Did that get your attention or what, lol!

I found this adorable old suitcase at the local thrift, my Instagram memory of it is from over a year ago- whoa!

before outside

I’m a sucker for cute, vintage train cases, and they are tough to find out there in thrifting land. So when I see one that’s not in terrible condition, I nab it! This one is particularly cool as it’s Canadian-made, from Vancouver, even! So I had to have it.

This poor old girl sat on my art room shelf stuffed with newspapers (a Pinterest tip to help alleviate the musty smell) until this weekend where I decided to take her to the suitcase salon and give her a makeover.

before inside

Inside, all stained, dirty, and had the icky thriftstore funk mixed with who knows what else, yuck. Yuck!

inside stripped

I started stripping out the lining, it came out quite easily and I managed to keep the original panel pieces (cardboard covered in fabric, glued to the insides) to use as templates for the new inside pieces. Kinda cool that the base frame/suitcase box/lid is made of wood! I gave it a spritz of lemon cleaner and let it sit in the sun to dry.
(Not shown is the mirror from inside the top lid, still intact, it was at the mirror spa soaking in lemony all-natural spray cleaner at the time of this photo).

panels redone

I had this cute office supplies print in my stash, so got busy making the new lining panels to replace the old ones inside.

I used the old pieces as templates, and made each piece to match the old ones. I used scraps of pellon (instead of cardboard) and some 505 spray adhesive to lightly attach the pellon pieces to the fabric pieces, and glue stick around the sides/tops to hem them. Then I promptly threw out the old stinky pieces, ew. Buhbye!

gluing inside

To start re-lining it, I used a thin layer of ModgePodge glue and attached the bottom of the suitcase’s new fabric lining piece. I worked in sections so I could flatten and smooth it out as I went. I didn’t use a lot of glue as I didn’t want it to soak through the fabric, just enough to make it stick and stay in place.

inside bottom

Bottom done!

Then I glued in both of the side panels. I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue, worked like a charm!

inside panels

inside mirror

Then I attached the front and back panels. The back one was a bit tricky as it ran up over the hinges to in behind the mirror area. I made the part that extended up a bit longer and carefully tucked and glued the ends underneath the cardboard “frame” where the mirror was to go back in (it was riveted  in place so there was no way it was going to come out at the stripping out stage!). Then I set the mirror back in, and glued on the side pieces that hold it in place.


I let it sit open and laying with the lid flat to dry overnight.

inside finished

And done! I will be taking her to the Harrison Festival of the Arts on July 16-17, where I will be a vendor, she’ll be stuffed with my handmade books for sale!

suitcase display

A happy display case, all ready to go!

I will be at the Harrison Festival of the Arts, Harrison, BC on July 16-17, and also The Vancouver Mural Festival, August 20, in Vancouver on Main Street, with my handmade goodies and art, hope to see you there!