DIY Decor: Ingenious Ways to Upcycle Old Suitcases in Style
Besides being avid crafters and DIY enthusiasts, we’ve always been great appreciators of two other things: travel and vintage things! We’re sure it comes as no surprise to you, then, that we’ll take just about any chance we can get to combine all of the things we love in once place. These are pretty different hobbies and passions, however, so there aren’t always a plethora of projects that will let us use our crafting skills to show our appreciation for both travel and vintage wares in the same place. That’s why we absolutely adore vintage suitcases! Upcycling them creatively into all manner of newly useful décor and furniture pieces is an awesome opportunity to display to your friends and family that you’re crafty, that you love travel, and that you have a fine appreciation for things from previous eras.
Just in case you happen to share this particular unique combination of interests as well, check out these 15 amazing DIY vintage suitcases that will add a stylish touch of vintage spontaneity and a sense of creative wanderlust to your home!
1. Re-covered vintage mini case
Have you always admired those adorable rectangular shaped hand cases that women used to carry all manner of things when they traveled places for short times, but found that you have trouble coming by them in modern baggage stores? We’ve found a number of them in vintage stores before, but they’re often in rough shape from years of use. That’s why Boomdeeadda refurbished this one so it looks just like new, making it ready to be used all over again! We loved this idea so much that we actually followed the tutorial ourselves and now we used it to store our makeup and toiletries when we travel because the hard sides keep cosmetics from breaking and liquids from being crushed so they spill.
2. Vintage suitcase table
Are you looking for a simple way to reuse a suitcase but you’d rather make yourself a piece of furniture than a refurbished bag because you already have enough for traveling with? In that case, consider making this very easy side table that also lets you upcycle lovely spare fabric as well! We like the idea of choosing a fabric that matches the colour of the case and perhaps setting it in a hallway or bedroom that has similar colours in its décor scheme as well. Check the whole idea out in more detail on Savvy Annie.
3. DIY vintage suitcase dresser with drawers
Do you love the idea of using a suitcase turned sideways as a surface for storage but you’d rather make something that takes advantage of the storage inside as well? In that case, perhaps you’d prefer to make something like this stacked suitcase dresser instead! This is a great opportunity to use larger cases and trunks to give yourself maximum storage capacity. Just make sure to pick ones that are of a similar size, just like Tanya Memme did here!
4. Portmanteau medicine cabinet
Do you have a small portmanteau style suitcase that isn’t big enough to be a dresser or a drawer but you’re not sure you need another side table right now? Then perhaps you’d rather make yourself some wall storage for a room that always has lots of things lying around? If that’s the case then this small suitcase medicine cabinet is the perfect project for you. This tutorial from Remodelaholic shows you exactly how to put some shelves and a drawer in and use the clothing belts to make sure things stay inside properly. Once you’ve hung it up using the bottom as a back, you’ll see that the lid becomes the door!
5. Suitcase home bar table
Do you like the idea of a side table, but rather than just storing trinkets or your keys on it, you’d rather make one that has a specific purpose and gives you a place to put things you don’t already have storage for? Well, that’s exactly what Made in A Day did here when they made themselves a home bar using a table base with shelves but replacing the top with a beautiful little vintage suitcase! Their tutorial shows you how to do the same. We like that this bar can be opened or close and look just as classic either way.
6. DIY doll home suitcase
Have you passed on your love of travel, vintage things, and creativity to one of the littlest members of your family or friend group and now you’d like to make them a gift? Then we have a feeling we’ve found a DIY option that’s going to make both of you very happy, especially if you let them help you out when you make it! Hart and Sew shows you how to create a little doll house inside an old suitcase by creating some furniture that can be stored under a “floor” piece between the two sides of the suitcase. We love the way they’ve decorated the inside to look like a cute little home!
7. Vintage suitcase speakers
Do your DIY skills actually lie more in the realm of electronics than anything else, but you still love transforming old things into something new and useful? In that case, this awesome speaker project from Puppies and Flowers might be much more your style! Besides being a good chance to tinker with wires and speakers the way you like, this project is awesome because your finished product will actually work to play music.
8. Simple painted suitcase decor
Maybe you’ve been browsing these project ideas thinking about how much you like the but also knowing that, in the end, you like the look of vintage suitcases so much that you don’t really need to alter them very much to make them useful to you because you’re happy just to have them as side décor? In that case, try following in Our Hopeful Home‘s footsteps and simply painting a small luggage piece in a way that matches your décor scheme or contrasts it in a complementary way.
9. Low vintage suitcase coffee table
We’ve talked about side tables and bar tables, but what if what you really need is a coffee table? Our couch is old and hangs low to the ground, but we haven’t replaced it because it’s so darn comfortable. Instead, we decided to look for a low coffee table to match its height but we had trouble finding one we liked in stores, so we turned to our DIY skills instead! This low coffee table tutorial from Hello There Handmade taught us how to make exactly the height of table we wanted out of a vintage suitcase we’d been saving for a project that was really worth it.
10. Pretty suitcase jewelry display
Did you like the basic concept of the medicine cabinet where they turned the suitcase on its side and used it as vertical storage that might be set or hung up, but you already have a medicine cabinet? Then take a leaf out of Craft Storage Ideas‘ book and make yourself a beautiful vintage looking jewelry case instead! We love the way they decoupaged the inside of the suitcase with flowers for a pretty style every time you open it, affixing pegs to hand necklaces and bracelets on either side so things stay organized when it’s closed.
11. Tall vintage suitcase side table
The beauty of adding your own legs to things in order to make custom tables is that, as we mentioned before, you can choose the height you need. Just like you can make yourself a low coffee table, you can also create a higher piece that will sit more level with where you’d set something when you’re standing, making it great for the hallway by the door. Cut Out and Keep shows you exactly what we mean in their suitcase side table tutorial.
12. Large industrial era suitcase coffee table
Do you find yourself in need of a coffee table but you don’t need the low kind that we showed you before and you’d rather make something a little bit bigger? Perhaps you’d really like to make yourself a piece that has a little more of an industrial looking edge to it and you’ve got a bigger suitcase to work with that almost looks like a trunk. In that case, you might need a different type of legs on the suitcase to support the weight of working with something bigger. DIY Network shows you how to do that!
13. Vintage suitcase writing desk
When you started looking for a unique piece of furniture that you could make yourself from a suitcase, did your mind wander to something really unique? Sometimes it’s nice to have something that isn’t just a side table for your hallway that you still made yourself and can be really proud of. That’s why we loved this suitcase writing desk idea so much! Destinations Vintage shows you how to make a nice little nook for yourself for when you need to get some things done.
14. Stacked suitcase nightstand
Did you love the idea of the stacked suitcase dresser that we showed you earlier but you’re not sure you have room for a piece that big even if you love the look of the concept? In that case, take a look at this nightstand idea instead! A Dilettante of Fruition shows you how to work with smaller suitcases stack on top of one another to give you a place to put things next to your bed before you sleep at night without breaking the wanderlust aesthetic you were going for.
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