Since the beginning of time, new brides and grooms, bride-to-be’s, baptismal guests of honor and graduates have been congratulated with monetary gifts recognizing life’s special milestones. And things haven’t changed much since. Money boxes have become the party depository of choice for collecting these valuable little greeting cards and mementos with handwritten notes from loved ones and friends.
These days, people are spending an obscene amount of money on purchasing or even renting money boxes, either draped in Swarofski crystals, bedazzled with over-the-top embellishments, or expensive birdcages that need to be further decorated with fresh flowers and other expensive accessories. Well, I am here to show you that you can simply and affordably create your very own custom money boxes with a few craft store supplies and some tender love and a little time.
In keeping with the theme of the upcoming bridal shower that I have been asked to coordinate, I decided to create a stunning Vintage Suitcase Money Box. I mean, isn’t a one of a kind statement piece made just for you to match your party’s theme exactly, that you can also keep and maybe reuse for a future event, better than renting and spending tons of money for something generic?
Let’s show you how you can make your own gorgeous Vintage Suitcase Money Box.
Cardboard Suitcase; Craft glue; Hot Glue; decorative cardstock paper; embellishments of choice (ribbons, stickers, punch shapes, string of pearls, bows); specific banner letters
The Banner Message: It is important to begin with your specific banner letters, so that the length of your complete banner message and specific dimensions of the individual letters, will determine what size suitcase you will need to purchase. There are a million little messages you could print on your computer to cut out and create a banner out of, from single-liners, to punch-line catch phrases, to lengthier slogans, keeping in mind that less is more in this case, since more letters equals more work. Try using a font style that is easy to read and a font size that will accommodate the inner-length of your suitcase. I highly recommend printing these letters directly onto cardstock, in lieu of regular computer paper, because they seem to hold up better and are easier to handle. A standard money box often displays one of two words, either “CARDS” or “GIFTS” signaling guests upon entering the party that they may place their greeting cards and monetary gifts inside, but you may certainly display more unique slogans to fit your specific needs.
You also need to prepare a background shape made out of cardstock to stick your individual letters onto, before stringing everything together. Again, the style, shape and size of these cardstock backgrounds will depend on the size of your suitcase. I generally use elongated rectangular shapes for smaller boxes and triangular shapes for lengthier banner displays. Moreover, depending on your party theme, this is the stage where you would embellish your cardstock pieces with decorative accents, before actually gluing on your letters. In this example, I chose to embellish my rectangular antique cardstock papers with doily-patterned ribbons to suit a Vintage Bridal Shower I am coordinating.
Once each individual letter is ready to be strung together, grab a long piece of ribbon or thick yarn to affix each letter to individually. You can glue the pieces on one by one, or hole punch and weave the ribbon through.
Now you are ready to tackle the actual suitcase box.
The Suitcase: I am a fan of inexpensive, easy to work with products, and in this case, cardboard suitcases covered in stylized paper are both easy to find and super fun to transform. Of course, if you already have a suitcase you wish to use, or if you can get your hands on the real thing from a discount store or donation center, by all means, do so. I got mine from a craft store for about $12.00. As long as the main framework and hardware is in keeping with your party theme, the rest of the design details don’t really matter, because they can be easily disguised and covered up.
In this example, I used the same pink vintage cardstock paper that I had used for my other projects in planning this Vintage Bridal Shower to cover up the inner linings of my suitcase that originally displayed a French PARIS motif. I simply hot glued two pieces of cardstock directly onto the inner upper and bottom portions.
The Embellishments: This is the fun stuff. You can GLUE, GLUE, GLUE your heart out. Your design may be as intricate and layered as you wish. For weddings, you can use fancier ribbons and wedding stickers or silk flowers to match the wedding color scheme. For baptisms or other religious events, you may religious symbols to signify the holy milestone at hand. For baby showers, you may use everything from cute little rubber ducks and plastic baby bottles.
In this example, to showcase where guests will place their cards for the vintage bridal shower I am coordinating, I chose to embellish with shades of pink rosettes, strings of varying pearls, stickers with relevant popular 1920’s slogans and vintage stamps.
Finished Product: I mean how fantastic is this? Who wouldn’t want their guests to be greeted with this GORGEOUS stand alone piece.