’s tape
• Minwax Wood Finish Stain Markers ( I used Early American 230, Dark Walnut 2716,
Red Mahogany 225, and Red Oak 215)
• Latex gloves (optional)

(Materials for this project are available at hardware stores).

Fashionable floral designs were added using wood stain markers. This extra touch will
add interest to the magazine holder to suit your style and decor. Place it on a bookshelf,
on your desk or on a table and start displaying your magazines without giving up a lot of

To ensure an even and smooth surface before staining, prepare the magazine file
holder by sanding it all over. Wipe away the sanding dust with a tack cloth. To achieve
stain color uniformity, apply a pre-stain wood conditioner all over the magazine file
holder with a foam brush. The wood conditioner will dry within three to five minutes.

Choose two similar shades of water-based stains. Be sure to mix each stain color well
before using.

Start by applying the darker of the two colors you selected. Wear latex gloves if you
prefer, but hands and paintbrushes wash up easily after application. Use a foam brush
(or cloth) to apply one even coat of the first stain color to the entire box. Allow the stain
to permeate the surface for about three minutes. Leave it on longer if you want to
achieve a darker result. Then, wipe it off with a clean cloth, moving in the direction of the
grain of the wood. Let it dry.

For the wash effect, apply the second stain color all over the box, but this time wipe it off
almost immediately using a clean cloth. You will see the base color come through just
enough to create a sleek looking finish.

Let the stain dry at least two hours before applying a light coat of water-based Minwax
Polycrylic clear gloss protective finish all over the magazine box. Doing this step before
adding the stain markers will prevent the markers from bleeding since the magazine box
is made with a very thin wood. Let dry for a couple of hours, and then lightly sand the
box with fine sandpaper. Wipe with a tack cloth.

Make a photocopy or a printout of your chosen design in the appropriate size needed to
use as your template. (I used florals from a wallpaper design.) Cut the design around
the edges. Cut a piece of graphite paper in the same size. Place the graphite paper
under the design and use painter's tape to attach them to the surface around the
magazine box. Use a pencil or pen to trace the design onto the wood. Remove paper
and tape.

Shake the Minwax Wood Finish Stain Markers well. Remove cap and depress tip gently
a few times on scrap paper or wood to start stain flowing. Color in floral design. Wipe
excess with a cloth if needed. Once dry, use a cloth to wipe any excess graphite line
contours around your design.

Apply a second finishing coat, and then allow the magazine box to dry overnight before
regular use.

Variations: To achieve a multi layered stain wash finish, simply apply more than two
stain colours, just keep layering them. Try your hand at doing various items to jazz up
plain wooden office and home accessories such as unpainted mirrors, frames, pencil
holder containers, shelves even a CD rack holder.
Miy Decor Upcycle Project ~ Style Files
Getting organized with style
C r e a t i o n s  & I n s p i r a t i o n s
"f o r   t h e   p u r e   j o y   o f   m a k i n g   t h i n g s"
Stylish floral designs;
Fashionable floral
designs were added
using wood stain
markers. This extra touch
will add interest to the
magazine holder to suit
your style and decor..
• using stain markers
to create various designs
on wooden surfaces;
mirrors, frames, pencil
holder containers, shelves

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