Picture of Mini Explorers Travel Case

All good explorers need to be able to document where they have been, and what they have seen!

My son loves to explore, and always carries a notebook around with him so he can draw and write about what he finds. I wanted to make something where he could put all the things he would need when out and about.

After some thought, I decided to go with a slim, wooden case. This way he would be able to use it to lean on when he’s taking notes. I also wanted a way that he could sling it over his shoulder when his trekking along, so I included a strap as well.

The trickiest part was to work out how I was going to make the inside storage section. The solution I came up with was to use some 10mm dense foam and cut out the sections. This worked a treat, and by adding a couple of magnets, the cover and foam the case locks together.

So, without further ado - here's how to make one...

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Step 1: Parts and Tools

Picture of Parts and Tools


1. Ply wood (I used 5mm ply wood but you could use thinner if you wanted to)

2. Piece of scrap material (needs to be strong and dense)

3. Foam board (10mm)

4. Things to put into the case – sharpener, pencils, rubber, notebook

5. Small, strong magnets

6. Eye Hooks

7. Bag strap (or rope)


1. All-purpose glue

2. Table saw (or any type of saw that will work with cutting ply wood)

3. Stanley knife

4. Ruler

5. Marker

6. super glue

Step 2: Cutting and Painting the Wooden Cover

Picture of Cutting and Painting the Wooden Cover

Firstly, you need to decide on how big you

want to make the case. I wanted mine to be big enough so my son could use it as a leaning board when his drawing / writing


1. Decide on the size of the case and cut 2 equal pieces of ply wood

2. Cut another piece of ply wood the same length. The width should be 2 mm larger than the foam board. This will be the spine.

3. Paint with clear varnish and leave to dry.

monster_mash4 months ago
That was me when I was 6 now I'm 13
monster_mash4 months ago
That was me when I was 6 now I'm 13
mommywoman6 months ago
I bet he loves it, especially since you took the time to make it just for him. Good job!
mars_sg8 months ago

very nice... love it!

ndunn310 months ago

you've done it again @lonsoulsurfer..very impressive.xx

lonesoulsurfer (author)  ndunn310 months ago

Thanks Dunny :)

Wow, nice job!


I loved it :).

Might be a stupid question, but I couldn't resist. How heavy is the entire case?