Plain vintage suitcases are pretty great but cover them in your favorite coordinating fabrics and your house just got cuter! Not only do they look cute in your home, they’re great photo props. Decorate a nursery, stack them high in your living room, stand them up behind other items on a shelf, etc. It’s an easy way to add color to your space without investing a lot of money.
Keep an eye out for hard cases with stitched seams (for tucking fabric in) and think about using a variety of sizes for great impact. You no longer have to pass up the perfect case shape because of a nick in the vinyl!
First, gather your supplies. I used three vintage suitcases that I had on hand and chose three fabrics that coordinated with their colors. The color of the case will still show so keep that in mind when you’re choosing fabrics. You’ll also need Mod Podge, a paint brush, a pen, scissors, a rotary cutter (or a butter knife). Next, lay your fabric face down on the case and carefully trace into the groove of the seam. Then cut about 1/4″ extra around your trace line and place it on top of your case to make sure it’s going to fit. Iron your fabric before attaching to get all the wrinkles out.
Carefully spread a thin layer of Mod Podge over one third of your case starting at one side. It dries quickly so you want to work in sections. Line your fabric up and spread it evenly over the first third of your case making sure it covers the corners. Smooth your fabric as you attach it to the Mod Podge.
Your fabric should hang over your edge about 1/4″ or more. You can either pull it tight over the edge and trim it with your scissors before tucking the fabric in to the seam with a butter knife, or you can use a rotary cutter to simultaneously tuck it in and trim. You need to be a little more careful with the second method. Watch out for your fingers! Do this one section at a time.
When you’re dealing with corners, apply a little extra Mod Podge to your fabric and create two little pleats before you tuck the fabric in. It’ll mimic the pleats in your suitcase nicely. You can repeat the same fabric on both sides or alternate depending on how you’re going to display them.
This project turned out to be much easier than I thought with fewer complications than expected. Give yourself about half an hour per side, per case and be sure to let one side dry completely before tackling the other. ♥
I can’t wait to see some fabric-covered suitcase photos! xo. Rachel
Gorgeous, I’m off to a car boot sale on Sunday and am determined to find at least one vintage suitcase now!
I found a suitcase at a little mart for 52 cents that looks identical to the middle blue suitcase. I look forward to attempting this DIY!
Where do you find suitcases like this??? I know all sorts of adorable crafts you can do with them but I’m just having trouble finding one! anyone know?
Natalie, you modpodge on the suitcase and then adhere the fabric to it.
These are so cute! Just found on pinterest. One question, do you modge podge over the fabric or just underneath to attach it to suitcase?
So cute! Totally gonna do this once I find some vintage suitcases like that!
I just bought some suitcases at an antique store and didn’t know what I was going to do with them! I want to try this and stack them and use them as a side table in the guest bedroom!
Thanks for the adorable inspiration!
Can’t wait to get my new bag just ordered it in the new black and cream print dsamak,at the Open Studio today, May 1st. You are fun people, and the service was great! And you let me stay after closing time! But I got home and was looking at different, shoes, clothes .. and a new black jacket I have . You were right; I should’ve ordered the SILVER TONE metal rings, instead of the brass. Is it too late to change it?
Linda Ellis Posted on Today I googled how to put gtitler on a birdhouse and your project came up first .this is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time I had to put my paint brush down and tell you (as my fingers are sticking to the keys) because I just finished gtitlering the roof of my birdhouse which is going to be a bunny house with a pale pink roof. You are too funny!!! And I really needed a laugh on this Monday afternoon. Thanks for your humor!! and keep on crafting .it’s fun!!! Linda in SOUTH ALABAMA!
NotaGirlyMom Posted on ROFLThis is even better than the reecnt posting on my FB page where my SIL documented the epic glitter-ness that her not quite 3 year old had created when she got into a small container of Mommy’s expensive Martha Stewart glitter.
Lauren Posted on Totally awesome idea, spot on with error in exeoitucn! Perhaps next round try holding the caps in place and just simply painting on some elmers school glue A: less likely to get under the caps (& maybe leave caps in place while applying the glitter) & B: super easy to wash off your hands! :)Just my humble thoughts and opinions! But I LOVE the idea And the tip about the #6 plastic working like shrinky dinks! I had no clue! Yay!
adorable…can’t wait to tackle this!
Do you think this would work on the newer,hard luggage? I saw one at a yard sale that the airline had cracked with duct tape on it. I hesitated to buy it. Now I’m wondering if I should have picked it up.
Do you think that these would actually hold up to real air plane travel? Not checked baggage, but just as carry on? I’d love to do this to my vintage white samsonite safari suitcase. IT’s very dingy on the sides and this could help it look very nice.
This is so nice…I was wondering what type of fabric did you use.
Thank you for sharing
I wonder if this could be done with old trunks too…
I’ve found that Etsy has a great collection of hard case vintage luggage.
Check these out!