I love this little suitcase box because it really is sturdy. The foam board gives the structure real strength, not achievable by even the thickest card AND foam board is super light!! It’s handy if you have a precious or delicate gift to send as it offers extra protection. Once you understand the basic construction, the design could be adapted for a little jewelry box, treasure chest….etc.
I’m just going to focus on how to make the basic base you can decorate it however you like. I found the trickiest part was actually covering the box with paper. It is easier with a plain gift wrap or brown paper. It’s getting the corners neat I found hard, so I’ll also show you a simple little decorative detail to hide, I mean decorate the corners!!
• Foam board (I used 4mm thick)
• Digital papers, I used Retrospect 365 Paper Pack by Quirky Twerp at The Digichick
• Gift wrap or brown paper
• White card
• Basic supplies – (scissors, glue, pencil, metal ruler, craft knife, double sided tape)
• Pins (ordinary sewing pins), cotton buds, cutting mat
• Optional – (selection of ribbon, buttons, twine, sewing machine, other decorative items, also used Retrospect Tags 365 by Quirky Twerp, Stamps from Victorian Fripperie by Waltzingmouse Stamps)
Decide what size you want your suitcase and how deep you want it to be. The suitcase is basically made up of two identical boxes that rest on top of one anther joined at the back by a card hinge. So on your sheet of foam board mark out a base, lid, four long sides and four short sides. Don’t forget the thickness of the foam board in your measurements!
Once you have these marked out, cut them out using a sharp craft knife and metal ruler. If you haven’t used foam board before there is a bit of a knack to cutting it, you need to keep the knife as straight as possible because you don’t want the edge to be at an angle. Practice on a spare bit first!!
Once you’ve cut everything out, you can start assembling your base and lid. I used a multi purpose craft glue to attach the sides. Use a cotton bud to remove any excess glue.
A little tip I picked up at art college is to use ordinary sewing pins to secure the joins of your foam board structures. Works really well, just make sure you put them in dead straight, you don’t want them sticking out anywhere!
Now you have both the lid and base made they should look something like this. Leave it to dry!! Seriously!!
Now, the tricky part (for me anyway!) is to cover both sections with either plain gift wrap or brown paper on the outside. Don’t worry if your corners are a little wonky we have something to hide that later!
The inside is much easier to do, measure a piece of patterned paper for the base and four sides, I glued mine. I used some of the papers from Retrospect 365 Paper Pack by Quirky Twerp.
Now for the hinge. Place the lid on top of the base facing one another as you want it to open, cut a rectangle of card, score lengthways, crease and glue to the back of the box. You will see a bit of this on the inside of the box so use a matching paper on the side you glue face down.
Obviously you don’t want to see that at the back so cover the entire back with the same paper you used to cover the box, like so.
So, the inside should look like this now. The hinge should move smoothly, the edges should be flush.
Nearly there, just to show you how to do the corners. They’re just a simple circle, with one quarter cut out, score the remaining lines, fold, attach. The size of your circle, the radius equals the depth of your lid or base.
You’ll need eight altogether, one for each corner. I added a little stitching detail to mine. The paper is from Retrospect 365 Paper Pack by Quirky Twerp.
The handle is simply a long rectangle with rounded ends, the length depends on the size of your box. Score about an inch in from the end and fold.
Decorate as desired!!! I used buttons, some ribbon, twine, a little crochet heart, a few other bits and a lovely tag Retrospect Tags 365 by Quirky Twerp. (The front tab is about half the length of the handle.)