I went to the Dollar Tree and they were just putting out a bunch of styrofoam coolers. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to get one. I am always trying to tell everyone to look at things in a different way and see what you can create out of it. The shape of the styrofoam cooler looked just like a trunk to me. I knew we could easily turn this cooler into a small decorative trunk.

The supplies I will be using are:

1. Small styrofoam cooler from the Dollar Tree

2. Small hinges (mine are one inch and they are from Walmart)

3. Flat black spray paint

4. Hot glue

5. Paint brush

6. Brown shipping paper

7. Scissors

8. Black paint

9. Brown paint (I’m using Burnt Umber and Chocolate Brown)

10. Polyurethane spray

11. Sanding sponge

12. Mod podge

13. Cinnamon

The first step is to use the sanding sponge to sand away the rings on top of the cooler.

I used the side of the sanding sponge to create some lines all over the cooler. The lines will help to give it a wood look.

I then cut two strips from the brown shipping paper. You can use any type of paper or even material foe this part.

I used the mod podge to attach the strips to the cooler.

I wrapped the strips on each end of the cooler. It was easier to make sure they go evenly around by leaving them each one long strip. I then used the scissors to cut the strips at the seam of the lid.

Be sure to add more mod podge at the ends. I want these strips to appear as leather straps on the trunk.

I then attached the hinges onto the cooler.

I added hot glue to the hinge and then I added hot glue to the screws.

Once the lid was attached I then sprayed the whole cooler with the flat black spray paint.

I did a very light coat of the black spray paint.

I then painted on the burnt umber paint.

I covered the whole cooler with the burnt umber paint.

I added some black paint here and there over the burnt umber.

Once the paint was completely dry I then used the chocolate brown paint on the paper strips.

I sprinkled on cinnamon while the paint was still wet.

Once both paper strips were painted and dry I then sprayed polyurethane over the whole cooler.


This is so easy to make and you can use it for so many things. It looks great with flowers and will be perfect for Halloween candy. I hope you will all get creative and give this a try.