Monday

Great Grandpa Herbs Vintage Toy Box


Great Grandpa Herb wasn't a handy man. 

I remember hearing that often, but it didn't mean he didn't putz around in his garage fixing things.

Old Toy Box Painted with Fusion Brook, Bliss-Ranch.com

He could bowl a 300 with ease, sink a golf ball for a hole in one farther than your eye could see, and he was strong as a horse.

But he was not a carpenter. 

His relationship with saws and hammers was pretty limited, but one day he decided to build a toy box. 

It's the only thing he ever built out of wood. 

He used old plywood he had in his garage, bought himself four casters and a round handle pull, and went to work.

Old Toy Box Painted with Fusion Brook, Bliss-Ranch.com

When the toy box emerged from his garage 50 years ago, it was painted white with a gold trim. 

It made a trip from California to Minnesota, but I can't remember how or when, I just remember I wanted to get rid of that gold 1970's colored trim so I  painted it forest green. 

Old Toy Box Painted with Fusion Brook, Bliss-Ranch.com

I guess I painted it black after forest green, and as I discovered, at some point between the green and black, I also painted it a purpley-burgundy color.

I found the burgundy when I had some problems with my letters.

Old Toy Box Painted with Fusion Brook, Bliss-Ranch.com

In addition to not remembering painting the toy box with black or how it got from California to Minnesota, I don't remember painting it burgundy. 

I also found no sign of the forest green I remembered painting it first, so now I'm questioning if I am remembering any of this correct!

Old Toy Box Painted with Fusion Brook, Bliss-Ranch.com

I also don't recall when I filled the toy box with stuffed animals and put it under our stairs, at least 10 years ago, maybe 15.

Anyway, it was time to pass on the only thing Grandpa Herb made out of wood, to his great grandson.

For a moment I considered altering the shape and putting on a new pull, but then it wouldn't really be the way he made it, and that's what makes it special.

In the end I decided I wanted it to look a bit like an old crate, since it's been around for 50 years.

Pieces of wood lats were added around the front bottom to frame it.....

Old Toy Box Painted with Fusion Brook, Bliss-Ranch.com

And a piece of thin wood was cut with a curve for the back, then all the areas that were chipped or would be getting text, received a base coat of Fusion Coal.......

Old Toy Box Painted with Fusion Brook, Bliss-Ranch.com

The top color of the toy box is a new color from the Penney & Co. line of Fusion Mineral Paint called Brook.

I also wanted the box to look old, so after it was painted I gave it a dark stain wash, which changed the color just a hint, mostly by just taking away that freshly painted look.

Old Toy Box Painted with Fusion Brook, Bliss-Ranch.com

The original hardware was cleaned, I sanded and stained the lats, did a little distressing, and applied a layer of Fusion Tough Coat for added durability.

Old Toy Box Painted with Fusion Brook, Bliss-Ranch.com

I never much cared for the shape of this old thing, and I know Brawn could have made an amazing brand new toy box. 

But there is only one toy box made by Great Grandpa Herb - there will never be another one - so that makes this one priceless.

Old Toy Box Painted with Fusion Brook, Bliss-Ranch.com
Before the newest owner is old enough to dig around for toys, it will get a safety hinge so no little fingers are ever pinched or slammed by the heavy lid. 

I'm pretty sure Great Grandpa Herb never thought this toy box made with his crude woodworking skills and heavy old plywood, would become one of our family heirlooms.  

Old Toy Box Gets Handed Down, Bliss-Ranch.com

But it has.







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9 comments :

  1. Awww...kinda puts a lump in your throat doesn't it? How wonderful that you have that to pass along as an heirloom. I bet GG Herb is smiling up in heaven and no longer nursing the thumbs he probably smashed a few times with his hammer building it. lol
    MyHero cannot do any building projects at all--but he can look at something and tell you if it is 1/16" of an inch 'off'....which makes him a BAD BOSS if he is supervising a project. lol
    I bet your little guy is going to LOVE that box and, just think, it will probably get passed down again someday. xo Diana

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  2. Oh I think it's wonderful you are still using that old toy box...it is really a special family piece! You brought it back to life, and it looks great!

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  3. I love stuff like that - stuff made by grandpas. The new color is nice and it's perfect for the boy (that's what we call Fisher behind his back).

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  4. I have a plain jane book case that my dad built, maybe 60+ years ago. And although it's not pretty, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Pieces of the past will always have a place in my heart and my home.

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  5. Another awesome transformation. Herb would love it!

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  6. I love that you saved it with a makeover and are giving it to Herb's new great grandson.
    He'd be thrilled to know that after all these years it's still hanging around being useful and appreciated.
    Great job, B!

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  7. I love this makeover! I also love the fact I'm not the only one who suffers from CRS.

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  8. Love it! I was never close to any of my grandpas, but I can imagine this will be treasured for many more years.

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  9. Love that you kept it as true for original as possible. I think Herb would be very proud LOVE the new look!!

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