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
Are recycled interiors suitable for a modern home? I think so. We moved into our modern home almost 12 months ago and have slowly, but surely been putting our stamp on the place. Even before the boxes had been unpacked, i had decided that i wanted to include my love of vintage and secondhand pieces into our new home. It was suggested that i probably wouldn’t be able to do that in such a modern setting, but i was determined to use some of my existing pieces and find more vintage treasures to include in our modern setting.While i have no doubt that vintage pieces can be used in a modern setting, you do need to be selective and have a good mix of different decor items. I was mindful of the fact that not everything would work, but looking around there are lots of recycled items in my home that look and feel modern. You just have to be careful about getting the balance right. This vintage air circulator (which still works) was the perfect solution for a small side table near the lounge. A modern lamp sitting on top of it, contrasts nicely. And, how to fix a broken lounge leg? With old magazines of course! Okay, it is not the most profession repair job, but it is as solid as a rock and other good form of recycling. My husband already owned a couple of much cherished vintage maps and there was no chance of them being left out of the mix. With many large windows and few blank walls, i was limited to only a couple of places in which the maps would fit. This vintage map of the states hangs proudly in our main living area. Underneath are a couple of vintage crates, used as planter boxes and a gorgeous green french desk. I think the contrast of these aged items works well in a modern setting.A much treasured vintage school desk we already own had to be included in our new home. It works well in the modern setting as the colour of the wood just happens to blend perfectly with our wooden steps. A modern light box, hanging above the desk, maintains the modern feel of the space. My most treasured antique find, an aseptic dental cabinet takes pride of place in our main living area. It has quite an industrial look about it, so it was easy to incorporate into our modern setting. A vintage number three sits atop the medical cabinet – my hubby loves the number three and it doesn’t look out of place here, despite its age and being covered in rust.I love the contrast of my old vintage stool in our sleek and modern bathroom. Being environmentally aware when decorating doesn’t mean your entire home needs to have sustainable design and all recycled furniture (that would be great though). We can all contribute to a more sustainable way of living in small ways. Don’t go out a buy a new stool if a secondhand one will suit your space.My bedroom is decorated in quite a modern style, but i have still included this old vintage trunk in the design. A simple makeover with shiny black paint has brought this trunk to life and given it a modern feel, that fits beautifully into my bedroom.My last recycled find that i wanted to share is this beautifully made coffee table – created with old railway sleepers. This was an absolute bargain on ebay for $50. I love it! I had it in storage when we lived in our previous home because it didn’t suit, but it looks perfect in our new home. Rustic, warm and recycled. What do you think? Can recycled pieces work in a modern home?
Some of my paper wreaths are now available for sale at Tomolly in Millthorpe. Please pop in and see the lovely Belinda at Tomolly if you’d like to check them out in person. Currently, i have two golden book wreaths and one vintage sheet music wreath available. You can also follow Belinda on Instagram or FB if you’d like to see what she has in stock.
Paper Cone Wreath Made from Vintage Golden Books
Paper Craft – Vintage Music Paper Cone Wreath
Close up of Vintage Atlas Paper Wreath
Paper Cone Wreath made from Vintage Sheet Music
Golden Book Paper Wreath – image by Belinda from Tomolly
There are many ways to repurpose vintage wooden crates. I’ve seen them used for toy storage, magazine racks and shelving. I really like using them as planter boxes. Obviously, you need to line your crate before you fill it. This vintage crate, that originally housed ammunition cartridges, is now home to three little succulents. This vintage dairy crate was the perfect size for my Peace Lily that was already in a pot. The plant, the pot and it’s base are concealed inside, so it was simply a matter of putting it into the crate. Too easy.
Here is my round up of 7 Vignettes with the Interiors Addict for November. Head to instagram and search #7vignettes to see the inspiring images for the themes – Holiday, Stack, Hanging, Recipe, Soft, Reflective and Paper. Jayde Leeder from Little Paper Lane is the judge for November and i don’t envy her job. Good Luck!
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!!
Last week I was lucky enough to come across this old underwood typewriter in a secondhand store. I’ve admired so many online before, but they are almost impossible to freight because they are so very heavy. Local pickup is the only way to get your hands on one. I was surprised when I saw this one in an unassuming secondhand store at such a cheap price. I’ve seen them priced over five times what I paid, so I was doubly thrilled with this latest vintage find.
This Irish guard’s jacket has been a part of the guesthouse for a while now. It hangs proudly on one of the antique mannequins in the parlour. It’s a gorgeous shade of red and according to the label at the collar, it once belonged to an Irish Guard named Lieutenant Stacpoole.
The detail on the jacket is amazing. It has beautiful braiding, appliqué and piping on the sleeves, collar and tails. And is accented by brassy, gold buttons. It may look pretty, but it clearly has been made to protect the guards from the coldest of weather. It is so heavily quilted that even the strongest of guards would have felt weighed down…..warm, but weighed down.
This pretty little bird plate is yet to find a home at RedAgape. I picked it up at an antique shop in the blue mountains. I don’t think it’s worth anything, but the colours caught my eye! It should be a nice match for the living room.
Finally, it was a little bit exciting to have one of my instagram pictures featured in Sunday Style, the pull out in the Sunday Telegraph! Please follow me on instagram to see more of my pictures. Have a good week!!
I love a spray paint makeover and this vintage frame is the perfect example. I had already spray painted this old frame a nice glossy white, but after a few months I was ready for another update. I had some gold spray paint leftover from my Sunburst Chopstick Mirror project, so I thought I’d give that a whirl. Ten minutes later I was finished. I love a super quick makeover!
Millthorpe is beyond beautiful in Autumn. The changing colours of the leaves, the warm days, brisk nights and the relaxing atmosphere makes it the ideal time for a weekend away. I managed to finish my plate wall display over the weekend. I have been acquiring plates for a while now and last week i was able to find a few vintage items to complete my collection. It took around three hours in total to get them onto the wall. Here are the steps below that i followed –
Step 1. Sort the plates by colour, size and shape. Lay them out on the floor until you are happy with your arrangement.
Step 2. Trace the plates one by one onto paper and cut them out.
Step 3. Stick the paper templates to the wall using blu tac.
Step 4. Attach a paper clip using a hot glu gun to the back of the plates.
Step 5. Measure from the top of the plate to the paper clip and then, using that measurement, hammer a small nail the same distance down from the top of the paper template.
Step 6. Hang the plates onto the nails and tear off the paper template.
I know, i know. A hot glu gun and a paper clip!!? It sounds like the MacGyver method of interior decorating, but i can assure you these plates are not going anywhere. I researched the best method for hanging plates and this method is VERY popular. I was sceptical myself, but after the first plate dried i was convinced it was rock solid. Of course, do this at your own risk. I probably wouldn’t hang plates over a bed or passage where people walk.
I’m keen to do another wall of plates at my own house, so i’m going to start collecting again. All in all it’s a pretty great way to decorate a blank wall!
I’ve been lucky with my vintage finds this week. As the house is filling up, there is little need for treasure hunting, but I can’t stop myself from looking whenever we are near an antique or secondhand store. I’m really glad the sticky beak in me couldn’t resist this week. On a trip to Gilgandra on Monday I found these plates for only a dollar each. They’ll go nicely with the plates I’ve already collected.
I also found this cute Kodak instamatic camera in Gilgandra. I was fiddling with it in the store and almost blinded my daughter when the flash went off!! It was pretty funny and a nice surprise to know it still works.
Today, in Millthorpe, i found the last two items. They are definitely my favs for the week. I’ve always wanted a stop sign. I’m not sure why….perhaps a not so subtle reminder to STOP, breathe and remember not to let the little things get to me. I was actually in the middle of a sulking tantrum when I saw this sign. Serendipity? Yes, I think so.
I actually couldn’t help smiling (despite my sulking) as I walked the sign home. Just the thought of being able to jump out in the middle of the road and halt traffic was amusing to me. Finally, my Underwood typewriter. I love it. I know it’s not very original as everyone is collecting them, but I love it all the same.
And here are this weeks finds (except the plates) at home in the parlour. I’ve got a busy, busy, busy week ahead!! My first guests stay next weekend and my gorgeous little sister is getting married too.