DIY Agate and Quartz Box

I recently guested on The Marilyn Denis Show for a segment on DIY projects that bring touches of gold to your home. I pulled the ideas from my super inspiring trip to the Heimtextil trade show in Frankfurt in January. The show is a global hub for everything new in textiles and wallcoverings. To say metallics will be huge is an understatement. I know what you are thinking — this is not news Margot. Well, the news is not glam gold but gold as abstract, organic, and subtle. Hints of gold. Oxidized metals are another trend — for another day and another blog post.

It’s fun to do Marilyn’s show — my admiration for her knows no bounds, she’s a total pro. But the DIY segments are always last and that means they get time-crunched. This time was no different. I had 6 minutes to describe a vignette and give the 411 on 4 DIY projects. Cripes Kate! Since I call the shots around here I thought I’d give this sweet little project more room to breathe. Here are the deets:



You Need:

  • An unfinished birch box from a craft store. I got mine at Michael’s. You can also use a flea market find or other wooden box. Be sure to choose one with all straight sides, no rounded corners or raised details.
  • Leftover wallpaper or decorative marbelized paper with gold flecks. The paper I used was a leftover bit of Onyx Wallpaper by Candice Olson for York Wallcoverings. [Full circle moment: I didn’t get a chance to tell Marilyn, but I thought it extra apropos that I used this paper because back in the day on CityLine, Marilyn really gave Candice her start and, as we all know, she went on to become a superstar on US HGTV. I remember watching Candice on CityLine and thinking how I’d love to do that. Life is beautiful!]. If you don’t have wallpaper like this, head over to my favourite marble paper source, Paper Mojo.
  • Annie Sloan Découpage medium. (So much better than that other découpage glue you know of because this label design is all cool and minimal and winning.)
  • A beautiful Annie Sloan paint brush. Because I believe a beautiful brush makes DIY more enjoyable.
  • A self-healing cutting mat.
  • An X-acto knife with a fresh sharp blade and some extras.
  •  A fabulous quartz and gold cabinet knob from Anthropologie.


  1. Remove hinges, clasp and any hardware from box so that top will be a separate piece from bottom.
  2. Cut two pieces of paper — one for lid and one for box — with each piece of paper slightly larger than needed to wrap and tuck inside lid and box.

  3. Wrap paper around each piece of box, creasing paper and using craft knife to cut away excess as needed to create a neat fit. Remove paper pieces and set aside.

  4. Apply one coat of Annie Sloan Découpage medium on all surfaces of lid and box that paper will cover.

  5. Press paper onto each box piece, smoothing out wrinkles or bubbles as you go. 

  6. Apply another coat or 2 of découpage medium on top of decorative paper-covered lid and box.

  7. Drill hole in centre of box top and install cabinet knob. Re-install hinges if desired.

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