Vintage Suitcase Makeovers Perfect As Decorative Storage

October 09, 2022

Photo of a vintage hard plastic suitcase.
I have been upcycling old suitcases recently.  This old Samsonite suitcase was found at the local thrift shop for $7. 

Read on to see the makeover, AND how I used the suitcases as decorative storage.

(When you click on the bold Amazon, Old Sign Stencils or Dixie Belle Paint Company affiliate links you will be taken to the products I used for this project. If you order it does not change the price or service at all. As an Amazon Affiliate, Old Sign Stencils Affiliate or Dixie Belle Paint Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Photo of primitive decor on built ins.
When I purchased my house, the den/family room had these built ins including a desk/storage cubbies/book shelves, and a closet on each end. 

There were wooden doors on the lower cubbies and on the closets.  I removed the doors and hung homespun curtains cubbies and closets.  They were custom made.  At the time, my decorating style was primitive.

Photo of built ins being painted white.
When I transitioned to farmhouse style, I had all the built ins painted Dover white.

Photo of storage cubbies with homespun curtains.
This brightened the room up even though I Ieft the dark red homespun curtains on the windows, closets, and cubbies.

But now, I want the homespun curtains gone.

Photo of an old hard plastic suitcase primed with spray primer.
Back to the suitcase makeover.  The suitcase was in pretty clean condition inside and out. 

After vacuuming the inside and wiping the suitcase down, I brought it outside and primed the suitcase with Painter's Touch Flat White Primer.  Chalk paint might stick to the hard plastic, but just in case, I chose to prime the surface first.

Photo of a vintage suitcase painted with Dixie Belle Paint in Manatee.
I brushed two coats of Dixie Belle Chalk Paint in Manatee Gray on the suitcase.

The suitcase latches were painted with Rustoleum Metallic Accents in Soft Gold.

Photo of Redesign With Prima Spring Flowers Decor Transfer.

I then pulled out Redesign With Prima Spring Flowers Decor Transfer.  There were four different designs in this package. (I have used 3 of the 4 on projects now). 

Photo of a decor transfer being applied to a suitcase.
I centered one of the horizontal transfers on the front of my painted suitcase, and taped the top of the transfer to the suitcase.

Photo of a decor transfer being applied to a suitcase.
When I was satisfied that the transfer was centered and straight, I pulled it up from the suitcase.  I left the tape in place and removed the white paper backing.

Photo of a decor transfer being applied to an old suitcase.
I rubbed the transfer onto the suitcase using the enclosed rectangular stick.

I was very careful to pull the clear plastic up slowly.  If the transfer was still sticking to the plastic, more rubbing would be required.

Photo of an upcycled vintage suitcase.
After the transfer was in place, I burnished the transfer with a scrap of the paper backing.  Burnishing adheres the transfer in all places.  I then sealed the paint and transfer outdoors using two coats of Rustoleum Painter's Touch Clear Matte Spray.

Photo of an upcycled vintage suitcase.
I like the way it turned out!

Photo of craft storage in old suitcases.
Next, I filled three suitcases with ribbon,

Photo of craft storage idea in old suitcases.
AND fabric,

Photo of suitcase craft storage idea.
AND bulldog clips, game parts etc.

Photo of decorative suitcase storage.
This cubby is now filled with decorative craft storage instead of plastic bins.  Other suitcase project tutorials HERE and HERE.

Photo collage of vintage upcycled suitcase decorative storage.
Pin for later!

Four more cubbies left to decorate! Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading my blog, Carlene

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