Hi everyone, it's Joan, and I'm back to share a fun diy repurposed suitcase makeover. A few weeks ago I hit the scavenging jackpot when I was offered the chance to go thru a pile of props used by a theatre company.
The theatre company had housed all their costumes, props, stage accessories...you name it, in an old elementary school. Unfortunately, (or fortunately for me) the school was being demolished and they had to move all their stuff. They had a day to do it.
Most of the props had seen better days but there were a few things that caught my eye including this old vintage suitcase. It was missing the handle, one of the locks didn't work and it smelled. I love it already!
It was disgustingly dirty and the first order of business was to give him a good scrubbing.
The inside was no better. It smelled like an old unused suitcase (imagine that!)
I know, it's a shame to rip out that beautiful, orange silky fabric with all the stains and pockets. But I have no shame, and it did smell better already.
Even with the scrubbing, the outside still looked dirty, so I made the executive decision to give him a couple of coats of white chalk paint.
For the inside, a pattern was made of tissue paper to the exact size of the top and bottom of the suitcase.
The pattern was then transferred to a thin plywood and the plywood was cut out with a jigsaw.
The plywood looks better already. It's not attached yet, just making sure the board fits.
You can still see a lot of the remnants of the glue that held the fabric and some cardboard. The plywood will cover the bottom and top but the sides still need to be cleaned up better. Used a squirt bottle filled with water to wet down the glue and used a putty knife and razor blade to scrape out all the excess. I had no idea that old suitcases were actually made of wood.
If you like, you can leave the plywood as is, paint it, stain it...it's up to you. I wanted mine covered with fabric.
The wood plywood was used as a pattern to cut the fabric. Doesn't have to be exact, just leave about an inch and a half on all sides. Do remember to iron your fabric before attaching.
Because the plywood was so thin, I couldn't staple, used a glue gun instead to attach the fabric. Just like you would cover a chair, work out from the center, pulling tight as you go.
The interior sides were then painted white with a white semi gloss trim paint.
I wanted stripes on the outside so these were measured out...
...and painted. Above, it only has one coat, it did end up needing 2 coats of the yellow.
Two shelves were cut, the exact width of the plywood backer, rough edges were sanded, then they too were painted with the semi-gloss white paint.
The shelves were attached with screws to the back of the plywood.
For the interior of the door, I wanted something to hold necklaces, bracelets, or anything else dangly. Two leftover pieces of trim were cut, about ½ inch shorter than the width of the plywood. They, too, were sanded and painted with the semi-gloss white paint, then screwed on from the back to the fabric covered plywood.
The shelves were only held on with screws from the back of the plywood so a couple of finish nails were used to hold the shelf in place. Those holes were then filled and painted.
When all the paint was dry, the outside got a coat of clear wax.
Both panels were attached with builders adhesive (liquid nails) and pressed into position.
The sides of the shelves got a bit of paintable caulk to fill in all the gaps. When the caulk was dry, any areas that still needed it, received a little paint touch up.
Repurposed Suitcase Jewelry Shelf
Screwed in cup hooks to the trim. If you have longer dangly things, the trim board can be placed higher in the suitcase.
A knob from Hobby Lobby (looks antique doesn't it?) is attached to the lower corner.
The mirror is a Goodwill find. Was actually looking for a rectangle mirror, when I found this one. Perfect size. The mirror got a coat of black paint then it was also attached with Liquid Nails.
Sorry for all the pictures, sometimes they tell a story far better then I ever could.
Have I inspired you to dig in Grandma's attic for her old suitcase?
Hi there, can you show/tell us how you attached to the wall??
Since these old suitcases are made out of wood you can either screw directly thru the suitcase to the wall or attach hooks to the back. Hope that helps.
Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai
Oh, how cool is that?! I love vintage suitcases, and this is a fabulous idea. Please come share your blog posts over at the Home Matters Linky Party! We'd love to have you for a visit. The Door is OPEN. http://lifewithlorelai.com/2015/07/23/home-matters-linky-party-47/ 🙂
Life With Lorelai
thanks for all the photos, they do tell the story better than our words. I have some vintage suitcases....now just to get busy!
I really couldn't describe with words the abuse I put that poor suitcase through. So glad you liked it.
This is an awesome idea! I would have never thought to do this.. genius! Thanks for sharing.
I collect vintage suitcases and I think this redo is fabulous! Love the yellow stripes and the mirror -- nice touch!
I love it! All your ideas are so great! Pinning!
Love this repurpose!
I have an old suitcase and would love to do something like this with it...but currently in the state that its in, the bottom of the suitcase is already trying to separate from the rest of the suitcase.. I have it setting on a table and use it for storage. I should give this a THINK... and try a makeover!
I'd love to see it used in my camper! You've given me lots of ideas here...
Your's turned out so cute! I love the fabric and shelves... AND HOOKS! all things I love.
chris aka monkey
lots of work but how cute is this love it xx
this is awesome! love how it is repurposed!
I WANT THIS. What an adorable medicine cabinet or jewelry holder or... So many possibilities!
Marie@The Interior Frugalista
Joan, what a creative way to transform an old suitcase. Perfect for storing jewelery and so pretty!
OMG, totally love this idea! I'm getting ready to redo my 1/2 bath and now I'm on the hunt for a suitcase to use as a medicine cabinet!
Love what you have done with this suitcase, what a great idea. I love finding new things to do with old suitcases and this one is great.
Joan, I love your creativity! I have an old purple cosmetic case that I've been wanting to makeover, but wasn't sure how to go about it. You have totally inspired me! Love the colors you chose, too!
I love your repurposed suitcase! I think this would be perfect for a guest room.
I've never been the recipient of such a vintage suitcase. Thanks for sharing your great project today.
What a unique idea. Now I am on the hunt for an old suitcase! Thanks for the idea!