It's that time of the year when you dust off your old pirate gear and start plundering and looting the neighbourhood.
But having quite bad orientation skills I never seem to find that chest filled with gold I sooo crave.
So I wanted to build my own using recycled cheap materials.
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Step 1: Get the Materials
First step in making the chest is to find that flexible cover from one of these... what ever they are called (I'll call them flexcover from here on). They seem to exist in every office in the world so dumpster diving near an office should eventually reward you with one of these. I got mine from my university dumpster.
This will make a perfect lid for your chest.
You'll also need:
a piece of plywood,
some duct tape,
wooden glue and
a box of suitable size, anything from a moving box and smaller will do as long as it's not wider than the flexcover.
I used a cardboard box.
Step 2: Making the Lid
Firstly cut off the handle of the flexcover, this can be done with a sharp knife since its just fabric on the back. The length of the flexcover will decide the size of the arc so keep that in mind when cutting, not to cut it too short.
Also make sure the flexcover is as wide as the box by cutting it down to size.
Measure out the size of the box you will use and mark out two half moons (or a circle) with a diameter the same length as the side of the box and cut it out.
These half moons will be used to hold up the flexcover and give you that chest lid look.
Step 3: Making the Lid Pt2
Next it's time to glue on the flexcover on the half moons but I realized that they would be too unstable to glue on so I screwed on a stick between the two half moons to get a fixed distance between them for added stability.
After that I figured out the best way to get good pressure around the lid was to use some kind of straps... But I didn't have that so I used the next best thing, belts.
Just make sure to really tighten it as much as you can and let it rest until the glue has dried.
Step 4: Assembly
Now its time to prepare the box and assemble everything
To prepare the box I peeled of all the text that wasn't piraty like; "clas ohlson". Since the box has layers this can be done neatly with some patience and fingernails... I lack both of those so used my knife to cut an incision and peeled off what I could pinch. This sometimes resulted in me ripping of the entire outer layer of papers (which can be seen on the cover photo) but if you ask me it added to the old chest look.
Next you cut off all the lid parts of the box except for one of the big ones. You'll need that to attach the new lid to the box. By bending the long side lid of the cardboard box to an arc you can fit it to the inside of your new cover and then glue it on using wooden glue.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Now we're almost done. All we need now is to give it a quick paint job and use some duct tape to give it some details. I used the cheapest acrylic colour I could find but had a hard time mixing a nice brown colour since I didn't have red. But eventually I got something resembling brown and started applying that on the box.
I realized that you don't really need to colour the whole box brown but rather just randomly stroke some paint everywhere and I'll look kind of neat anyway. This consumes way less paint than I anticipated which was a good surprise.
Step 6: The Chest in Use
Now that you have your treasure chest, put it to good use.
I found it quite useful to store all my other pirate props in it as we went to parties.
And also it's mandatory to fill a pirate chest with some golden doubloons and all the loot you find at parties.
Note: All the pictures of the finished chest are taken after a two day party so the box got a bit banged up. But it was way more robust than anticipated. The lid is essentially intact (loosening a bit on one edge) so the only thing is that the box is getting a bit bent and soft.