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May 27, 2013 at 11:30 AMComments: 3 Faves: 0

Making Something Old, New Again: Vintage Suitcase

By Kristin McKinney More Blogs by This Author

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to own my own suitcase, mainly so I didn't have to keep borrowing from other people, but suitcases are expensive, especially cute ones. Then, one day, I found the perfect suitcase and my dream finally came true.

It all started when one of my coworkers showed me this awesome project she was working on. She would buy old suitcases from antique or thrift stores and then decoupage pictures onto them. Ever since that day, I wanted to follow in her footsteps.


Fast forward to this past week, a friend of mine took me to her favorite antique store. It was huge, and I was in heaven. I found a few cool things for random craft projects but the real winner was when I found the perfect sized hard shell suitcase for seven bucks! I was the happiest person on the planet in that moment, and I bought it immediately. The next step was to decorate it. I decided to cover one side with Audrey Hepburn, and the other with Zooey Deschanel, to give it a classy look. Here's how I did it:


  • Pictures: Magazines (these can be tricky, they wrinkle easily), newspapers, books, calendars, memorabilia, etc.
  • Modge Podge
  • Foam paint brush
  • Scissors

clipping picturesStep 1: Prepare your suitcase and pictures

Start by cleaning out your suitcase. One of the blogs I looked at had some great tips on how to go about this. Once that's done, start cutting out your pictures how you want them. I would suggest laying them out on the suitcase to make sure you have enough pictures and to give yourself an idea of how you want everything to lay out. Once you've done that, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Modge Podge 

Next, you want to put down some modge podge, a glue like substance that can be used to adhere just about anything which makes it perfect for decoupaging. You can pick it up at any craft store. Put down small amount of the modge podge where you want your first picture to go. Don't over do it or it could ruin the picture. Then, put the picture down, and starting from the bottom, smooth up. Make sure to get out the bubbles and wrinkles, but don't play with it too much. Continue to do this with each picture, until both sides of the suitcase are covered. My suitcase had a little ridge between both sides where the locks are. You can put pictures there if you want or different colored paper; it's up to you. Once you've covered the suitcase, you want to put another coat of modge podge over the whole thing. Let it dry, and then put on another coat. 

modge podge suitcase

And that's it, two easy steps and you have the cutest suitcase ever!

Some other decoration ideas are using fabric; I haven't tried this, but maybe I will sometime. If you want to try, you will need to pick up special modge podge. You could also recover the inside of your suitcase with your own fabric choice, especially if it's really stained inside. I also added some lace at one of the corners of mine. I cut out a piece of black lace and glued it down with the modge podge at the corner, just to add a little something to it. If you want to keep your suitcase better protected, coat it in shellac, which you can pick up at any craft store.

There's a lot you can do with your suitcase, so go out and have fun with it. Let me know how it went!

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  • Cool, I love this idea! I actually have a friend who loves to find ways to make projects out of her photographs so I will have to show this to her!

  • It's a lot of fun! If she wants to use pictures, I would suggest trying to find the scrapbooking modge podge. It's photo safe and is supposed to prevent things like yellowing.

  • This is really a cute idea, and go be a great side-business! Redo - Resale!

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