-->

Apr 9, 2013

DIY: relining a thrifted suitcase

<<< psst! you can see a full list of my diy projects here! >>>

[SNAPSHOT]
time : minutes
difficulty  ★  ☆ ☆  
would i do it again? : yes!


see the steps and the finished piece after the jump!

i think i may have squealed when i spotted this darling blue mini-suitcase at a thrift shop recently:

i mean, COME ON. it's darling.

...and only $2!!!

the inside liner?
...not so much.

no.
seriously: 
NO.

i put on some gloves and ripped out the lining. it came off fairly easily.

...leaving me with this:

i broke out my trusty clorox wipes and wiped down all the surfaces,
inside and out:

i initially wanted to reline the suitcase with vinyl -- but all i found at joann fabrics were basic solid colors -- and i wanted something fun. so instead, i picked up some black and white polka-dot oilcloth (with a 40% off coupon).


...and three yards of Native American-inspired trim (with a 50% off coupon).


i cut a piece of fabric to the approximate shape of my suitcase:

...then used a generous amount of fabric fusion to adhere to fabric to the case:

i trimmed the excess fabric:

i was running out of fabric fusion so i ended up attaching the trim with hot glue -- it worked just as well.


a BIG difference:

repeat on the top half...and the finished piece is an adorable little suitcase for those weekend trips to grandma and grandpa's house!

i was a little excessive when cutting my fabric for the top half. i didn't have enough native american trim to cover the gaps, so i added some bright yellow ribbon from my stash. i like how it turned out! 
   ...now, let's pretend i meant to do that this whole time...


do you have any old suitcases that could use a new liner?
...or will you go hunting for one at goodwill?

adult-size luggage is great for storing out-of-season clothes, extra linens, etc.
kid-size luggage is...just plain adorable!


* mari


37 comments:

  1. That is absolutely adorable and for $2 you can't go wrong plus SQUEAL it's in my favorite color!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you jennifer! the color is perfect, a bright cheerful blue!

      Delete
  2. Way cool! Going to be looking at tag sales for them now. Great idea for a birthday present!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. good call, joan! may the thrifting gods be with you!

      Delete
  3. Love it! I think I have that EXACT suitcase & haven't used it yet b/c it smells weird. The liner is in good shape, but I bet if I replaced it, it'd smell a lot better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes, do it! there was an overwhelming musty smell that disappeared when i threw out the liner.

      Delete
  4. this is so cute.. and i too got that exact suitcase from my grandma.. and it totalllyyyyy stunk!! but this turned out so cute. loe the polka dots with the tribal.
    found your blog via eighteen25. glad i checked it once in a lifetime to find your treasure of a blog :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much, michelle! i appreciate you stopping by! :)

      Delete
  5. This is a great tutorial! I haven't seen many cute vintage suitcases in my thrifting travels, but when I have, I always shy away from them because of funny smells and dusty gross interiors. Now that I've seen (and pinned) this, I know just what to do! Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i'm so happy to hear that -- good luck with your suitcase makeover! :)

      Delete
  6. Absolutely fantastic project. Love your photography, styling and your tutorial. So shiny and bright :) The polka dot with that colorful trim is outstanding!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Overreacting with the medical gloves, aren't you? Not really a good image. Won't be back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh well, to each their own -- thanks for visiting!

      Delete
    2. @ onetimeviewer: I realize this is 2 years old, but... geeze... how rude!

      Delete
  8. This is so cute. What a great idea to line with oilcloth! I relined a pair of suitcases for my daughter's airplane birthday party. I used regular fabric and spray adhesive since they weren't going to be used for anything but decoration.

    Love the polka dots and the trim. Really great project and super cute kid!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you amber! :) how has the fabric held up? it was so hard to limit myself to just vinyl or oilcloth, but i was afraid anything else wouldn't last very long.

      Delete
  9. I've had this same suitcase for years & am totally going to update it now. I love the oilcloth you used - so fun!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i'm so glad you're able to put an old suitcase back to use! thanks for stopping by, anna!

      Delete
  10. Oilcloth - excellent idea! My husband says I have too many old suitcases. I say, as long as stuff is in cardboard boxes, I don't have enough!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have an old navy one (the first issued me by my airline in '90). My daughter uses it for her Barbie clothes! Love this liner idea...oh and I think it's fine you used gloves to remove the "icky, odoriferous" old liner!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wonderful! I'm not too crafty but I think even I could do this! I have two granddaughters that are always on the go. Their other grandmother is always making them things. Now I can too! Thanks so very much for sharing sweety!��

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thankd sooo much for this post - I've just started on this project on a virtually identical suitcase! Have decided to keep the frilly trim, but it's still a bit musty :( Any advice on freshening up the trim and how to clean the exterior metalwork?
    Many thanks again for sharing!
    Sioned

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi sioned, sorry for the delayed reply! I just wiped down the exterior metal with more clorox wipes. to clean more thoroughly, i'd try a toothbrush and maybe some barkeeper's friend? i'd love to know what you end up using and if it works well! thanks!

      Delete
  14. that looks ADORABLE! nice job :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great tutorial! I looove vintage luggage. (Ok, I hoard vintage luggage. The cherry red ones are my fave!) And we use ours regularly when we travel, after a good scrubbing with clorox wipes and some warm sunshine exposure. The few stinky/musty pieces I own have been waiting for a makeover, and this is it! The oilcloth suggestion is perfect. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Connie! I'd love to find a red one!

      Delete
  16. I have two cases just calling my name. Thank you for a fun and EASY tutorial. I can hardly wait to get started. Great blog. Eleln

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so welcome, Ellen -- thanks for stopping by! :)

      Delete
  17. Fabulous fabric choice - I have a vintage family trunk I have to recover so your tips are useful.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Va voir sur mon blog j'ai fait un panier à chat avec une partie d'une vieille valise. Très jolie la tienne.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is such a cute idea. I have my blue Samsonite from the 60's, but the liner is ruined. I am going to try my hand at this. A glue gun's glue is not going to be permanent. I would certainly use a fabric glue.

    ReplyDelete
  20. How did you manage the curves in the suitcase? Did you cut it?

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.