Introduction: A Suitcase From Jerry Can

It is no matter your profession or your age, this suitcase from a jerrycan will ensure that you travel in style.

How I did it - you can check by looking DIY video or you can follow up instructions below.

For this project you will need:


Jerry Can;

Butterfly latch:

Rubber Edge Seal 3m:

Pair of hinges;

Pop rivets for hinges and latch;

An old suitcase to reclaim a Trolley Folding Handle Mechanism;

M4 bolts and nuts;

5min epoxy (or another fast curing epoxy);

The spray can paint to change internal Jerry Can color (if wanted);

A similar shade of green paint to paint visible edges where metal will be exposed;

Masking tape and few pieces of cardboard;


The angle grinder;

File, power file, or another tool to clean burs after the cut.

Drill and bits;

Pop rivets tool;


Utility knife;

Clamps and some other usual bits and bobs which is laying around the workshop.

Step 1: Preparation

Back in a few years I used a Jerrycan in another project and transformed it into a minibar (How I did that DIY video CLICK HERE). Since that day I kept another idea in my mind which today will see the daylight.

First I covered both jerrycan sides with a piece of the cardboard to protect the surface from scratches along the fabrication process.

Step 2: First Cut

Next split the can in half. In the place where the angle grinder wasn’t able to reach - I finished the cut with a rotary tool.

Step 3: More Cutting

When the cut was done one part still has this pressed metal edge which must be removed.

Step 4: Cleaning All Sharp Edges

To clean all sharp edges I used my homemade power file. This is a very useful attachment to the angle grinder which I build recently. Here is the link to full DIY build video CLICK HERE.

Step 5: Rubber Edge Seal

To cover all edges I used this rubber edge seal. It is flexible and nicely bends over the corners. I bought it locally, but CLICK HERE to get the equivalent product. Just in case if you want to get it online.

Installation is very simple - just pressed it on the metal edge.

Step 6: The Hinges

I’m planning to use those small hinges, so marked and drilled holes for rivets. A bit of trimming was needed to get a nice and tight fit.

I fixed the hinges temporarily with bolts and nuts because I will need to disassemble it again. I want to paint it inside when all metalwork will be done.

Step 7: The Butterfly Latch

To keep the suitcase closed and secured I’ll use this butterfly latch. This type of latch is commonly used in heavy-duty music equipment transportation boxes. I’m my case I don’t need much holding power, but it looks cooler than standard latches.

To make marking easier I made a simple template from a piece of cardboard. And the rest part of the job was made by an angle grinder, rotary tool, and a drill.

Step 8: A Bit of Painting

Since all metal works were completed - it was a perfect time to change the internal suitcase color.

The rest of the open metal edges were covered with a similar shade of green paint. A small detail, but it makes a big difference in the finished item.

Step 9: Installing Hinges

Hinges were installed permanently with the pop rivets painted in green. The color wasn't exactly the same tone, but it was quite close.

Step 10: Installing ​the Butterfly Latch

The butterfly latch was fixed in the same technique. The only difference was that this time I added a washer on the opposite side to achieve more strength.

When all rivets were fixed I reinstalled the rubber edge seal.

Step 11: Reusing Parts From Old Suitcase

I borrowed a Trolley Folding Handle Mechanism from this suitcase.

Step 12: Fixing Bottom Part

Removed cardboard protection from the back of a Jerry Can, found the right place for it, marked, drilled, and attached it with few pop rivets.

Step 13: Fixing Upper Part

With the upper part, I needed to disassemble the handle a bit to get access to install the third pop rivet.

Step 14: Fixing the Second Bottom Part

Lastly installed the second bottom stand part. Since it has to act as support only a bit of modification was needed.

Step 15: Removing Cardboard Protection

This cardboard did its job very well, not a single scratch was left.

Step 16: Finished Product

Ye ye, I’m guessing you all are saying that: “There no way you’ll be able to get in the plain with this suitcase”.And you will probably be right. However, I could use it everywhere else. And what is most important - It definitely pops out from the mass of others.

Modify It Speed Challenge

First Prize in the
Modify It Speed Challenge