Vintage Camp Dish Box – Full of Melamine Dishes

For as long as I can remember, my grandmother used this old, banged-up, homemade box to house all of our camping dishes and cooking related supplies. I wrote about her melamine camp dishes here. It would sit on the end of the picnic bench – a staple on the Willie campsites. By the way, not sure if you noticed, but my family takes camping very seriously. I think a lot of the habits and things they did (which were passed down to my siblings and I) were out of a desire to make camping comfy. Damn, if you’re going to be up in Algonquin Park for weeks at a time, you might as well make it comfortable. Well, as comfortable as a woman who used the same tent for 50-odd years could be. Ha. I loved my grandmother’s dish box, so of course when her possessions were being distributed I said I would house it for the gang.

The box in all her original glory.

When I was selected to be part of the ParaPaints Blogcrew I lined up some projects I had wanted to do – things big and small. This was definitely a project that was on the small side (size-wise) but big on importance. It’s nice to give an ‘heirloom’ a new do without changing it’s original appearance too much. The box’s original colour was very my Gramma – bright, durable… With lots of wear and tear on it. And of course, an awesome little Canadian flag.

Pretty great match, no?

Poor old box – looking a little worse for the wear….

But with a little love from Para Paints….


All her bumps and war wounds are gone now! It’s a little hard to see due to my excessive use of vintage Instagram/Hipstomatic filters (I am sorry. I am very very very addicted) – so everything is a little more yellowly in these images than in real life.


The melamine enjoying its fresh new setting.


The colour was a near perfect match. Yeah!


 Another inherited object from my grandmother: her summer quilt. She used this quilt a lot – so it is incredibly thread-bare. So much so that I am scared to let anyone near it. I don’t even put it on the bed when the animals are close by for fear that a nail might get caught in it and tear it apart…



 Wondering about this dizzy dame I am always referring to?  This is us at ‘camp’ one year. Just chilling by the fire.


 I had a lot of time with my grandmother in her later years. I can only hope that I will be as crazy and strong-willed as she was in her 90’s!

Disclosure: the paint for this project was provided by ParaPaints

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  • how2home

    Love it!

  • It looks fantastic! And I totally understand the addiction to Instagram filters, though sometimes I wonder if 15 years from now I’m going to be really pissed at myself for “ruining” all my photos with filters 🙂

  • ramblingrenovators

    What a perfect paint perk-up. Love the minty green. Your grandmother sounds like she was a firecracker!

  • Lindsey

    Great refresh of an heirloom. I love hearing about the things that trigger important memories for people. Great to preserve those items!