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  • Writer's pictureVintageDisneyBabe

BoxLunch or LunchBox?

Vintage Metal Lunchbox Purses

A couple months ago, I picked up a cool vintage Disney lunch box when I was antique shopping. I love Disney. I love vintage. I love fashion and purses. I love having unique items. And finally, I love knowing when something I am doing benefits all kinds of people and our environment. What about you? How do I do this? By repurposing or upcycling items that I love, but perhaps don’t have much of a use for as-is. Today, I am sharing out how I took a vintage Disney lunchbox and turned it into my own BoxLunch. ;)

BoxLunch and LoungeFly, among so many other brands and stores, create amazing products! But in 2021, they can be a luxury. I love purses and I have invested in many amazing ones. I also love crafts, repurposing, and upcycling where I can. The environment thanks us for those choices. So today, I will share how to make your own official Disney purse without spending a ton of $$$. You can make one for yourself, for unique gifts, and you can also use this activity at home with kids as an activity to touch on all the aforementioned points.

Vintage metal lunchboxes are typically not too expensive; I have sourced vintage Disney lunch boxes less than $10, but I would say most are between $10-15 in good shape! You can source these through all kinds of e-commerce sites - put “Vintage Disney Metal Lunchbox” into google and you will have a rabbit hole to explore.

You will need the following materials to take your vintage Disney item from LunchBox status, to BoxLunch status:

-metal lunch box (es) - ebay is my go-to! I got 5 different lunch boxes from eBay recently, totaling less than $50 bucks and will upcycle or repurpose all of them. 4 of the 5 are in fantastic condition to be reused in this way.

-craft foam - Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Joann’s... all kinds.

-fabric of your choice - they have all kinds of character/brand fabrics!

-hot glue and glue gun - for the foam and fabric

-metal glue - to glue and affix the pieces you will make to the lunchbox

-good scissors

-purse strap - tons on Amazon, but you may also use extra straps from other purses you have gotten. You can get a fabric one for your favorite pins, or perhaps a bit more glam with a chain strap.

A tip to make it easier is to make sure to get lunchboxes with the same dimensions and shapes, rather than different ones each time. Then you can create a cardboard template of the most common lunchbox size you’re using.

Measure or trace all sides of the lunch box. You need the top and bottom, but also the sides. We want to cut these pieces from craft foam so that we can make sure things aren’t going to bounce around the lunchbox and make obnoxious noises, so the fabric and craft foam are K E Y.

When finished cutting the pieces out, grab your fabric. You are going to cut the fabric larger than the foam because we are going to glue it and we need it to cover all edges. It’s almost like wrapping a gift if you think about it.

This is where the hot glue comes in. You are gluing the fabric onto the foam, covering the edges. We will be gluing these in the lunchbox, so the fit is important! After I have glued all the fabric, I start placing pieces in the box to fix and find the right/best fit. I also do that in the beginning after cutting just the foam... a little big with foam is fine because you can trim. Too small is always harder to fix!

After I have tried to fit the pieces, I begin gluing. I glue strategically. I do the biggest pieces first.. the front/back and trim where needed. There are a couple parts that have a harder time staying down, so I glue the most difficult parts first and let them sit to solidify. I am talking about the corners of the sides! After I glue those, I use binder clips to help it bond even better. I come back after some time and glue the rest of the sides down.

When I have let it sit for a day, I go back with my metal glue to find places that need just a little more to have it stay down. I want it to look as clean and professional as possible!

The next step is to decide on the strap and where you will attach it. There are multiple ways! Some people have used tools to affix a spot for the straps, but I prefer to just attach straps to some part of the lunch box that is already there - like the handle. The purse straps I have gotten have all been easy to affix to the handle and I haven’t had to find another way to do it myself. If there is a lunchbox with no handles that you love, you may look into hardware or anything you could use to create some place to hook the straps. I saw one where the creator drilled something to each side to give good spacing for a purse strap.

I hope you’ve enjoyed! If you use or are inspired by this, please tag me. I would also love to read/see different approaches that you crafty people make. I would say I am more crafty than the average person, but I am not a “craft professional” and I learn from people on here every day!

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