Design team member of Alpha Stamps, moderator at Craftster, lover of ephemera and junk.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Tin of the Month Club, April

It is so rainy and dark at my house that I feel it's the perfect time to reveal April's tin of the month. You know what they say about April showers! This tin is pretty dark, but it is accurate. At least there's a silver lining!

Did you miss a month? If you click here, you can get caught up.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tiny Traveler

This month's Alpha Stamps theme has to be one of my all time favorites: steamer trunks! We each got a 2" by 4" steamer trunk kit and directions for assembly. From there, the sky was the limit. I decided to make a little trunk that looked ordinary on the outside, but inside, contained everything a tiny traveler would need to have a truly comfortable voyage. Here's the tiny traveler herself. She's a 2" painted peg doll. With a crown. She demanded it.

 On the outside, her trunk may not look like much...
...but when you open the trunk, you can see the tiny traveler and all her goodies snugly tucked up inside. On the left, there's a trundle bed on hinges, held to the wall by some ribbon with velcro, a charming wire chair, and the tiny traveler herself. On the right is a drawer containing bedding, a drop leaf desk, and a bedside table and lantern, held in place with another velcro'd ribbon.

When the chair is removed, the bed can be lowered. The top drawer contains a mattress and a pillow for the bed. I handstitched each of these because they were so tiny. Note: the chair I used was part of a set of three chairs and an adorable wire table. I cut the legs down on this chair for size. I'll use the table and two chairs left on another project some day.

The bed is made, the bedside table is in place, and a bright red lamp provides light for reading.

The drop leaf writing table is a great place for the tiny traveler to keep her books, her mail, a nice cup of coffee, and her binoculars. (She loves sightseeing!)

I took a few in progress shots, but so much of this project was trial and error. For example, I made five top drawers before I got the size just right, and when I first attached the trundle bed to the wall, I put the hinges on backwards, so the bed didn't fold down correctly. The directions that come with the kit are perfect for making a standard trunk. My best advice to you, if you're crazy like I am and want to customize the trunk, is to really think things through before using glue. Make sure everything is working the way you want it to before you commit!

Here you see where I had to make up for a little error. I should have cut the suede strapping short where the hinges on the lid would go. I ripped the paper a bit when removing the excess. This doesn't matter in the end, though, as that part is hidden by the hinge. I darkened that area with a marker, though, just in case. You can also see here where I dug the cardboard out a little where the moving part of the hinge will be. This allows the lid to open wider. 

The inside hinges were attached with E6000 glue, but I wanted the outside hinges to be extra sturdy, so they are affixed with brads.

Here's the lid of the box in progress. The ribbon holding the trundle bed was glued and the hinges were attached to the lid before covering the sides with paper. That way, the brads and the raw ends of the ribbon are hidden. Make sure you test the ribbon to see if it's long enough to hold the bed when it's in place. You don't want to have to rip the decorative paper from the sides of the lid and replace the ribbon and that paper. Really, you don't. Don't ask me how I know this.

This is the bottom of the box. I was not able to wait until the ribbon and hinge was attached to this side as it would be too difficult (for me, anyway) to determine the size of the shelves and desk. I placed the lantern and spool table on the bottom to determine where the shelf above them could fit. (You can see the drop down desk and the shelf above it in the picture.) Then I made sure that the drawer on top was large enough to hold the bedding. This determined the height of the drop leaf desk. You'll want to adjust your trunk to hold whatever you wish to include.

There are all sorts of fun ways to set up the tiny traveler's little trunk.

There's a lot of stuff packed into that tiny trunk!

I enjoyed this project so much that I have already begun working on my next steamer trunk. For a complete list of products used in this one, click here.

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