I wanted to make a Harry Potter ornament for my tree and had some scrap wood leftover, so the idea came to make a mini-trunk. I love how it turned out, and decided to share the instructions for making one! This can all be done without power tools, though if you need something to cut the wood, hardware stores usually have a hand saw you can use for free.
You will need:
- Scrap wood - 1.5 by 2.6 by .75ish in. Use pine, it's cheap and soft so easier to sand. When you buy this at the store it's labeled as 1x2. You can get shorter lengths of it for hobby work.
- Sand paper
- Paint - I used a mix of brown, black, and red to get the maroon colour, then brown, yellow, and white for the tan strapping, and a little bit of silver/grey for accents on the strapping.
- Brown foam - for the handles
- Hogwarts logo - attached here. Credit to Pete SSS from the RPF for the logo. I have resized it in the attached PDF to fit this trunk size.
- Gold pen/ink - for the HP letters
- Dollhouse keyhole pieces - It's for the hinges; if you don't want to buy these, you can use aluminium foil and paint it, or use the gold pen. I had these leftover from the Sherlock door, so could use these again.
- Cheap modelling clay for the strapping bands.
- Glossy varnish to finish.
Step 1: The Base of the Trunk
To start, cut your wood down to size. Your piece should measure 1 1/2 inches across, and 2 5/8ths long. To cut this straight, I used a hand saw and a mitre box, which should be available free to use in the hardware store next to their moulding. If not, ask if they can cut it for you, if you don't have a saw.
Take your sand paper and sand the LONG edges of the wood to round the corner. Only do the long edges, as the ends of the trunk are not rounded.
Next, mix your paint to make a maroon colour and get to painting! Put a thin layer on and you should get even coverage with two layers.
Step 2: Strapping and Hinges
Roll out your modelling clay so it's very thin, and glue it on the trunk as shown. Each edge is covered, and two in the middle. I also used the edge of a credit card to pinch the bands where the trunk lid would open and shut. It's okay if it looks a little rough - these trunks are old and beaten up.
Glue these on and let it set. When you're letting it dry, prop the trunk up on something thin so that the clay bands won't flatten out before they dry.
Next, mix together paint to make a tan colour and paint the bands. I used scotch tape to make sure I didn't accidentally paint the maroon part of the trunk. Let that all dry.
Lastly, take your keyhole pieces (or aluminium foil) and glue those on as the hinges and front clasps. I turned one sideway in the middle and added a tiny finishing nail to look like the lock.
Step 3: Details
Cut out two foam straps and glue them on. I placed another piece of foam in the middle of the strap as a spacer when the glue was drying, just so my handle would stick out properly when it was all dried. I used two more finishing nails in the foam to look like attachment nails.
Cut out the Hogwarts logo in the attached PDF (slowly works best, it's tiny), and glue it on. Use a light amount of glue! Too much will make the paper curl. Press it on and hold it there until it dries, in the centre of your trunk. Make sure you have the bottom of the log facing the edge you put your fake front clasps on.
Using your gold pen (or in my case, quill and gold ink as I don't have a pen), carefully write HP on the end of the trunk.
Step 4: Finishing Touches
Take your silver or grey paint and add a dab to the corners of the strapping. This mimics the metal corner protectors on the real trunks.
Lastly, take your glossy varnish and paint a thin layer over the whole thing, to make it shiny and hardier. Glue on some ribbon or clear wire, and your ornament is done!
*A note. Sorry for all the watermarks, but my images have been taken before. I would also prefer that people not take my craft to sell on Etsy, but as that happened with my last ornament, I am going to ask that if people do that, they please credit me for the idea. I'm not making money off of this, I wanted to share it for everyone in the fandom.