Thinking outside the shoebox – DIY

You know one of the perks of working at a sporting goods company like adidas? You never fall short of shoes. And with that of course come those piles of shoe boxes.

So my next DIY project is converting a shoe box into a suitcase.

But this time I am working on a DIY for a special reason. The adidas Group has just opened up applications for the next round of the Talent Carousel Programme – an exciting internal career development opportunity that would offer 20 adidas Group employees the chance to make a career move into a completely new area in a completely new location. Just how exciting is that!

The first round of the application process involves submitting brand “you” within a shoebox. This shoebox is your canvas to show the world how you represent collaboration, confidence and creativity. My first thoughts: Let’s literally target “thinking outside the box.” I didn’t just want to submit brand “Me” in a shoe box. I wanted it to mean something.

The wide universe out there has so much to offer in terms of people, cultures, experiences and learnings and that’s what the Talent Carousel stands for to me. An unquenchable thirst for knowledge and growth that I will take along with me wherever I go. And I am all ready for that next step. And this is what the suitcase represents. However, wherever I go, there are something that will remain constant – The “I” factor. The thing that makes everyone special and helps us celebrate diversity and benefit from it. And it’s this “I” factor that will reside within my suitcase.

As this is my blog on travel, DIYs, scribbles and random musings, this blog post will only cover how I transformed the shoe box into a suitcase. Hey and even if you are not really applying for any career programmes, believe me, the suitcases make adorable storage boxes! Here’s nine steps for this easy and fun project. Well easy is probably a bit of an exaggeration. There are a couple of steps to get there, but hey – no pain, no gain!


  • Scissors
  • A shoe box of your choice
  • Acrylic paint (black, white and brown)
  • Paint brushes
  • Faux leather cloth
  • Metal rings
  • Hot glue gun
  • Measuring tape
  • Scotch tape or double sided tape (optional)


Step 1:

Take your shoe box and cover them with three coats of paint. I chose an adidas Y-3 shoe box as it was bigger than your average sneaker box size. Start with a coat of black paint, then brown and then white. Make sure you allow each coat of paint to dry completely.

Step 2:

You now need the faux leather material to make leather strips for your box. First measure the length of the lid of the box and extend the measurement by atleast 5 cm to make sure to also cover the side flaps of the box.


Measure the width of the metal ring to give you the width for the strips. Now cut out 2 such strips. Mine turned out to be 33 x 3 cm.


Step 3:

Now stick the 2 strips onto the lid of the box. Measure to make sure you paste them exactly the same distance from the side of the lid (5cm from the edge). Starting at the top end of the lid, paste it down so the extra length hangs loose in the front. This will give you space to attach the metal rings.


Step 4:

Repeat this process for the sides of the actual shoe box.


Step 5:

The next step is to attach the lid to the bottom of the shoe box. For this you would need to cut the corners of the back of the lid open and stick one side of the shoe box to the open flap of the lid. Press down firmly.


Step 6:

Now take the metal rings and loop it through the extra fabric hanging in front of the shoe box lid and stick the fabric firmly together around the metal ring.


Step 7:

Next, take another strip of fabric and stick it to the front of the shoe box. This will form your suitcase handle.


Step 8:

Now for the final touch. Cut 8 small circles from the left-over fabric. They could be around 2.5 cm radius. I did not have a compass and hence I used the lid of a spice bottle.


Cut out one quarter of the circle. The remaining three quarters will act as the edges for your shoe box.


Step 9:

Paste these at the corners of the shoe box and voila, check out that transformation. You are now all set for your next adventure!



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