Sunday, September 4, 2016

Tolkien-Inspired Briefcase

Kevin's Christmas present, given to him in early summer (oops!) was a new briefcase for work.  The nice one he got after law school was stolen out of his car several years ago, and Tandy had this kit on sale just before the holidays.

Being the giant Tolkien nerds that we are, and given my map fetish, I wanted to cover it with maps of Middle Earth.  Here's how I did that. 

First, draw out the designs you want on paper, actual size (and shape):

Then, case (use a sponge to dampen) the leather.  Lay the paper design on top, and trace (hard) with a stylus.  In this case, yeah - that's a *lot* of tracing.

I really struggled with the dye.  I wanted the design to pop out much more than it did.  As it is, you have to get close to see that it's covered with maps.  I'm still looking for a better solution to this problem. 

Then, it was just a question of following the instructions that came with the kit.  Sewing it all together, adding the provided hardware...  Not having to design it from the ground up was a luxury, but one I would only take advantage of if the price was right.  In this case, it was - the sale price was about half the standard retail price. 

Either way, Kevin loves his new briefcase, and has been using it for work all summer.