My eldest son has developed a serious preoccupation with Harry Potter. He's up to book 4 and lives, sleeps and breathes the adventures of his 13-year-old heroes, so for his 8th birthday last weekend, I decided to make him a wizarding trunk.

The first step was to find the right kind of trunk. After a bit of research (and finding lots of cases selling for $70 - $180) I managed to get an old wooden one on ebay for $30 (£20).

The structure was sound, but the trunk required a bit of cosmetic tlc; I loved the battered exterior, but needed to re-do the inside, with a Gryffindor colour scheme of maroon and gold. I ripped out the loose areas of lining paper, mainly around the corners and edges, then sanded the remaining interior to give me a surface I could paint to good effect.

For the paint, I wanted a small quantity of hardwearing paint in specific colours, so I had low-sheen sample pots of emulsion mixed up at the DIY shop. Cheap too!

While the gold base coat was drying, I cut out the sponge stamps (using a washing-up sponge) for printing the check and diamond repeat patterns. The actual stamping part was very quick, taking less than an hour to print the whole interior, including awkward corners and touch-ups.

The final stage was glueing on the paper luggage labels. The most fantastic find were these Harry Potter posters by designer and illustrator Caroline Hadilaksono. Such an amazing talent; these posters are hand drawn and painted in gouache, and when printed out on a smaller scale they make perfect Hogwarts travel stickers. Here's where I found the Hogwarts crest, created by an avid fan (scroll down to find printable version). Here is one of the quidditch badges, and here's the other, plus the Gryffindor shield I pasted to the inside of the lid. I PVA'd the labels on the back and smoothed them down onto the trunk, lightly painting the right side with glue too, to stop the ink bleeding.

Here is the finished trunk, complete with Harry Potter costume sent over from England by devoted grandparents, and magical accessories and books procured from local charity (op) shops in Sydney.

A very happy customer.