Forum: General

Wooden suitcase prop help
By imadanseurPremium member
On Thu Mar 27, 2008 09:53 AM
Edited by imadanseur (79325) on 2008-03-27 10:05:58 it would be helpful if i wrote something before hitting the submit button.

My kids are doing a tap dance to this song called bell hop boogie. I need some wooden suitcases they can tap on. Anyone made anything like this? They have to be light enough for them to dance with (they are about 10) and thick enough so that they sound decent when they tap on them.

Can anyone give me dimensions, or types of wood they have used and how hard they are to make??

Thanks in advance.

9 Replies to Wooden suitcase prop help

re: Wooden suitcase prop help
By tutuforuPremium member
On Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:23 AM
Edited by tutuforu (96520) on 2008-03-27 10:30:06 add
Hey Renae, I had my Dad make dozens of wooden suitcases years ago. He used a very lightweight plywood for the sides and back and a heavier weight plywood for the side you stand on to tap. He used drawer handles as the suitcase handle. Sorry, I can't recall the dimensions but just draw out on a piece of paper the size you think you need then stand in it and try some steps and see if you go off the sides.Make it bigger or smaller as needed for your guide.
Wish I still had them to give to you. I am out of town right now but if you need a pix of them I can email one to you when I get back to Illinois.
re: Wooden suitcase prop help
By kimbe924Premium member
On Thu Mar 27, 2008 01:59 PM
We found a an art case at hobby lobby and painted it black. It is a little heavy but very durable to dance on. Works great!
re: Wooden suitcase prop help
By Joel607
On Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:33 PM
We made our own suitcases years ago as well. I think I still have four (or more). They've been used in at least two dance routines (competitive and recital only) and at least one theatre production.

We've painted them different colors and they still look great.

I'm not at the studio, but we decided on the dimensions based on the kids. I'm guessing somewhere in the 18" or 24" square and about 2"-3"thick when laying down.

They are made out of plywood. I would suggest however, using a thicker grade for both sides for better support.

I'll try to check the size and email you again.

Good Luck!
re: Wooden suitcase prop help
By passion4pointe
On Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:25 AM
I danced with wooden suitcases for tap one year when I was younger, and we also had to dance on top of them. They were basically a box about 20" x 16" x 3 1/2" the wood was almost an inch thick and the pieces were just screwed together, and there was a cheap handle on it also (like a drawer handle, you could find everything at home depot)and they were painted completely black. I didn't make them but they looked easy enough to make.

Hope this helps :D
re: Wooden suitcase prop help
By bisousbisou
On Fri Mar 28, 2008 05:46 PM
We got that same wooden art case from AC Moore. They were about $20.
re: Wooden suitcase prop help
By startapper
On Sat Mar 29, 2008 01:14 PM
We did Kansas City a couple of years ago and one of my dance parents made the suitcases out of plywood. They were light enough for the girls to carry, but heavy enough for them to tap on, too!
re: Wooden suitcase prop help
By danzing2
On Sat Mar 29, 2008 07:37 PM
Just make sure if you are only using plywood to also get some 2 X 4's to cut for inside support. one in each suitcase in the middle is usually enough
re: Wooden suitcase prop help
By tswetz
On Sun Mar 30, 2008 07:23 AM
I think my old studio owner used wooden boxes that wine used to come in. Don't know if that'll help.
re: Wooden suitcase prop help
By tutufun
On Mon Mar 31, 2008 06:23 PM
I concur with everything mentioned so far. We were fortunate to find a source of actual suitcase handles, which was a nice touch.

It's worthwhile to build them to last -- as well as building a couple extra suitcases for future use.

Ours have been painted black, and used as brief cases. They've been painted brown, and embellished with vintage travel stickers, just to name two of the ways they were reused!

Good Luck!


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