Sep 4, 2013

Guest Post: How to Make a Custom Witch Tool Box

Today I'm bringing to you a guest post by my dear friend Annie of the newly-formed Seekers of the Wild Heart coven.  Annie is going to show you how to make a cushioned, decorated box for your witchy tools.

I've been searching for a box to keep all my tools in, and, more importantly, transport them. I have a very pretty, custom-made ceramic chalice and a rather delicate glass pentacle, and was concerned about taking them outside the apartment for ritual. When I searched for boxes for ritual gear, though, many of them were quite expensive and even more simply didn't fit my tools. My wand alone is 19 inches long, which meant it just didn't fit in most boxes.

For this project, I spent about $40 in supplies (some of which can be used again). Your mileage may vary, depending on the size of box you use and which of the supplies you already have on hand. It took about one solid day of off-and-on work (lots of time was spent waiting for things to dry), plus an evening.


- A plastic box that will fit all of your tools, allowing at least 1" on each side and at least an inch (preferably more) between each tool (lay your tools out on the floor and measure the space they consume). I found this one for $10 at the Container Store
- Plenty of paper and ink in your printer
- Hairspray (a travel-size one will work fine, if you don't already own any)
- Mod Podge - the 8 oz. container should suffice
- Some popsicle sticks for removing the occasional air bubble
- A small foam brush (available at Michael's for about 50 cents)
- Krylon crystal clear acrylic coating
- Enough sheets of 1" thick foam to fill the box (I used two packages of this)
- X-Acto knife
- 1 yard of satin or other fabric you wish to line the box with
- Needle and thread (color does not matter)
- Duct tape


1. Find and collect dozens of images from Pinterest (or elsewhere) that evoke your deities, the elements, whatever you choose, then arrange those pictures in a word processor or graphic design program and print them. Err on the side of gathering too many images, rather than too few. You'll have a lot of surface area to cover. You can always save the extra images for another project. I ended up printing 22 pages worth of images, and just barely had enough.

2. Spray each printed page with hairspray to make sure the ink doesn't smear when you apply the glue to it later. Let each sheet dry separately for 15 minutes or so.

3. Cut or tear each image into the shape you want (I did boxy shapes for the earth pictures, flowy, irregular shapes for the water pictures, spiky shapes for the fire pictures, and smooth, even, round shapes for the air pictures, for example).

3. Wash your box box thoroughly with soap and water and allow it to dry fully for a few hours.

4. Arrange the pictures on the box the way you like. I covered both the lid and the sides of my box with images, putting the earth images on the top part of the lid and the side adjacent to it, the air images on the right part of the lid and the side adjacent to it, the fire images on the bottom part of the lid and the side adjacent to it, and the water pictures on the left part of the lid and the side adjacent to it. But of course, you can do whatever pleases you!

5. Remove the pictures a few at a time, painting Mod Podge onto the box with the foam brush in an even layer, then smoothing down the pictures and coating the top of them with Mod Podge. You may need to use a popsicle stick to press out the occasional air bubble, but be gentle, as the paper tears easily.

6. After all the images are arranged and glued on, paint one more layer of Mod Podge over the top, and allow the box to dry for at least 15 minutes.

7. Apply another couple of layers of Mod Podge, letting the box dry for at least 15 minutes between each application.

8. Once the box is totally dry, spray it with Krylon crystal clear acrylic coating and allow it to dry again. I ended up doing three coats of Krylon, allowing it to dry for 15-30 minutes between each coat, but one coat may suffice. Just add coats until you're happy with the texture.

9. Cut and arrange the foam to fit precisely inside the box. I ended up with five layers of one-inch-thick foam, each layer consisting of two pieces of foam (because no one sheet was wide enough to fill the box).

10. Remove the top layer of foam and set it aside. That'll be the part that gets stuck to the lid of the box.

11. Arrange your tools on the top layer of foam that's still in the box, allowing at least one inch of space on each side and between each tool. Using a Sharpie or pen, trace around each tool (you may have to press the tool into the foam a bit to get a good trace). Remove the tools from the foam.

12. Using the X-Acto knife, cut along the trace lines through the first layer of foam. For tools that require more depth, once the hole is cut, trace within the hole using your pen or marker and cut that layer with the X-Acto knife. Repeat until the hole is deep enough, but allow at least 1" of foam at the bottom that is untouched.

13. Nestle your tools within the holes you created to make sure they fit okay. Make any adjustments needed.

14. Take your fabric and cut it into two pieces - one that will wrap around the reserved layer of foam (it doesn't need to fully cover the back, but it should wrap around each side and have enough left over to be tacked onto the back), and one that will lay over the foam that's been carved. Be sure to allow enough fabric on the latter for it to fill each hole you've cut for the tools and still have enough to tuck into the sides of the box.

15. Take the piece of fabric that goes into the box and lay it over the foam, pushing it into the holes and tucking it into the sides.

16. Take the remaining piece of fabric and wrap it around the reserved layer of foam. Holding it in place, use wide stitches to stitch the fabric to the foam, being sure not to go all the way through the foam (you don't want your stitches to show on the "good" side).  Stitch all the way around, paying particular attention to the corners.

17. Roll strips of duct tape so that both sides are sticky, then arrange them onto the inside of the lid. I used about a dozen strips to do this.

18. Press the stitched side of the top foam piece to the duct tape, making sure it's aligned in the center of the lid.

All done! Put your tools into the nice, fabric-lined holes, put the cushioned lid on top, and you're good to go.

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