I was searching for something on my blog the other day and as I searched thru old posts I noticed a few themes when it came to my smaller, non-furniture, projects. I was going to write just one post sharing all of those themes, but it started getting really long. So I decided to make it a series starting today with the first one …
First of all, I want to note here that I only paint the damaged and/or ‘ugly’ suitcases. None of the suitcases in the photo above have been painted. And of course, ugly is in the eye of the beholder. But for me that means the 1950’s Samsonite style luggage like this one.
After painting them, I like to dress them up in a few different ways.
Back in the early years of the blog I was known to hand paint lettering on them.
I have to say, that was definitely one of my favorite suitcases. It’s painted in Fusion paint in Seaside and Bedford. You can get more details on the technique I used to add that lettering here. Hand painting is very time consuming though, and I was never totally satisfied with the results. We’re always most critical of on our own work, aren’t we?
I also tried adding a ‘chalk board’ to a couple of suitcases, which made the lettering a little bit easier using a chalk pen.
It was a little easier, but still too time consuming for me so I moved on to stenciling.
I have a few stencils that fit perfectly on an average sized suitcase, and stenciling is so much quicker than hand painting.
I even did a Christmas suitcase one year.
This past Christmas I found the perfect stencil for a suitcase, but didn’t actually find any suitcases. Fingers crossed that I can stock up on some this summer at garage sales and then put that one to use.
Stenciling isn’t always the best choice for all suitcases though. I purchased a cast off stenciled suitcase at the thrift store that was a good example of what not to do.
Getting a crisp edge to your stencil on a pebbled surface like that one would be pretty much impossible. I gave this one a makeover using a transfer instead.
Many of the re.design with prima transfers are perfectly suited to suitcases, like this one …
and this one …
If you’re wondering what one does with these suitcases, they are really just intended as decor items. I shared Nancy’s house here on the blog last summer, and she is the one who purchased the suitcase in the photo above. She had it out on her covered porch.
And adding a suitcase to my display of dress forms looks pretty good too.
As an added bonus, they can provide storage for items not used all the time. I keep Christmas ornaments in some of my vintage suitcases,
and craft supplies in others.
By the way, if you’re ever trying to find posts on my blog about a specific subject matter, such as vintage suitcases, there are a few ways to look. You can use the search box over on the right hand side by typing in some key words where it says search for stuff here, or you can look at specific categories like “garden”, “house tours” or “travel” under sorted., and if you know approximately the month and year you can look in visit the archives for that time frame (also on the right). If you’re looking specifically for a furniture makeover, check out the fab furniture (before & after) tab at the top of the page (just under my header photos). You can find some specific how-to posts by clicking on the how to. tab up there as well.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this look back at some of my suitcase makeovers. I spent the entire weekend working in the garden rather than painting anything, so I don’t have much in the way of a new project to share this week. You may have to bear with me until I get the gardens in order this year.
In the meantime, which suitcase look is your favorite? Leave me a comment and let me know.