refashion & repurpose,  tutorial,  vintage

Refurbished Vintage Suitcase {Tuesday Tutorial}

This past weekend the kids and I visited a local barn sale on a whim. Restyled Furniture put it on and they had a long list of amazing vendors. I found all kinds of goodies there (I would have found more had my 3 year old “screamer” played nicely with his sister) and I finally met Hayley (i.e. The Tiny Twig) in real life. We’ve been wanting to meet for a super long time and we just live on opposite sides of town so seeing her in the middle of nowhere country at a barn sale was quite ironic.

Anyway, I purchased a fabulous vintage suitcase but the interior was stained and falling apart. So I tore out the inside and decided to make it new and fun!

The first thing I did was tear out the interior.Then I took a piece of fabric and put it upside down into the bottom of the suitcase. I flattened it out and marked the corners so that I’d know where to sew.Next, line up the corner lines and sew straight up the corners, making sure to cut the excess fabric once you’re done.Turn the fabric right side out and put it inside the suitcase. Start turning over the edges so that it lines up just below the edge of the suitcase. Pin, pin, pin.Sew a 1/2″ seam where you pinned, cutting off any excess fabric. Hot glue starting at one corner and going all the way around. I glued up each corner seam and also got the bottom edge as much as possible. Just work in small sections and glue as much as you can so that it will be secure.The hardest step is now done (that wasn’t too bad, was it??).Doing the top is really easy. Cut a piece of cardboard the size of the suitcase lid. Cut your fabric about 2″ larger on each side and simply hot glue the fabric onto the cardboard.

I was left with a few spots that still weren’t covered so the last step is to take some lace, ric-rac, ruffles – whatever you’d like – and go along the edge, covering any spots that need covering. You’ll be left with a suitcase that you’ll never want to close again!

What’s your favorite vintage find? Did you leave it as-is or change it in some way?


  • Rose

    I saw your refurbished vintage suitcase post. I picked up a couple of old metal suitcases lined with stained fabric and was considering doing the same thing. Will that help eliminated bad odors?

    • Sarah

      I’m not she, but if you do, it will get rid of musty odors, especially if you have a “quilted” bottom. Fabric loooves to hold odors. However, I’ve heard using newspaper or kitty litter will help get rid of them too.

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