Give a vintage suitcase a new life with an easy fabric makeover
Today I’m going to show you an easy and affordable way to make old vintage suitcases pretty by giving them a makeover with fabric and glue. Vintage suitcases make fabulous storage for blankets and craft supplies and you can find them cheaply at op shop or thrift shops. Their vintage brown exterior compliments neutral settings well, but can look old and dirty in bright or modern settings. I have owned these 3 suitcases for years, so I thought it was time to pretty them up and makes them useful in my craft office.
Three old brown vintage suitcases found at my local op shop.
I gave two of these suitcases a couple of coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint, but I wanted to cover the third suitcase in fabric. This turned out to be my favourite! Here is a little pictorial guide of how I made it pretty.
I like to start at the bottom. Give the bottom of the suitcase a generous coat of mod podge in preparation for the fabric.
Lay the fabric over the top of the suitcase and press down firmly. Don’t worry if the Mod Podge soaks through a little as this will make it extra secure.
Pull of corners of the fabric into a peak at the corners in preparation for trimming.
Cut through the peak you formed to divide the fabric. Cut off excess fabric.
Secure the sides with plenty of mod Podge making sure to press down firmly.
Press fabric firmly against the Mod Podge to secure. Trim away any excess and secure the corners that you trimmed previously. Fold the top of the fabric over and secure it inside the suitcase.
Ensure that any joins in the fabric are well secured with Mod Podge
Cut carefully around any obstacles (latches, handles etc) with a blade. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
The vintage latch revealed provides a rustic contrast against the pretty pink fabric. Repeat this process for the lid of the suitcase. I found it easier to work this two pieces of fabric – one for the top and one for the bottom.
I secured fabric to the inside of the suitcases too, to make sure they were as pretty as the outside.
When the entire suitcase is covered with fabric, give it all a good coat of mod Podge to protect and seal the fabric. This will dry clear.
Ta Da! All done! Now you have pretty and practical storage for your blankets and craft supplies
While I was painting the parlour at RedAgape last week, I remembered that I hate painting! I painted the entire inside of my home a few years ago, and I swore I’d never do it again. I guess, like childbirth, the pain of it disappeared quickly and my promise to never paint again was forgotten. The pain of it started to return when i began preparing the parlour for its makeover. The prepping and cleaning time involved with painting is easily equal to the time spent actually painting. Prepping is very important, crucial really, and it’s a big part of why I hate painting. The taping up of skirts, doorways and windows, as well as covering furniture and floors, is super time consuming.
Here are my top tips for painting –
1. If you can afford it, hire a painter to do the job for you. No, i’m not joking.
2. If you choose to paint yourself, prepping is crucial for a quality finish and less mess. Use drop sheets and take the time to tape up properly.
3. Don’t paint at night, especially dark colours. After an undercoat and two coats of navy I thought I was finished. Unfortunately, the next day in the morning light I could see a few patchy areas and I knew another coat was needed.
4. Use a cutting in tool for the edges. This saves soooo much time and gives a nice clean edge. I used one of these when I painted years ago, but I forgot this time around. I used it for the final coat and i was kicking myself for not using it sooner.
5. Wear old clothes and a head scarf. I’m still picking blue paint out of my hair five days after the final coat.
Okay – whinging over. As much as I dislike painting I do love how paint can completely transform a room. I love the new colour in the parlour. It really feels like it was always meant to be a dark and cozy room. I’m planning on adding more wall decor behind the lounge, but for now I’m completely happy with the outcome. Not to mention, just plain thrilled I’m finished.
I really love the gold wall decor against the dark navy. There were so many beautiful rooms on pinterest that used the gold and navy combination. You can see other rooms here. I’m going to add more wall decor behind the chesterfield (as i find treasures) to create a wall display.
This old gold framed convex mirror is definitely one of my favourite things in the room. I love the way it reflects the opposite side of the room almost in entirety. I was pleasantly surprised with how the chesterfield looked against the dark navy. I think they compliment each other nicely. With the gas fire now installed the parlour is now a cozy and inviting room to relax in during the evening.
I’ve been finding some great inspiration for painting dark walls on Pinterest lately! I stumbled across some inspiring images by accident one day, when i was looking at wall displays. I was instantly drawn to the rooms that had navy covering their walls….and no, not one feature wall, but the entire room painted in dark blue. The parlour at RedAgape Guesthouse is the smallest living area and struggles to get natural light, so while i thought it would be a good candidate for navy walls, i was worried it might close it in even further. I wasn’t keen to start painting until i was sure.
Then, browsing through Megan Morton’s book, Home Love, i stumbled across this page dedicated to night time living rooms. She writes about how some rooms are morning rooms or night time rooms. My parlour is definitely a night time room. It’s a room where you want to cosy up in the evening by the fire with a good book and a wine in hand. Or as Megan Morton describes, “some rooms are born for serving whiskey sour, playing backgammon and reading Keats“. The helpful information on this single page of her book gave me the final bit of confidence to commit to a makeover for the parlour.
The first thing to do was get a gas fire installed in the fireplace. I didn’t want guests to fuss around with firelighters and wood during their stay and gas fires are the next best thing, plus so very easy to use. This is the parlour getting a nice new gas fire installed. I know, it looks a little scary, but i can assure you everything is now back in place.
With the fireplace installed, i headed to the paint shop for some samples. I grabbed four sample pots of varying navy as you can never quite tell what the paint will look like on your wall and i didn’t want to mess it up. I settled on Dulux Harpoon…..a lovely deep shade of navy. If you check out my Navy Wall Inspiration board on Pinterest you’ll understand why i have this gold frame against the wall. So many of the beautiful navy rooms have gold accents which look amazing again their dark walls.
These golden beauties i found in Peak Hill, at two different antique shops. I adore vintage gold frames, as you can see from the gold frames on the wall in the reflection. This painting caught my eye instantly and the round convex mirror will look gorgeous hanging nearby. I’m still searching for some more gold wall adornments as they will look gorgeous on my navy walls. Stay tuned!!
I picked up this little side table for $30 at a garage sale a few weeks ago. Although it was structurally sound the top was worn and a bit flakey. I’ll be honest, the idea of sanding it back and revarnishing it did not appeal to me. So i decided a little decoupage might dress it up a enough. I still wanted it to be quaint and country style, so i searched through my craft cupboard for something suitable.
I made the invitations for my brother’s wedding last year and had some of the pretty floral paper left over. I really wanted to use it for this table as a little reminder of the wedding. The wedding was fab! and my brother managed to snag himself a high quality girl, so i have fond memories of that day. Also, my daughter Rose played the piano for the brides entry which was really special. Anyway, back to the topic. The paper i used for the wedding invites was perfect. So after some light sanding, sticking on paper and applying many layers of modpodge, i was happy with the result. Here’s how it looks in the room….also, note the new wrought iron bedhead and base (thanks Mum and Dad).