Re-purpose a Lunch Box and Make a Gypsy Caravan
Do you believe in fairies? I do, I do and I love re-purposing odd bits and turning them into fairy abodes. Like this little gypsy caravan that we made for a group of traveling fairies that camp out at the bottom of our garden in Spring. And I bet you would never have guessed that we recycled an old lunchbox to make it too.
Yup, this old, plastic lunchbox 😀 If you remove the handle at the top it’s the perfect base for a gypsy caravan.
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What you need
Beside an old lunchbox you’ll need:
- Ice cream sticks
- Gorilla Glue
- 4 x Wood Slices
- 2 x Skewers
- Craft Paint
- Small Beads (optional)
Transforming the Lunchbox into a Gypsy Caravan
For the roof, we used a large piece of bark. Clean it off first to get rid of any cobwebs and dirt.
Soak the piece of bark in a bucket of warm water and then tie it tightly to the lunchbox lid. As the bark dries it will take took on the shape and curve of the lid. Depending on how thick the bark is, it can take a few days to dry completely. If I remember correctly ours took about a week.
Once the bark dries, removed it from the lid and stick it down permanently with Gorilla glue. There will probably still be a few gaps between the lid and the piece of bark, but that was easy to fix.
All you need is love, trust and a little bit of fairy dust.
We were out of fairy dust so we used ice cream sticks instead 😉 They were stained and then cut to fit snugly under the roof.
If you’re going to clad the lunchbox with ice cream sticks as we did, it’s best to paint the lunch box first. That way any small gaps between the ice cream sticks won’t be so obvious. To make the door we used a few more ice cream sticks and some beads for the two hinges and door handle. That’s the fun bit about making something for the fairies. You can use whatever you have and just let your imagination do the rest. You can find a detailed tutorial to make fairy doors here.
To make the windows we used these pretty little wire bits that I found at the bead shop down the road. We stuck them to bits of aluminum tape and then onto the sides of the lunchbox.
I ended up changing my mind about the windows once I started putting the gypsy caravan together and replaced them with round windows instead. That happens sometimes 😉
Finishing Everything Off
The gypsy caravan is almost finished except for the wheels. After throwing a few ideas around we decided to make a base from a piece of wood that we cut to size.
While I stained the base to match, Hubby cut four equally wide wood slices and marked the center point …..
.. before drilling a hole on the mark. The hole needs to be big enough to fit the skewers through. The skewers will become wheel axles.
To attach the wheels to the base, position the skewer axles and drill two holes. One towards the front of the platform and one towards the back. Insert a piece of wire into each hole and loop it back into the hole as shown below.
Insert an ice cream stick in the loops so they don’t slip back through the hole and then add the skewers on the bottom of the platform.
For hub caps, I used some silver beads and just glued them over the tips of the skewers.
To finish off, I added some embossed metal strips to create a small railing around the platform.
I think it was at this point that I realized that the windows just didn’t seem to fit. So I cut two ornate window frames from sturdy cardboard and stuck them over the old ones.
The round windows seemed to fit the whole look better. What do you think? And no gypsy caravan is complete without a few posters.
The posters were mod podged onto the fairy gypsy caravan. Don’t you think they add such a lovely pop of color? Sorry I can’t seem to find the photo I took of the back, grrrr I hate it when that happens.
The fairies made me do it 😉
I love how it turned out and the wheels make it perfect for all types of road conditions 😉
There’s even a little ladder that we made by gluing twigs together. I know fairies can fly, but what if Thumbelina needed her palm read or something 😀 She wouldn’t be able to get up there.
Let me know what you think.
If you look carefully there are so many things you can use to make something for your fairies. We’ve repurposed bottles to make a little toadstool fairy apartment and even a lampshade too. Have you used any unusual items in your fairy garden?
If you like the idea of making a fairy gypsy caravan from a lunchbox, don’t forget to pin it for later.
Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us keep our fairies happy 😉
Sending you blessings and fairy kisses as always. Thank you for popping in for a visit.
72 thoughts on “Re-purpose a Lunch Box and Make a Gypsy Caravan”
I love it!!!! I make fairy houses and villages, all the time. So, this quite intrigued me. I love finding things I have on hand to make my fairies happy. Ya’ll did an amazing job on it. TY for sharing your fairy friends abode.
You’re welcome, Linda. Making things for fairies is so rewarding and it’s amazing what you can repurpose to create something unique.
I just found this on pinterest and I can’t wait to try it. It is one of the coolest projects EVER! Thank you.
So happy you like the fairy caravan, Patricia. Hope you have loads of fun making yours
This is amazing! I LOVE adorable fairy gardens so much that I’m creating what I call my human sized fairy garden for myself.
What kind of glue do you use to glue your wood together? Like your ladder. I have tried a variety and so far nothing has been successful.
So happy you like the gypsy caravan, Michelle. Our fairies approve too 😉 I used E6000 to glue the wood. It’s waterproof and doesn’t discolor over time. It does take a while to dry though. Sorry to hear you’re having problems making fairy ladders. I do find it helps to sand to round edges flat on the rungs before gluing them down and use pegs as clamps while you wait for the glue to dry.
What a great project. Someday I want to make a caravan (or a small camper) for a gypsy doll I have. Meanwhile, I’m collecting minis to go in it. I’m 69 and arthritic. Several years ago I found a shallow wooden crate that I called a tree house. I put a set of metal table and chairs, a stool made with a silk sunflower glued over a spray paint lid, etc. in it and wedged it into the rose bush next to my front door right at eye level. No stooping and squatting to see what Tinkerbelle and friends (yard sale treasures) were doing. I suspended several of them with fishline–in midflight and they warned people not to walk too close to the thorns!
You made my day three times over Kathy ❤ Your little treehouse sounds so amazing. I would love to see that silk sunflower stool. How beautiful that sounds.
I love this so much! Its beautiful! I was wondering if you had any issues with waterproofing? My fairy gardens would be exposed to the elements, and I’m not sure how to water proof the tree bark roof or if I would need to when I make it?
Thank you so much. We usually seal our outdoor fairy homes with Marine varnish. It’s the best for protecting them from the elements and it doesn’t turn yellow over time either. A strong wind on the other hand is a different story. Fortunately we don’t get too many of those here.
I really love this!!! Pure genious!
Thank you so much Kellie, I’m glad you like it
😀 Thank you Katie 😀
What is that little trash can on the porch made out of?
The little trash can is a bead ? I think they normally get used to “frame” other beads or just before the clasp to finish a necklace off.
Michelle, this is so cute! Love that tree bark, and all those little details of the beautiful metal strips and the stained popsicle sticks! The wooden wheels! It’s all so charming! You know what it immediately reminded me of? Cher on an old YouTube video singing “Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves.” She’s standing outside of a caravan that looks like this. Girl, you nailed it. So impressed!
😀 Thank you Florence, I need to see if I can find that video on Youtube. I haven’t seen it. The hubby and I really love making fairy homes. It’s just so relaxing and the skies the limit when it comes to finding bits to use
I’m in love! Now I will have to scavenge a lunch box to add to my odd collection of oriental CD cases, teapots, and cast away aquarium supply faerie houses. Thank you!
Oh I’d love to see that collection of yours Michele, it sounds so amazing
I love this! I think I have seen some small lunch boxes at the Dollar Store once but they where for pencils, they would work too. I love making things out of things that most people would just throw away, so I find another purpose for them lol! My roommate thinks I’m nuts but I don’t care lol! I found a neat use for of all things, a cigarette roller! With some glue and some fabric you can make a couch for your fairies with pillows! I also added some cute matching beads for the legs they came out to cute! Plus I found some flat rocks for tables that I painted, added some glitter with a pattern and added matching beads for the legs. I also found acorn caps also make cute bowls for the table, I just added colored tiny beads with glue, The blue one are blueberries, red ones are cherries and yellow are grape! Can’t have my fairies starving right? Lol! Well thanks for the cute idea and reading this really long comment 🙂 .
Oh I’d love to see some of your fairy creations Tonya, that couch sounds adorable and the way you used different colored beads to make the fruit in the acorn bowls. That super clever out the box thinking. Thank you so much for your lovely comment too 😉
This is just adorable! How creative.
Thank you so much Heidi
This is beyond adorable, Michelle! Would I like to get inside your creative brain – who would ever think to turn a plastic lunchbox into an amazing fairy caravan. Very clever! Pinning and sharing ☺
There’s some weird stuff happening in my brain all the time Marie 😉 Thanks so much for the pin and the share
This has to be the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time! Love it and you have a wonderful imagination.
Thank you so much Anon
CUTEST caravan ever…oh my goodness, I just adore it. 🙂
Thank you very much Sarah 😉 I’m glad you like it
OMG this is absolutely gorgeous and so magical!!! i just love all the beautiful details! happy holidays michelle! xo
Thank you Ananda and to you too xoxoxox
This is both ingenious and SO STINKIN’ CUTE! I adore it! Your creativity is absolutely inspiring!
Awwww Zoe’s mom came to visit 😉 Thank you so much
Oh my gosh this is the cutest thing ever!! 🙂
Thank you much Christy 😀
I usually dislike ‘crafts’ intensely. Maybe that’s too much of a generaIisation but I find them incredibly tacky most of the time. This is just so tasteful and well done, though…..love the windows and the roof especially.
What a lovely compliment Shannon, thank you so much
AMAZING, I want something for my daughter and now I know what this is. My little girl would love it. I am appreciate your effort. Love it.
Glad you like it Thomas and I’m sure your little girl will love it if her dad makes her one 😉
OMG, This gypsy caravan is awesome. Michelle, You are very creative, every single thing like door, windows, wheels are so good. I need some lessons from you, I am speechless after looking at it. Great job dear.
Thank you Sadhna, Yay, I’m so glad you like it.
OMG!!!! This is so beautiful!!! Congratulations for the idea and the whole process!!!
Thank you so much Christina
Such a super creative idea Michelle! So sweet!!
Hey there Ilka 🙂 Thank you so much
I love it! I think its my favorite of all the fairy things you make. I’m pretty sure our fairies would love this. We don’t have a garden so we have city fairies. Have you ever heard of the iron fairies? We love them and collect them as we travel. All the best, Orana
Noooo, what are iron fairies? I need to go have a look see, I’ve never heard of them. Thanks for your lovely comment Orana and for introducing me to a new variety of fairies 😉
Holy crafty awesomeness! You really should sell these as my daughters would LOVE them and I just don’t have the time to really go into such amazing details…little posters and everything! Wow. You should do a round up of all the parts of fairy land pieces so we can see all the items put together. I would love that. Really beautiful work.
Thank you so much Leanne and thanks for the idea about doing a round up. That’s a great idea
Gosh I am completely blown away by this. It looks amazing! I love it. I am not that crafty so find it incredible when I see some of the fab things that people make from scratch!
Glad you like it Yvonne, and looking at all the beautiful things you do with the monkey’s I think you’re very crafty 😉
This is an amazing project. I tried last summer to make a fairy trailer like the ones from the 30’s but could not bend the material the way i needed too. Your is gorgeous. Pinning.
I’m glad you like it Leanna and thank you for the pin too 😉
You are truely an artist Michelle, I bow to you. This is the most amazing fairy craft I have ever seen. Love every detail it has, the mix of materials, the vibrant colors it has, and that birdcage is to die for. Amazing!!
Awwww Pili, thank you so very much. I must say that making fairy crafts is one of our favorite things. I love taking random objects and turning them into something fairies would enjoy.
Beautiful little caravan, I’m sure the fairies will love it x
Thank you Sarah <3
Oh WOW Michelle, this is super cute! You are so creative, and come up with some amazing creations. I love the little gypsy caravan, with all the tiny decor and details. I bet you have the happiest fairy’s around.
Thank you my friend, we need to keep those fairies happy so I garden can grow 😉
Michelle, this is amazing! And I don’t use that word lightly! If I still had my Barbie doll, I’d make this for Gypsy Barbie!
I’m so glad you like it Jean 😉
Oh wow wow wow!!! I do believe in fairies and Amelie is 100 % sure that they visit us daily in our little fairy spot… Your fairy gypsy caravan is so amazing Michelle, I am speechless, you are just the most creative person!
Yes a fellow fairy believer and I think Amelie is right, they ‘re definitely visiting you guys every day
Michelle, as always such an amazing, and creative project!! This fairy sized caravan is too cute!! I love the color and all the tiny details you’ve added. What a great repurpose of the lunch box, never would have guessed you used that, so cool!!
Don’t throw away those lunchboxes Keri 😉 Soon you’ll be able to make one with your girls too <3
Oh Michelle this is just too precious. I can just see the little people hiding under the plants and when you are not looking they will come out of hiding and go into their caravan. The attention you have paid to the details makes all the difference. And when I look at it I am amazed that it is made from a lunchbox! You have worked your magic again.
Thank you so much Mary. We love our little people, I’m sure they the reason are garden is so lush 😉
It looks awesome! I have a few wire muzzles that were left along with the wine corks, after a party, and they could be easily turned into tiny chairs and a tiny table for a fairy. I should try making them, as they would look great near this little caravan. 🙂 Thank you sharing the project!
Oh Gabi, they would be perfect with the caravan. I can just picture them outside. Please make them and share a pic, I would love to see
Ooooh – myyyy- gooood (my first reaction to your photo)!
I am never ever going to throw away icecream sticks (second ?), eeever!
Do we have anything simular like this lunchbox, I wonder?! Off to find out —
LOL Ana, thank you so much 😉 Hope you find something