Gothic Luuuuuuuuuunch will eat your soul!! >:]
The lunchbox: it will be your master.
I love box-styled purses; they're so cute and sturdy and have the ability to stop stupid thieves if they have a lock. >:D BUT THEY'RE SO HARD TO FIND!!! X( I've been wanting a gothic styled box purse for awhile, and when I finally found one to my fancy, I was said to see that it was way out of my price range. DX But when I inspected it, I said, "well geez: I can do this."
And with that, I bring you this tutorial. This is mainly for a gothic-styled box purse, but the creativity is in your hands, so you can do whatever you want in the end! :D
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Sand the box. If you're using a stain, make especially sure that you sand away and glue or adhesive left over from a label or the tacky handle. Wipe with a damp cloth. Again, if you are using a stain, give the box about twenty minutes to dry after using a damp cloth.
Following the manufacturer's instructions, stain the exterior of the box. From my own experience: let the box dry for at least 1-3 hours between coats. Wipe of the access with a clean cloth and stain again, allowing it dry for a longer period. The whole process takes awhile (about three days at the most), so be patient!
Of course, if you don't feel comfortable using stains - be it for environmental/health hazards or you're just not patient enough - then use paint intstead. I used a stain ("Ebony" for a black look to be specific) because I wanted the box to have a natural, old-world finish.
NOTE - Whether you're staining or painting, some manufacturers suggest that you prepare the wood with some sort of sealer. You don't have to do it, but it's recommended.
Once the interior is dry, varnish both interior and exterior. You can either use a varnish that was recommended by whatever wood staining brand that you used, or you can use an appropriate varnish by Delta Ceramcoat. I wouldn't recommend using stuff like Modge Podge unless your doing it for the interior, since it's kind of gummy and not very professional.
OPTIONAL - If you want, you can line the interior of your box with fabric (preferably felt, but also starchy craft cotton (the kind that come in swatches) and heavy velvet). Even if you're lining with fabric it's still wise to paint the interior as the primary color of the fabric. Once you do that, take your piece of fabric (it should be about 2x bigger than the interior itself) and lay it in the box. Press it down to see if it's the way you want it and take it out. Spread some glue around and lay the fabric back down (but don't glue it around the top edges!). Let dry. Once it has dried, cut the remnants of the fabric leaving about two centimeters from top edge of the box and tuck it neatly under. Glue down.
Now you may fasten the hinges and clasp onto the box. It's best to use some painters' tape to keep the lid and body of the box together while you position the hardware. Position the pieces exactly how you want them, and mark the spot (using a pencil or something). Then, hammer or screw the nails that came with the hardware in (you might even want to apply some of that adhesive the back of the pieces for extra security).
Note - I wanted silver hardware for my box, but oddly enough - and I assure you how stupid it is - I couldn't find any silver hinges or clasps! So if you're in my situation, you might want to give silver gilding a try; or get some silver nail polish and paint whatever finish over.
Now all you have to do is attach the handle. As you did with the hinges and clasp, position the handle exactly how you want it, because unlike with the hinges+screws, you can't reposition it later after that adhesive sets in. Once you have your position placed, mark and apply the adhesive on both the backing of the handle and onto the surface of the box. Press and let dry overnight.
Note - These handles actually do have screws that come with them, but they're too long. If, however, you don't feel comfortable with using the adhesive, you can find screws that are shorter in length at the hardware store and use them instead, although you have to take into account that there will be even more obnoxious positioning and probably some drilling involved.
Strap Option: I like a purse having the option of either being a hand purse or a sling purse (my original lunchbox purse has this option). What you can do is find some D-ring hangers at your local hardware store (get them in the most reasonably sized available, not small) and glue them to the bottom segment of the box using the adhesive. Make sure that they're pointed upward. Then you can make a strap modeled after an existing purse strap.
And of course, you can go nuts on the decorations! Since I did mine a sorta minimalistic gothic style, I didn't do much. But you can. ;)
The great thing about purses of any kind (and D.I.Y.ing in general) is that you have the chance to personalize it, so you can make a horrorpunk purse, a steampunk purse, a lolita purse, pin-up, vintage, cyberpunk, fairie, a gothic cathedral styled box? O_o
Go for it. For realzy: I'd really like to see some more. ^_^