Have you dreamt of having your own museum? Well now you can! Local storyteller and artist Gordon Maclellan aka The Creeping Toad is well-known in the Peak District and beyond. Whilst in lockdown, Gordon shows you some boredom-busting activities to do at home. You can watch the film here but you might find the instructions handy too.

Do you collect small treasures?

Do you find fossils or stones or shells on walks?

Do you pick up feathers and snail shells in your garden?

Do you find old coins, toys, cogwheels, ribbons and shoelaces?

People collect all sorts of things!

Perhaps you have a collection of treasures that you cherish. Why not turn them into your own museum: store them, display them, write about them?

 We have a set of posts coming up now that will help you plan a museum of your own that will fit on a shelf or maybe hang on your wall

The Victorians used to make Cabinets of Curiosities where treasures – just like yours and even stranger – were displayed for visitors to wonder over.

We will take that idea and make small cabinets….

First thing: storing, preparing for display

In a museum we will often use little cardboard boxes to keep things safe and separate from all the other bits in the same drawer or cabinet. You can buy cardboard trays like this but it is more fun to make your own…

Start by having a rummage….can you dig out last year’s Christmas cards from the bundle at the bottom of the cupboard, or the birthday cards you don’t quite want to throw out, or use a cereal packet (good card for making and folding, just maybe not as exciting in images as cards)

You will need:

  • a card or two
  • sharp scissors
  • a ruler
  • pencils or pens
  • glue (PVA is good here) and glue spreader
  • stapler (or paper clips)


  • bradawl (or something for making holes – a pair of compasses would work)
  • thin string

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  1. Cut the card in half along the fold – keep the “plain” half, you will need it later

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  1. Using the either half of the card, draw a margin maybe 2 cm from each edge of the card

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  1. Where the lines cross at the corners, carefully cut along one of those lines to the point where the lines meet (we cut the scribbled blue lines here)
  1. This card usually folds quite sharply, so now (use the ruler for a straight edge if you want to) fold up along each of those lines and where you have cut in, fold the short bit to make a corner

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  1. Before gluing it all together, decide: do you want keep the picture on the inside of the box. on the outside (you could always line the inside with some spare wrapping paper, or make a bigger box to become a lid.). Reverse the folding if you want to change the position of the picture.
  2. Making sure the sides of your box are sharply upright, glue the corner tabs onto the next side. A staple or a paperclip will hold it all in place. If the picture is inside and the outside is too plain, you could colour it in or add some coloured tape. Or sprinkle it with glitter!

You could keep your box as a box to put small treasures in. if you have made it with the picture on the inside you might like to use the rest of the card to make some small characters to fit inside it and use the bradawl and string to make a loop…

Experiment with papers, colours, tapes, sequins. Try different places to hang them: from your ears? on your fingers (and create a fabulous dance around them)? a snowman’s nose?

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