My Mixed Media Suitcase (Part 2)

[su_pullquote align=”right”]Note: I noticed that I forgot to add the dimensions of the suitcase to that post.  It’s 9.5″ x 15″ x 4.5″.[/su_pullquote]In a previous post I shared my decision to turn a heavy cardboard suitcase into a portable mixed media storage solution.  I shared how I attached my watercolors, mini ink pads and scissors to the lid in order to utilize the empty space.  It worked great, but I still had to decide what else to pack that would not only store some of my mixed media supplies, but also include what I may need for a quick and easy project when time won’t allow for pulling out all the materials I have.

It was a tough decision. I love having lots of choices when it comes to my crafting supplies, but I tried to be practical and choose the things I’d most likely use the most. What did I include and how did I fit in into the bottom part of the suitcase?  I layered my supplies, fitting items in like puzzle pieces so that it all fit.  I also had to keep the weight of items in mind. The suitcase is only cardboard after all. (I may need to scour the flea markets and antique stores to find a real suitcase soon!)

Here is what I included:


Layer 1:

  1. I have several rulers, my favorite is a pink metal one, but it also adds weight, so I chose one of my old CM plastic rulers.  The bonus of choosing this one is that one side of the ruler is a decorative edge that I can use as a stencil. Plus it’s practically weightless.
  2. Brushes, pens, pencils and Zig glue pen.  These all fit into or clip onto a tall, thin, open-topped rectangular plastic container.  The container keeps everything contained and fits nicely into the back corner. What pens, pencils and brushes did I choose, a flat, round and liner brush, a black Sharpie, a black Pilot fine point, a white paint marker, my favorite Pilot mechanical pencil and of course my water-brush.
  3. An extra-strength glue stick for large areas.
  4. Stencils.  A couple of square Heidi Swapp stencils and my Tim Holtz Layering Stencils.
  5. Faber-Castell Gelatos- My small Gelato collection fit nicely into an empty small tag container.
  6. This 4 partitioned case holds my blending foams, felt blenders for alcohol inks, several foam makeup sponges, and a roll of printed burlap ribbon.Layer2

Layer 2.

  1.  Another partitioned plastic container, this one long and skinny, fits on it’s side nicely and doesn’t take up too much space. Inside are assorted embellishments.
  2. It’s not easy to see in the photo, but these are two acrylic blocks for unmounted stamps.  You’ll notice I don’t include any unmounted stamps in the suitcase itself. This is because I tend to grab just the ones I need for whatever project I may decide to work on.


Layer 3:

  1. Gold and Silver pigment ink pads.  These were two ink pads I grabbed from the $1 bin at Michael’s but I really like them for accenting embellishments and creating backgrounds.
  2. A small box of rhinestone brads in silver.  These do double duty as embellishment and a way to attach items to one another.
  3. My Ranger Craft Mat:  It took me a long time to break down and purchase a craft mat. After just a month of using it I couldn’t be without it.  It rolls up really small and is secured with a hair tie, which comes in handy when I need to pull my hair back while creating.
  4. Assorted decorative word tags.  Another awesome find in the dollar bins.
  5. A large binder clip.  This is handy to have when you need to hold something you are gluing together and don’t want to stop your creative process.
  6. Small blending tools.  My too small Tim Holtz blending tools snuggle in here nicely. And again, a tool I didn’t break down and buy until recently and wouldn’t be without now.


Layer 4:

  1. Rectangular blending tool.  This one I’ve had for several years, since I use it for my alcohol inks.
  2. A plastic squeegee.  Not something I would have thought of immediately, but it’s great for smoothing out pieces you are gluing together,etc.
  3. StazOn inks in black and white.
  4. A small assortment of Project Life Cards.  I haven’t even tried scrapbooking with these, but I love them for making quick cards or adding to a mixed media collage.
  5. Gel Medium.  I love that gel medium not only extends paints, but is also the best collage glue ever.
  6. Clear glitter paint.  Choosing the clear over my many colored glitter paint tubes allows me to use it no matter what colors I might be working with.
  7. Two Altoids boxes that hold: Little die cuts, flowers and pieces of book pages in one and smal rolls of ribbon, paper clips and tiny clothespins in the other.



Layer 5: (Crazy that I can fit that many layers in a space only 3.75″ huh?)

  1. My growing collection of Copic Markers.  I love these markers….really, really love them. That means they had to be included in the suitcase.
  2. A neat numbered ‘day to remember’ stamp by 7 Gypsies.  I’ve found I can ink just one number at a time if I need to. Plus the whole line of numbers makes a cool background. It deserved a place in my suitcase…at least until I fall for another one.
  3. Several 9 x 5 1/2 ” watercolor pages that I’ve already applied some sort of background to.  This one on the top is acrylic paint, others include watercolor and stamped backgrounds. These give me a base to start with, I can just start stamping, writing, gluing, etc.
  4. Cleaning wipes.  I picked these up for …yup, you guessed it…a dollar in the $1 bins.


There you have it, my mixed media suitcase, all packed and ready to go when I have a few minutes to get creative. The really nice thing is that I don’t have it jam-packed so there is still space to toss in a few alcohol inks, stamps, tubes of paint or other little odds and ends I might be drawn to include in my latest creation.

Do you have an ‘on the go’ craft kit that lets you take advantage of short spurts of free time?  Share it with us! Please??

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