Monday, March 12, 2012

Baggage Claim

Far into the depths of my stash of things that I have because "I can make something with that," lie suitcases.  Not cool vintage suitcases like these above - but ugly ones like these:

I believe that these suitcases were built to withstand any natural disaster except maybe fire.  I'm sure that you could find them completely intact at any landfill in the U.S.  This Samsonite baggage set was pure luxury at one time.  

When I see these on the side of the road waiting to be picked up with the garbage I cannot help but rescue them.    I saw this on and two others in my across the street neighbor's trash pile so I headed right out and carried them to safety in my basement.

In my mind the value of old suitcases lies in their potential for storage.  The "newer" old suitcases are typically slanted from top to bottom and therefore don't stack very well.  So, in my mind, they have to be able to stand alone.  Whatever I do to them to make them more attractive must be somehow artistic - to make it worth having it anywhere besides the  depths of the basement or attic.  I had high hopes for these and finally, last year sometime I pulled one out and made this:

I love this suitcase now.  I love how it turned out.  I love the way the grass and sunshine look.  I think the flowers are beautiful.


I love the orange of the sun.
I don't have pictures of the process of making this so I'm going to make another (different) one this week and show the process.  It is not difficult.  It is a little time consuming.  It is simple enough to do with children - so if you did it on a craft day if would go faster.  I would make it a supervised craft day though!

I do have pictures of the process for lining the suitcase.  The inside was a little gross do I didn't bother to protect it when I primed it with spray primer.
Gross huh?  I ripped out that thing in the middle - this piece is important because it holds in the contents of the suitcase when it is vertical, and so the top contents don't fall on you when you open the suitcase.  I pulled out the parts that made it functional (the hooks that attach it to the suitcase and the metal dowels that give the covers stability).  I re-used these on the new cover.

I had part pf an old yellow matelasse coverlet that coordinated so I decided to cover the interior with that.  It was nice and thick so I didn't have to worry too much about glue seeping through or the fabric fraying.  A thick upholstery fabric would offer the same qualities.   I laid it over the open suitcase and made a rough cut of the fabric.
I attached the bulk of this with high tack spray adhesive.  Then I timmed, tucked, and tacked to make it fit to a "T."
I covered all the raw edges with large ric-rac.  I used fabric glue here - it's just better for this application.
I cut a piece for the middle holder inner cover thing (I cannot for the life of me think of what this might be called).   I cut it extra long to allow for a 3 inch piece to be cut off and hemming.

Next I did the following:
  • folded grosgrain ribbon over the raw edges on the side and sewed it in place
  • cut off a 3 inch strip from one end
  • folded the ends under 1/2 inch then 1 1/2 inchs
  • sewed a pocket 1/2 inch from the folded edge
  • sewed down the hem close to the edge
  • inserted the metal dowel and attached hooks
  • folded under both edges of the piece I cut earlier from the main cover piece
  • sewed the edges in place
  • pinned it across the center of the wrong side of the finished cover piece
  • sew this in place (by machine)

  •  attach both sides of this piece to the center of the suitcase by hand - I used an upholstery needle for this to make it easier
  • close that puppy up because you are DONE!

Once again I must say - I love this.  I have vivid images of a little girl or boy having it in their bedroom for storing all of their secret treasures.   I loved making it.  I would like to make more because I have more suitcases.

Here is my dilemma.  There is no child I want to give it to right now.  I has been sitting around in my house gathering dust for quite a while now.  Should I sell it?
How much should I sell it for?  The supplies were inexpensive.  However the time involved was pretty extensive.  I know that I could do the next ones faster.  

Should I save it to put in a maybe, one day, Etsy shop or put it on consignment somewhere?  

I am open for any suggestions....please. I would welcome suggestions....please.
Please....  Anyone??

While you are solving my dilemma, I will be decorating a new suitcase and taking pictures!  UPDATE: The painting/decoupage tutorial is now ready - click here.

Make something wonderful today!



miss flibbertigibbet said...

That is the cutest thing! And so much work! It could definitely be put up for sale!

fiona anderson said...

It's adorable, inside and out.
I would go with the etsy shop idea personally - especially if you enjoyed doing it, and you're going to do more.

Stacey Stuwe said...

aaahhh...this is great, i will now be looking for ugly suitcases to have given me endless ideas!! Thanks!

cgammeter said...

You did a fantastic job on the inside, as well as the painting, so cute. Hi, I'm Connie @ Your newest GF and LF friend, stop by and be my friend, too. Thanks for sharing.

Tisha Clapp said...

What an adorable project - I love the rick rack inside! I vote etsy too, although I have no idea what something like this would go for. I'd shop around and see if others have made similar items. Thanks for linking up!

Anonymous said...

I love the painting you did on the outside, yet what I like is that you redid the inside too. I see a lot of these older suitcases that have been fixed up, yet the insides are still nasty. I'm sure you could find a buyer for them. Maybe try a children's consignment store locally to see if there are any interest in them. Good luck on selling them!

Pamela said...

How cute!!! Thanx for sharing!

cherry said...

This is adorable you did an awesome job... hugs, Cherry

Anonymous said...

I know I commented before, but I wanted to drop by again to let you know that your cute suitcase was featured in my Saturday Picks today. Congrats on your feature! There is a featured button on my blog for your sidebar or a featured page if you would like to take it.

Thanks again for coming to my party, and I hope we will see you again next week.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Katie @ Creatively Living said...

WOW!!! Truly awesome project! Your paint job on that is really, really good!

Thanks for linking it up @ Creatively Living!

Phyllis @Around the House said...

It is so should open an etsy shop and sell hand painted things like the suitcase...but don't limit yourself...paint everything...even kitchen utensils would be so cute painted...

Unknown said...

Hi Hon, Well, everyone is saying what a wonderful job you did painting the suitcase. To me it looks like tissue paper that has been mod podged. Am i wrong? No matter, it is still beautiful, and you did an awesome job on the whole thing, in and out.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Left Luggage said...

It's beautiful! With a suitcase like that you'd certainly never have any problems identifying which one was yours at the airport :)


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