Vintage suitcases are a great upcycle project!
Old suitcases add a feeling of history to any room. As a bonus, they provide storage as well and are just plain looking awesome! You can stack them. Matched or mismatched; they make a great coffee table or display table. I’m currently working on making my granddaughter a vanity from an old suitcase I found so please check back for pics on that project.
Where to find vintage suitcases?
You or a family member may already have one. Check in the attic or basement. If not, check out your local thrift store, Craigslist or vintage store. You can leave them as they are. They look great worn and tattered, with a feeling of past trips and adventures. Or you can give them a facelift by painting them! White, black, match your décor or add a wild punch of color!
Where to start?
Look at the case; do edges need to be glued? Glue them. Do holes need patching? Drywall putty will do the trick. If the lining is in good condition, you can leave it. Often the lining is in bad shape, torn or stained or musty smelling. Tear it out using pliers. You will likely also need a chisel or scrapping tool to scrape off old glue. Make it pretty!
Paint it! Use a primer for the first coat. Primer allows finishing paint to adhere much better than if it were used alone. For the 2nd and 3rd coat, any interior latex paint will work. Two coats should be enough. Add a design or stencil if you want. I like to distress lightly to give a feeling of age and history. Just use 100-150 grit sandpaper and lightly remove some of the paint at the corners and edges where wear would naturally occur with use. Not happy with the distressing, just repaint it. Finish with an application of furniture wax or spray on a coat or two of urethane sealer to protect your project.
A great way to finish the interior or the suitcase is to decoupage it with Mod Podge. Use gift-wrap paper, scrapbook paper, paper napkins or pages from an old book. You can make it totally original!
Add a base to make a suitcase table. Cut the back off a chair or find a bench or the base of a glass top table. But make sure the proportions and style are pleasing to the eye.
BE CREATIVE, MAKE IT YOU AND HAVE FUN!
Material I used for this project:
- Vintage Suitcase (Antique store)
- Materials depending on the project you decide (Home Depot)