Vintage Suitcase Storage

Hi there! Today I’ll show you how to transform an old suitcase into some vintage looking storage, so that stuff under your bed doesn’t look like it was just dumped there! I love the rustic look of this project and it sure beats the plastic storage container alternative. This project will only take you a few days, although it has been a project of mine for a while because I haven’t been able to spend much time on it (:


What you need:

  • An old suitcase that is in fairly good condition- you can find them in op shops and at the tip
  • Fabric- enough to cover the inside of the suitcase, mine measured 480 mm wide, 700 mm long and 170 mm deep, and I used  about 1.5 m of fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • A ruler
  • Pencil
  • Lots of craft glue
  • A large and small paintbrush- the small to secure the edges of fabric and the large to stick the fabric to the suitcase.
  • Small clamps or pegs
  • Bicarbonate of soda- used to get the stuffy smell out of the case
  • A clean tray- to place the bicarb. on
  • Metal polish (optional) -I used Brasso
  • Clean cloth and soapy water
  • Methylated spirits (optional)


What to do:

  1. Cleaning: After getting the suitcase it will no doubt be pretty dirty so, without taking it into the house (this part might be messy) vacuum it out and then rip off as much of the old lining as possible putting it into the bin and vacuuming again. Wipe the outside with soapy water  until clean and for extra sticky spots rub a bit of methylated spirits on it until it has gone. Be careful with this as it is flammable and can discolour some cheap material.  If your suitcase has metal parts you can spruce these up with metal polish such as brasso making sure to wipe away any that gets onto the main body. To get the stuffy smell out of the suitcase put about half a packet of bicarbonate of soda onto a clean tray and place it in the case for the night or until smell is mostly gone.

    Letting the suitcase air out
  2. Relining: Get your fabric, scissors, pencil, ruler, craft glue, paintbrushes and clamps ready for the relining. Start by measuring the base part of the lid and drawing it out onto the wrong side of the fabric, adding about 1.5 cm to each side for the hem. To make sure you’ve got the dimensions right place it down in the position you will glue it in.  Cut the piece out and draw a line 1 cm from the edge of the fabric on each side. Paste glue on each edge of the fabric and fold each so the edge of the fabric is along the line you just drew.
  3. Gluing down: Paste a line of glue down on the base of the lid and place the fabric in position on top smoothing out any creases. Holding the unstuck fabric towards where you just glued, paste another line of glue and press fabric flat on top. Repeat this until all the fabric is glued on.
  4. The method for gluing the sides is slightly different. Measure 2 cm down from the top of each side and draw a line at this measurement, this is where the edge of the next piece of fabric will go. Measure, cut and hem just like before to make rectangles of fabric to go on the four sides of the lid. Use the same technique as before in gluing the fabric down using the clamps to keep the fabric in place at the top.
  5. Repeat this gluing process with the bottom half of the suitcase. Leave the whole suitcase to dry for a day or two.
  6. Your suitcase will now look great but the glue will have left a strong smell. Use some more bicarbonate of soda in a tray to get rid of it but if the glue smell still sticks put a cupboard deodoriser inside.

Your suitcase is finished! Place your things inside and show it off!

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back in a fortnight!



2 thoughts on “Vintage Suitcase Storage

  1. Such a transformation! Would never have thought of this, but it definitely beats plastic containers for storing odds and ends.

    Liked by 1 person

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