March 27, 2012

Vintage Suitcase Coffee Table DIY

One man's trash is this gal's treasure! Look what I found on my way home from work last night.

I cleaned it up and cleaned it out, then recovered the inside with spare fabric I had in my collection-o-scraps.

Then I filled it up with books for storage and popped it underneath an old brief case we already had to create a coffee table.

Take a look at the finally product below and how I did it.

I have made up a story about Mr. W. O'Sullivan from Canada.

I imagine that he moved from Canada to New Zealand in the 70s, where and when this case was made. He had kids and one day they moved to Australia, where he joined them in his later years. Now his kids are cleaning their closets and found no more use for this old case. It's the old stuff circle of life.

I found it locked up and without a key, but could hear something rattling around in it.

So, I yanked it open with my pilers and found...old Christmas decorations. I quickly realized that the inside needed recovering.

When recovering something like this with fabric it's important to remember to use a small, but very even and thorough amount of glue. Smooth it from the middle towards the edges.

Then trim and finish.

I popped the manufacturer's sticker back on for good measure, then filled it with books for storage. Not only was this helpful for hiding unneeded items, I needed to put the books in to make sure the case didn't cave in when things were stacked on top.

And this is where Mr. O'Sullivan's case lives now. Thanks, my Canadian friend!


  1. Hehe I love your story about Mr O'Sullivan. I bet he would be so happy to see what you've done to his suitcase.

  2. Great job, Rose!! Love it, and now I need KLEENEX, because your "O'Sullivan story" made me cry! :')

  3. Ah, I love it. I have a soft spot for old suitcases. It's beautiful!

  4. You did GREAT! My only question is: what have you done with the "found" Christmas decorations?

    1. Well, honestly, they smelled really old and there was a reason they were thrown out already by you person. :) I did keep some of the clean string-covered xmas balls though for another yet to be determined project.

  5. Really amazing! I love the inside!

  6. AWW this is so cute. I just wanted to know how you put the fabric in so nicely? Did you glue it and then exacto knifed the extra fabric?