Magical Thrifted Trunk DIY

Contributed by: Denise, Salvation Army Thrift Store Creative Expert and creator of Thrifty by Design.

Everyone needs a magical trunk, don’t they? Here’s a DIY for those wanting to go a bit over the top with a dated thrift store find. This trunk was made of particle board and didn’t have the best bones or hardware but it did have potential! There’s always those items you pass by without a thought but maybe you should take a second look.

I revamped this trunk and upcycled a belt to create this one-of-a-kind magic trunk. It didn’t take long and it’s a fun way to relove a dated find.


  •  a trunk
  • a belt 
  • screws for the upcycled belt handle
  •  primer
  • a can of spray paint - you may need more depending on the size of the trunk and how many coats of paint you need
  • Varathane to seal the paint
  • glow in the dark stickers


First remove the hardware and clean up the pieces. Once you’ve cleaned up the top and bottom then you can add a coat or two of primer then 2 or 3 coats of colour. I used a bright blue spray paint for the finish. 

Once the paint is dry, you can seal it with a couple of coats of Varathane then put it back together again.


Next I added glow in the dark stickers and then used pieces of the belt for the front and side handles. The front flap is folded over at the top then I used screws to attach it to the trunk.

Here is one of the side handles using the upcycled leather belt.

Tada! It’s done and ready for magic making…

All it needs now is costumes, magic tools and someone with a lot of imagination.

A cost effective addition to any child’s playroom! Next time you see a trunk at the Salvation Army Thrift Store maybe you should pick it up and make magic with it. Total cost may vary but this ended up costing me approximately $25.

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