Monday, March 8, 2010

Dino Land Suitcase and Tutorial

My little guy loves dinosaurs. He can't get enough of them. I wanted to create a magical place for him to play with all his creatures.
Using an old suitcase, foam sealer and stuff around the house I made the perfect spot for his dinosaurs to roam.
It may not look like it, but the suitcase does close shut and can be tucked away under a bed. How ideal is that, it has it's own carrying case? The thing that I love about it is that everything but the dinosaurs are intact. There is no set-up, no take-down and no small pieces floating around the house.
Here is how I made It

What I used:
- a hard shell suitcase (this won't work with a cloth suitcase)
- brown spray paint
- a plastic canister (for volcano)
- two Capri-sun boxes
- a can of Great Stuff (found at any hardware store)
- gloves
- random greenery
- a sheet of model grass (I got mine at Michael's, this can also be replaced with green paint)
- hot glue gun
- paints ( I used brown, gray, green, blue and red)
- Mog Podge


I originally bought the foam cone for the volcano, but later decided it wasn't big enough.

Step 1: Remove any extra stuff from your suitcase, like this divider. You want a clean surface.
Step 2: I taped off the hardware and spray painted the inside brown.
Step 3: I cut two Capri sun boxes on an angle so they were the height of the inside of the suitcase. Then I cut half circles ,that were used for caves. Make sure your cut your caves so they are on opposite sides, so that when they are placed in the case, the caves are facing out.

Step 4: I glued down my Capri-sun ramps and my canister. When choosing an object for the volcano you need to make sure there is plenty of room for the case to close on top of it. You'll need to account for extra bulk from the foam.
Step 5: Prepare to spray the foam. Wear clothes that can be ruined. It does not come off once it dries. WEAR GLOVES. This stuff can be pretty nasty. You don't wan to get it on anything. Have extra gloves available. Attach the applicator and make sure to keep the bottle upside down while spraying.


Step 6: Create your volcano and hills with the foam. I started by filling in all the gaps around the containers.
Next I built up the volcano.
I covered everything else and then started adding rocks and bushes around the sides.
This stuff blows up pretty big. Using a plastic knife I smoothed it down over and over again. After a few minutes it would grow up again. Keep smoothing it down in the areas you don't want it to grow. Once it looked good I let it dry over night.
When I came back the next morning I found that it had continued to grow and was now to big. The case wouldn't close anymore. So I had to trim it down with a razor blade. I kept the trimmings and used them later.
When the foam is cut it doesn't have the same texture, so I had to get another can of Great Stuff. Instead of spraying it on this time, I sprayed it into a paper bowl and used a plastic knife to spread it on. I kept pressing it down so it wouldn't blow up too big. I let it dry over night again.

Step 7: I glued the grass and rocks down. I used the pieces of foam that were trimmed for my rocks. I didn't trust the foam to not grow to big. * If you don't plan on making the mistake I did, you can spray extra foam onto card board and trim it down after it dries.

Once everything is dry and in place make sure the suitcase will close!
Step 8: I painted everything. First I painted the rocks and volcano brown , the water blue and the bushes green.
Once that was dry I dry brushed gray over all the rocks. I wanted the volcano to look more gray, and it added texture to the rocks. I also highlighted the bushes with a few other shades of green.
My kids were literally playing with this the whole time I was working on it. I was glad because I realized the paint was not sticking to the smooth foam. It kept chipping off. To stop this I Mod Podged the whole thing. It seams to have worked. You can also try painting it with a primer before you paint.
Step 9: Glue greenery into bushes. I glued the ends and then stabbed them into the foam.
*It really wasn't difficult, and didn't take much time, except for waiting for things to dry. Remember it's for kids and doesn't have to be perfect.
I'll be doing it again. I hope to make another case with a different theme in the future.
* FOR MORE SUITCASE IDEAS CLICK HERE
Visit thecsiproject.com


66 comments:

Pam @ Design Fanatic said...

What a great idea! My youngest was in to playmobile & carried her stuff around in a wheeled suitcase, but oh, all those little parts and pieces!!!

Cha Cha said...

Are you kidding me. I have no words.

Cha Cha

Momma B said...

You are sooooooooo creative! This absolutely ROCKS! (no, I don't really say rocks, but it fits here!)

Katie said...

This suitcase idea is so incredibly fantastic!!! My little girl isn't so into dinosaurs, so I'll have to be thinking about other themes to use should I decide to do this myself. Any ideas?

Chellie said...

WOW. Fantastic.

Just Rhonda said...

AWESOME idea!!! Love Love Love it!!!

red_jellybean1 said...

Wow! I will be making this for my son's bday because he LOVES dinosaurs! I actually had a different tutorial bookmarked with the same concept, except it was made with salt dough and not in any type of case. I bet this would be easier for him to play with and lighter!

A fairyland would be really cute for little girls!

Emily said...

YOU are amazing...I want to come over and play! WONDERFUL. Thanks for sharing your awesomeness.....

Heather said...

That was Brilliant! I wish I had seen this when my son was younger, he was OBSESSED with dinosaurs. Still loves them but wouln't be caught playing with them now! I use this spray foam insulation for many projects come Halloween time, love that stuff!

Oklahoma Granny said...

Any little dinosaur loving boy (or girl) would love a nifty carrying case like that!

Kimbo West said...

THis is the most coooooolest thing ever. EVER! Love it!

Beth@The Stories of A to Z said...

You're a genius! My boys would go crazy over this. Love it!

Kaysi said...

WOW!!!! You come up with the coolest ideas, I love this and so want to try it! Thanks for sharing

Cheri said...

That idea is completely BRILLIANT!!! That is one of the most creative things I have seen to date on SYTYC. Way to go!

Julie said...

This is by far and away the coolest tutorial I have ever seen in blogland, and I read a lot of crafty blogs, you are pure genius. I can't wait to get started. aggiepride21@yahoo.com

Jackie said...

This is the best project I have ever seen! It's top on my long, long, list of to-do bookmarks!

I LOVE it! Thank you. I'll be watching for another theme.

Heather said...

I LOVE this idea....seriously brillant. Thanks for sharing!

Jessica said...

so. cool.

SisterDG said...

That is so amazingly awesome, I may have to go lie down now. Thank you for this tutorial. I kinda feel like I need to go back and redo my childhood now. :-)

Emily said...

This is amazing. We started crafting one of our own even before you won! MY son is in dino heaven :)

Lisa said...

I think I may try this! I bet you can find these hard suitcases at the thrift store.

KJ said...

This is amazing.

Cottage on the Hill said...

WOW!! that's all I can say...very cool.

Elizabeth said...

This is truly awesome!! Found you via SisterDiane's tweet. :)

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking said...

You are SO creative! Thanks for sharing this at the POPP!

kirstin & jordan said...

LOVE this... my little one is fascinated by dinos, and I love the fact that it packs up!
Thanks for linking. :)

Kelli @ RTSM said...

My boys would LOVE this! Such a great idea...and I think we have some of that stuff out in the shed:) I love that it is all self contained too!

aahadley said...

You are the greatest mom EVER! As a mom of 3 boys now all older, I will tell you that these are the types of things that they will remember. My kids still talk about the Ninja Turtle costume I made and that all 3 wore at one time. Shell and all!
~anita

Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

That is one of the most amazing things ever! My son would have LOVED this when he was small.

You rocked it!

Thanks for linking up to Make it Yours day!

fawnda said...

I just wnated to let you know that I featured you here:
http://firefliesandjellybeans.blogspot.com/2010/03/sunday-spotlight-soys-favorties.html

: )

Andy Porter said...

Woah! That's pretty dang awesome! I love that you can shut the whole thing. That's just way way way better than any toy you could find at the store:) You are so creative!

Jennifer @ No Place Life Home said...

This is absolutely adorable. I told my dh to start looking for a suitcase immediately. I have to make one of these!

Jenn said...

This is super cool! And I love that it can be packed away. I’ve got a MckLinky party called Tot Tuesdays which started today. I hope you'll stop by & share:



http://delicious-ambiguity-nennyk.blogspot.com/2010/03/first-ever-tot-tuesdays-mcklinky-party.html



Cheers,
Jenn

Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden said...

Just wanted to let you know I featured your project this week at My Backyard Eden.

http://mybackyardeden.blogspot.com/2010/03/make-it-yours-highlights_15.html

sarahbellum said...

way, way cool!

Robin said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial...It is spring break here and we needed a project to do to keep us busy, so I was so excited when I found this!!! We are at the painting stage now and having so much fun!!! Thanks again, I can't wait to see how ours turns out :)

R. said...

this is so clever! my son would love one for his dinosaurs, one for his legos, one for is cars, one for.....could be adapted for all kinds of toys!!

www.rachaelsblossoms.blogspot.com

jenjen said...

That is just amazing! What a cool idea!

Thanks so much for linking up to my party! I really appreciate it!

XOXO
Jen

Emy said...

Oh my! I love this idea! You are so creative! Thank you so much for sharing!

/Emy

forskollarare.blogspot.com

Amanda Weezie said...

WOW I love this Idea.. Thanks for sharing you are so talented....

Lil Eskimo said...

GREAT idea!

Silvia said...

I loved the idea. Had never thought of such a solution. Congratulations, it was perfect.

~*Amanda*~ said...

That is amazing your so creative!!!!

Ree said...

I made one of my own too, using an old briefcase of my father-in-law's. It's for my 3 year old, but honestly my 10yo (who helped paint it) enjoys playing with it almost as much. Thanks for sharing!!

And I also made a fairy version for my nieces - I can't wait to give it to them!!
http://boysandjoys.blogspot.com/2010/03/more-crafty-goodnessfairy-princess.html

Melissa said...

Kalleen! I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago, and am completely new to the whole blogging world...I just have to say that your blog is absolutely amazing and inspiring. I think I just have to make EVERY SINGLE project you share!

I made the dinosaur suitcase with my oldest son, (almost 5), and pictured it on my (new) blog, and linked your post! Usually I would put my own twist on someone else's idea, but my son Chase was determined that ours should look just like your pictures...so it is very similiar! :) We used clear caulk sealant for our water, and twirled some paint and glitter through it. It added a really neat effect, but the fumes were awful!

You can check it out here, at:

www.thosealaskangirls.blogspot.com

I can't wait to start on some new projects inspired by your ideas! Thanks so much for sharing!

~Melissa

q-bella said...

How fun is this? I just posted it on my blog and linked it back to you.

Carrie K said...

where did you find the old suitcase?

Katie said...

That is AMAZING!!! SUCH a great idea!

Kim @ seven thirty three said...

So very creative. Looks like so much fun for the kiddos and keeps mom sane by keeping everything contained!

Thanks for linking up with What are little boys made of?

Bethany said...

I popped over from Crafty Crow-WOW. Dude, you did a GREAT job. This is awesome! My boys LIKE dinosaurs, but probably don't LOVE them as much as yours, but I'm still tempted to make this. Way to go, you're a smarty. :)

Jenn @ Delicious Ambiguity said...

Hi! I love your website. I host a link up party called TOT TUESDAYS every Tuesday where people share their recipes, crafts and activities for toddlers. I’ve also currently got a giveaway for a Mother Earth scarf at the moment. I hope you’ll stop by:

http://www.mydeliciousambiguity.com/

Sarah @ Mum In Bloom said...

You are such an inspiration! I could do this with my son's hot wheels tracks, etc. Every set he has is missing pieces and I could put a custom set together in one of these cases. Our thrift store is full of them. Any suggestions on what I could glue the tracks inside the case with? Mod Podge? Glue gun?

Tasha said...

You are seriously amazing with all your ideas. I am sharing this on my blog. Thanks for the fun idea. www.creationcorner.blogspot.com

Kay said...

I love the idea but I'm worried about the toxicity of the materials used. Is the foam stuff okay for contact? Thanks!

Michele said...

Just posted about your suitbcase idea over here thanks for the inspiration and the lovely story about your dads original ones

http://blogofmichele.blogspot.com/2010/05/different-sort-of-playscape.html

Anonymous said...

this is about the coolest thing ever .... wishing my kids were still young enough to play w toys.

Mama Mogantosh said...

Hi there, I'm a new visitor, and INSTANT follower- man, this suitcase is one of the coolest ideas I've seen in a long while. On the to-do list.Thanks for a great tutorial, and I look forward to reading more.

Londen @ Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

Hi,
This is one of the best ideas I have ever seen!! FABULOUS!!
We made a fairy gaden that turned into dinoland. check it out if you get a chance.
http://sixtyfifthavenue.blogspot.com/2010/05/our-fairy-garden.html

Londen

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

This is such a clever and creative project. Well done!

Jen @ tatertotsandjello.com said...

What a fun idea! I bet your kids just love it!

Thanks so much for linking up to The CSI Project's hardware Store Challenge! We hope you will come back next week for the Martha Stewart-inspired challenge -- The MS Craft Department are our guest judges!!!

XOXO
Jen

KatrinkaJane said...

Wow, my brain is spinning with theme ideas... Great job!

belamaral said...

Eu amei essa ideia, você é muito criativa.
Parabéns!...

Kim @ The Celebration Shoppe said...

I'll be sharing this super creative idea with my readers this week. Wonderful job! Love it!

Hillary @ The Other Mama said...

Fabulous and SO cool! Thanks for all the great pics to accompany, too!!

Lorena Cagnotti said...

Hi Kallen!

I featured your dino land suitcase here:
http://www.sueniosencantados.com/blog/2010/08/dino-land-suitcase/

Hope you like it!

Liz said...

I absolutely love this! It's amazing. Thanks for sharing! I linked you to my blog ziggycrafts.blogspot.com

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails