Friday, 25 November 2011

How to Make a Miniature Memory Trunk: Part One

Childhood miniatures in 1:12 scale
I love making miniature memory trunks. I like to work with a theme so have made trunks and filled them with bits and pieces to represent a wedding, or Christmas, or a special birthday, or for a baby, or about travel. Some have been commissioned by people as gifts: examples are for a 60th birthday, to welcome a friend home from overseas, for a university graduation, for a keen crafter and for a new baby.
  The first step is to make the trunk. You will need:
  • a pattern for a trunk in 1:12 scale ( my trunks are 3 inches wide and 1 1/2 inches tall and 1 3/4 inches deep)
  • matboard
  • fake leather or leather-look vinyl, very thin
  • thin leather for straps
  • gold jump rings or tiny buckles
  • patterned paper
  • flat braid 3mm wide
Gather your scissors, craft knife, ruler and craft glue together and you'll be ready to start.
  1. Cut out the trunk sides, back, bottom, lid and inner tray from matboard.
  2. Cut out the patterned paper from the same pattern and glue it to one side of the matboard pieces. This will be the inner side of the trunk. Paper the inner surface of the lid the same way.
  3. Glue the sides and bottom of the trunk together. Make sure they are straight . Let dry.
  4. Glue the lid together. Glue the inner tray parts together.
  5. Use the fine leather or vinyl to cover the outside of the trunk. Make sure the edges are butted up together rather than overlapped.
  6. Cover the lid in the same way. 
  7. Stick the lid to the back of the trunk so the lid is open and leaning back. You may need to support this with a block of wood while it dries.
  8. Stick on the flat braid around the top of the trunk edges and the edges of the lid to tidy them up and give a nice finish.
  9. Assembling the memory trunk
  10. Take a thin strap of leather. Thread a buckle or two jump rings onto it. Starting at the front of the trunk, glue the strap down, underneath and up the back of the trunk then across the lid. Leave a short length hanging over the front of the trunk. Cut the end into a point.
  11. Repeat with a second strap.
  12. Cut a strip of leather one inch long. Glue it horizontally to one side of the trunk to make a handle. Repeat for the other side.
  13. Glue the inner tray into the trunk so it sits about 1/4 inch from the top.
Put the trunk to one side now till you have made the things to fill it with. More on that next blog!

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