Make Your Own Floral Suitcase!

 

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. ♥

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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!

    Lindsay

  • 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!

  • 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’ve found that Etsy has a great collection of hard case vintage luggage.

    Check these out!
    http://www.etsy.com/search?includes%5B%5D=tags&q=hard+case+luggage

  • I did a suitcase, and have a photo but have no clue how to send it to you 🙂 but the idea was great! I mean your idea 🙂

  • The suitcase with the yellow flower print is my favorite. What makes projects like this more fun is the fact that there is no limit as to the kind of design and color combinations you can create. And in the end, you get to decide what end-design works for you or not.

  • i absolutely love this.
    i have vintage suitcases but they are
    all brown, and pretty dull.
    but this has totally help me to make them look cuter.!
    😀
    thankyou.
    x

  • OK Someone needs to send me a big Kick in the rear, I have just donated those ugly suit cases to good will. Maybe i can go and buy them back, perfect for our cabin. Laying around for 15 years, now look how sweet they could have been.

  • ~Inspired!
    I am just in love with the fact that thrift stores have all I need to keep me busy on an artsy fit.
    Thank you!

  • http://www.guccibagsjapan.com/ 国土交通省運輸安全委員会は同日、船舶事故調査官を派遣。苫小牧海保は船長から事情を聴くなど事故の原因を調べる一方、巡視船など5隻とヘリを出して行方不明者を捜索している。

  • Amazing work on suitcase. I love your stunning work. I like your creative idea to decor a suitcase with flower design. It’s really helped me a lot in my project.

  • What a brilliant idea! I have passed up many cases before because the front was damaged or faded, but this is such amazing inspiration to see just what can be done to an old case. And to think you can co-ordinate or mix and match colors and fabrics however you wish! Wonderful!!!

  • I love this idea, but I have a question for you: do you have a trick for getting rid of the musty mildewy basement smell that is often associated with old luggage? I have some that are cute but don’t smell cute. Congrats on the homie!

  • I just found your blog through pinterest and I LOVE it! So cute, such great ideas. I’m going to spend a lot of time here. I have always loved these vintage suitcases (and hoarded them!) but passed many up due to scratches. No more! Do you have any tips for how to fix up the inside of the suitcases? Thanks so much.

  • I cannot remember how I came across this blog although I love these suitcases. I have got a collection of old suitcases which I started creating at the end of 2010. I have got two covered in old newspaper, as well as two more suitcases with fabric.
    What do you do with these suitcases also, if you don’t mind me asking, do you sell them, or do you keep them and admire them?

  • Oops..Link:

    http://papaisapreacher.blogspot.com/2012/02/and-wind-blew-her-hair.html

  • I loved it. I did it (: Here’s the link if you’d like to see..

    http://papaisapreacher.blogspot.com/2012/02/and-wind-blew-her-hair

  • Gonna use this to recover the suitcase that I’m using to make a bed for my cat! Can wait!

  • I managed to get a couple of vintage suitcases from my great aunt and they are way rattier than yours, so this would make a wonderful project to give them a new lease on life.Thanks!

  • Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous….i’m going to be hunting for one of these cases this weekend!! x

  • This is so awesome! You have inspired me to make a craft-book, and a ton of your DIY crafts are going into it (of course, you are credited.)

  • These are lovely! especially the top one!

    Katie x
    www.katiescreative.blogspot.com

  • Hi there! I found this posting on pinterest and I love this idea! And I can’t wait to try it this weekend, actually. I was wondering if the Mod Podge will stand the test of time. I’m planning on making my suitcase into a bedside table, so I need the fabric to really stick to the suitcase. How durable do you think the Mod Podge is?

    Thank you for the inspiration.

  • These are so cute…where did you get the fabric I have been looking for vintage inspired fabric or old feedsacks to do several different things with and I cannot find anything I like!!

  • thank you for this idea i love it! i had an old suitcase like this that was my mom’s and always wanted to use it but it wasn’t really attractive so i recovered it with some adorable fabric and now i love it!!!!

  • Saw this on Pinterest and had to come check you out! Love this…and your blog rocks! 🙂

  • so cute! i tried this and i love mine. thanks for the idea 🙂

    pic of the suitcase: http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s720x720/399375_2555042434571_1209240138_32486082_850023261_n.jpg

  • just gorgeous! I saw the cutest little vintage case in a shop yesterday, and I’m going to go back tomorrow and buy it so I can do this! 🙂

  • Found an old suitcase for $5 at a rummage sale and fixed it up. Thanks for the DIY!

  • EVERYTHING on your site inspires me to the nth degree! I am literally itching in my seat to leave work and start D.I.Ying, crafting, repurposing, and thrifting!

    So…Thank you!

  • love love love this! i am going to give it a try when i find some suitable suitcases! I’ll post pics when it happens. p.s. lurve your blog too! xx

  • Brilliant I tell ya, Brilliant!!! Great job, awesome idea. You rock 🙂

  • I love how you tied together the three different shades into one piece using the fabrics to unify the color scheme. Gorgeous! And fun 🙂

  • I love these! I featured this tutorial on my blog here-
    http://punkprojects.blogspot.com/2011/10/return-of-make-it-monday.html

    -Katie

  • Saw this on pinterest and had to see it up close. Too cute and now I’m kicking myself for all those plain old suitcases I passed up in thrift stores. I think I’m going to try it on a vintage train case that I keep my camera equipment in! Can’t wait! -random nicole

  • oh my gosh!!
    LOVE!!!
    I really adore your fabric choices as well!

    http://bellyfringe.blogspot.com/

  • Just the look of those suitcases makes my day. So beautiful, I must rush out & buy an old one to cover now!

    I. Know.x

    http://iknowlesnothing.blogspot.com/

  • Very Cute! Very creative! I have a blue one just like yours! I’m gonna try that!

  • what a wonderful idea! I really like the idea of differing floral patterns in the same set!

  • Love this too! What a great way to add some decor to your house well also making storage space!

  • These hard-sided suitcases are great to use to store all of your holiday decorations and ornaments safely!

  • I love this idea! i have a few cases around my house im so going to try this out, thanks for this how to.

    Zoe

    http://blessedbeeapothecary.blogspot.com

  • oh thats so cute!!

    www.herpersona.blogspot.com
    www.herpersona.blogspot.com

  • This is super cute and adorable! I collect vintage suitcases. Can’t wait to try this! I have a question, how should we clean them? Any advise? Thanks!

  • this is such a great idea! i definitely want to try this.

    sorry for all the comments! i’m catching up on my bloglovin’ roll and i’m loving your blog!

    love
    kelly

    www.paperdolltheory.com

  • so dang cute! anyone ever tell you that you look like zoey deschanel? so dang cute!

  • These are brilliant! I’ve just started a collection of vintage suitcases so I think I’ll try this DIY

    Victoria x
    thriftersoftheworldunite.com

  • so so cute. i can think of a hundred uses! (well, maybe not quite 100 but a bunch) 😉

  • I love it!! thanks for the inspiration. Now I’m off to find some vintage suitcases

  • Love it, Elsie. You always make me want to do all the DIYs, my to-do list is so long at this point…

  • these are so cute. I need to try this little project out asap.

    Stop by & enter my Itunes Gift Card Giveaway!

  • Freaking brilliant! I just picked up a super cute suitcase at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena this weekend and I’m not sure if I’ll cover this one with fabric, but you can bet I’ll be buying more to do this technique on!!
    THANK YOU LOVE!

  • I’ll have to try this. I already re-lined an old suitcase earlier this year (http://gemmahayley.blogspot.com/2011/07/retro-suitcase-makeover.html) but this looks a lot easier.

  • Oh yay! I have a suitcase just like the blue one. I like it already, but covering it with fabric will make it perfect! Thanks for this!

  • I have been waiting for a demo for something like this for a long time. I have 3 vintage suitcases that I’ve been itching to do something with. They were my husband grandmothers and she never traveled so I figure these cases need to head out into the world for once. Thanks!

  • Thank you for posting this! I always see suitcases like this at Goodwill, and wanted to make something out of them!!! Such a fantastic idea!!!

  • Oh thank you, thank you, thank you! You just saved me from having to paint *my* suitcases!

    I came here by way of the Joyful Thrifter.

  • I LOVE vintage suitcases and these are super cute! I love this personal addition to really make them your own and bring new life to them. It’s just so hard to find decent ones that aren’t partially destroyed or rounded. I always keep an eye open for them. After seeing this gorgeous little gems I think I’ll be looking harder!

  • Ooh, I have a lovely 1940s or 1950s lunch suitcase and will definitely have to update it with this project! Totally love it, thanks for sharing this inspirational tutorials!!

  • I could not LOVE this project more!! I’m traveling in a couple of weeks and will have to try and have one of these made up for that trip! Thanks for sharing the awesome idea!

  • Sounds like fun! I should try this some time!

    http://slackandlack.blogspot.com/

  • What a SUPER idea!!! I’m very excited with this, it’s also a wonderful gift idea!

  • This is so cool. I bet I wont be able to find one now I really want one!
    If I do I will post onto my blog with a link back!

  • these look lovely, and the ditzy prints could easily be switched up as seasons and styles change. such a great idea 😀

  • So cuute ! Great idea! Especially to find your suitcase at the airport! 🙂
    xx

    http://disastrousteenager.blogspot.com/

  • So cute! And it’s funny–I have the same daisy blanket you posted in the background!

    http://www.thoreausdaughter.com/

  • Um hi. Amazing. Genius. I always see these hard suitcases and pass them up. Not anymore!

  • Great idea! You always come up with the best ideas, I love it.

  • What a cute and fabulous storage idea!

    –Jaclyn T
    Nature Inspired Jewellery
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/trickart
    http://www.positiveponderings.blogspot.com

  • I’m so on this! I have ALL those suitcases, and one is in my bedroom getting ready to be packed for girls weekend, and now it will be even more cute with fabric! I might have to have my husband help though, he’s the artist, I’m the writer.
    thanks for the idea!!!

  • I am totally addicted to vintage suitcases. I have raided dumpsters to hoard them, even covered one with dictionary pages. Scroll through my blabbering to see a pic!(http://highway59.blogspot.com/2011/05/dumpsta-diving.html)
    …but this fabric idea!!! Beautiful!!!! Modge Podge here we come!

  • I will so be going through my parents’ attic the next time I go and visit them – these are a MUST-make! Thanks for all your awesomeness – this blog is one of my mostestesteresterest favorites 🙂

  • They look so nicely done that I wouldn’t have guessed it was a DIY project! 😀 Really tidy and wonderfully done~.

  • This is so adorable! I’ll definitely have to try this as I need something to store my old knick knacks and treasures. (:

    – Kim from KIMBERLYMAI.COM

    ^^^

  • so super cute and I just passed up a red suitcase today! Darn it!
    Amy

  • Oh wow. Super cute. What a thoughtful tutorial. Thank you for taking the time to share that with us.

  • what a cute idea. i have to keep my eye out for the right fabric and case to test this out on. i love your diy ideas, you are so creative…and all the other people that contribute to this site.

  • whatttt i can’t believe you diy-ed those! they honestly look storebought, you can’t even tell

  • omg I LOVE LOVE LOVE this tutorial! I’m definitely pinning it for a future project!

  • Hello Elsie! I follow your blog for some time and I love your tips. Posted this great tip on my blog

    http://daniscrapperr.blogspot.com/2011/10/quer-renovar-suas-malas-de-viagem.html

    Kisses

  • Just wanted to say that I’ve been loving all the DIY on this blog lately!

    These suitcases look great. I am always hunting for floral/printed suitcases, but usually find only the plain ones. Look at you, solving my problem.

    I am curious, are the fabrics in your examples vintage? If not, where can they be found?

    Thanks!

  • howwww do you come up with this stuff? much less have time to write blog posts?!

    http://breatheandhush.blogspot.com/

  • This is brilliant! Instead of endlessly searching for my own, I can make one exactly how I want it. You have the best ideas!

  • First time visiting your blog and I just fell in love! Oh my word! These are so cute!!!

  • Great idea! I love your DIY tutorials! So helpful and inspirational!

  • This is darling! SO going to try it!

    Love,
    Stephanie May*

    http://www.maydae.com

  • Love love love the idea! I know what I am going to be thrifting for this week!
    Xo

    http://beingzhenya.wordpress.com

  • I am in LOVE with these! I would seriously use these at an airport while traveling.

  • That’s a really great storage idea! Thanks!

    x

    culinarilychallenged.blogspot.com

  • So cute! I may have to try this. It looks so easy. xo, rv

    http://aneclecticheap.blogspot.com/

  • Oh wow, these look so pretty stacked all together 🙂 I did this to the interior of my old suitcase, but it never occurred to me to do the exterior! Very nice.

  • So CUTE! I am completely in love with this DIY! I love the idea of using them as storage! I never would have thought of that!

    Kacie
    A Collection of Passions

  • oh this is amazing, and the colors are amazing. I love how it`s styled. I definetly need to buy some of these suitcases and try this diy . so cute

  • what a fantastic idea! I thought it was so fantastic that I posted a picture on my blog and linked it back to your blog! I had to share it with my readers! Your blog is so inspirational to me!

    Smiles,
    the Joyful Thrifter

  • Adorable! I pass by these suitcases at the thrift all the time, but now I am tempted to pick one up. : )

    xo,

    Sarah

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