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Saturday, May 8, 2021

How to upcycle a vintage suitcase

Searching for ideas on how to give a vintage suitcase a make over?  We will show you step by step on how to give that piece a new look.

Remember the stencil from "What I have in my cart?"  It came!  I have been wanting to try a project with a stencil for some time.  About 15 years ago I purchased 6 suitcases from a friend of a friend... you know how that goes... I did get them for a steal!  $10.00 for 6 vintage suitcases!  Three were part of a matching set and were gray which you know I love (you can see a piece of this set if you take a look at the French provincial chest), and then there was one single lonely brown suitcase, and two matching red suitcases...

I started a project with one of the red suitcases many years ago and spray painted it white, just one side... why you ask?  Umm... I am not even sure, I think I was experimenting at the time, probably got distracted and moved on to the next project and never circled back to it... I used to be notorious for this when I would get stuck on something and need time to think the project over, then my imagination would take me in a different direction... I like to think I have grown as a person and finish my projects now... (I am chuckling to myself about that statement). 

I decided to take the poor two different colored suitcase outside last weekend and finish the job of painting the entire thing white.  At the time I was painting it, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it and I wasn't sure if it was something I would share so I did not take pictures of it before...  oops... when the stencil came, I decided to try a project I have been seeing online...

Have you seen where they take spackle and apply it to a stencil, then lift the stencil and the pattern is left behind on the object you are stenciling?  I kept watching videos and thought I can do that... so I purchased the stencil you saw the other day and placed it on the side of the suitcase.  I used a spackle knife to apply the spackle by pushing it into the stencil, I covered it so I was not able to see the stencil lines any longer.  Since the suitcase was not exactly a perfectly flat surface, I did have unevenness in the design.  It was almost like something had been shoved into the side or had been overstuffed many moons ago... 

With the uneven amounts of spackle, I was not sure if this would affect the look of the design or not.  I peeled back the stencil and some of it came off with the stencil, darn it, but for the most part it stayed in place.  I did not think it turned out too bad... and it is vintage so vintage items are never supposed to be perfect, right?  My most favorite thing about vintage items... perfectly imperfect. 

This is the spackle I used to imprint the stencil onto the suitcase.  As you can see it is hot pink when you apply it and then it begins to fade as it dries.

I kept going back and taking photos so you could see how the color of the spackle changes as it dries.  

I let it dry overnight before I decided to touch the suitcase.  Mr. Vintage came home and saw what I had been up to and suggested putting food coloring in the spackle so it was colored.  That is a thought to try for the future... Darn it, I think a teal would have been perfect for the look I am searching for... 

Here it is completely dried the next morning.  

I decided to cover the design with a spray sealer by Mod Podge.  You may laugh, but I do find so many uses for Mod Podge in our home, see our backsplash make over if you missed it before.  

Vintage suitcases are excellent for displays and hidden storage.  When I lived in my apartment, I had the set of three matching suitcases as an end table in my living room.  Many, many years ago... I enjoyed crafting and projects, as you can see, not much has changed... I decided to purchase balls for feet and candlesticks for the legs of the table.  Then I stored dvd's inside the largest suitcase to keep stowed away.  In the medium sized case, I stored table linens... I am all about any project that provides storage, the plastic bins you find at the store are not exactly the storage pieces I find desirable.  I love making everything attractive in our home, e.g. our bathroom closet, small additions to other closets, and just simple touches sprinkled throughout here and there. 

And there you have the vintage suitcase make over... I actually like the white on white and think I will keep it as it is.  

What do you think?  Would you try this on items around your home?  It was really quite a simple project and I plan to use this stencil more around the house so stay tuned in that department.  

Anyone care to take a guess what we plan to use this for?  I added a name tag so we would know what we were storing inside of it, we know how I do love my labels...  It will be going with another project we will be working on soon.  

Have a fabulous weekend all!  


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