Remember to use my printout provided as a pdf. The document is obviously based on my measurements given the measurements of my suitcase base, but I'd be happy to edit the printouts to fit whatever scale you need personally. This tutorial is quite photo heavy so make sure you click "show more photos" to see all the instructions.
Hey my Potter-babies! 2016 was quite the year as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them came out. I went to the theater with my cousin and watched it on opening night fully decked out in my Ravenclaw outfit and my Fantastic beasts book copy in hand. At 11.45 when the movie was finished we had to spend a good 30 minutes just discussing the events of the movie with various gleeful squeals, and when I got home, I accidentally spent 2 more hours reading the Fantastic Beasts book over and over and already longing for the sequel.
I loved most things about the movie, but being a sucker for props I was instantly drawn to Newt's suitcase in the "muggle mode". Just finding the location of the map shown in the movie took weeks, but oh was it worth it! I made this miniature as a christmas tree ornament for my cousin that year, but didn't end up posting the photos at that time. But, today's the day!
After watching the Crimes of Grindelwald I'm working on adding some projects based on the new movie as well, but that's a future surprise... In the mean time, enjoy!
- 2 match boxes
- Masking tape
- Butcher's paper
- Glue: Gluestick, superglue, and clear liquid glue.
- Gift card: For smoothing.
- X-acto knife
- Cotton pads and/or swabs
- Ink: I used Distress Ink in Vintage photo and Walnut stain as well as silver metallic.
- Twine: Optional. I made mine into a christmas ornament, but if you don't plan to, you can skip this.
- Black fabric
- Blue plaid fabric
- Leather/faux leather
- Sewing thread: Mustard yellow, gray, and black.
- Printer paper
- Flatback pearls
- Black acrylic paint
- Jump rings
- Needle tool and/or safety pins
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Step 1: Suitcase Base
For the suitcase, I used two jumbo packages of matches that I had emptied long ago anyways. I slid both the drawers out and saved the sleeves for other projects. I taped the two pieces together with masking tape as a hinge (this will be strengthened later on). When taping you want to make sure you place the tape with the suitcase angled at the maximum degree you want it to be able to open at. If you tape it with the pieces laying flat next to each other, the case will flop open, and if you place the tape when mostly closed, it won't open all the way in the end. My case can be closed and opened, but will stay opened when hung on a christmas tree to reveal the inside.
Cover your two cardboard drawers in butcher's paper using a glue stick. Apply the glue on the cardboard - not the paper - to avoid wrinkles Smooth the paper down carefully with an old gift card. Ending up with a few wrinkles isn't the end of the world, to be honest. Minor wrinkles can make it look very realistic. Fold the edges of the butcher's paper over and glue to the inside of the box. This will be covered up later with the wallpaper, so no need to worry if you didn't cut your edges super straight. Crease and cut the excess paper off at the corners. Cover the other piece in the exact same way.
Step 2: Dyeing
Using cotton pads and/or cotton swabs, cover the wrapping with brown ink. Emphasize the edges and corners with a little extra ink.
Step 3: Hanger (optional)
Poke a hole in the upper corner of your box. Cut a piece of string (I used jute twine) and thread a loop through. Cut the excess off and apply a bit of glue in the corner to secure the string completely.
Step 4: Interior and Details
Cut out your wallpaper and fold on the lines. Apply the glue to the inside of the case and slide the printout in. Cut and fold a piece of black fabric and glue into the bottom with liquid glue.
For the details, cut out 8 circles from the butcher's paper and cover it in ink too, a little heavier this time. The darkness makes a stunning accent. Line up the center of the circle with the exact corner of the suitcase. Apply a dab of glue to each of the suitcase corner sides and smooth the circle down. You will end up with 90 degrees of extra circle, so fold that over on itself and glue it down too to one of the sides. Cut a long strip of paperboard and cut each end at an angle. Make a valley fold and a mountain fold on the strip on each side to form a handle. Glue the flat ends to the lower drawer in the center front. Cut two tiny squares of paperboard, glue a flatback pearl on each, and paint with gold nail polish. This will be our locks. Glue them on on either side of the handle.
Step 5: Alarm Clock
With a toothpick as a base, wrap a strip of paper around and add a bit of gluestick glue as you're wrapping. Build the paper cylinder up with several strips of paper until you reach your desired diameter. Mine was 13 mm. Snip the toothpick off flush to the cylinder on either side with nail clippers. Nail clippers tend to reach closer than cutting pliers in my opinion.
Paint the cylinder black with acrylic paint and let dry.
Cut another paper strip, this time slightly wider than the first to give an edge around the clock face. Glue it so that the paper edge hangs off the cylinder edge ever so slightly. Paint it all black.
Glue the printout on with a tiny bit of glue. Burnish the clock with some silver ink to give it a metallic look.
Clip the very ends off of a toothpick for legs and glue them on so the clock stands at an angle. I recommend super glue for this.
Grab a jump ring and a small bead. Bend the jump ring apart and slide the bead on. Close it up and squish the jump ring into an oval with some pliers. Glue it on as a handle on the top of the alarm clock. I used superglue here too since I wanted it placed precise.
Make four paper rolls in the same way as before, two longer, and two shorter and larger in diameter. With the shorter rolls, push a bead or a marble into the face of the cylinder to push the inner layers out. This will round it out to smooth indents to mimic lenses. Glue each long cylinder in the center of the shorter ones to make two full lenses. Glue them flush to each other, and in the gap between the longer parts, glue two beads in.
Paint it black and let dry.
Add a black string for a strap.
For the magnifying glass, I took advantage of these little mini cork bottles I have with a perfect diameter. Wrap a thin paper strip to make a ring about 1 mm thick. Paint it black and sliiiiide it off the bottle. Repaint it because yeah...
Put it on a smooth surface (I removed the glass from a cheap frame for these kinds of scenarios) and fill the inside with clear glue. Let it dry for up to a couple of days to make sure it's solid. Now you have a beautiful faux magnifying lens!
Slide a bead onto a toothpick, and add a strip of paper to the toothpick and wrap it around to make a handle. Trim the toothpick as necessary and glue the stick onto the lens
Learn to knit. You got it? Great!
Using a safety pin and a homemade needle tool (psst! unscrew the blade from an x-acto knife and screw in a sewing needle instead. So useful.) and knit a scarf using gray and mustard yellow sewing thread. Yes this takes precision, yes this takes time, but it ends up awesome. You don't have to knit an entire tiny scarf, just enough to make a little fold over. The scarf is 31 mm in width, with the height of each gray section being 14 mm and the yellow sections being 10 mm in height.
I found an old pair of pajama pants that I had cut up for another project and the pattern was great. Again, no need to make an entire flannel pajama shirt. Just make strategic folds to fake it. Using a punch tool, punch a teeny tiny button out of paperboard, and make four holes with a needle. Glue it on in the front. Using another part of the same PJs, cut a tiny section and fold over once a bit unevenly to create a hand towel.
With a small bit of leather/faux leather, sew or glue them into little mittens. No need to make thumbs as they will be hidden anyways. Stack them on top of each other and glue them together. (Pro tip: If your leather is too light in color, sponge a bit of brown ink on it to alter the color.)
Step 9: Assembly
Look at all those adorable little items all done and ready! I will absolutely admit that there is a couple of things that are not perfect replicas. One corner of the suitcase is shrouded in darkness in all reference photos, and is therefore improvised. I added a little 1920's british passport on top of a couple of stacks of paperboard as filler. Not perfect, but at least still historically accurate.
Cut the printouts out and fold the backsides over to give the illusion of full booklets. Fold the map on all four sides, just a little bit.
Glue all elements into the bottom of the suitcase, making sure to space it out evenly.
Aaaaand you're done! Give yourself a tiny pat on the back and sit back and drink a tiny butterbeer. Again, my suitcase was made to be an ornament, but I can see it as an accessory for your favorite toys, or just a little knicknack on display to show your love for Harry Potter.
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