I have so many postcards, tickets and other “stuff” from my trip to Germany that to build a scrapbook with all this coupled with my 1400 photos is just impossible.
So I took the first step in preserving the memories of my once-in-a-lifetime trip. At first I thought about throwing everything in a box, but that didn’t seem to do the memories justice. I’d been wanting to transform a vintage train case project (ala Pinterest), but those little guys are hard to find. As a result, I found an alternative while browsing one of my local thrift stores – a “vintage” cassette tape case. It looks like a miniature suitcase.
Before I did anything, I disassembled the case and took out the cassette tray as well as the icky gold lining that was coming apart anyway.
But before I go any further with this blog post, please note: I’m a messy crafter. And my photos reflect that. I have a feeling others are messy crafters, but simply photoshop or set up a serene scene so you feel guilty about multiple glues, paper and pens strewn about while you’re doing the same. We’re keeping it real here people, so be prepared.
After I took everything apart inside the case, I placed the whole thing out in the sunshine with about a tablespoon of baking soda for 2 to 3 hours. I had to get that Goodwill smell out of it (and since I purchased this case at the Blue Hanger Goodwill outlet, it had plenty of that smell).
While the sunshine did its work, I took the lining I had disassembled and used it as a template for creating some fresh lining using a black and white check fabric I had in my craft stash.
I just drew around the old lining with a red sharpie and cut. When I had two lining cutouts, I brought my case back in after disposing of the baking soda and giving everything a quick wipe down with a damp cloth.
I placed on both sides of the case a piece of 8.5 x 11 heavy cardstock to give it a bit of a stability and smooth surface to adhere the fabric to. I used my trusty glue gun to place the cardstock in the bottom. Make sure to put enough glue in the corners to maximize the sticking.
Now it was time to put in the fabric. Spray adhesive works best – a glue gun would make it bumpy. After a quick all over shot with the adhesive (outdoors of course!) I smoothed the fabric in the bottom and then up the sides. Any extra fabric was simply given a quick trim.
I still had some icky gold (no accounted for with my template; the sides of the case were not attached to the piece I pulled out as my template). A quick round around the case though with my glue gun and some black ribbon did the trick through and finished the inside off nicely.
Now to decorate the front! I pulled out some scraps of my black and white fabric and coupled it with some brochures, maps, tickets and postcards. Since the case is pretty small, I couldn’t put WHOLE postcards on there; so instead, I took a few postcards with smaller images on them and cut them apart. The leftovers will be perfect for my scrapbooking effort too.
Then I laid everything out. I love the little guy who tells you to walk in East Germany! He added his charm to my little memory case.
Just a quick note: In hindsight, I probably should have turned everything around to face the other day so that when I pick up the suitcase, everything is right side up. Right now, it is all upside down when I pick it up by the handle. But, since I am displaying this lying down, it doesn’t bother me. Something to consider if you make your own memory case.
Then, I Modge-Podged away! I gave the whole front a good coat so any matte effect would be consistent all over instead of just on the imagery. Some of the postcard pieces were a bit thick and would not lay flat. So I just gave them a couple of beads from the glue gun when the Modge Podge dried.
While the case was drying, I decided how to organize my “stuff.” The majority of it could be divided into different cities we visited. I decided that I would tag everything with a tag made from cardstock, leftover black and white material and good ol’ fusible web.
Simply, I ironed an entire piece of fusible web to the wrong side of my fabric.
After peeling off the protective liner, I then ironed the material (right side up) to the coverstock. Viola! Homemade paper.
Then I took one of my tag templates (I’ve only bought one package of these. I love to make my own tags) and cut out the tags I needed.
Add a hole with a hole punch, pen the city name and add some ribbon and there’s your custom tag for labeling your “stuff.”
I had some great travel-theme ribbon (Thank you Big Lots for this 40 cent bargain!) that I used to tie all my postcards, tickets and brochures together and added the tag.
There were a few things that didn’t go into my city tag organization, like the newspaper I bought on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Those simply were put in the bottom of the case – they really don’t need a lot of explanation.
I then packed everything in. Cute and organized!
I am really happy with the final piece. It has a home on top of my chest at the end of my bed.
This trip was such a remarkable experience that I’m glad to have this little reminder out to see daily. It also reminds me of all the fun I had with my sweet family.
Now it’s time to finish this task. On to the scrapbook…just as soon as I am able to cull through all 1400 of my photos!