Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Most Manly Case of Metal

Servus, dear friends of the stave rhyme and of Our Creative Corner!

This month I want to share with you a most manly make. I needed a box for my sister's longtime companion's birthday present and as he is the kind of guy who likes cars, bikes and loads of other manly stuff I decided to create a metal case to put his birthday present into.

It is a rather simple creation (and tutorial) this time - but sometimes less is more and I also found that with moving on to new techniques and media one tends to forget about the "golden oldies". Well, silvery metal oldies (but goodies) in this case. lol And that's a shame, isn't it? So back to basics it was and I really enjoyed creating my tiny metal case!

Materials I used:

heavy white card (200g/m2), A4 size
a suitcase template (either a tracing template or a printed one - for various templates click HERE)
metal ruler
craft knife
cutting mat
Brushed Pewter Distress Stain
Carbon Black DecoArt Traditions acrylic paint
soft flat brush
kitchen towel
letter stamps and black archival ink (or StazOn)
Sizzix Big Shot
MDF laser cut tag
chipboard gear
ball chain
(heat tool - optional)

1. Using my template and a pencil on an A4 sheet of heavy printer paper I traced the shape of my suitcase and cut it out. You can as well print out a suitcase shape on your computer. To find various templates click HERE.

(click images for enlarged view)

2. To get neat folds I lightly scratched along the folds using a craft knife and a metal ruler. Make sure you don't cut right through your paper (= don't press down at all...just let the knife "lightly scratch" along) and do this on the side that will be on the outside of the fold!

3. Then I ran my cut out and prepared suitcase through my Sizzix using the Spellbinders M-Bossabilities "Industrial" embossing folder. I had to do so twice as I could only emboss part of my suitcase at a time. Try to avoid embossing one area twice as this will create a "smudged" pattern by aligning your suitcase shape accordingly with the embossing folder.

4. The quickest way to paint my suitcase was to dab on "Brushed Pewter" Distress Stain generously and dry with a heat tool.

5. To tone down the silvery sheen and make my suitcase look more grungy I dry brushed on some Carbon Black acrylic paint using a soft brush. To do so just lightly load your brush tip with some paint and wipe off most of it on a dry kitchen towel. Then gently swipe on the "residue" from your brush. This will create great contrast and make the embossed pattern more visible.

To show you the difference and effect of the dry brushing I took a close up that shows the upper area being dry brushed whereas the lower section is still untreated:

6. Then it was time to fold my suitcase and glue it together.

7. As embellishments I added a lovely That Craft Place laser cut MDF tag and a chipboard gear that were treated with Distress Stain and acrylic paint to make them match the look of the suitcase.

I dabbed on the black acrylic paint around the edges using my fingertip (you know me, right? lol) but if you don't want to get messy you can of course use a bristle brush or a permanent marker.

 8. The recipient's name was stamped onto the tag using my all time favourite Hero Arts letter stamps and archival ink. If you want a more opaque look I recommend you use black StazOn ink instead.

9. The edges of the suitcase were treated with black archival ink using a piece of cut 'n dry foam. Tag and gear were fixed to the filled and closed suitcase with a short ball chain.


I am always surprised by how a little paint can make ordinary paper look like real metal...shiny, heavy and edgy!  I hope you like my rather quick and simple make for a man! What else would be a better gift wrap than a marvelously manly metal suitcase!

Hugs and happy crafting,



  1. Thank you Claudia for this tuto. I suppose Stefan will be happy with this box.

  2. Love the metal look it's one of my favourites! Great template, I usually cover existing boxes. Hugs Jan x

  3. What a fabulous project Claudia, I just love the embossing folder you used and the wonderful distressed metal effect! hugs :)

  4. OMG! I want one for a lunch-pail!! This is soooo much fun, Claudia!! A great tutorial and yeah--this looked really easy to put together :) I like that :) :) This little faux-metal box is a gift in itself! I hope Stefan like it and whatever little birthday goodie you included :) XOXO-Shari

  5. How epic is this? Totally fabulous! xx

  6. Wonderful make Claudia and what a great idea for a gift box! Love that texture and your distressing added the perfect touch of grunge.

  7. A perfect look for this (nearly) metal box! Thanks for this tutorial, claudia!

  8. What a great box - it really looks like metal!

  9. Fantastic idea and a very good explanation!! Hugs, Kerstin xx

  10. Amazing work, I really like this! :)

  11. Wow! I definitely want to try to make one of those manly boxes. Totally perfect for a manly gift. Thanks for the inspiration! xxx Laurie

  12. Wow, what a fabulous box, Claudia! And thank you for the tutorial! I'm sure Stefan's going to love this!

  13. Oh, that's very gorgeous!!! Looks simple according your words and tutorial, but never so simple when we do it by ourselves sometimes haha. Thank you Claudia for this great idea and project! Hugs, Coco xx

  14. That is indeed a very manly make - with a very manly process to make it! Very effective! Makes me think of the tin man from Wizard of Oz!


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