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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Turning a Shoebox into a Mock Suitcase

In today's blog we are going to have a whole lot of fun with an old shoebox when we turn it into a mock suitcase. A little bit of paint, some embossing, etc. and we have the perfect 'box' to present a special gift for a special person. Or perhaps you want to keep your stash of keepsaked in it? Whatever purpose you have for it, this old shoebox will be sure to enchant by the time we are done with it.

Start by collecting any old shoebox, preferably with a loose-fitting lid.

Paint the whole box a black gesso primer. If you don't have black, you can use white as well. Don't worry if the primer doesn't block out all the logos on the box. We will be putting three layers of paint on and eventually it will all be covered up.

You are of course free to choose your own color scheme, but I'll disclose my colour choices for those of you who want to follow my scheme. I painted the base colour with Dala's Student Acrylic paint in Burnt Umber.

The box was then left in the sun to dry quickly.

While I'm waiting, I mix Titanium White and Burnt Umber Acrylic paints, using a palette knife.

Try not to mix it too thoroughly as the shades created by under mixing will work in our favour.

Now plaster the box with the mixed colour, using your palette knife.

Time to let the paint dry in the sun again.

With the paint dry, it is time to gather supplies. You will need a craft knife, a metal ruler, a cutting mat, at least 3 sheets of 12" x 12" craft paper, double-sided tape, wood glue, craft glue, ribbon, split pins, and sling adjuster rings.

Measure the width of your sling adjuster rings.

Cut a 12" length of leather-look craft paper to fit inside the sling adjuster rings. I cut mine to a width of 3 cm. You can make your own leather-look craft paper with an embossing tool and a leather-look plate, or with a machine such as the Cuttlebug.

Cut four strips of 12" x 3 cm each.

Put double-sided tape on two of these strips for the width of the lid of the shoebox, not including the overhangs.

Measure to make sure you paste them exactly the same distance from the side of the lid. Starting at the top end of the lid, paste it down so the extra length hangs loose at the front. We will come back to this towards the end of the project.

The 'leather bands' do not run down the back of the lid (yet).

Find a coordinating patterned paper from your 12" x 12" stash. You will need two sheets to line the inside of the shoe box.

Unless you are working with a very light weight paper, wood glue will hold the paper down very nicely and it is not as expensive as most craft glues.

Measure the uncovered spaces and cut up the second sheet to cover the inside of the box fully. You can leave the top rim uncovered, as we will glue ribbon onto that area for a pretty finish. Double-check the width of your ribbon if you leave this space open.

With the bottom of the box fully lined, you can put it aside to line the lid.

I chose to use a different, but coordinating pattern on the lid. I used about 1 1/2 sheets of 12" x 12" paper on the lid.

Now set the lid aside so the glue can dry.

I use a craft glue around the upper edge of the bottom of the box to stick the ribbon down with.

Handy tip: Pin the ribbon in place with washing pegs until the glue has dried and it sticks to the box by itself. I peg the ribbon to the box, as I unroll it onto the box, making it much easier to complete the task neatly and freeing up my hands.

Close-up shot of the ribboned edge.

Cut the corners at the back of the lid open.

Fold this flat. You may have to cut your paper lining to allow the lid to fold open.

Put the lid on the box and use an awl to make two equally-spaced holes through the lid and the box. Make sure you do not work in the line of the 'leather strips'. We do not want to cover these up, but will make features of them.

Stick split pins through these holes, securing the lid to the box.

From the remaining two 'leather' strips, cut two the exact height of the box and cut two more to be 1 cm longer than the height of the box. Put double-sided tape on these strips.

Stick the longer strips on the back of the box. The extra centimeter is to accommodate the fold in of the lid. Now use the awl to punch a hole through the center of the lid and box, in line with the previous holes. Press another split pin in there, to secure the lid even more firmly.

The rest of the split pins will secure the lid even more, but we also add them for decorative purposes.

Open the lid and stick the shorter 'leather' strips on the front of the box. Make sure they line up with the top strips. Put a strip of double-sided tape on the overhanging edge of each of the top strips. Slide the sling adjuster rings through and fold the edge back, sticking it to it's own strip.

Cut 8 circles of radius 2,5 cm from the leftover leather-look paper.

Cut an opening in each of the circles, from the side to the center of the circles.

Place a strip of double-sided tape along one of the open edges and two more trips randomly placed on the circle.

Fold the circles around the 8 corners of the box and its lid.

Measure the distance between the 'leather strips on the front of the box and cut a length of 'leather' from the leftover paper to a convenient width. I worked on 5 cm. Measure 3 cm in from each side and cut a 1 cm strip away on both sided so that the 'handle' is narrower in the center than at the sides. Use the awl to push split pins through the paper and box to secure the 'handle' to the box.

You now have a completed box! I forgot to show you that I stuck a length of ribbon to the lid where I cut it open after folding the side open. You can see it in this photo. My apologies for the late notification.

This can no longer be called a box, but is now deserving of the title suitcase, albeit a mock one.

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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