When well-known books get film adaptations, their popularity often booms. Special editions, costumes, themed desserts and foods and merchandising campaigns advertise products from the books, whether you want to buy a replica bow so that you can be Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, or a real flashing wand from the Harry Potter Universe. Everybody wants one, they are in such high demand. However they are also often sold at extortionate prices, and so it can be difficult to supply your little ‘witches and wizards’ with everything they need and want to become little Harry Potters and Hermione Grangers.
So what can you do to offset the inevitable costs for buying this merchandise for your kids? Well why not make your own? The trunk as shown in both the Harry Potter films and books makes several appearances and will also work well in a wide range of different kids bedrooms. It is roomy and can fit whatever you want in it. So let us give it a go!
Collect your Ingredients!
Obviously you’ll need some wood to start your trunk off. The colour is not so important as it can be dyed afterwards to give it the right tint, but you want it to be reasonably sturdy but also a material that is not going to be a major pain to cut. Pine is a good timber to use, as it is lightweight, yet sturdy. You’ll also want to grab some nails and a few ironmongery accessories for your trunk. You’ll need a few pairs of hinges and a latch to make sure your belongings stay safe in the trunk.
Sketch out your design in 3D on a piece of paper, getting a rough idea of how big you want it to be. Then cut out your wooden pieces and fix them together using glue and nails. Clamp the sides to make sure your ‘box’ doesn’t fall apart once the glue has dried. Leave it for a few hours to a day.
For the top part of the trunk, you’ll want to sand down the sides a little to get that nice curved edge. This can be done by hand, although it does take a long time, or with a power sander. If you’re not sure how to do this part, you can always work with a square trunk; it doesn’t have to be 100% accurate!
Add your hinges to the inside and mark out where you want the latch to go, but don’t attach it just yet as you might be painting your trunk.
Fake it ‘till you make it
For the extra details on the trunk, expanding foam works a treat. Make sure to wear gloves and old clothes you don’t mind throwing away when handling this as it is nearly impossible to get off. Spray the trunk with lines of expanding foam to replicate the lines found on Harry’s trunk and leave to dry. After the foam has expanded and dried, get your box cutter and shave off small pieces of foam, gently carving until you’ve got the shape you want.
Expanding foam may have some holes in it, so you can always spray more foam in order to decrease the holes or use a filler such as polyfilla or similar. Coat the foam with a few layers of wood glue to harden it and then it is nearly ready!
Now it is time to dye your wood. Work slowly with an old wash cloth, as you can always go ahead and darken it later on but it will be harder to get the dye off. For your expanding foam details, you can simply paint them the colour you desire with acrylic paint or use a spray paint (after taping up the rest of the trunk to prevent the spray from bleeding). Once this has all dried, you can now attach your latch.
Getting a Worn Look
If you don’t want your trunk to look brand new, grab the sandpaper again and give it a few scuffs and scratches. Don’t get too overzealous otherwise you may end up warping the shape of the trunk! A little bit of sanding is just fine.
To add one more personalised touch, grab a can of white spray paint and make your own stencil. This is great for stencilling names onto the trunk to make them that extra special. Perfect!
If you can want you can get a little creative with your choice of decorations, you can add a burn mark here or there to look like the trunk has gone through the wizard wars, it is up to you! There are so many tools available today that give creative types the freedom to create replica pieces that look just as if they’ve stepped out of the book, so go nuts and your kids are sure to love it. Why not try your hand at making a bigger trunk for yourself, if you’re also a fan, and have a matching set? With time and a little bit of effort, the possibilities are endless!
Article provided by QualityIronmongery; Ironmongers based in Doncaster, South Yorkshire for over 20 years and specialising in the fixtures, fittings & furnishings of gates, fences and more household essentials.