Remember that I told you my neighbor, nnK, brought me some suitcases? They were from her uncle’s estate sale in Iowa.
One of them was a simple (i.e. inexpensive) cardboard-ish suitcase with a plastic handle. I’m not really sure how these were constructed, but they seem to be paper applied over a wood and cardboard sort of frame.
Anyway, here’s the before …
Technically that’s not a true ‘before’ shot because I had already cleaned it up before taking it. But you get the idea, just picture it a bit dirtier.
After cleaning it up, I decide I really quite liked the look of the beat up paper surface and I didn’t want to paint this one. So I decided to just play around with some new IOD transfers that I purchased recently.
So I pulled out the Floral Anthology transfer.
Sorry, I stole that image off the web and it doesn’t even come close to doing justice to these transfers. But hopefully you get the idea. With the Floral Anthology set you get 4 sheets of transfers and they can be combined any way your heart desires. In my case, I just started cutting the different elements apart and then placing them on my suitcase to create a sort of floral border.
Once I had the floral pieces in place, I added the wording from the IOD Label Ephemera transfer.
The sort of faded look of the Floral Anthology transfer was just perfect over the beat up suitcase.
I struggled just a little bit with getting the transfer to stick to the flaking paper suitcase in some spots. The paper would come up with the transfer, rather than the transfer sticking to the suitcase. But I figured out that if I put down a coat of flat clear sealer from Dixie Belle, let that dry, and then tried again in those spots it worked like a charm.
So, in hindsight, I realize it would have worked better to seal the suitcase with the flat clear coat first and then add the transfer. I’m going to try to remember that for next time. You know, should I ever happen to be adding a transfer to an old cardboard-ish suitcase again.
But even though there might technically be a flaw here and there, overall it turned out fabulous.
I really don’t think anyone would even notice that it’s not precisely perfect.
This really is just meant as a decorative piece. You could place it on top of a cupboard, on the floor at the foot of your bed, or just in front of your dress forms. You could easily use it to store some of your off-season shoes, or maybe your Christmas decorations (that’s what I do with my vintage suitcases).
This was really just a super satisfying project to work on. It just took adding a few transfers to really make this suitcase feel like something special.
As much as I’m tempted to keep this one, I’m going to be selling it. If any of you locals are interested, be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.