A couple of projects that I put some time to recently are what I call box modifications. I took a standard store bought box and modified it to suit specific needs. Mostly I didn’t do any cosmetic changes to the outside. I’ve only done two so far but I really enjoy the challenge of getting every piece of someone’s kit to fit in an organized and accessible manner. The first box I modded was turning an artist’s paint box into a leatherworking box to house my brother’s copious toolset. I worked individual holders for most of his tooling stamps into the lid, as well as a holster for his round knife; the unusual dimensions of the knife meant that it had to sit loose in his previous box, which is terrible for a knife both for keeping it’s edge and for the safety of folks reaching into the box.
Today I’ve got some photos of the Guild Box that I made for one of my larp characters. For this one I started with a pretty sexy looking trunk. But it had some problems. First, it was flimsy. Second, it only had that one tiny briefcase style handle, and this was something meant to be toted around easily, holding the inventory and paperwork for a LARP’s craftsmen’s guild. The first thing I had to do was add a shoulder strap, and reinforce the joints of the bottom plate of the box.
Here’s the finished box all closed up, looking gorgeous.
The shoulder strap is a belt that I grabbed at a thrift store, and some scrap leather I had lying around since there wasn’t quite enough length to the belt. The belt has a few notches for adjustability, but I like it at the longest adjustment. Not shown is that I reinforced the point that I sent these screws through using a thin strip wood. The screws are brass with finishing washers, they look nice and seem to be holding up well so far, though I need to takes some paint to them and weather them to match the rest of the box’s hardware. You can also see here that I used gorilla glue to reattach the bottom of the box, that is going to be sanded down and painted as well.
The real work was the interior. The guild’s inventory consisted of: two small boxes for item cards and gems, several pens and other writing utensils, ink jars, and a dish to clean pen nibs in, one large book for guild records, crafting recipes, and a pouch to collect and turn in taxes.
I used faux suede because that’s what I had on hand at the time, and that let me sew the pen-slots on my machine and then glue them into place on the backing. I made a space to tie paperwork and smaller books to he lid next to the pens.