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Old Fashioned Suitcase for the Inventor


Old Fashion Suitcase
By: Bea Rosenleaf, Artistic Guide 

Finished Size: 7” x 6” (approximate) 

So you just came back home from a vacation and have tons of pictures. What to do with them?  If you’re a scrapbooker, no problem…just make a scrapbook.  Don’t want a scrapbook, or you don’t enjoy scrapbooking?  No problem, here’s a project to make for storing all of those vacation photos. Don’t forget to put dates and a description on the back of your photos, then just pop them in the suitcase and you have a cute way to put your vacation memories on display for all to enjoy. 

Another idea for the suitcase is to make a travel journal for a friend and store it in the suitcase. What an awesome gift for the traveler to record their musings and sights while on their trip. 

Be watching next week for the directions on how to make the journal, and some photo “pages” to store in the suitcase. 

“It is not the destination…” quote (Inkadinkado)
Travel Stamps (Clear Art Stamps)
12” x 12” white or cream heavier weight cardstock
1 sheet 12” x 12” printed paper (Kurio)
Text weight paper for printer
Sheets of tissue paper (unknown)
Distress Inks - (Ranger)
   Tea Dye
   Vintage Photo
   Brushed Corduroy
   Black Soot
Regular Gel Medium (Golden)
Matte Mod Podge (Plaid)
Crystal Lacquer (Sakura)
Black Sharpie Pen
Gold Leaf Pen (Krylon)
Tim Holtz Grungeboard Shapes – (Advantus Corp.)
   2 Hinges
Computer and printer
Brown Scrapper’s Floss (Karen Foster Designs)
Ribbon in coordinated color (enough for a handle)
6 brads and 2 snaps (Making Memories)
Baby wipes
Mister bottle with water
Heat Embossing tool (Marvy)
Craft mat (Ranger)
Self-healing craft mat (Fiskars)
Paper piercer or Awl
Small hole punch
Other ephemera – optional
Sponge paintbrush

Prepare the template

The template for this project can be found at Mirkwood Designs website. Save the "Suitcase" templates (lid and bottom pieces) to your computer by right clicking on the picture and save. It will be saved as a .gif file.  Open your photo software – I used Adobe’s Photoshop Elements.  Create  files for the suitcase bottom and lid according to your software instructions in the size you want your suitcase to be. I have a printer that can print up to 13" wide paper, and I wanted my suitcase to be larger, so I sized the template to fit a 12” x 12” piece of cardstock.

Prepare the clipart – 

Find travel related clipart to print out to decorate your suitcase.  I used some travel posters that were in my collection of clipart. I made sure to size them small enough to fit. Print them out on the text-weight paper and let them dry.  Distress them using a baby wipe that has Black Soot ink on it.  Just take a small area of baby wipe and pick up some ink (not a lot!) and swipe over the clipart items.  You want them to have a ‘scuffed’ look. 


Preparing the surface – 

  1. Take the tissue paper and wad it up creating many wrinkles.  Repeat a couple of times. Open up the wad and flatten with your hands.  Keep the piece close by. 
  2. Turn the printed template over to finish the outside surface. Using the gel medium and sponge paintbrush, apply the medium to the paper.  Do a small area and lay the tissue paper over, leaving wrinkles here and there. You will need to work rather quickly as the gel medium dries fairly fast.  Repeat on both top and bottom pieces until entire surfaces are covered with the wrinkled tissue paper. Allow to set for a few hours to dry well. The acrylic medium is fairly quick drying, but you want to make sure it sets and ‘cures’ a bit before beginning the distressing process.
  3.  Once the surface is completely dry, cut out the templates, trimming on the inside of the outlines. Do not cut on the dashed lines, those are your scoring lines. Be sure to cut the tabs line, also, so the tab can be folded in separately from the rest of the lid sides. 
  4. Take the Tea Dye ink pad and using the DTP (direct-to-paper) method, swirl the ink pad all around the surface of the tissue paper. Spritz with the water mister and let sit for a few minutes allowing the ink to run and spread.  Use the heat tool to dry. 
  5. Once the layer is dry, take the Vintage Photo ink pad and repeat the above step. 
  6. Once the layer is dry, use the Brushed Corduroy ink pad to add dark brown highlights to the surface.  Do not spritz this layer.  Set aside to dry thoroughly. 
  7. Repeat the above steps for the second piece.  Note:  if the tissue paper tears during this process, don’t despair! You can add another layer of tissue paper using the same method as when you covered the entire surface of the piece.  Make sure to let everything dry well – this helps alleviate tearing in most cases. 
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  9. Once both pieces are thoroughly dry, trim and attach the travel clipart to the suitcase pieces with Mod Podge . 
  10. Using the Mod Podge and sponge paintbrush, apply a coat of Mod Podge on both suitcase pieces to seal the surface and give it a harder finish (like the old suitcases of yesteryear) and to protect the tissue paper.  Let dry thoroughly. 
  11. Distress the edges of the suitcase with the Black Soot ink pad.  Using the baby wipe, buff the ink into the surface so it won’t rub off. 
  12. Set both pieces to the side to allow them to dry and cure for 24 hours.

Finishing the Suitcase

  1. While the suitcase pieces are curing, take a Black Sharpie and color the grungeboard keyhole and hinge pieces. Make sure to color the edges, too. 
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  3. Create a pool of Gold leafing from the pen on the craft mat. Using the same baby wipe, pick up some of the gold and rub it on the grunge pieces.  This will give the pieces an antiqued, old hardware look. 
  4. Color the key with the Gold leafing pen.  Using a clean spot on the baby wipe, swipe it across the Black Soot ink pad and rub it onto the key. This will dull the finish a bit, giving it an antiqued look. 
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  6. Turn the suitcase piece over so you have the printed template side up.  Score the folds with a bone folder.
  7. Place the hinges on the bottom of the suitcase lid (for placement only) and punch holes using the paper piercer for the brads.  Apply Crystal Lacquer to the back of the hinges and attach to the lid. Insert the brads.  Repeat for the keyhole. Attach the snaps in the holes of the keyhole piece with Crystal Lacquer. (The piece is too thick to be able to attach the snap through all the layers.) 
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  9. Cut two pieces of printed paper and attach to the inside bottom of the lid and suitcase bottom. 
  10. Stamp the quote and Post Card and Souvenir stamps with the Black Soot. (Distress inks take a bit of time to dry, so be careful not to smear the images.)  Attach the ephemera pieces with Crystal Lacquer. 
  11. Assemble the top and bottom suitcase pieces to form the box. 
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  13. Punch small holes on either side of the keyhole (top part of lid) for the ribbon handle. Thread ribbon through the holes and knot twice on each side.  
  14. Tie a piece of Scrapper’s Floss to the key and tie to the ribbon handle. 

Close up views of the hinge and keyhole 'hardware' after the suitcase is assembled:



You now have the cutest old-fashion suitcase to store either a travel journal or vacation photos in and display on your coffee table.


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