Swear Box

When my son was in elementary school, there came a time when he discovered the fine art of cussing. To discourage this behaviour, we started a swear box. Fines consisted of a dollar for your basics and a whopping $5 for the ‘f’ word. He was a sweet little chap to begin with, so I really had nothing to worry about. I was the problem. It’s not that I ran around randomly using obscenities for no good reason. I had reasons, dammit! I dropped things, broke things, tripped over things…actions that warranted something stronger and more satisfying than darn it or effin. In short, my son’s elementary school years were fairly lucrative. Miracles happen, I’ve been cured and we don’t need a swear box anymore, but you might. And if your children don’t have a problem, think of how they will delight in making money from their potty-mouthed parents.


  • unfinished wooden box
  • paint and brushes
  • pencil and eraser
  • sponge (optional)
  • metallic marker (optional)


1. Paint an unfinished wooden box with a base colour. Add additional colours on top with a sponge to create a nice, colourful, textured look. Feel free to splatter even more colour on top. Unfinished wooden boxes can be found at dollar stores and craft stores.

2. Once dry, use a pencil to draw on the symbols which are typically used to represent swear words like @!#%$. You’ll find them above the numbers on your keyboard. Go over them with either a metallic marker or paint. Allow to dry, and just watch that l’il ‘ol box fill up with money!

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Filed under painting, swear box

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