The Green Space Travel Case + Goodbye to you

Spending as much time in thrift shops as I do (see the spoils at my etsy shop The Modern Hunter), I come across many items that just don’t seem to move. The slide carousel is #1. (Readymade magazine offered this guy up as a Macgyver challenge in its’ latest issue and I can’t wait to see what folks come up with.) Coffee makers are a strong second. And number 3, is old briefcases. I guess no one wants to look behind the times when it comes to business, so there they sit. I can’t stand to think of anything being left out, so I put my thinking cap on and came up with a way to get them back into circulation . I introduce to you The Green Space Travel Case for all your park time needs.


If you have a loved one who works in a concrete jungle and doesn’t have the opportunity to go eat with nature, this is just the thing for you to make as a surprise lunch kit. Not super practical for everyday use, but great as a pick me up for a day known to be full of tough meetings. And then once you’ve had your fun, just put it in a window to see if you can keep the grass growing for a little patch of park inside.

What you need:


1. An old briefcase or any kind of case really, preferably one that’s molded plastic so you don’t have to worry about lining it for watering the grass
2. piece of turf cut to size
3. spray adhesive
4. thin ice pack
5. wild life scene printed out to size, or you could also find a little painting that fits
6. cutlery (either standard stainless, fancy silver, or something biodegradable like these WüN guys by Aspenware)
7. a napkin
8. a traditional picnic style plate for nostalgia’s sake and some yummy food bits

How to do:

1. Once you’ve found a case you want to use (I recommend finding one WITH a handle. I didn’t, and it was kind of a pain to work out), get the dimensions of the inside bottom where the grass will go.

2. Call a local supplier of turf and see if they will sell you just that tiny amount. I ended up paying $3 for mine which I think is a pretty good deal.

3. Then set the turf outside on a plastic bag and give it a drink of water. You also might want to run your fingers through it to get the blades standing up again after being flattened by the roll.

4. Next, measure the inside of the case’s lid to get the dimensions for the piece of bristol board or foam core you”ll need to mount your nature scene on. My studio assistant (aka my mom) cut this one and did such a good job that it was a perfect press fit into the lid. That’s ideal because then you don’t have to mess around with trying to make it stay another way. Thanks Mom!

5. Use your spray adhesive to mount your nature scene onto the board.

6. Now you’re ready to green up that case. Take your turf and place it in the bottom space. Voila, instant outdoors.

7. When the time has come to pack your lunch up, take the ice sheet out of the freezer and slide it either behind the pockets (as pictured below) or into the largest pocket, if it will fit. This ice, combined with the cooling / insulating powers of the grass, should keep your lunch fresh. (Although I wouldn’t recommend risking sashimi…)


8. Take your nature scene and press it into place.

9. Build lunch display however you’d like (avoiding runny foods or sauces) and wrap your finished food landscape in plastic wrap. Now you’re all set to go!


10. Give it to someone you love!


And now, goodbye to you:

Thank you so much again for taking the time to read my posts! It has been such a pleasure to be here.
To keep up with my design antics visit:, and to see what other 3D cracker creations & DiY projects come out of this ol’ head, stay tuned to:

And a HUGE thank you to you Grace for inviting me to share with your readers.




That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen, in the best possible way. I love it, it really cheered me up, thanks!


For a more permanent, though less green version, you could use astroturf/fake grass. Either way, I love the idea!


I love it! I’m making it for my boy friend, so we’re having a pic nic in Milan!!!


your own patch of park! what a completely absurd, wonderful idea. i LOVE it!! and would so pull it out at lunch time.


this idea totally made my day! what a sweet little surprise to throw into a special someone’s day to day – oh i love it!


Holy crap that is a delightful/playful/fun/adorable way to eat lunch! Heck, I’d just sit that on a desk at work to feel like I’m outside or something. Why should lunch get all the fun? I love it!


I so-o-o-o love this idea. I have Lupus and I just am not able to go outside — it’s a UV thing. I used to be a gardener, so I really miss being outdoors. I am going to find what I need to make this I know on my “bad day’s” this will make me feel better! Thanks for sharing your creativity.

beck b.

how long does the grass last before it’s dead i wonder? they had grass as a centerpiece in a wedding i was just in, and it lasted 2 weeks tops. but this is such a so dang cute idea. i just wish it would last longer.

A Despi

how whimsical and green! i’m thinking of a similar, smaller setup with a lunchbox and tropical scenery and a thin layer of sand glued onto crumpled cardboard. kisskiss for the inspiration!


This cracks me up in the best possible way-I love it! I totally agree with the pp and want to do this so badly on a smaller scale. So fun! I’ll be linking.


I love this picnic basket idea. I’m home with a broken foot and I can’t wait to do this project. Some people r just so clever!! U go girl…


That photo you used…I’ve seen it before but cannot remember where? I’d love to know cuz it always catches my eye. thanks!

Paige Russell

Thanks for your comments everyone! I hope you have fun making your own little portable parks. I hope it helps bring some outdoors in for you Sherry. And Kelsey, the image was a chunk of a long backdrop I used for an installation of my North American Wild Life series ( It’s a classic paint-by-numbers painting that I digitally repeated. Happy crafting everyone! xo


i cannot tell you how much i love this. i am going to make at least one million, starting immediately.


I love the portable park picnic!
PPP for the BBB (portable park picnic for the busy-bodied bussinessperson).
Thank you for all your inspiration.
Much love.


So I step away for one minute and a doggy marked my little spot of grass as his own!


Kelsey, same thing happened to me. The image was a long time ago in the boxes of a brand of colored pencils called Alpino… Such memories… And the suitcase is awesome!

Abby Lynne

I love this idea! It is so adorable and a great way to “take a break from work!” Thanks!!!


Dear Paige!

I absolutely adore your idea! I hope it´s ok for you if I also present it on my blog and feature your pics as well? With full credits of course! :-)

Best wishes from Vienna!

liz Cohn

what a great idea and an excellent execution. this could be your ticket to fame.

L Mikkelsen

Dear Paige
Love the idea.
How does one keep the food from sliding all over in there? Do you handle the case horizontally rather than vertically as shown?
All the best, L


wow! that is super clever.
This can go in many directions based on the idea of origin.
Lovin it!!


Someone I know also had a great idea to use Velcro with the picture so you could change the scenery and visit different places for lunch!!!