Tuesday, 5 February 2013

101 Uses Of A Vintage Suitcase

Not long ago I posted 101 Uses Of A Teacup as we seem to be swimming in them at the moment! But you can pretty much guarantee that there will be a stack of suitcases at our next fair and the one after that and the one after that etc...so let's think about how we can bring these babies into the 21st century. I've gathered together some ideas to inspire you and please feel free to pass on yours too.


A wonderful  South African based designer Katie Thompson upcycles old unused furniture into covetable, unique feature items for your home. This suitcase chair looks so luxurious, I can hardly believe somebody came up with such a glamorous idea from an old suitcase. Genius. You can see the rest of her designs here.

Got an old chest of drawers lying around? Breathe new life into them just like the examples below. You could place the entire chest in each drawer, or create drawer fronts from the handle side of the case. It's a lovely way to store things you mightn't need on a regular basis I guess, like this bed side dresser too.

James Plumb for Rossana Orlandi

This has to be my absolute favourite idea! Suitcase shelves from blogger, Red Hen Home. Acting more as kooky artwork than shelving, it's a very impressive display! She has also created a tutorial for you to follow as well as her progress on this particular project. 

Now, this is adorable. Vintage suitcase cat bed. Who would have thought it? Very similar to the way in which you'd make one into a table, but so much cuter. You can find the tutorial to make this very bed at Mouse Breath which is a blog written by cats, for cats. 

The Boom Case have made a name for themselves over the pond for very stylish boomboxes. Yes my dears, that's right, suitcase speakers! They look incredible and sound just as a sweet. I've yet to find a UK seller, but if you know somebody PLEASE get them in touch with us! If you fancy having a go at your own Boom Case, Apartment Therapy have a DIY tutorial for you. 

The humble table will never be the same again. Whether you use a stack of suitcases to put your table top upon as in the first picture from Apartment Therapy, or you use a little more of that DIY spirit and add wooden table legs to a sturdy case just like this example from Salvage Love which also has a very simple tutorial alongside it. Remember, you can keep your cases in working order to store unsightly mess such as magazines or post, or just bits and bobs. 

If you would much prefer to keep your suitcase as a suitcase, but would like to, well, liven it up a bit, there are endless ideas out there. The classic collage effect is probably a little bit out of date (says she, vintage lover over here) so have a couple of ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

A Beautiful Mess floral fabric

Oh So Lovely polka dots

Lace chevron design from Ruche 

If you just can't see your suitcase being something pretty enough to add to your home then why not your garden or balcony? I'd love a suitcase herb pot myself! This link to My First Garden has a whole list of ideas for creative flower beds and planters, but look at his face! Perfect for kids. 

So there you have it. A fair few ideas to get you thinking about what you might be able to do with that old dusty suitcase. And I bet there are a tonne of other ideas just waiting to flow into the comment boxes below (go on!). 

Gina xxx


  1. These are some great ideas, I have an old Rolls Royce luggage trunk that has been used for numerous things over the years, from coffee table to blanket box to TV and record player stand.
    Loving the boombox idea, may upcycle mine now!

  2. This is a brilliant post! I love old suitcases and have one myself for storing beautiful old handwritten letters I've received over the years. These, I love. I noticed decoupaged old suitcases at the National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford recently too.

  3. My husband stole my vintage suitcase to make a suitcase drum-kit of all things.

  4. Hi I upcycle various items and use vintage suitcases to create various pieces including chairs, dog/cat beds, foot stools, chests of drawers, coffee tables and wall cupboards. Suitcases are so versatile and I love seeing new items made from old things! www.lilvintage.co.uk

  5. hiya, i make suitcase speaker systems here in the uk, check them out at www.djhinteriors.co.uk in the shop or FB bags of bass, great blog