Do you have a vintage suitcase, but are not sure what to do with it? Here are 10 ways to repurpose old suitcases.
Does it seem like you are seeing old suitcases everywhere you look? You aren’t imagining it, they are! Vintage suitcases are making a comeback, as people are finding all sorts of ways to repurpose these gems. Believe it or not they have quite a few uses just waiting to be discovered, and none of them have to do with traveling.
Why Upcycle Old Suitcases?
Old suitcases are sturdy, wear well, colorful, and best of all, inexpensive to come by. Because of this, they make the ideal household item to help you keep things organized, decorative, and just fun! If you love the look and charm of old suitcases, look below at 10 ways to repurpose old suitcases and get some bang for your buck.
Where to Find Vintage Suitcases
Before you begin, you will need some suitcases. These can be found at a few places. Try your local thrift stores, garage sales, second-hand shops, and consignment shops, or just check your garage and basement. It seems like everyone has at least one hanging around.
How to Clean Old Suitcases
Once you find one or more old suitcases that you would like to repurpose, you need to clean them and prep them for your intended use. To clean old suitcases, take a damp cloth to clean any debris from the outside, and use a carpet cleaner or a disinfecting spray to freshen up the inside. Once you do this, you are ready to begin!
10 Ways to Repurpose Old Suitcases
1. Make a craft carrier.
Are you drowning in crafting supplies? Do you have more yarn, needles, paints, brushes, and fabric than you can handle? Suitcases have lots of inside pockets so they are perfect to stash all of your supplies. Also, when you leave for a craft show or crafting night with friends, just grab your suitcase and go.
2. Fashion a simple side table.
Stack 3 – 4 vintage suitcases in various sizes from largest to smallest. Place the stack next to a bed or sofa and use as a simple end table. It is great for holding a single lamp, beverage, and book! Bonus, you can store infrequently used items in the suitcases.
3. Give your pup or kitten a place to rest.
Open up the suitcase and line it with some batting and a comfy blanket Your dog or cat will love climbing in for a snooze. If you are worried about the lid closing, simply take a screwdriver and remove it.
4. Store your stockpile.
Is your pantry or stockpile busting out with canned goods? Small, non-perishable items store perfectly in suitcases. Just fill one up and display the suitcase in your home as you would a decorative object. No one will know what you are hiding!
Image: Taken by Alea Milham at Deja Vu La La Salon in Sparks, Nevada.
5. Create instant shelving.
People are finding clever ways to turn old suitcases into shelving. All you need is a basic power saw and some hardware. Simply cut the suitcase in half and using brackets, attach it to your wall so that it appears the handle of the case if coming out of the wall. You won’t want to put a ton of heavy items on it, but a few picture frames will do fine.
6. Make a traveling art studio for kids.
Brush a few layers of chalkboard paint on the sides of the suitcase and allow it to dry. Fill the inside of the suitcase with chalk, crayons, paper, and other art supplies. Kids will love drawing right on the case, and they can carry this case from room to room and let their creative side out wherever they wish!
7. Hide DVDs, Books, and other entertainment items.
DVD’s and books can easily take over your living room. Instead of leaving them out where they get shuffled and messy, store them in some decorative suitcases and display the cases next to the entertainment center. They will look like a fun accent, and at the same time serve a purpose.
8. Create an unexpected flower or herb garden.
If you find a suitcase with a few too many flaws to use in your home decor, use it as a flower planter or an herb garden box instead. Simply drill a few holes for drainage in the bottom of the suitcase, prop it in a fun spot in the yard, and fill it with soil and your favorite flowers or herbs. It will look cute, and charming, as well as a functional piece in your garden that neighbors will chat about!
9. Use as a fun photo prop.
Colorful suitcases make a great photo prop. Stack them and let children sit on them for a fun photo session with a bit of vintage and whimsical appeal. They are a fun way to use something other than a bench or chair.
10. Create the perfect dress-up chest.
Fill an old suitcase with dress-up clothing, shoes, hats, and accessories. It will be easy for your kids to take their show on the road and dress up wherever they wish! When they are done, it will be a cinch to throw all of the dress-up clothes back in, close the suitcase up, and stash it away.
Who knew there are so many fun uses for antique suitcases? As you can see, there are quite a few here to inspire you and give you reason enough to go scouring for some on your own. You won’t have to scour hard, as old suitcases are easy to find and on a dime. What project will you try?
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thanks so much for any tips to remove musty smells from the old suitcases I have begun to collect. some hav e had linings removed already and I will reline them when I put them to use, but I don’t want them to put smells into contents. thanks
I suggest sprinkling baking soda in the suitcase, including any pockets, to remove smells and freshen the interior. Then vacuum up the baking soda.
For really bad vintage suit cases , I heard fill with cat litter for a week flip suitcase another week later is the best way . Trying for the first time , 4 days into it !
Material on the inside, I did not want to remove the original … let ya know how it go’s ! 😊