Monday, December 02, 2013

Christmas Sparkle & Shine—and how to hide an unsightly control panel

altered box_2013dec2

Hi, everyone! Today I’m going to show you a little project I did to hide an alarm system control panel using MFT products. The panel is right in the way of some holiday décor I wanted to do on a chest in the master bedroom and it’s kind of an eyesore. We also have a thermostat on that wall and I found a perfect solution to cover that—which gave me the idea for this project. I found a chalkboard art piece at T J Maxx—it’s a box with no back and I got it to cover the thermostat. That left the alarm control panel sticking out like a sore thumb!

So, I got the idea to look for another piece like this to alter for the control panel. I found just the ticket at my local Marshall’s. I’m thinking there might be something similar, unfinished and cheaper, at a craft store but I wasn’t going to be able to get to one and I was on a mission ;-)

This was $9.99 at Marshall’s and perfect for my needs.

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First of all, my DH sanded all the glitter off.

altered box_sanded_2013dec2

Then I applied a couple of coats of gesso (sorry this is a little blurry). Any primer would work.

altered box_gesso_2013dec2

Then I applied four coats of chalkboard paint.

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I then stamped snowflakes from MPD Sophisticated Snowflakes with Sweet Tooth pigment ink and heat embossed them. I finished it off by sponging on more Sweet Tooth pigment ink to soften the black. Here it is again, finished.

altered box_2013dec2

Want to see what I’m doing with this project? Here’s the space most of the year. There’s usually some things on the chest, too, but I removed them so you could see what I’m talking about. UGLY thermostat and utilitarian control panel, am I right?

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The snowflake box covers the control panel perfectly. It just hangs on the panel so it can be quickly snatched off if we need to get to the panel in a hurry.

altered box_done_2013dec2

And here’s the wall after it’s been decorated for Christmas. My T J Maxx box is covering the thermostat. I think it’s a really nice transformation, how about you?

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Here’s a closer look at the NOEL letters. I covered them with printed Christmas sheet music and applied chunky silver glitter. The edges were sponged with Kraft ink.

altered box_NOEL_2013dec2

Here’s a closer look at the wreath, made from pages from an old hymnal I picked up at Goodwill for $1. The center is a piece of Kraft card stock cut with Circle STAX Die-namics and a Snowflake Doily Die-namics cut from silver glitter paper. I sponged the edges of the cones with Kraft ink.

altered box_wreath_2013dec2

And there you have it! Sparkle and shine and a cover up! I hope
I’ve inspired you to use your MFT products in out-of-the-box ways
for your Christmas décor!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!


MPD Sophisticated Snowflakes (MFT)
Kraft card stock (MFT); printed sheet music, hymnal, glitter paper
Sweet Tooth pigment ink, Kraft ink (MFT)
Accessories/tools: Vagabond;
Circle STAX Die-namics, Snowflake Doily Die-namics (MFT); gesso, embossing powder, heat tool, chunky glitter, Mod Podge, resin letters, hot glue/gun; wooden wall décor box



  1. You are one clever.. and talented.. lady. It all looks fantastic and I love the arrangement on the chest

  2. Genius idea and what a gorgeous wreath! Love the whole table and wall display. Bet your house is breathtaking for the holidays!

  3. I love what you've done but I hope you know a thermostat doesn't work well if it's covered up. It won't read the temperature in the room correctly.

    1. Thanks! I do know that. But since this thermostat is only a backup heat source it doesn't matter :)

  4. Wow, stunning Christmas display!

    Thank you so much for leaving a lovely comment on my blog

    Have a lovely day!


    Bridie@BGPayne Crafts

  5. Beautiful setting and wonderful ideas Barbara!


Thank you for your kind comments--they make my day and I appreciate every one!