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Upcycled Vintage Suitcases

Want to add some sparkle to old suitcases? Check out this Upcycled Vintage Suitcases from Mitzi Curi! This is an exciting upcycled craft to make.

Upcycled Vintage Suitcases


  • Vintage suitcases
  • Spray paint
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Wallpaper
  • Sheet music
  • Dryer softener sheet


  1. First, you need a vintage suitcase or two. There are plenty of these in the world, and if you can't find one this weekend at a garage sale then you just ain't lookin'! Many are made by the king of luggage, Samsonite, in a faux leather trimmed out in real leather. The plastic handles often have a strange stickiness to them, and we are going to remedy that by spray painting the trim and hardware.
  2. I decided to paint the edges, handle, and hardware on the hat case metallic gold.

    Upcycled Vintage Suitcases
  3. I painted the Samsonite case a neutral cream color. A couple coats of spray paint and the problem of the sticky plastic handle was solved. I just painted around the edges and right over the hardware. The other case in the picture below is a new cardboard case with nice looking metal hardware that I purchased on sale at JoAnn Fabrics (which I haven't finished yet).

    Upcycled Vintage Suitcases
  4. Next comes the fun part. I spread Mod Podge directly on the suitcase with a foam brush, then applied my wallpaper and sheet music bits. I worked in about 8" x 8" sections, and used a brayer to roll over the applied papers to make them nice and smooth, then added a top coat of Mod Podge.
  5. I decided to use sheet music and other neutral papers on my hat case, tearing the papers and applying them in a very haphazard manner, no measuring.
  6. The Samsonite case was finished with all my little bits of wallpaper along with some sheet music in an overlapping patchwork pattern. I started with the lighter colored papers and sheet music, then added the more colorful papers last.

    Upcycled Vintage Suitcases
  7. The flip side was finished with some of my blue wallpaper bits, for a slightly different look.

    Upcycled Vintage Suitcases
  8. To freshen up the insides of these cases, throw in a dryer softener sheet. Now you can use your decorated suitcase to store special fabrics, lace and trims, knitting projects, or what ever you want to keep close at hand.
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I have the same Samsonite suitcase with the same sticky handle. I planned on covering the handle with jute or fabric. I'm wondering how well the paint on the handle will hold up. I have tried clear nail polish and it only lasted a very short time before the stickiness reappeared. Any thoughts about this?

What a great idea for storage in the home. I can see these stacked up three high and used as a side table next to your easy chair, too. The look of the vintage papers, florals and stripes, and the sheet music- is just so girly and feminine and I love it! Again, if that is not your thing you can do black and white newspaper clippings mixed with the comics! How about old picture postcards from traveling around the world?

My Mams attack is like a treasure chest of goodies, she has an old suit case like above, I've had my eye on it for ages because I wanted to do something like this but didn't know where to even think about starting something like this! I wanted to make it to leave inside the front door so we can store scarves, hats, gloves and little bits like that as extra storage that isn't an eye sore.

I love this idea. I personally have not tried this yet, but I saw a case done using photo's. This was beautiful. And I was so surprised to see this used as a bed side table. What a great idea

I have several old suitcases. Great idea!


I too have an old truck. Great idea about the leg, never thought of it. I have seen it used at the end of the bed as extra blanket and billow storage and a great place to sit, (when you don't clutter it with everything else), when you get dressed...Or maybe as a bench in your front hall and it can store hat and cloves and mittens.....If it's metal, use it outside as a bench and store your seat covers,etc...

Love this project! I recently did a small case and used the old "fabric picture frame technique" to re-do the inside with fabric and batting covering cardboard cut to size. Beautiful!

This is great. Can't wait to try it! It will be perfect for extra storage.

this looks great. But, what type of paint did you use? Not sure what paint would be best for this project. thanks.

This is just beautiful!

I have a suitcase on my work table at this very moment! I have been using old sewing patterns, paper doilies and scrapbook papers on mine. I painted the trim, but that does not seem to be covering very well, so I will probably add ribbons.


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